The lasting legacy of Mr. Gordon Kerr

The official obituary of Gordon Kerr as presented on


Gordon, son of the late (Colin and Pearl Kerr) passed away peacefully on January 12, 2021 in his 89th year, after a courageous struggle from the effects of cancer. A longtime resident of North York, Gordon is survived by Doreen, his wife of 67 years, son Kenneth (Carlene), daughter Kathleen (Bill) and was predeceased by daughter Karen (Ronald) in 1998. Gordon is also survived by his brother George (Marilyn), as well as six grandchildren (Jennifer, Derek, Kyle (Rachelle), Andrea (Garfield), James, and Sarah), several nephews, nieces and cousins. Gordon would often tell us stories of his days as a youngster delivering milk and bread by horse and wagon, and also raising his chickens. He was first employed at the Prudential Insurance Co. and then began teaching adult night school at Burnamthorpe Collegiate. After Gordon earned his degree from York University, he joined the new computer department at Humber College and as a Professor, spent 29 years teaching there until retirement. Gordon was always a very active member of his community. He was proud of his 15 years as a Scout Leader in North York and of his assistance at the World Scout Jamboree at Niagara on the Lake in 1955, where he also met his lifelong friend Drew McAlpine. Gordon was most active, for many years, with the local Melody Road Public School Home and School Association, and the City of North York Planning Board. As members of the Riverside- Emery United Church, Gordon and Doreen were active with committee meetings, dinners, special Church events, services, and maintenance of the building. Local residents both young and adult, will well remember, the many years and evenings in winter, that Gordon spent establishing and maintaining (watering), an outdoor ice rink in Strathburn Park, providing so much fun and winter activity for the community. During his retirement years, Gordon became one of the long-time members of the “Woodchucks”, a recreational wood shop programme at Thistletown Seniors Centre. During trips to the Caribbean, while at Humber College, and also conducting a college sailing programme there, Gordon became aware of young children on the islands with hearing problems. Along with Doctor Don Hood, his brother George and later colleagues Bud Watson and audiologist Lucy Cosolo, Gordon received a Charter in 1981 and formed the Canadian International Hearing Services. With support from audiologists and hearing companies, they refurbished, provided and fitted hearings aids and special auditory devices to improve the life experience of many young people. Executive Director of CIHS from 1981 until 2020, Gordon and his associates travelled to 13 different countries in the Caribbean, as well as India, Sri Lanka, Peru, Guyana, Mexico and others to assist with hearing programmes. Gordon also served on the board of directors of the Canadian Hearing Foundation. In recognition of this work, Gordon was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary Clubs International by the Blind River Rotary Club. Gordon and Doreen with their children enjoyed many years at his cottage on Lake Simcoe (Innisfil). Here he acquired many friends, met wonderful neighbours and hosted many Kerr and Moyles family picnics along with ‘Woodchuck’ summer outings. Lake Simcoe also provided many years of boating, swimming, fishing and sailing (Frangipani). North Channel Sailing trips with his brother George and friends Bud Watson and Drew were also fun adventures. Gordon’s funeral arrangements were entrusted to Canadian Memorial Services, The Simple Alternative - Toronto. According to Gordon’s wishes, cremation has taken place, and with COVID-19 restrictions, interment will be attended only by the immediate family. Should you wish, in Gordon’s memory, a donation may be made to the Canadian International Hearing Services, 65 Ellen Street Unit 1505, Barrie, Ontario L4N 3A5 or to a charity of your choice.