In Memory of

Gregory

"Greg"

Thomas

Gothard

Obituary for Mr. Gregory "Greg" Thomas Gothard

GREGORY GOTHARD
July 7, 1951 – July 4, 2023

In the early morning hours of July 4th, 2023 Gregory Thomas “Fuzzy” Gothard kicked over his 1965
Panhead for one last ride.

Greg loved, he loved passionately. The deepest of that love was for family. From those who walked before him: the Gothards, Gemmells, McKays, and Clearys who made up his clan. The yarns he would spin about his clan were endless and spoken with such reverence. To those who walked beside him; Michael, John, Jerry, Harriet, Colleen and Teena. And then those who followed his lead; the first wave - Steven, Scott, Rebecca, Margaret, Jennifer, Melissa and Katie. This wave also included numerous ‘adopted sons and daughters by osmosis’ as Greg would call them (you all know who you are!) Culminating in the best kind of love that a grandparent can have for his grandchildren, Zachary, Jonas, Kai, Eli, Ari, Maddox and Finley. It was the depth and breadth of his love for all those in his life that will be remembered and cherished. Greg was a man who fought every step of his life (often literally in those early years) for what he achieved. He never stopped working to make life a better place for his family and his friends. A man who began life on one path and never ceased to amaze in his ability to change tack and take on something new if he felt it would bring his family something a little better.

Shifting from a mill worker in his thirties when he broke his back to a social worker who spent the remainder of his work life lifting people up and reminding them of their inherent worth. Returning to college in his thirties, with three young children to realize his dream of helping people. And not only returning to school but excelling at it. Achieving the deans list in each of the years he attended. Greg never missed a sporting event, a music concert, a play, or any event that his children or grandchildren were participating in. Going to great lengths to attend even when he was required to travel hundreds of miles to sit in the stands and watch his sons play hockey or his daughter win a golden gloves kickboxing championship (this gave his endless joy).

Greg would like us to remember, however, that although he had a great depth of love, he did not suffer fools easily. If he felt there was injustice or simply that what was coming from someone wasn’t worth a lick, he would speak his mind freely and with conviction (and could often be heard muttering his favourite “arsepick” under his breath). He was thoughtful when required, yet curt and concise when the spirit struck him, and if you were ever on the end of “when the spirit struck him” it was easy to feel his passion about the subject at hand. Up to the moment of his final ride he stood up when he felt something needed to be said, highlighted by his attendance at a recent City Council Meeting. Something that gives us all a real nice feeling in our bellies.

Greg rode with The Screaming Eagles in his youth, became a Navy man like his dad in his later adolescence, and started a young family before turning 21. He raced ol’ number 99 at Riverview Raceways while building a nice little homestead in Murillo for his young family, complete with a pair of horses (Diamond and Heidi). Re-educated himself to realize a dream of helping people and give something better to his family. Never satisfied with what he had but relentless in his pursuit for a better life for his family. Eventually moving into bigger homes in the city to support his growing family. Spent 20 + years with Thunder Bay District Social Services Board working with and supporting “his people” as he referred to them. Raised three pretty darn cool children with strong moral compasses, empathy and the capacity to overcome. Rode his Harley, loved his Nascar. Never missed the chance to be at the lake or in the fishing boat. Survived countless medical crisis’s (the man truly had nine lives and he would always say “you can’t kill a leprechaun”). He realized his dreams of owning “huge tracks of land” (inside joke there) and was present all the days of his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Bringing them untold joy and compassion. He is going to be deeply missed by his family and untold numbers of people he touched in his life. Missed by lifelong friends, we’re thinking of you Pokey, as well as those new compadres he made at Mckellar Place.

To wrap this up, as you know Greg would be saying that right about now and knowing Greg as we do, its pretty easy to believe he would want you all to know, “it is what it is”. “Make the very best of the moment you have right now, don’t take any shit from anyone, and remember I love you and will always be right where I am needed when you call on me”. Happy trails old boy. Say hi to the clan for us all and enjoy the eternal road trip on that one true love of yours (sorry ladies), Harley Davidson. We will keep the stories alive and a pot of burbalers on the stove.

A celebration of Greg’s life will be held with family and friends on July 26, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at McKellar Place cafeteria (main floor, please use back of building entrance)., 325 Archibald St S.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the WESTFORT CHAPEL, 420 West Gore Street James, Thunder Bay.