Uncle Bruce

bereavementI'm still in shock. At 10:39 am I received this instant message from my mom. "Bruce is dead michael" followed immediately by "i feel sick".

Bruce Gowan was married to my mother's only sister for over 35 years. That made him a key part of my family from the moment I was born. He passed away quite suddenly this morning at the young age of 58 leaving behind a loving wife, two children and a grandson. A granddaughter is on the way.

When I got the news, I left work to be with my aunt and cousins. There is nothing as sad as the sudden passing of a loved one. There's no time for goodbyes, no time for a final hug, no time to prepare yourself for the fact an integral part of your life is departing. All we're left with are the memories.

My memories of Uncle Bruce are good ones. He was a very kind man who was always there if you needed him. As a teenager, he helped me buy my first car. When I struggled installing a 240 volt outlet in my basement, I called Uncle Bruce for advice. He put others first, loved his family and is already missed like crazy by those who knew him and loved him.

This is Uncle Bruce a couple of summers ago at my brother's wedding. He's here with his son. The two were inseparable. Life is fleeting. Carpe diem.

Father and Son

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Comments (20 - click here to join in!)

Mike Kic


I'm very sorry for your loss, give my best to all of your family through this tough time.

January 3, 2008 @ 1:13 PM

Freddie P.

Yes life is fleeting, and untimely death quickly puts perspective on things.

We're thinking of you and your family Mike.

January 3, 2008 @ 1:58 PM


So sorry to hear of your loss. Always remember Uncle Bruce will live on in your hearts.

January 3, 2008 @ 2:12 PM

james edgar

Sorry to hear this Mike. My thoughts are with you and your family.


January 3, 2008 @ 2:28 PM


Sorry to hear, Mike... All the best from me to you and yours right now.

January 3, 2008 @ 4:15 PM


my thoughts & prayers are with you & your family during this difficult time.
Keep strong.

January 3, 2008 @ 5:51 PM

mary Boon

How do you say good bye to a man you have known since 21. He was a friend before he was a brother-in-law. He helped me endlessly through my forties when my marriage ended and I was not prepared for what lay ahead. He fixed things for me and made sure my boys were ok. Thank you Bruce for everything. You leave behind a legacy in your beautiful, successful children and a wife who was by your side for 35 years. I will help make sure your family is fine in the years to come. You would have done it for me and I always knew that. You will be missed far more then you would ever have realized.

January 3, 2008 @ 5:53 PM

Jason | GetYouOJ.com

Well there's nothing at all nice about getting that news especially in the form of a text. I'd be in shock too. My sympathies.

January 3, 2008 @ 6:17 PM

Toronto Mike

I got the news via instant messenger because my mom was in front of her PC when she was getting the news over the phone.

Typing those words to me in real-time was her natural reaction. It was followed up shortly thereafter by a phone call.

January 3, 2008 @ 7:20 PM


I am very sorry for your loss Mike. My condolences to you and your family.

January 3, 2008 @ 8:38 PM

Mike (Buffalo Boy)

I feel ya mike, just went through it on Christas Eve. It sucks. MY thoughts are with ya

January 3, 2008 @ 8:39 PM

Jason | GetYouOJ.com

Dude, I wasn't questioning why the text I was just saying that it would be hard to receive any imprtant news that way. Keep your chin up man.

January 4, 2008 @ 8:47 AM


GOWAN, Bruce Norman

Peacefully at home, on January 3, 2008 at the age of 58. Beloved husband and Soul Mate of Maura for over 35 years. Cherished Dad of Mark, Jennifer and her husband Barry Johnson. Devoted Grandpa of Parker Johnson.

Bruce is survived by his Mom Edith and her late husband Norman. Bruce will be fondly remembered by his family and many friends.

Friends will be received at the NEWEDUK FUNERAL HOME "MISSISSAUGA CHAPEL" 1981 Dundas St. W. ( 1 block East of Erin Mills Pkwy) on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Church, 1171 Clarkson Rd. N. (South of Truscott) on Monday at 11 a.m. Interment Springcreek Cemetery.

For those who wish, donations in memory of Bruce may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

January 4, 2008 @ 8:50 AM

Toronto Mike

My mom wanted me to make that clarification so people don't think she delivers this kind of news via IM. IM is so ubiquitous to me, I didn't even realize it could be perceived as cold.

January 4, 2008 @ 9:03 AM


Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Cherish your memories and each other.

January 4, 2008 @ 12:34 PM



I work at a place where a few people knew your Uncle. His passing was brought up at our team meeting today. Just so you know, they all spoke very highly of him and there was a tremendous amount of respect that he generated. They all thought highly of him and felt he was someone they could always count on.

January 4, 2008 @ 2:04 PM

Toronto Mike

Andrew, that's nice to hear. Uncle Bruce had a lot of friends. I've heard from people he worked with at Canada Life and it's all really positive.

One day later it's just sinking in that we'll never hear his voice again, chat with him about hockey or joke with him about the most recent family crisis.

As I got older and started a family of my own, I needed him less and less, but I always liked knowing he was there if I needed him. His premature departure leaves a gaping hole in this family.

Feel free to share this link with others who knew him so they can share their thoughts on Bruce Gowan.

January 4, 2008 @ 3:04 PM

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

Oh dear. I didn't think it was cold I thought it was someone's reaction and I thought if I was in those shoes, getting a text, I would be a mess.

Really it is no different that the time I got a call from my mom to come to the hospital right away to emergency. I wasn't told why, and so I went.. scared out of my mind, around 16 years old only to find out my grandmother passed away.

But like your uncle, she was loved and respected by many for being a good person and that is what needs to be remembered in these situations. It sounds cliche, but their memory lives on in those who loved them.

January 5, 2008 @ 12:45 PM

Courtney Gibbons-Stacey

I, too, remember and love Uncle Bruce. I grew up with the Gowan family as they were very close with my family. Jenny and I were best friends all through elementary school.
To hear of the passing of such a wonderful man is devasting. I saw him only a few years ago when I went to visit him and Aunt Maura. I can't believe he is gone.

I know, Mike, that you probably don't remember me, but we met several times when we were kids. I even have pics of you, your siblings, and your parents with your gramma and grandpa (Aunt Maura's mom and dad).

Anyways, I just wanted to say that my heart goes out to you and your family. I know first hand just how amazing Uncle Bruce was. I am truly sad.

January 22, 2008 @ 4:10 PM

Garry Gibbons

I am very saddened by Bruce's passing. We coached many a t-ball and hockey team together. He was a great friend. We shared many successes in minor sports, had many a good laugh, and some very interesting adventures. Because of his encouragement I was able to do things I thought I would never attempt. Although we have been away from Mississauga for many years, I continue to remeber my time with the Gowan family as the best of times. My thoughts and those of my family are with you all.

January 22, 2008 @ 8:55 PM

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