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Gordon Stark

Gordon Stark Gordon Stark

Lieu de naissance : Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date de naissance : 26 décembre 1923

Lieu de décès : White Rock, Colombie Britannique, Canada
Date de décès : 21 juin 2013


It is with profound sadness that the family of Gordon Sidney Stark, recently of Surrey BC and former long-time resident of Swift Current SK, announces he passed away peacefully at the age of 89 on June 21, 2013 at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock. He was surrounded by several of his children and grandchildren during his brief and sudden illness.

Our treasured Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad, brother and uncle will be missed terribly by his family including his five children, Bonita (Don) Findlay of Surrey BC, Jennifer Stark of Cochrane AB, Heather Hamilton of Gold Coast, Queensland Australia, Gordon Stark of Victoria BC, and Jodie Stark (Jeff Bernath) of Saskatoon SK; seven grandchildren, Nicole (Dwayne) Faust of Kelowna BC, Jaime (Gary) Houston of Brisbane, Queensland Australia, Kelsey and Kevin Drozdowski (Shawna-Seah McDonald) of Calgary AB, Brandon Thompson of Victoria BC, and Capri and Chase Bernath of Saskatoon SK; and five great-grandchildren, Joshua, James, Matthew, Cameron and Brady Faust of Kelowna BC. He is also survived by his sister Barbara Bloom and nephew Glen Bloom (Deborah Duffy) of Ottawa ON, and his constant, devoted companion, his little dog Buffie. Gordon was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth (Bette) Stark in 2007, parents Alexander and Constance Stark, and nephew Randall Bloom.

Gordon was born in Calgary, AB in 1923, the elder child of a Scottish florist. He grew up in modest surroundings during The Great Depression, graduating from Calgary’s Crescent Heights High School at age 15. Young Gordon excelled in science, was fascinated by electronics, and always wanted to become an electrical engineer. As a teenager, he was a Flight Sergeant in air cadets, a Sergeant in the reserve army and later joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Not having the money to pursue his dream profession, Gord applied and was accepted in a chartered accountant (CA) articling program working for C.P. McIntosh in Calgary and was awarded the provincial silver medal for the highest standing in the intermediate CA examinations. He was admitted to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta in 1947 and was awarded a Life Membership in 1987 in recognition of 40 years of distinguished service to the CA profession.

Gordon met Bette Appleton, his wife of 61 years, at a roller skating rink during World War II and in 1945 they were married. In 1947 they moved to Swift Current SK and, after acting as comptroller with Canadian Cooperative Processors Ltd., Gordon entered private practice with the CA firm Hesford, Wik & Jeffrey – renamed Hesford, Wik, Jeffrey & Stark when he became partner. In his practice, Gordon was known for taking a carload of articling students with him when he travelled throughout southwest Saskatchewan conducting audits for municipalities and hospitals. Bette waited anxiously for him to return home safely on many stormy winter nights.

The Starks soon settled into the community, raising five children and establishing many close friendships in Swift Current over 42 years. Gord’s parents, Sandy and Connie, eventually joined the family in Swift Current as owners of Stark Floral, later semi-retiring and running the Elmwood Golf Course pro shop and cafeteria. Feeding his interests in architecture and engineering, Gordon designed several family homes and on one occasion was so determined to obtain the perfect lot that he slept overnight in a lawn chair outside City Hall to be first in line.

Gordon was years ahead of his time when it came to understanding the use and application of computers. His interest, skills and forward thinking led the firm to be linked to computers in Chicago and later Edmonton and Winnipeg in the mid to late 1950s in order to serve their clients better. By the early 1960s, the firm had its own room-sized computer and Gord became heavily involved in developing computer accounting programs and teaching computer courses.

Awarded his distinguished Fellow designation (FCA) by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan, Gordon was recognized by his peers and colleagues for his extensive community involvement and for his commitment to the profession, notably for his term as president of the Saskatchewan Institute Council. Leaving a legacy of service to his community, Gordon worked very hard to establish Cypress Hills Community College as the board’s founding chair. He was appointed by the provincial government to the Universities Commission which acted as a liaison between the province’s universities and the government in matters related to funding. He was chair of the Swift Current Housing Authority for many years and president of the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club and Elmwood Golf Club. He was also very involved with Frontier Days and the Liberal Party.

Tall, slender, and athletic, Gordie, as he was known by golf buddies, had a beautiful natural golf swing. A low handicap golfer and competitive curler, he spent many hours at the golf course and curling rink where he made some of his closest friends and won many trophies. One of his special achievements was winning the Elks Corby Cup national curling championship. Gord enjoyed relaxing with family and friends at the family’s cottages at Cypress Hills and Lac Pelletier.

After retiring as senior partner with Stark & Company, Gordon and Bette moved to Vernon BC in 1989 where he was closer to his sister Barbara. He continued his passion for computers and golfed and curled for several years with new friends. Following Bette’s death in 2007, he moved to Kelowna, BC and then Surrey, BC to be closer to family.

Gordon was a reserved man of few words who embodied the best Scottish values of honesty, modesty, and hard work. He loved his family dearly and devoted much of his life to being a good provider. His wife, children and grandchildren had an enormous amount of respect and admiration for him. In his children he instilled a strong sense of personal integrity, work ethic, lifelong learning, and excellence. A stickler for proper English, he demanded all his children speak well – heaven forbid that anyone end a sentence with a preposition! Until the end of his days, Gordon had an active and inquiring mind, was keenly interested in current events, displayed a wonderful wry sense of humour, was frugal to a fault, loved his music, and could nap sitting up any time any place. He will always be remembered for his intellect, kind and gentle nature, almost obsessive love of chocolate, and being late for pretty much everything. His children feel so proud and blessed to have had him as a father and role model and will forever treasure their memories of him.

The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the doctors and nurses at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock for the gentle care they gave to Gordon and his family during his short stay and to the caring staff at Crescent Gardens and Missionwood Retirement Homes where he lived independently for several years before his death. Cremation has taken place with arrangements entrusted to Wiebe & Jeske Burial & Cremation Care Providers. A memorial celebration of life will be held at a later date. Condolences and favourite memories of Gordon sent by email to will be forwarded to the family.

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