Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…
After a short illness and with his family by his side, Wayne Gordon Kirby passed away at the Hamilton General Hospital on September 2, 2018. Wayne, the oldest son of the late Edward Gordon and Lola Evelyn Kirby (nee Oliver) was loved by many. Wayne is sadly missed by his wife, Orreilia “Orry” Kay (nee Spence), his three children, Jeff (Lori), Lori (Brian Wood) and Leigh Ann (Charles Mojsej) and his beloved grandchildren, Kyle, Hannah, Drew, Payton, Sarah and Maggie. Wayne leaves behind his siblings Garry (Diane), Martin (Gayle) and Lynn (Terry Colfer), many nieces and nephews and numerous lifelong friends. Born in Kapuskasing, Ontario in 1936, Wayne spent most of his youth living in Montreal West and summering at the family cottage in the Gatineau Hills – a place that he loved so much and returned to frequently. While enrolled in an engineering program at UNB, Wayne decided that airplanes were his true passion, ultimately leading to his commercial pilot’s license and a 41 year career in aviation. He started his commercial aviation career as a first officer with Trans Canada Airlines in Montreal. During this period, Wayne met his lifetime partner Orry, a flight attendant with Trans Canada. Wayne and Orry were married for 56 years. From the Super-constellation to the Chief Pilot on the Boeing 747, from Wardair to Canadian Airlines, Wayne flew hundreds of thousands of passengers, over his career, safely to their destinations. He was described as a pilots’ pilot and spent many hours training other pilots to achieve their aviation goals. When not in the sky, Wayne was happiest spending time with his family. A supportive father who inspired in his children a love of travel, Wayne’s true calling was as a grandfather. Incredibly proud of the achievements of his children and grandchildren, Wayne tracked their comings and goings around the world through social media and regular phone calls. To be part of Wayne’s inner circle was to know that you were loved and supported. Whether a note or funny post when you were feeling down or an edition of the Brantford Bugle when homesick away at school, Wayne’s wicked sense of humour and intelligence were always evident. Wayne Gordon, WG, Captain, Dad, Grandpa – the world is a much duller world without you in it.
A heartfelt thank you from the family to the nurses and doctors in the Brantford General ICU and Hamilton General ICU (East and West) for their care and compassion and extraordinary efforts on behalf of Wayne. Special thank you to Doctor Dyub and Doctor Ainsworth for their expertise and bed side manner. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Brantford Golf and Country Club, 60 Ava Road, Brantford on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 2 – 5 p.m. A family gathering will be held in Wakefield, Quebec to lay his ashes to rest at a later date. Those wishing to honour Wayne’s memory, are invited to donate, given his love of animals, to the Brant County SPCA or to the Mark Preece House which was a haven for Wayne’s family during his illness.