In Memoriam: Harry Gregory

GREGORY, Harold John (Harry)

Sep 16, 1938 – Dec 28, 2023

Harold (Harry) John Gregory passed away on Dec. 28 after a very short illness. He leaves to mourn his beloved wife and devoted partner of 37 years, Susan Somerville; his cherished siblings, Brenda Loftus (the late Jack), Terrence (Susan), and Linda Coker (Giles); as well as his many dear nephews, nieces, and grandnieces.

Harry had a hard start. He was born prematurely at three and a half pounds to Harold and May (Evans) Gregory in Manchester, England, in 1938 and grew up during the Second World War and the Post-War Era. After graduation from the local grammar school, he left at seventeen to go into office work as a cost accountant. Subsequently losing interest in that career, he trained as a teacher at Clifton College in Nottingham. He taught for one year in Birmingham before deciding to emigrate to Canada in 1970. He earned a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Saskatoon and after teaching a couple of years in Saskatchewan, he re-located to Montreal, eventually settling at Beaconsfield High School in 1975, where he remained until his retirement in 1997.

Harry was proud to be a teacher and fully committed to his career, involving himself in all aspects of professional life. Besides teaching Mathematics and Physics, he was an elected representative and chairman of School Council. He volunteered in extracurricular activities including music, running, and the drama production (as stage manager). In the Lakeshore Teachers’ Union, he served as school representative and on the executive as treasurer.

He was happiest when he was moving. As a boy, he ran three paper routes. On a walking holiday in his early twenties, he discovered the pleasure of outdoor activity. He began running for exercise and soon ran competitively, winning many races (coming either first or first in his age group) at the university, province, and national level. After his retirement from teaching, he joined his family and friends every September until 2018 for a walking holiday in England. Two weeks before his death at the age of eighty-five, he was still covering two miles a day on his walker.

Music was always important to him. In his youth he played the trumpet in a military band and throughout his life he followed live music, especially traditional jazz.

He will be remembered for his sharp intellect, dry wit, energy, and determination. He knew his own mind and was never afraid to speak it. May he rest in peace.

Visitation from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on Friday, January 19, at Rideau Funeral Home, 4274 boul. des Sources, Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Private burial to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a food bank of your choice or the SPCA.

Montreal Gazette, 6 Jan 2024

Alumni Association of Beaconsfield High School / l’Association des anciens et anciennes de l’École secondaire Beaconsfield © 2024