The family of Gordon Perry deeply regrets to announce his passing on June 18, 2016 in Campbell River, BC, after a long, happy life and mercifully brief illness.
Gordon was born in Quesnel, BC on August 5, 1934. Aside from brief stints in Edmonton and Vancouver (in his younger single days) he lived in Quesnel most of his life before moving to Campbell River in October 2013. He married Marliss Shannon Clark on March 4, 1961 and was happily married to her for 54 years until her passing on May 18, 2015.
The youngest and last surviving member of the Perry clan founded by Cariboo pioneers Amy and Hugh Henry Perry, Gordon was pre-deceased by sisters Phyllis and Sylvia Hendry and brothers Stan, Hugh (Brownie), Calvin, Bill, and Bobby.
Gordon’s formal schooling ended early, but he went to work and learned much through real world experience. He sold life insurance, delivered dry cleaning, spent years in the mill at Weldwood, and was working for the city of Quesnel when a strike prompted a big life change: he and Marliss bought their own business downtown. It was a rubber stamp shop at first, he soon added Custom Radius skate sharpening, and then when Mulder’s closed, they moved in and established Perry’s Picture Place, a Reid Street mainstay for over 30 years.
Long an avid amateur shutterbug, Gordon plunged headlong into the craft and became one of the region’s best known professional photographers. Wedding and family portraits taken by Gordon (most framed by Marliss) hang on the walls of many homes in Quesnel and beyond. His artistic eye led him to more creative work exploring the landscapes of the Cariboo and Chilcotin country, and his most famous shot of the waterwheel on Front Street sold countless copies, many as going away gifts for Quesnel residents leaving the Goldpan City.
A lifelong hockey fan, Gordon played for the Kangaroos, and continued to skate with the Oldtimers into his seventies. Generations of Quesnel boys remember Gordy as one of their early coaches (at least one made the NHL) and he was well-known as a fixture around the arena, camera always in hand. He wrote a column on hockey, “Ice Chips,” which ran in the Cariboo Observer for years, and eventually his love for the game led to his first published book: Memories on Ice.
Gordon’s creativity was not limited to photography, he also played guitar, wrote songs and poetry, and ended up publishing five more books: Rhymes of a Poor Poet, Chilcotin Memories and a Few Strange Tales, Poetry on Ice, The Wheels of Barkerville, and Quesnel the Beautiful: My Hometown.
Gordon is remembered lovingly by his children Rae (Brad), Shannon (David), and Scott (Brandy); grandchildren Kevin, Matt, Hans, Amy (Bryan), Jared (Miranda) and Andrea (David); as well as numerous extended family members and cherished friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 27th. Time and location to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation (http://www.heartandstroke.bc.ca/site/c.kpIPKXOyFmG/b.3644349/k.C227/Donate.htm)