Obituary of The Honourable Gordon Francis Osbaldeston P.C., C.C.
Gordon Francis Osbaldeston, 88 of London, Ontario passed away peacefully on March 6, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He will be greatly missed by his children, Steve (Carol) of Atlanta, GA, Dave of Ottawa, ON, Rob (Gillian) of St. Thomas, ON, Cathy French (Doug) of Oakville, ON and his six beautiful grandchildren Morgan, Matthew, Jessica, Ryan, Michael and Jason. He will also be dearly missed by his extended family members and his many lifelong friends.
He now rejoins his beloved wife of 52 years, Gerry (nee Keller of Kitchener), his beloved brothers Bernard, John and George and his daughter-in-law Elaine.
Gordon was blessed with a wonderful life. Joining the Public Service of Canada in 1953, he was posted to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California as a Canadian Government Trade Commissioner. Returning to Ottawa in 1964, he quickly rose through the ranks at senior levels within the Departments of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Treasury Board, Industry Trade and Commerce, Economic Development and External Affairs. Ultimately, he became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, serving three Prime Ministers – The Right Honourables Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Brian Mulroney.
In 1986, he joined the faculty of the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London and in 1995 was appointed as a Professor Emeritus. During that period he authored two books – Keeping Deputy Ministers Accountable (1988) and Organizing to Govern (1992). As well, he served on numerous Corporate Boards including London Life Insurance Co., Bell Canada, DuPont Canada Ltd. and the Molson’s Co. Ltd.
He was the proud recipient of numerous honours including the Queen Elizabeth Silver, Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals, the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal and The Vanier Medal of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. In 1981, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada and was elevated to its highest level of Companion in 1997.
His passion for Canada, being Canadian and serving Canadians was surpassed only by his love for his beloved wife, his children and grandchildren. When not enjoying that wonderful game called ‘golf’, Dad enjoyed road trips with Mom, in their RV licensed “FUN 420” – Fun for Two ‘O’s! By far, his most successful and cherished role was that of husband, father and Grampa. Such, will forever, be his greatest legacy…
We would like to thank the medical teams of both University and Victoria Hospitals and the staff of Bayshore Home Healthcare. Thank you to Windemere on the Mount and Arbour Trace Memory Care Centre for welcoming Dad into their communities, providing friendship and support. Special thanks to Dr. Catherine Walsh and her medical staff for their endless support.
Visitation to be held at John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo St., London, ON on Tuesday, March 12th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Church, 511 Cheapside St., London, ON., on Wednesday morning March 13th, at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Donations to The Alzheimer’s Society London and Middlesex at www.alzheimerlondon.ca or the London Health Sciences Foundation at www.lhsf.ca are greatly appreciated.