Blair, Gilbert Robert
SURVIVED BY: his wife of 34 years, Lynne Blair; mother Ida Blair; mother and father in-law Herb and Jean Kopperud; godchildren Todd (Kim) and Chris (Julie), Alora & Troy, Chelsea, Andrea & Elliot, Roger, Libby, Chris & Cameron, Danielle, Lisa, Nicole, Scott & Sandra, David, Danielle, Dianna, Dugan Â Zenija; Sisters-in-law Margaret (John), Diane (Herb), Joyce (Kim), Florence (Wayne); brothers Dale (Janet) Blair, Ron (Connie) Blair; sisters Betty (Jack) Shields, Heather Blair; Nieces and Nephews Scott (Calla), Darren (Deb), Craig (Chera), Lisa (Mike), Kevin (Noreen), Trevor (Jeannie), Lana (Jason), Jackie, Jill (Darren), Jennifer (John), Jeff, Chris (Michelle), David (Jewel), Bob (Amber), Cori, Craig, Blake, Boyd, Stuart, Victoria, Justin.
Â Born in Lanigan, Saskatchewan and subsequently resident in Saskatoon, Victoria BC and Comox BC, he was, a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan in Commerce and subsequently practiced as a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Gil was a natural mentor to family and friends alike, to young and old and sometimes to unwitting strangers, whether while sipping a favoured wine in a bistro or astride his bike on a street corner.Â He placed a high value on family and friends, often giving more of himself than he should have for his own well-being.Â He was at once a business mind, a teacher, a community activist, a techno geek, a computer wiz and a take-charge kind of guy.Â He had strong opinions and he argued them forcefully but behind it all he had a heart of gold with a strong commitment to support family and friends through thick and thin.
During his tenure with senior governments Gil made a substantial and enduring contribution to economic development in BC through the Employee Share Ownership Program, Forest Renewal, the Canada-BC Tourism Development Agreement, the Agriculture and Rural Development Agreement and other federal and provincial programs.
In his four years in the Comox Valley he served on the Comox Valley Airport Commission and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.Â He was also membership chair and web site coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Economic Development Council.
After cycling across most provinces and many states with friends, relatives and total strangers he would adopt along the way, Gil and his wife Lynne embarked on one of life’s greatest adventures, pedaling from Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America over 11 months in 1999 and 2000.Â This self-contained, 18,000 kilometre camping trip in his 50th year was a celebration of life.Â His incidental role as an international ambassador for cycling earned him many life-long friends in Europe and the Americas.Â His bicycletheamericas.com website evolved from this trip as a forum and resource for like-minded cycling enthusiasts.
Gil was also an adventurous skier and kayaker, as many discovered to their chagrin as he challenged their limits. Indeed he thrived on the challenge of chaos. He will leave a large void in many people’s lives. Services in Gil’s memory in Courtenay and Victoria will be held at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to COMOX VALLEY FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM.