Walter Gerret (Gerry) Dorland was born on March 12, 1924 in Stratford, Ontario to parents Clifton Lyle and Sarah Florence (Cuthbertson) Dorland. In time Gerry welcomed younger brothers Joseph "Raymond" and Herbert "Bruce." During Gerry's youth the family made stops in Fort Erie and Toronto where he completed his education.
Upon completion of school Gerry entered the Navy and became a member of the Flight Air Arm. Gerry participated in the end of the World War II efforts and luckily returned home to his family and friends. His participation in the War efforts afforded him free education as he moved back into regular civilization. Gerry attended the University of Toronto where he obtained his BSc and became an electrical engineer. He soon entered the workforce with Bell Canada in Toronto, the year was 1950.
While working Gerry met another young Bell employee by the name of Agnes Esther Rogers. Their relationship soon blossomed and the two were married on May 6, 1950. They welcomed their daughters Nancy in 1954 and Maureen "Marni" in 1956. In 1959, work took the Dorland family to Montreal for the next 8 years. Gerry was transferred back to Toronto in 1967 and the family settled in the Bridlewood area of Scarborough on Collingsbrook Ave. Sadly, Agnes suffered from ALS and died in 1980 at the young age of 52.
Gerry retired from Bell Telephone in 1979, as a local transmission engineer, after 30 years of service. While attending Bridlewood Presbyterian Church Gerry was introduced to one Martha "Martie" Jane Horwood. After a short courtship the two married on July 11, 1981. In his retirement Gerry drove school bus for several years, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and completed his pilot's license so he could return to the air. He was also involved in the Telephone Pioneers of Canada organization.
Gerry loved to collect stamps and coins and spent countless hours working on and running his HO model railroad. He also had a passion for photography. There were few times when he did not have his video or still camera with him. He and Martie loved travelling and they covered all of Canada spending time at Elder hostels. They also enjoyed cruises, experiencing Alaska, the Baltic Sea and Caribbean as well as making several trips back to the UK to visit family.
Gerry was quite the musician in his day. The Dorland boys were surrounded by music in their youth. He and his brothers even performed publicly together. Gerry played the accordion, with his brothers accompanying him on the piano and violin. In later years he even taught himself how to play the piano and organ. Gerry's faith and church family were also very important to him. His family was one of the founding families of Bridlewood Presbyterian Church and he filled a variety of roles over the years acting as the treasurer and a member of the Board.
Working with his hands was another passion of Gerry's. He was constantly tinkering away with something. Whether he was wiring or rewiring his home, the church or a family member or friends he was always willing to give a helping hand. There were no tasks too great, as Gerry even successfully built his own stereo (yes, you read that right).
Gerry cared deeply for his family. Although quite busy during his working days he always made time for Nancy and Marni, often bringing them home something special when they were sick. In later years this affection moved onto his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His gentle, quiet demeanour was ever present and he led with example with his good work ethic.
After a few years of declining health, Gerry and Martie moved to Chesley in 2016 to be closer to family. Gerry soon entered Elgin Abbey where he received the care and support, he needed. Sadly, he passed away, surrounded by his family on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 in his 95th year.
Loving husband of Martie. Cherished father of Nancy (Lorne) Rogers of R.R. #1 Chesley and Marni MacDougall of Duntroon. Loving grandfather of David (Evelyn), Andrew (Chantal), Sarah Kate (Daniel), Heidi (Michael), Beth, Katie (Jon), Sandy Jr., Margaret, Rebecca, T.J. and great-grandfather of ten. Gerry will be fondly remembered by his brother Bruce (Jean) of Scarborough and sister-in-law Ann Dorland of Port Perry and their families. He was predeceased by his first wife Agnes, son-in-law Sandy MacDougall and brother Ray.
Visitation will be held at Chesley Community Church on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment in Pine Hills Cemetery, Scarborough.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to SIM Canada or TYTOO Canada would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.Send to friend