With broken hearts, we announce the death of Gordon Wolfe Peffer (November 16, 1940- March 30, 2021.) Husband to the late Maureen Peffer, much loved father to Justin (Jenny) and Johanna (Joseph), grandfather to Jonah and Felix, brother to Carol Avertick (Calvin) and “cat dad” to Jeoffry. Gordon was a proud Montrealer, and an English teacher at Dawson College for over 30 years. He had a sharp and curious mind, was compassionate and kind, and had the gift of the gab. Gordon and Maureen moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 2006, but Maureen fell ill and was lost to us a year later. Gordon never stopped grieving, but persevered, supported by his passion for books, classical music and opera, his dear cat companion, and in particular, so many friends from Montreal, Hamilton and elsewhere. We are indebted to you all. Shortly after Maureen’s death, Gordon dreamed he was walking in the woods with her. She walked ahead. When he called out to her, she only turned and said “See you soon.” Gordon was not a believer in the afterlife, but we hope he has been granted his most profound wish: to be with his beloved Maureen again. Donations in their names to the Canadian Red Cross, Yemen Appeal, would be appreciated.
Gordon and I first bonded over Nabokov’s Speak, Memory, and we had many talks about books, writers, music, science, and politics. Gordon was a supporter of young people and the arts, animals and anyone having a hard time. He was a generous soul and always welcomed his visitors with good coffee. It was a huge shock to hear that Gordon had died. I, for one, will miss him terribly.There is a hole in my life where Gordon used to be.
Gordon was a part of our “Second Cup Group”. I loved hearing his stories about Montreal, and all the interesting celebrities and others he met during his life. He had the gift of gab, and the excitement, tales, and adventures he’d share with his friends were always a highlight of our Friday mornings in the coffeeshop. He brought joy and laughter to our lives, even on weekly zooms during Covid. My sincere condolences to Gordon’s family. He will certainly be missed!?
I met Gordon at McMaster University (can it be twenty years ago?) through involvement in seminars for undergraduates studying Gerontology. We both enjoyed those weekly occasions greatly, and when, after retirement some fifteen years ago, I began to call in at our local Second Cup for refreshment and chat, it was a pleasure to find he was already ensconced there. A pleasant conversational group evolved; and also Gordon and I, living very close to each other in Westdale, would exchange weekly visits in which conversation (often featuring the latest Trump outrage) challenged the soaring voice of his most recently discovered Soprano. He is greatly missed. May he rest in peace.
Gordon and Maureen became friends of mine in Montreal years ago. I was sad to see them leave here, but happy that they were moving closer to family. I know how hard it was for Gordon after Maureen was gone, and I really want to believe that they are together again. Conversations with Gordon were always interesting – he will be much missed. My « elf grandmother » figurine, made in exquisite detail by Maureen, will always remind me of them both.
Gordon and Maureen were great neighbours whose lively conversation, handicrafts, record collection, photography and love of animals enriched our lives. We still miss them even though they left Melrose ages ago. We were saddened when Gordon informed us of Maureen’s passing. As a couple, they complemented each other so wonderfully, and it was difficult to imagine one without the other. Our profound condolences to Justin, Johanna and grandchildren who were so dearly loved by Gordon and Maureen.
My sincere condolences to Justin, Jo, and their families. Gordon and Mo were true friends for many years. He was a dreadful cook, a great story-teller, very proud of his family, made good coffee, and was a delight to kibbitz with. We were so looking forward to having him over to dinner on the deck as the weather warmed up. I will miss him.
I had the pleasure of Knowing Gordon for over 45 years. Hanging out at the Peffer house in NDG was like a second home for me. I always loved and appreciated how he treated me with respect and love. He always engaged in a conversation with me and respected my opinion. May good luck be with you wherever you go and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow. May your days be happy and your troubles few. May all Gods blessings ascend with you. May peace be with you may you find what your seeking wherever you roam. Thank you Gordon for a lifetime of lessons and love
What a lovely tribute to your dad. I have a few memories of spending time with Gordon – the day he picked up Jeoffry and hearing of the ‘harrowing’ journey home. It was the perfect match of gentleman and gentleman cat! Going to the AGO and wandering around the galleries. Hosting Gordon at Johanna’s tea party wedding shower – he was right at home surrounded by all the ladies :). Brunching in Hamilton and talking about photography. Many beautiful memories. I also imagine him catching up with your mom in the woods and continuing the walk together. My condolences to you all, Johanna, Joseph, Felix, Justin, Jenny and Jonah
Hello, Johanna and Justin,
We are thinking of you and of Gordon, and remembering both him and Maureen from Willingdon days in Montreal. I always wave to them when I drive past the family home. Andre used to love meeting Gordon on Monkland to share political views. He and I spoke several times on the phone about the experience of bereavement… I know how much he cherished your being so much a part of his life.
With lots of love from us all.
Anne , Kate, and Conor
Gordon was my friend and mentor. He was a part of my everyday life for many years. We shared an office at Dawson College, and we lived several blocks apart. This meant that I saw him during summer breaks when I used to walk my beagle down his lane. In fact, my husband, Bogdan Karasek, and I still call it “Gordon’s Lane” although he moved to Hamilton a while ago. I admired Maureen and am proud to own some of her art (the Celestial Beagle and Trolls from Poland and Ukraine Sometimes Mate plus some smaller items that I cherish.) Gordon’s photograph (Bowling Queens) sits over my left shoulder in my study. Every one of these pieces is a part of me. As for Gordon’s wisdom, I impart it freely to anyone who will listen. I’m thankful to have known him. Bogdan and I send love and gratitude to his family as well as our sympathies
I consider Gordon to have been a good friend, perhaps surprisingly since he was an atheist and I am “religious.” Indeed, we shared that in the first sixty seconds of our acquaintance, and that probably sealed our friendship. He then drew me, as he drew others, into that Second Cup group, which continues to meet, though now smaller and sadder. I envied how he was able to approach a stranger (as he did with me), and ask directly, “What are you reading?’ or “What are you writing?” and strike up a conversation. (I have tried it since with strikingly good results.) I drove him to his first COVID shot just a week before his death. The following day, he emailed me, “You are a good friend, friend.” I can only say the same back: “Gordon, you were a good friend, friend.”
I only met Gordon twice. Both at wedding events for Johanna and Joseph, and both times I was struck by the pride he felt for Johanna and the enjoyment he got from socializing with her buddies (especially at the ladies tea party :)). Hearing all Johanna’s stories and updates about Gordon over the years often made me laugh, relate and feel like I knew him and cared about him. My condolences to you Johanna, Joseph, Felix, Justin, Jenny and Jonah.
Johanna, Justin, and family – I’m really sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all.
To Gordon’s family, my sincerest condolences to all of you.
I am surprised and saddened to learn of Gordon’s death. He was a mensch, and I’m very sorry for your loss.
Gordon was a gentle presence on the street and a good neighbour. He was also a very good conversationalist, knowledgeable and opinionated. He was also fun. He will be missed, but not as much as he missed Maureen. Together forever!