It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Gordon Edgar Burnell on Monday, Sept. 29, 1997 at the age of 57.
He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Simone, of 31 years; his daughter, Robyn and husband, Marc Bourrier; his daughter, Evelyne and husband, Matt Parsons, and his two sons, Oscar and Donald; and his four-year-old grandson, Nicolas, who he adored and took great pleasure in spoiling.
Gordon was looking forward to the birth of Evelyne and Matt’s first-born, which is due in early December.
Also surviving are his mother, Eleanora Burnell; and 10 brothers and sisters, Joyce (Jake) Broesky, Lorraine (Don) Purchase, Herb (Kay) Burnell, Edith (Vianney) Gauthier, Oscar (Carol) Burnell, Audrey (Fred) Purchase, Fran (Bill) Faragher, Ray (Denise) Burnell, Ruth (Norman) Bachiski, and Dorothy (Don) Grenier.
They all meant so much to him. Family was always very important to Gordon.
He also is survived by his mother-in-law, Evelyne Grenier; and in-laws, Alice (Kelly) Eckert, Bertine (Tony) Pawluk, Paul (Joanne) Grenier, Isabelle (Arnold) Eckert, Lorraine Hill, Jeanne Boisseanault, Denis (Pauline) Grenier; and godsons, Jean Grenier, Doyle Purchase, and Bill Faragher.
Numerous nieces and nephews and close family friends also will deeply miss him.
He was predeceased by his father, Robert Burnell; sister, Edith Gauthier; niece, Tara Grenier; father-in-law, Jean Grenier; and brothers-in-law, Fred Purchase, Jake Broesky, and Don Grenier.
Gordie was born July 22, 1940 in Middlebro, Man. and grew up in Giroux, Man. He then moved to Winnipeg to work as a mechanic at Supercrete. Three years later, he moved to Finland, Ont. with his wife, Simone, and two young daughters. He first had a sawmill with his brother, Oscar, and then worked at various jobs including guiding, a butcher in Nestor Falls, a lineman for Ontario Hydro, and worked on the pipeline.
The job he loved the most (which was his present one) was cutting wood and driving the skidder in the bush. He also took care of numerous private cabins at Clearwater and Off Lake during the summer months. At both of these jobs, he met many life-time friends. Gordon was always there for anyone who needed him—anytime, anywhere.
He had a love for gardening—vegetables and flowers. Many kids around Finland will remember him for his Halloween pumpkins in the fall. His daughters both have beautiful flower gardens because of his expertise in landscaping.
Gordon also was an avid hunter. He spent many hours and days hunting with his two sons for deer and partridge. Nothing tasted better to him than partridge and gravy and deer steak.
He also had a tremendous love for reading, and spent many hours reading up on family and world history. He also enjoyed reading Louis L’amour western novels.
Gordon also had wonderful memories of his younger years playing in baseball tournaments with the Giroux “A’s" in Giroux. And Gordon will always be remembered by his Finland neighbours for his early-morning "coffee and run” visits.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Oct. 2, 1997 at 2 p.m. at the Emo Christian Reformed Church in Emo, Ont. Rev. Henry Kornelson and Eileen Bragg will officiate, with interment in Finland Cemetery in Finland, Ont.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Pallbearers will be Ted Halverson, Dave Bragg, George Siemens, Kelly Eckert, Buster Burnell, and Robbie Burnell.
Honourary pallbearers will be Bill Faragher, Gene Beck, Vianney Gauthier, Hilton Sproule, Paul Grennier, Kelly Eckert, Arnold Eckert, Ed Borg, Carl Bragg, Kevin Low, Howard Teeple, and Sonny Ferris.
Family would like to thank all of our close friends and family for their love and support over the past five months. It means so much to us that we could count on them when help was needed. Special thanks to Ted Halverson, Gordon’s “foreman,” and wife, Debbie, who was there for us every step of the way.
We would like to thank Dr. Johnston and Dr. Gillespie at the Health Sciences Centre, and Dr. J. O’Sullivan and Dr. Whatley at the Emo Hospital. The nurses at GH3 and GD4 at the Health Sciences Centre and the Emo Hospital. You made Gordon’s sometimes endless stays in the hospital much more comfortable, and he loved sharing his sense of humour with you all.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the Emo Hospital Memorial Fund, 260 Front St., Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.