It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of (Robert) Brian Gibson, age 84 on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Born on May 8, 1937, in Hamilton Ontario, Brian spent his younger days at 70 Arnold Street playing and going to school. After graduating from McMaster University, he started his career at Bell Canada, but on a lark, he decided he would try his hand at teaching and found his stride. He had a long and successful teaching career in the Niagara region and enjoyed educating and inspiring his students. Many former students still express appreciation for Brian as a teacher. Paul Anka may have had Brian in mind when he wrote the song “My Way” for Frank Sinatra. Brian was most definitely a man who marched to a different beat, albeit slower than most, but always in the direction that he wanted to go in, without regret and without apology. Brian was a solitary man who thoroughly enjoyed his own company, and sometimes even preferred it to the company of others, however, he always enjoyed the visits from his close friends and family.
He lived simply and took pleasure in small things. You could count on walking into his house and finding Brian sitting reading a magazine or a book, listening to his shortwave radio, watching the news, or enjoying a basketball game smoking his pipe, and always while wearing a wool sweater. Ever the audiophile, Brian’s collection of albums, tapes, CDs, and reel to reels was impressive. His love of music was eclectic, ranging from classical to jazz to folk, although his radio was usually dialed into CBC. Even though his seemingly sedentary and peaceful lifestyle tells a different story, at heart, Brian was an adventurer and a traveller. Over the years, his work and his curiosity brought him to many countries around the globe. He lived and worked for several years in Germany and then in Kenya. His travels took him through most of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and most of North America. He proudly displayed photos, artefacts, and other mementos on the walls of his home as an archive of his adventures. His travelling resulted in a strong appreciation for Canada as a country and the privileges we enjoy as Canadians. Ever generous over the years, Brian quietly supported various charities worldwide.
Brian was never one to be the organizer, the leader, or the central figure in any event, but he was always grateful, pleased and honoured to be included and to be acknowledged. He loved a phone call on his birthday, on New Year’s Eve and on Christmas Day and enjoyed dinners and visits with friends and family. Brian is survived by his two children, Hilary (Pat) and David (Joanna), his grandchildren Sophie, Lucas, Brock and Sarah, his two sisters Betty (Bob) Decent, Maureen (Dave) Davis, and their families. Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation or service at this time. A memorial for family and close friends will take place in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in Brian’s memory can be made to one of his favourite charities, Sleeping Children Around the World (scaw.org).