Remembering Bob Gardner (June 8, 1948-August 28, 2014)

351330Originally posted on the Globe and Mail

June 8, 1948-August 28, 2014 Toronto’s social justice community is mourning the loss of a comrade, colleague and friend Bob Gardner. Bob passed away peacefully at age 66 at Toronto General Hospital with his spouse and partner in life Linda by his side. Predeceased by his parents General James and Joyce Gardner. Survived by spouse and partner in life Linda Gardner nee Lee, sisters Deborah and Dianne (John Firmino) Gardner, sister and brother-in-law Wendy and Larry Richardson, nephews Michael (Liz) and Stephen Richardson and niece Gillian Richardson Siegwart (Don), and great nieces and nephews.

Bob worked as Director of Policy at the Wellesley Institute for many years. He researched, wrote and spoke widely on health equity policy. He worked with governments, LHINs, service providers, and community partners across the GTA, Ontario, Canada and internationally to develop effective strategy and action plans. He served on many health policy advisory forums (Ontario Health Quality Council) working groups and boards. Bob has a PhD in sociology and worked as an academic (U of T, McMaster U, U of Guelph), public sector executive (Director Legislative Research Service, Ontario Legislative Library) and consultant. He was Senior Advisor, Parliamentary Research and Information Services, Parliamentary Centre where he worked around the world establishing parliamentary research units.

He was a long time community activist on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and other issues. A passionate soccer fan and avid pickup soccer player, Bob was a member of the YMCA, a voracious reader of mystery, crime and spy fiction, as well as journals, books and literature on political, economic and social issues. Music was a source of relaxation and enjoyment. Bob was known for his dry wit, sense of humour, generous support and encouragement of others, and friendly, kind and caring nature. Orange was his favourite colour.

Many thanks to Dr. Vishal Kukreti (Princess Margaret Hospital) for his expertise and compassion as he guided Bob as safely as possible through the long journey of lymphoma treatment. Thanks also to the many health care providers at the University Health Network for their kind, excellent, responsive help and care. Cherished by his spouse of 43 years, loved and honoured by his sisters and parents, treasured and profoundly missed by his family. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life is being planned for early fall. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to AIDS Action Now (c/o 102 Salem Avenue, Toronto ON M6H 3C1) or to the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (427 Bloor St. West Box 3, Toronto ON M5S 1X7). Condolences can be sent to funeral home