The family of the late Gord Lang announce with sadness his death at age 65. Gord was born in Laurier Township near Trout Creek, Ontario on May 8, 1930. One of eleven, he was the sixth child born to John G. Lang and Rachel Hummel. He was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Eldon and Bob. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan of London and her children, Diane Dixon and her partner Chris Vachon of London and Stephen of Tokyo, Japan; His loving grand-daughter Charmaine Noel of London; his five sisters, Edna, Marg (Mrs. Ken Mechefske), Noreen (Mrs. Carl Hummel), Barb (Mrs. Keith Mogridge), Jeanette (Mrs. Jack Eckensviller) all of Trout Creek and three brothers, Edwin of Sudbury, Leonard (& Leona) Lang and Cliff (& Gladys) of Trout Creek.
Gordon attended Glen Roberts School, Powossan District High School and Scollard Hall in North Bay. Following graduation, he joined the Community of the Resurrection, and, after his novitiate year in Dundas, Ontario (1949-50), he entered St. Thomas Scholasticate in London, Ontario for Philosophy and Theology studies at St. Peter's Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1956 by Bishop Cody of London.
In 1957, he began teaching at St. Jerome's High School in Kitchener where he served for three years as disciplinarian of resident students, known to the boys as "Big Daddy". He continued at St. Jerome's as Vice-Principal and Principal until 1967. He was then appointed Rector of Resurrection College in Kitchener until it was sold and continued at the new Resurrection College in Waterloo until 1971.
In 1971, he became the first elected Provincial Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, Ontario-Kentucky Province. At this time, his duties took him across Canada, U. S., Bermuda, South America and Rome. He served as Provincial Superior with Fr. Pat Machan, C.R. for 3 years and as Assistant Provincial with Fr. Jerome Kroetsch for another 3 years. In 1976, he was assigned to North Bay Scollard Hall to facilitate the transfer of this school to "lay" control.
In 1977, after much soul-searching, he left the Community and the clerical state and began a year of teaching at Catholic Central High School in London, Ontario.
On October 5, 1979, he married the love of his life, Joan Thompson of Sarnia, Ontario. The marriage took place in London at the home of their good friends, Tim and Carolyn McDonald. He became the proud "Pops" to Joan's daughter, Diane Dixon and her son Stephen Dixon. He also inherited a new sister, Claire Moiseshyn and brother Howie Thompson (deceased 1994) as well as a much loved Father and Mother, "Buck" and Mary Thompson of Sarnia, Ontario.
On December 18, 1990, he and Joan were coaches at the birth of Diane's baby, Charmaine Noel, and a new career as Grandpa began. Charmaine now lives in London with her parents, Diane and Chris Dixon-Vachon. Stephen Dixon is a resident of Tokyo, Japan where he has lived for the past several years.(Stephen died on Oct. 7, 1997)
Gordon was a founder of Bereaved Families of Ontario, London Chapter. He worked to set up support groups for bereaved families while working at Victoria Hospital and also at St. Joseph's Health Centre where he worked as a Chaplain in Pastoral Care from 1984 - 1989.
In 1989, he began his own grief counselling and consulting practice and has lived and worked in London since that time. With Sandi Caplan, he co-authored a grief workbook, GRIEF'S COURAGEOUS JOURNEY published in 1995 by New Harbinger Press. This book, originally published under the titles of Pathways, then, Grief: The Courageous Journey, led to the Vision TV production of two 10 week series. The first, entitled, "GRIEF: THE COURAGEOUS JOURNEY", originally televised in April 1994 is now being retelevised on Tuesday evenings. The second series, entitled "Unrecognized Losses" was taped following Gord's diagnosis and will be televised later this year.
Gord and Joan were active members of Corpus Canada, a 110,000 member international community of married priests, their spouses and friends organized for the renewal of the priesthood within the Roman Catholic Church.
On April 22, 1995, as Gord wanted, his many loving friends organized a great gathering where his family, friends and associates totalling 500 in attendance, roasted, toasted, remembered and said good-by to him at a wonderful celebration of his life.
We would like to say that Gord defeated all odds, accepted a miracle cure of his cancer and lived until he was 83 years young and died peacefully in his sleep after a night of carousing, partying and dancing. However, Gord died at Parkwood Hospital in the arms of his loving wife, Joan, daughter Diane, and his good friends, the McDonald's. He had been a well loved and cared for patient in the Palliative Care Unit at Parkwood since May 6, 1995.
London, Ontario, 1930-1995