Skip to main content
lives lived
Open this photo in gallery:

Gordon Good.Supplied

Gordon Henry Good: Engineer. Sailor. Traveller. Tease. Born Feb. 19, 1931, in Bathurst, N.B.; died Oct. 30, 2018, in Toronto; of Alzheimer’s disease; aged 87.

He was usually called Gord, sometimes Gordie, and he always signed his name G. H. Good. Gordon Henry Good would make the same corny jokes about being a “good” man his entire life.

Growing up on a small farm in Bathurst, N.B., his mother was also his teacher in a two-room school. He moved into town to attend high school. Since Gord was handy, he chose the vocational program. As a graduation reward, his parents sent him to visit his long-time pen-pal in the United States. Somehow, during this visit, he enrolled in mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which involved enlisting in the Reserve Officers Training Corps to get a scholarship. He came back to Canada after a year (he feared he would have been drafted to fight in Korea), but the experience whetted his appetite for higher education.

In Bathurst, he went back to high school and graduated with the right credentials for university, enrolling in pre-engineering at Mount Allison University. Here, he met Kay (Katharine Hutcheson), who was studying nursing. They fell in love and kept up a long-distance relationship as they worked toward their degrees in different cities: Kay in Montreal and Gord in Halifax. They married in 1955 in Kay’s hometown of Charlottetown, PEI, with a honeymoon to Ontario so Gord could start his first engineering job at National Steel Car in Hamilton, Ont. His career would take him around the world selling aerial devices and digger derricks. He became a master of packing lightly and could go for two weeks with carry-on luggage only.

One of the constants throughout Gord’s life was his passion for cars; he bought his first love, a 1928 Chevrolet convertible at 16. When Kay and Gord started a family, he put aside his love for second-hand vehicles and got a new car: the Volkswagen Beetle. As the family grew to three children – Carol, Heather and Andrew – he moved to a wood-panelled station wagon. By the early 1970s, when the kids were teenagers, he became the proud owner of a massive Thunderbird, which became very impractical when the oil crisis hit. (At 40, Gordon changed gears and bought a sailboat, a 24-foot Shark. Sailing was a passion for the next 30 years.)

As a father, Gord loved his children unconditionally and drove them anywhere – lessons, summer camp, university, friend’s homes and on family road trips. Gord learned to embrace holding babies when he became a granddad – he was a natural. A growing family meant more people to tease, too. As a special treat, on his 60th birthday, the family rented a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud with a driver. He had fun doing errands and showing the limousine off to friends.

When Gord became a widower at 62, he was hotly pursued. He was funny, slim and financially stable. He also looked great in a tux. After three years on his own, he met Sonja Evans. They married six months later. Gord did not want to waste a moment of potential happiness. He bought two tuxedos to keep up.

Sonja calls Gord her soulmate and she grieves him deeply. Gord loved to laugh and was a terrible tease. He was a good man.

Carol Good, Heather Weber and Andrew Good are Gord’s children.

To submit a Lives Lived:

Lives Lived celebrates the everyday, extraordinary, unheralded lives of Canadians who have recently passed. To learn how to share the story of a family member or friend, go to

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe