It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gordon Arthur Holmes on Monday, February 13, 2012, at the age of 89 years.
Gordon is survived by his three sons: Ronald (Cheryl), Douglas (Donna), and Keith (Lisa). He is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Derek (Lori), Taryn (Dennis), Kelsey (Rob), Craig, Courtney (Greg), Kevin (Nayeela) and Natalie; four great-grandchildren along with Jean’s sister, Grace New, plus his beloved Japanese Shibu Inu, Toba. Gordon was predeceased by his wife, Jean, his grandson, Blake, and his brother, Stanley.
Gordon was born on October 29, 1922, in the city of Montreal, Quebec. He held a profound love of that city and province his entire life, even when he moved to Alberta, the land of opportunity for him and his family in 1969. He remained here in Edmonton at the “Holmestead”, his wife Jean’s affectionate name for the family home until his passing.
Gordon was a keen advocate of education and the pursuit of one’s career. He pushed himself constantly, graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce and then going onto a Masters Degree along with many other certifications that would aid him in his later professional life. McGill was also where he met the most important person in his life, Jean.
Gordon eventually ended up back where he started his University education in the Hallowed Halls of McGill, but this time not as a student. Sometimes a person has to create a position, and this is just what Gordon did. He developed the position of Research Grants Officer for the University. Not only was he the first one at McGill, he was the first Research Grants Officer in all of Canada.
His expertise and knowledge of the complex process of administering millions of dollars worth of Research Grants caught the eye of the University of Alberta, and that is where he once again setup the brand new office of Research Grants until his retirement in 1983.
Gordon enjoyed several passions in his life besides his family, and they included sailing, gardening, and music. He even purchased a sailboat before buying his first car! An avid gardener, Gordon would grow his entire flower garden from seed in his basement, and the huge front yard was a real showpiece. His countless hours of painstaking growing and planting were enjoyed by all who ventured by the Holmestead. He would spend many hours enjoying his diverse music collection in his home after a day outside in the garden.
Gordon would want to thank his many Chinese friends who helped him stay right where he wanted to be, in his home. He taught them everything from English to gardening, and helped many of them with their personal as well as career paths here in Canada.
A celebration of Gordon’s life will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Anglican Church, 334 Knottwood Road North Edmonton, AB.
In lieu of flowers, Gordon would have appreciated any kind donations to the Edmonton Humane Society, as he always had a furry four-legged friend in his life from early childhood until the day he died.