April 11 2016
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a true gentleman, Neil Gunn, on the morning of March 30th, at Campbell House Hospice in Collingwood, Ontario. As the sun rose, with a final shave, and surrounded by his adoring family, Gunner set out on his next voyage.
Neil was born in Toronto to Nigel Gunn and Jessie Secord and grew up in the city attending John Ross Robertson, Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto. He spent his youth figure skating at the Toronto Skating Club and the Toronto Cricket Club and joined the Royal Canadian Yacht Club at age 11.
Neil met his wife, Susie, in 1970, buying their first home a year later and marrying on a Thursday night as to not disrupt the training schedule for next year’s Olympics. He competed in the 1972 Olympics in Munich sailing with his great friends Frank ‘Parco’ Hall and Allan Liebel in the Dragon class on behalf of Canada. Neil gave back to the sailing community through his years of service on committees at the RCYC and as a Vice Commodore, and as the President of the Ontario Sailing Association. He treasured his time crewing on Assegai.
Neil’s career as a ‘capital preservationist’ started at Dominion Securities at the age of 23 and ended with his book being passed to colleagues at Brant Securities after a career in securities of more than 40 years. Neil cared personally for his clients and many remain close friends. Since the 1960’s, Neil built a second life in the Town of the Blue Mountains always enjoying a ‘Point of View’ with the Escarpment to the South and Georgian Bay to the North. He would enjoy these views skiing on the pitches of the North end of Blue Mountain, on “Route Marches” along the Georgian Trail and from the clubhouse of Oslerbrook Golf Club, where he and his wife Susie were members.
Neil was the life of the party for his family and friends at countless Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, fueling conversation with knowledge from his voracious reading. Giller Prize nominees have lost a loyal fan.
Neil loved his wife Susie (nee Treleaven) and was incredibly proud of his children, Brittany and Taylor, and their spouses, Graeme and Lindsay. He will be sadly missed by his three grandchildren, Harper, Brody, and Beau and the little one on the way. Neil was a devoted brother to his sister Trish Burrows and caring uncle to Kathy and Michael. He had a close relationship with his cousin Pam Roberts and her children Gareth, Lisa and David.
It was a long and tough fight through a variety of health challenges that Neil braved fearlessly. He was given extra time to be with his family through support from Dr. John Ross at TGH, Dr. David Lowe in Collingwood, the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, the gentle and thoughtful care of staff at the Campbell House Hospice, the CCAC, the wonderful nurses from St. Elizabeth, and finally, a special thank you to Michelle, Holly, Patrick, Shiva and Lynn from Right at Home.
There will be a Celebration of Life held in the coming weeks at Oslerbrook Golf Club.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Hospice Georgian Triangle – Campbell House in Collingwood and/or the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital.