Gord Hope— 1954 – February 20, 2016
As a Shalem staff we are also grieving the loss of a former colleague, Dr. Gord Hope. Gord was a vital member of our counselling staff at Shalem from May 2010 to December 2014. After a courageous battle with leukemia and the after-effects of its treatment, Gord passed away on February 20th, with his partner Lynda at his side. He is survived by Lynda, three daughters and extended family.
In his clinical work, Gord affirmed his clients’ potential for growth and healing and he created space for this to happen. His gentle, calm presence, and deep listening allowed him to bear witness to each person’s story, and search for their strengths.
Gord carried these gifts into his conversations with his peers as well. He was a constant voice of positivity, encouragement and grace in our therapeutic community, searching for hope at all times. All of us as a staff have extraordinary affection for Gord, and we mourn his death.
Gord taught me an enormous amount about life, psychotherapy and faith in God. His closeness to God was extraordinary. Gord was vision-impaired; he was blind. I believe that that enhanced his clinical work. Gord could see better than me.
He loved Shalem and our staff dearly; he found his way deeply into our hearts with his wisdom, faith, well thought-through positions, beautiful eloquence and care for people. Gord’s suffering is relieved, but we are deprived.
Please keep Lynda, Gord’s children, and us as a staff in your prayers.
Below is the obituary notice for Gord:
HOPE, Gordon Fred Kellock – In his 62nd year, surrounded by family and friends, Gordon Fred Kellock Hope Ph.D. died peacefully at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener ON on Saturday, February 20 due to complications arising from his fight with cancer.
A man with a heart larger than life, he uniquely touched the lives of everyone he met in his multitude of passions and endeavours. Gord was proudly on the Board of Directors for Accessible Media Inc., a company that makes media available through described video to all Canadians living with visual impairments. He was the Vice-President of the Human Service Providers affiliate of the American Council of the Blind and a vocal member of the Steering Committee of the Waterloo Region Active Living Network.
As the inaugural Board President of Ichthys Theatre Productions in Brantford, Gord was frequently seen climbing ladders to build sets, much to the consternation of the Company. His infectious laugh will be missed in the audience as well. His love of helping those in need was evident in his work with the Shalem Mental Health Network, which operates a Christian Mental Health Centre in Hamilton and even the Leukemia Awareness Foundation, where he helped organize golf tournament fundraisers in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. He only stopped his work when his focus had to be diverted to his own health needs.
In his personal life, he was one of the first inductees into the Ontario Blind Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2013 for his achievements as a national athlete in wrestling, powerlifting, goalball and athletics. He represented Canada at the Paralympics in wrestling in 1976 and 1984. His passion for softball has been passed on to his daughters and he joyfully organized the annual Best Light Ladies Softball Tournament in Brantford ON for several years, bringing in teams from across Canada, before his move to the Waterloo area.
Gord’s faith has always been strong. A highlight of his spiritual journey was when he was chosen to read the first scripture at the Papal Mass in Ottawa in 1984 when Pope John Paul visited Canada. Everyone was moved when he received an unexpected personal blessing from the Pope. You can view that video clip here.
He will be sadly missed by his loving partner, Lynda Dawkins, his daughters Michelle, Kathleen and Christina and their mother, Erin, Lynda’s daughter Sara, his cherished granddaughter Makayla and his faithful fido, Jaxi; his brother Bill (Linda), his sister-in-law Debra, brother Michael (Mary), brother Dave and an abundance of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Gord was predeceased by brother Steve and parents Paul and Claire.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Retinoblastoma Society would be greatly appreciated.
Mark Vander Vennen, MA, M.Ed, R.S.W., with contributions from Shalem staff