A life of consequence
April 27, 1926 – Sept. 13, 2021
It is with great sadness that the family of Ann Gordon (née Sheppard) announces her passing. She went into that good night after a long life filled with joy, sadness and an indomitable energy that never wavered until her final breath was taken.
She was, is and will forever be an inspiration to her daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and friends everywhere. She did not walk through life; she extracted every moment out of every day, charging forward and never, ever stopping until the day was well and truly done.
Ann worked with her husband, Hedley (Doc) Gordon, for many years in Gordon’s Pharmacy and established a thriving gift store during the days when Queen Street was a bustling downtown (when there was a green grocer, bakeries, hardware and grocery stores) and the summer population would swell with tourists returning to their cottages or moving up the coast in their yachts, moored temporarily in the harbor. She had a knack for understanding what gifts tourists and locals alike would want to purchase.
In the early seventies, Ann switched her focus to real estate. For more than 35 years she poured her boundless energy into finding her clients the perfect house, cottage or farm. She loved her clients and would drive all night to deliver an offer, and would have worked dawn ’til dawn if the human body had no need for sleep. Next to real estate, Ann loved to drive.
Over the course of her career, along with husband Doc, the two of them travelled around the world, visiting many places long before tourism became a popular pastime. There was not a continent or hemisphere that they did not travel to and Ann’s photographic skills have preserved these travels with thousands of photographs, spanning over six decades, that capture unique moments in time.
Ann grew up in Brantford, Ontario. As a child (and well into her thirties), she would drive around the countryside with her father (Charles Sheppard) picking wild apples along country roads, purchasing entire wheels of cheddar cheese at Pine River, driving to Mildmay for a glass of fresh spring water, and so on. Ann inherited this passion for both driving and seeking out food from its source. Over the years, Ann developed a network of local farms, rural shops and stands to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers; in doing so, she made many personal connections across the countryside. She would drive anywhere, anytime – just to be on the road, going somewhere with purpose, often with her cat Lucky occupying the passenger’s seat.
After Ann retired from real estate, she spent many summers at the family cottage on Manitoulin Island. Not one to be idle, she would make a reservation to be on the first spring ferry crossing from Tobermory to South Baymouth. In addition to driving and sourcing out local food opportunities, Ann was equally passionate about flowers – flowers, flowers and more flowers. Your pots should be overflowing, and her pots were! Not one or two, but typically up to 15 or 20 overflowing flower pots were aligned along the deck at the cottage. She taught her children how to dive fearlessly into waves, and sent her daughters to summer camp so that they could learn about the north, how to paddle a canoe, how to trip, make a campfire in the rain, how to meet adversity and how to survive.
Ann loved to camp, golf, cook, play cards, throw a good dinner party, decorate her house for every special occasion and to live every day as if it were her last – and eventually it was. Ann taught us all by example, giving back through years of volunteering with Meals on Wheels, knitting nightgowns for orphans all around the world and more recently knitting lap quilts and Teddy Bears. Ann ended every telephone call with “Anything else I should know?” Yes! You are and will be forever loved. Ann lived a life of consequence.
Predeceased by her husband, Hedley Goodyear Gordon (2009) and her beloved son, John Sheppard Gordon (1960).
She will be forever missed by her daughters: Joanne (David McCallum), Mary Helen, Carol (Tony Piggin) and Heather (Mark Herron); and her grandchildren: Sarah Dodd (Richard Dodd), Dayna and Tanner Musselman, Grace Gordon and James Herron.
Thank you to Lori, Duncan and all the warm and caring staff at Tiverton Park Manor.
A private celebration of Ann’s life will be held in the future, when gathering safely together is appropriate. God bless, God speed.
Memorial donations to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, Allies for Alley Cats, A Living Tribute (planting a tree in Canada) or a charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
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