CUNNINGHAM, Dr. Gordon Rowand O.D., C.M.


Dr. Gordon R. Cunningham, formerly of Sault Ste. Marie, passed away quietly on June 1st, 2020, at his home in Oakville, with his beloved wife of 71 years, Jean, by his side.

Born in 1926 in Duluth, Minnesota, Gord moved to the Sault with his parents. He attended Alex Muir Public School and Sault Collegiate High School. Upon graduation in 1943, he entered the Canadian Army, following which he completed his study of Optometry at University of Toronto, (now Waterloo) and married Jean Lillian Tupper in 1949. He practiced optometry in Sault Ste. Marie until early 1982 in addition to serving, and taking leadership roles, on innumerable local, provincial and professional boards and committees regarding charities, church, and health care.

Known by friends as the 100% man, Gordon was honoured to receive the Order of Canada in December 1982 for his years of contribution to health notably with hospitals and cancer organizations in Ontario.

In early 1982, he and Jean relocated to Toronto where Gord was President of the Ontario Hospital Association and Ontario Blue Cross. Endowed with energy, modesty, and generosity, Gord later practised as a court approved mediator and willingly continued to participate on volunteer boards and activities in retirement. He had a lifelong commitment to the health care system.

Gord will be sorely missed by his wife, Jean, and his loving children – Judith FitzGerald, Barbara Lennox (Ian), and Bruce Cunningham (Janis), his adoring twelve grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren who were cherished and celebrated by him until his passing.

Those who knew him, respected Gord as a dedicated, talented, humble, caring man who always had time to listen to, and help, others; who led a life of service and contributed broadly to church, community, country, and family.

A quiet family gathering at graveside marked his passing with a funeral of sorrow and celebration of his amazing life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie, the Memorial Fund of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Sault Ste. Marie, or the charity of your choice.

Local arrangements entrusted to Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Rd, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 0B6, 705-945-7758).