Gerry Brown

Gerry Brown

It is with great sadness that FRIENDS OF KEEWATIN announce the untimely death of Gerry Brown in a motorcycle accident Thanksgiving Day (October 9, 2017) on the Vasey Road. Gerry, the Chief Engineer on KEEWATIN was on his way for a small closing ceremony on the ship when he was hit by a motorist who has been charged by Police. Gerry, a retired Director of Technical Education for Simcoe County, came to KEEWATIN at a time of turmoil and with his calm and diplomatic manner turned the engineering operation into a productive, educational asset that serves KEEWATIN well, runs smoothly and has a happy crew. Gerry, who resided in Coldwater, leaves his wife Marion, sons Andy and Dave, daughters Kristine and Karol, and 4 grandchildren. Gerry Brown will be sadly missed by the many volunteers who worked with him.

At the request of family, donations may be made in Gerry’s name to Friends of Keewatin, and will be gratefully received. A memorial fund has been established to create THE GERRY BROWN KEEWATIN ENGINEERING INTERPRETIVE CENTRE, where his recently completed steam engine model displays the workings of the ship’s engines for all to see.

Donations can be made as follows:

1) By deposit or money transfer at any Royal Bank branch In Memory of Gerry Brown to the RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation (Friends of Keewatin), account # 03082 10-927-3, or;

2) By cheque or money order made payable to “FRIENDS OF KEEWATIN, in Memory of Gerry Brown”, PO Box 189, Port McNicoll, ON, L0K 1R0.

Obituary of Gerald Brown

On October 9th, Gerald Brown passed suddenly in a traffic accident.

Gerry was a man of many talents and skills. A farmer, a mechanic, a teacher, an engineer. A prolific inventor and builder of his ideas. A machinist, a plumber, a carpenter and electrician. He was an artist, a musician, and a poet.  An accomplished pilot. A landscaper and a stone mason. A naturalist. An historian, genealogist, and traveller. A philosopher and a comedian. Pancake and rink-maker to greater metropolitan Warminster.

He was a son, a friend, our Father and Grandfather. And he was his beautiful Marion’s “first husband and former sweetheart” of 51 years. He leaves behind a legacy of love that touched all the world around him.

A Father and indispensable guide, protector, and supporter of Christine (Lazlo), Andrew (Allison), Karol (Graham) and David (Kelly). A doting and playful Grandfather to Cameron, Liam, Lexi and Logan. Pre-deceased by his parents, Alec and Dorothy Brown. Loving Brother to Esther Nash (Dale, pre-deceased) and Barbara Canning Brown (pre-deceased).  Uncle and cousin to numerous generations of people who looked up to his kind laugh and insight. Friend to all who met him.

An exceedingly capable man who excelled at everything he took on, his credo of “people do it, and therefore I qualify” will resonate with all who knew him.  His example and leadership can be seen in projects across Ontario, including the fields of his birth-home near Hampshire Mills, to the house he built with his Father and Father-in-law, where he raised his family on Mt. St. Louis Road.

For the last two years he and Marion made their homestead smaller, moving into Riverwalk in Coldwater, Ontario, where their friends and activities expanded. Here Gerry focused on volunteering – playing guitar and singing at retirement homes and the Coldwater farmers market with “The Medonte Three” and giving rides for Helping Hands. And he was Chief Engineer to the ongoing restoration of the S.S. Keewatin, a floating museum and vision into yesteryear, which scratched his itch to keep his technical skills in use for a purpose he believed in.

It was on his way to his beloved S.S. Keewatin at Port McNicoll where Dad’s river emptied into the ocean. Throughout his many years of flying, motorcycling, and living the life he wanted, he was very aware there is always an end. He never feared this. He lived fully and wonderfully. And he left the world as he lived in it – doing what he loved.

A Celebration of The Life of Gerry Brown will be held from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday October 29th at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club, 1151 Hurlwood Lane, Orillia, Ontario, with speakers at 2:30pm.

Donations in Gerry’s name to Friends of Keewatin will be gratefully received. A memorial fund has been established to create THE GERRY BROWN KEEWATIN ENGINEERING INTERPRETIVE CENTRE, where his recently completed steam engine model displays the workings of the ship’s engines for all to see.

Donations can be made as follows:

1) By deposit or money transfer at any Royal Bank branch In Memory of Gerry Brown to the RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation (Friends of Keewatin), account # 03082 10-927-3, or;

2) By cheque or money order made payable to “FRIENDS OF KEEWATIN, in Memory of Gerry Brown”, PO Box 189, Port McNicoll, ON, L0K 1R0.

Gerry, Dad, we love you and are grateful for all you have done. Yours was a life very well lived. You will be missed dearly.