Gordon Thom

Gordon Thom

January 5, 1932 – May 17, 2018


Our dearly loved and devoted father, grampa, brother, colleague and a friend of many, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2018 having lived a very full and wonderful life. His gentle nature, kindness, sense of humour and whole-hearted engagement in many diverse activities, enriched all of our lives. He will be lovingly remembered by his three children, Kathy, Graham (Michele) and Margot (Laurent) and his siblings, Baird and Patricia, both from Alberta. His six grandchildren will miss him dearly; Dani (Craig) and great grandson Avery, Durham, Natasha, Derek, Evan and Lucas. Gordon was predeceased by his loving wife Helen of 60 years and his parents Clayton and Susan (nee Pollock). Gordon was born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and spent most of his school years in Picture Butte, Alberta. He moved west to attend UBC in 1951. He graduated with his B.Comm. in 1956 and remained close with his graduating class. Gordon was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.


Gordon married Helen in the fall of 1956 and moved to Northern BC to start his work with Imperial Oil. In 1958, he attended the University of Maryland to obtain his MBA and then returned to work for Imperial Oil. He and Helen returned to Vancouver in the spring of 1959. In 1962, he started a new path and began working for the UBC Alumni Association, where he worked from 1962 to 1966. He also began his M.Ed. at night at UBC and completed it in 1971.


He and his family had settled into Dunbar when he began his long and cherished career at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He joined as Vice-Principal of Continuing Education, holding that role from 1966 to 1974 and became President in 1974, continuing in that role until 1985. He was very proud of the designated title of President Emeritus, which was granted to him by the Board of Governors in 1985. From 1987 until his retirement in 1999, Gordon worked with the Sterling Group and Clifford Group.


Gordon served on the UBC Senate from 1972–81 and 1987–1993, acted as the President of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges 1980–81, and Vice–Chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade from 1985–86.  He had longstanding roles with both Rotary and Probus Clubs and was bestowed a Probus Honorary Lifetime Member in 2012 for his contributions as President, as a Historian and as a promoter of their Investment and Bridge clubs. Gordon was a member of the Vancouver Club, where Christmas dinners with his family were always a highlight of the year.


Despite a highly successful and demanding career, Gordon always made time for family and friends and made all around him feel important and cherished. He and Helen travelled the world, attended theatre and the symphony, and played countless hands of bridge. Retirement allowed for even more time at Bowen Island, one of his favourite places in the world. He loved adventures with his grandchildren, and they have treasured memories of time with Grampa.


For the last three years Gordon has been cared for at Amica and South Granville Park Lodge and by his long time family physician, Dr. Perlman, and the family wishes to acknowledge their remarkable support. In lieu of flowers, donations to BC Cancer Foundation or Canadian Diabetes Association would be appreciated.


A celebration of life will take place in early September. Please contact the family directly or through Martin Brothers Funeral Services.

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