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Gordon Edmund Gray

July 3, 1927 — November 9, 2023


Gordon Edmund Gray

It’s with joyful hearts that we reflect on the passing of our father, Gordon Edmund Gray on November 9, 2023, at the age of 96. He died at Faith Manor in Brampton after a short illness, visited and surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren in his final few days. Although sad to no longer have his gentle company, we are so glad that all the tiring, lonely days are forgotten and he is finally free from his failing body and mind.

Gordon leaves behind his wife, Mary Jean Kathleen Gray (Locke), sister Eleanor Irwin (brother-in-law John Irwin) and his four children, Carol Ruth Biberstein, David John Gray, Janet Elizabeth Smith (Nicholas Smith) and Vincent Andrew Gray (Kelly Gray), as well as eight grandchildren: René Biberstein (Joanna Richards), Simone Biberstein, Alexander Smith, Madeleine Smith, Samuel Smith, David Gray, Ty Gray (Trina Gray), and Matthew Gray. His great grandchildren are Jakob, Lukas, Zoë, Emily, Nóra, River, Silas, Sullivan, and Stelvia.

Gordon’s parents, Joseph Everard Gray and Gladys Gray, were teachers who met at McMurrich Public School in Toronto. His early life was influenced by his family’s deep involvement in church life (St. Barnabas Anglican and St. Peter’s Anglican); frequent visits to the farms in Peel County where his father’s siblings lived; and his family’s generous nature (his parents often welcomed people to visit or to live with them).

Gordon attended Jarvis Collegiate and then followed in his sister Marion’s footsteps, enrolling at the University of Toronto to study medicine. It was there he met his future wife, Mary Locke, who was studying at the University of Toronto’s School of Nursing. They both attended the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meetings where they forged lasting friendships and memories, especially of evening hymn-sings. While a high school and university student, Gordon spent summers working in logging camps, gold mines and health care clinics in various regions of northern Canada. After his marriage to Mary, they worked together in hospitals in Moose Factory in Northern Ontario and at the Grenfell Mission in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, before continuing medical work in South Thailand under the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF).

When Gordon and Mary left the OMF in 1972, they returned to Brampton, close to where Gordon’s father had been raised and fortuitously, to where many of Gordon’s cousins still lived. Gordon worked at Peel Memorial Hospital as a general surgeon for approximately twenty years, where he became well-loved by patients and staff for his consistently caring, gentle approach. After retiring from general surgery, he kept active with several “retirement” careers, including assisting other physicians in the operating room, specializing in foot care at his own office and performing medical examinations at Veterans Affairs Canada. Through many years in Brampton, he continued volunteering at his church and at the OMF.

Gordon was utterly devoted to his wife and our mother, Mary, throughout their seventy-one-year marriage. In their retirement, they spent many happy days entertaining friends, traveling within Canada and abroad (often to visit old friends), and attending Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada functions as well as the symphony, plays, operas, and musicals, and dining at Thai restaurants. Our father’s greatest sorrow as he approached his nineties, was the slow realization that he couldn’t continue to care for all Mary’s needs on his own. In 2021, Gordon chose to move into Faith Manor Long Term Care home where Mary had been living for several years.

Our father was always the first one up in the morning, and until his last few years could invariably be found by 6 a.m. studying his Bible, often in Greek. He prayed for us all frequently and eloquently. Religious in the best sense of the word, he was generous in giving his time to helping and praying for people. He was always gracious in his thoughts about others. The verse from Philippians 2 comes to mind: “….be humble toward one another, always considering others more highly than yourselves.”

Although we miss him dearly, we feel the imprint on us of his life of service and love for Jesus.

Oh, what wonder! how amazing!

Jesus glorious King of kings,

Deigns to call me His beloved,

Lets me rest beneath His wings.

All for Jesus! All for Jesus!

Resting now beneath His wings.

~ Mary D. James

A Celebration of Gordon’s life will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m. at Christ Church Anglican, 4 Elizabeth St., Brampton.

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to one of the following organizations: OMF Canada; Canadian Bible Society; Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada; InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Christ Church Anglican - Brampton

4 Elizabeth Street North, Brampton, ON L6X 1S2

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