William Gordon McGregor

William Gordon McGregor passed away peacefully in Victoria on Nov. 4, 2012 in his 99th year.

Gordon was predeceased by his loving wife, Ruby Amelia, in 2001, and is survived by his son, John McGregor (Valerie), and his daughter, Jean Wheeler (Bob), as well as his much cherished grandchildren: Scott (Sarah), Sherry Lynn (Tony), Blair (Morag), Traviss (Ariel) and Ashleigh (Fergus).

Gordon was also blessed with wonderful great grandchildren: Von, Jami, Ryan, Kai and Stella. He is also survived by his dear brother, Frank, in Sidney.

Born in Kelowna in 1914, Gordon’s early life and schooling took place in a number of B.C. and Saskatchewan communities as his Dad was a railway shop foreman. He married Ruby Traviss in 1942 in Penticton.

Gordon’s working career was marked by initiative, enterprise and achievement: from painting railway trestles in 1936, working as a conductor on the Kettle Valley Railway out of Penticton, serving as the western general manager of the brotherhood of Railway Trainman through to his last position as the Canadian Legislative Vice President of the United Transportation Union (UTU) in Ottawa. He was a union man through and through and fought for many workplace improvements for members of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, which later became the UTU.

Gordon received many accolades and awards for his legislative and negotiating efforts, including a letter of commendation from Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent for his contribution in preventing a nation-wide railway strike.

Following a long and successful career, he and Ruby retired to Appledale, in the Slocan Valley, near Nelson, in 1975 and later moved to Victoria in 1990 to be closer to their children.

Despite his many career accomplishments, family was always first with Gordon. He was so proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Most of all, Gordon encouraged them to pursue education and travel.

We will miss his wise counsel and good humour. We are all so sad to lose him, but our memories are priceless.

Special thanks to the staff of Sunrise Senior Living, as well as his doctor, Mark Sherman.

A family celebration of life will be held at a later date.


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