Gordon Kelso Clement P. ENG
A “Lucky Man”
Feb.11, 1916 – Dec.1, 2012
Curiosity may have killed the cat but it kept Gordon alive
for 96 years.
Gordon was by training and by nature an Engineer. He said that he was taught to always ask “why”. He was curious about people, events, the universe and his place in it. He could often be seen walking, with his straw hat, from Canterbury Court, to the library (although legally blind he found his way to new library!) to check out the talking book selection to learn more about which he was curious. Gordie was also endlessly optimistic. He often said he had had a lucky life. Lucky because his mother was the first to receive a BC Workers Compensation pension when her husband drowned in the Thompson River working for CP rail, which allowed her, Gordon and his younger brother Harold, to travel back to family in Ontario. Lucky, when he could not afford to go to University and a rich but little known aunt said that she would pay if he took engineering. He never felt life had dealt him a blow that his father died when he was only two years old nor that the aunt died after had had been to university only one year and would have to drop out. He did finish his degree in Metallurgical Engineering by working every other year for INCO in Copper Cliff Ontario, and his luckiest moment came when he met Elizabeth Major there. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this fall. After he and Betty were married Gordon taught at the University of Toronto and then joined Alcan Aluminum working as an executive and moving to Arvida Quebec, then Kingston Ontario, Montréal and Toronto.
He would say his luckiest move was to Vernon in 1973, where he soon retired and became involved in the community as president of the Chamber of Commerce, served two terms as alderman on council, served on boards of the Hospital, The Gateby, and Okanagan College .
Gordon will be lovingly remembered by his wife Betty, children ; Jane Godfrey (Keith) , Lachlan ( Heather) and Maureen ( Richard). He will be sadly missed for his wisdom and stories by his grandchildren; Heather, Mark, Danielle, Blaise and Michael. His only brother Harold Clement, passed away this year. Gordon’s respect for women and his belief that they were able to do whatever job they chose was ahead of its time. This came from the high esteem he held for his mother, Alice Clement, who taught school while looking after her two young sons, ran a farm and went on to be the first woman to serve as Mayor in an Ontario city (Meaford)
We would like to express our gratitude to the caring and compassionate staff of 3West and ER as well as Drs. Concannon, Marks, Smith, Secretan, and Hughes. A special and heartfelt thank you to the wonderful folks at Canterbury and Conswelo.
A Celebration of Gordon’s Life will be held at 2 pm Saturday, Dec 8th, Canterbury Court – 3011Gateby Place