In the shadow of your wings will I rejoice. Ps 63.7
  • 90 years old
  • Born on June 14, 1928 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Passed away on January 15, 2019 in North Vancouver, Canada.

We remember Gordon as in the photo above: in a canoe (his favourite place), with a twinkle in his eye (as always), leaning toward another person (his habitual attitude). He shared his love for creation and the Creator, his impish sense of humour (and the deep joy from which that humour sprang) and his unending concern for and interest in other people with us in his family. But he also shared those same gifts with thousands of others at Manitoba Pioneer Camp, in student ministries on the prairies, and in Christian communities in Manitoba and BC. He didn't just tell people that God believed in them; he believed in them, too. What a blessing he has been to all of us his whole life.

Memorial Service:  Gordon's Memorial Service will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, January 26th at Killarney Park Mennonite Brethren Church at 48th Ave & Kerr in Vancouver.

Donations: In lieu of flowers, we invite you to contribute to Manitoba Pioneer Camp in Gordon's memory.

Contributing Photos:  We invite you to contribute photos of Gordon via this Dropbox link and/or through the 'Stories' page on this site.


Posted by Dietrich Desmarais on 9th February 2019
The wisdom insights and playful curiosity you’ve impacted me with have set the course for an amazing life Gordon! You’re commitment to truth and courageous leadership has provided me with a framework to connect and empower others! The memories of deep discussions around Apologetics, Spiritual Direction, Philosophy, and Little Rabbit FU FU have provided me with a delightful balance to embrace life confidently and yet with delicate wisdom. Our deepest condolences to you Donna and the family... with sincere love and heartfelt prayers... Dietrich and Edith
Posted by Elecia Hart on 30th January 2019
Dear Donna and family Thinking of you as you experience this most significant of life's losses. My hope is that the amazing legacy of memories of a life well lived in the hearts of the many people who had the blessing of knowing him will be of comfort in the days and months ahead. warmest regards Elecia Hart
Posted by John Dyck on 26th January 2019
One of earliest and most profound memories of Gordon took place at Pioneer Camp in the 60s when Gordon spoke some words of wisdom to me as a new camper. Not having qualified in swimming to go on the canoe trip I had come to camp for, I was sitting despondently on the dock watching my cabin mates head out in the canoes. I was frustrated and bitter that I couldn't go. Gordon came down onto the dock and sat beside me for a few minutes in silence and then offered these words: "In life you can't always get what you desire but you should make the most of your opportunities." With that he put an arm around my shoulders and encouraged me to get up and see what other things I could do at camp. It turned out to be a very good camp experience and I never forgot Gordon's advice.
Posted by Marianne Pengelly on 25th January 2019
Gordon Valiant Stewart-- friend and mentor, thoughtful, kind, great wise heart-- has now departed. Listen— for the last dip of the paddle the pull through the foam for his laughter-- in the wind moan, in the rustle of leaves the rush of water on stone Ever with us, though he’s gone home.
Posted by Amy Campbell on 25th January 2019
Gordon and Donna were very gracious and hospitable to my mother and me during my teen years. As my mom struggled to find herself as a single parent, the Stewart family always found a spare bed for me on Eastgate or MacKinnon whenever mom needed to be out of town or even in hospital. I got to experience living with a big family in a household filled with faith and music (and chores). Mom’s first trip away in 1970 led to the first of my six fabulous summers at Pioneer. Gordon and Donna also led our junior high Sunday school class at First Pres. I know I am a better person for having had the opportunity to be so closely connected with Gordon, Donna and the whole family during my formative years. With prayers and thanksgiving for a life well lived as Gordon paddles on the river of the water of Life.
Posted by John LAKES on 25th January 2019
Donna I always think of you and Gordon as team, always trying to make the world better, The world is a better place because of Gordon and yourself. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Posted by Sharon Brubacher on 25th January 2019
I think of Gordon as a patriarch not only to his family but also to the tribe I knew as Capilano Christian Community during his time there and beyond. This, though, doesn't capture his sense of humour and friendship and ability to laugh and just 'be'. It was my pleasure to work with Gordon for awhile and enjoy his steadfast, encouraging, unique Gordon-ness. I know it was time for you to go but you will be missed here and your legacy lives on in all of us in various ways.
Posted by Donna Stewart on 25th January 2019
These are words written to me (Donna) from some of the home-care nurses who looked after Gordon: "Gordon's twinkle in his eye, sense of humour and your devotion to keeping him at home, I will remember." "I am sad to hear Gordon passed away. I enjoyed visiting you both at your home. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I will always remember his beautiful smile." "Thinking of you and your family at this sad time. Remembering Gordon as he was such a great and kind man." "I will miss him." "It was an honor to be in your home and witness your loving care of Gordon."
Posted by Kelvin Dyck on 25th January 2019
I could echo many of the sentiments and words of gratitude shared in these tributes to Gordon's life and influence. I would add one additional gift that Gordon shared with me and that was never to despise the Christian heritage that I carried with me to IVF. There were times that I shared with Gordon my frustration and impatience with my church regarding theological and/or lifestyle issues. He urged me not to despise my youth or my upbringing. He encouraged me to honour my upbringing by following my convictions even when they differed from how I was taught and gently show how these convictions too could honour God. Like Gordon, I came to the pastorate later in life. And as I served my congregation, I thought of Gordon many times. Gordon's gentle and persistent example as a pastor was a wonderful legacy he left to me. Thank you, Gordon!
Posted by Karen Sunabacka on 23rd January 2019
My memories of Gordon are mostly from visits to the west coast with my family. These were always wonderful times full of stories and laughter and watching my parents reminisce with Gordon and Donna. My dad, Leonard Carlson, continues to talk about Gordon as a mentor. Even through my dad's dementia he keeps returning to how much he respected Gordon and wanted to be like him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Posted by Donna Stewart on 23rd January 2019
from Calvin Desmarais My memory of Gordon is always Gordon and Donna. Not they were always together in the same place but I knew somehow they were together with each other in each of their spaces. There was room for each other in each others space and it was welcomed. This allowed them, in turn to welcome others. And, I was welcomed. For this I am eternally grateful. Gordon was many things to many people. He had a way that included, welcomed and challenged people. In my eyes and heart, I knew and saw he could be trusted. This was both freeing and terrifying. For all his gentleness of spirit and openness of heart, I also knew he was serious about what was important. I saw for Gordon that people were important and God was important, and faith was important. From Gordon I learned about faith and being deliberate and thoughtful about it and to take it seriously for it was indeed a serious thing because it informed how one was to think, act and be. We all know that this seriousness did not preclude humor, fun and enjoyment. I have many memories of Gordon enjoying himself with others and taking pleasure in good natured laughter. The camp songs, the stories and the experiences of life he shared were welcomed and anticipated each summer at camp. I consider myself fortunate to have worked under Gordon at Manitoba Pioneer Camp and InterVarsity and to know him as a friend and to have shared time with his family. Gordon, and his family, are an integral part of the story of my life. For this I will be grateful throughout eternity. Through a heart that loved God, Gordon loved and reached out to people throughout his life. It was a heart touched and redeemed by God. Heaven rejoices to have him home. Calvin Desmarais
Posted by Rick Andruchuk on 23rd January 2019
Scotty Scotty was one of the most influencial people in my life and I dare say, thousands of other lives. I met him as a camper, watching him lead campfires, greeting us each breakfast with "Good Morning Campers," admiring and then later on in my life, working at camp, trying to emulate his character. Scotty was the first person I told when I recieved news that I had been accepted into my future career. And what did he say to me? Rick, you'll do a fine job! I am certain that those who knew him as they grew up will have a similar story. He was truly a mentor! Scotty was a "Holy" man. Yes, he must have had doubts when he said that he would be glad to have me work at MPC as a teen but he welcomed me, with faith that everything would work out fine and it did. His belief in God and in people was contagious. My life has been blessed by his influence and confidence in me. Of this, I'm certain! Rick "Andy" Andruchuk
Posted by Norm Fuhr on 22nd January 2019
Gord, in the 1960's, gave me a deep love for scripture and a desire to go deeper into my faith with God by reading thought- provoking books.
Posted by Joe Moder on 22nd January 2019
While our times with IVCF and Manitoba Pioneer did not really overlap it was wonderful to follow in Gordon’s footsteps in the Mid-West. Impossible shoes to fill, but Gordon in his life-sharing style, wisdom, and stature laid a foundation of ministry and staff that would continue to shape the lives of students, campers, and the Fellowship as a whole, for the Kingdom for decades. It was a privilege to help build on many good things he had begun and work with many fine people he mentored. He was never more than a phone call away. I fondly remember the times when we were on the Pioneer III together – initially him mentoring me and later when I was “along-for-the-ride” with Gordon leading the Stewart clan on Shoal Lake Reunion cruises. Blessings on you all.
Posted by Pete Dearborn on 22nd January 2019
As a current Exe Dir of Manitoba Pioneer Camp, I am very aware of the sheer number of lives Gordon and Donna impacted in significant ways. I know this through the number of alumni who stay connected to camp essentially because of Gordon's influence in their lives. I see this new every year! What a profound legacy MPC has because of him. Camp still benefits by the unique community dynamic, characteristics, and values that were established by Gordon and Donna. We will remember him for his warm, gregarious personality, high energy and work ethic, mutual respect and concern, and his ability to inspire a love for God and others. My current role is shaped by the privilege of building on the foundation set by Gordon and all who have gone before me. Under God's enabling we will remain strong and honest to the solid biblical values and community dynamics established by him. Be convinced and assured, Gordon's presence and impact does and will, live on here, on the beautiful shores of Shoal Lake at Manitoba Pioneer Camp. We are eternally grateful.
Posted by Clare Hawkins on 21st January 2019
I treasure fond memories of Gordon from my early youth where he visited my family in Thunder Bay as IVCF Divisional Director to my time in the late 70s at MPC, where he helped me grow in Christ and fostered my love of canoeing. My best memories are two summers on the Berens River, learning about God, nature and leadership. You are missed
Posted by Kate Ramsay on 20th January 2019
Gordon...leader, mentor, role model and friend...a life lived so deeply, generously and faithfully, touching so many lives with his kindness, joy, wisdom, humour, care for creation and certainty of the Creator's care for each of us. His example was an anchor for so many of us when we hit rough water, and a sail when we could see some destination. I don’t suppose he ever knew how many. I suppose that’s how it is with mentors, and role models. “What would Gordon do?” When I had to examine a decision, check the delineation of the moral compass, I’d always want to feel accountable to Gordon, a father who was not my father, but filled some gaps for me and so many others. And his way of being was a template of what it is to be accountable to “Our Father”, though there was never anything negatively patriarchal in his faith or his example. Thank you Gordon, and all your family who shared you with the rest of us. Yes, you will be forever missed, but always present. You will always send the boat to pick us up.
Posted by Elspeth MacEwan on 20th January 2019
Sending love to all the Stewarts at this time - May you be surrounded by the depth and breadth of Gordon’s love to so many people. I have so many memories of MPC (where Gordon was the general director throughout my time there as a youth). My favourite one is his telling of the tale of that most precocious and courageous bunny, “Little Rabbit Foo Foo” who dared to live his life to the fullest despite threats from one Powerful Fairy... No need to reiterate the gory details. No question Gordon’s spirit will always be with us - truly a spiritual father for so many people. Holding all of you in my heart.
Posted by Catherine Stewart on 20th January 2019
From Bill Aide, (posted by Cathy) I knew Gordon best during our time in Winnipeg, '65 to '74. His leadership was not always accepted by more rigid evangelicals, and I remember stupidly urging him to quit. But Gordon corrected me; he knew his calling, kept his balance and prevailed. His intellectual influence on young people like David and Peter Widdicombe was inestimable. A devoted Christian man in every respect, and a real mensch.
Posted by Catherine Stewart on 20th January 2019
A messsage to Cathy, from Rae Struthers (Cambridge Ontario) I see from Facebook that your father Gordon died this week. Sad, as well as the crown on a life well-lived. so far as I can tell. I remember the best of Gordon from years ago ,,, a storyteller par excellence and a delightful person to meet and be with around camp (OPC) as I met him in the 70s. He seemed to me to be one of Wilber Sutherland's right hand persons. I have met many people who recall him fondly. Blessings and love, Rae
Posted by Catherine Stewart on 19th January 2019
(a note from George and Jan Robertson, written to Gordon's daughter Cathy) Jan and I remember your Dad from Regent College. We were classmates in the term of 1974. We had a history of involvement with IVCF/ISCF and Pioneer Camps. I remember with gratitude to God as an encourager, someone who was willing to engage in good theological conversation. I will be remembering you in prayer. I'm reminded of the song by CityAlight - All my ways are known to you - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44mVzqGeS-Q. It fits as I remember your father and as I pray for you.
Posted by Jacob Penner on 18th January 2019
Thank you Gordon for being such a caring pastor and friend over the years. We have been richly blessed by your friendship and that of your dear family. Our loss is Heaven's gain; what rejoicing there must be! Our love and prayers are with Donna and each one of your family. God bless you all. Jake and Anne
Posted by Michael Zywina on 18th January 2019
Having just received this news of Gordon “Scotty” death brings back so many memories as a young camper at MPC and as an adult. The man who I consider as my Spiritual Father who first introduced and led me to Christ almost 50 yers ago. His ability to make God interesting and understandAble I remember the joy of camping and love for nature in his eyes. And truly appreciate as a now older the times we spent together. I also appreciate Donna and the wonderful person that she is, and the family that I grew up with in many ways. May The Lord’s work continue to Bless all who knew you and continue to be testimonies in the future.
Posted by Paddy Ducklow on 18th January 2019
I had the privilege of following Gordon as a pastor at CapChurch. Not always an easy privilege however. Some would comment on how Gordon preached, or told stories, or visited, and always to my negative comparison. Smile. His history at our shared church made me think more broadly. I would seldom lead communion in a senior’s home without thinking of him. I would remember Christmas Eve services when he would tell his fanciful children stories that deeply settled with adults as well. I also remember the piles of non-pastoral-type magazines (you couldn’t call them “literature”) in the back seat of his car as we left an inter-church prayer meeting. (Some of you will remember his advocacy for women.) So, I admire him, for what he did and for the progeny who carry his character today.
Posted by Bryan Hill on 18th January 2019
I shared this with Gordon on his 90th birthday. It summarizes as well as I can what his life (and Donna's) have meant to me. "Hi Gord, A little bird by the name of Joy reminded me that tomorrow is your birthday - 90th!! Congratulations. God has blessed you in so many ways. And I speak as one who has known the blessings you have provided others. Your leadership, guidance, friendship, and teaching have been a blessing to me in my life. Perhaps most of all is your example of living faithfully for God that has continued to impact my living (hopefully) faithfully for God. You have not just lived 90 years - you have journeyed with God and been a blessing to many. Thank you that for a few years I had the privilege of knowing you and journeying with you. With deep appreciation, love and celebration. Bryan P.S. Donna, I know your relationship/partnership with Gord has been equally faithful. Thank you.
Posted by Karen Mason on 18th January 2019
Gordon ("Scotty") was such a rock for me as a camper and counsellor at MPC. Camp was where my faith became real as I saw God answering prayer in the "here and now". Thank you, Gordon and Donna, for demonstrating love in action in all that you did and said. My parents so enjoyed their visits with you when you lived in Winkler. My mom died soon after Elizabeth Elliot in 2015 and I enjoyed imagining them in the Newcomers Orientation Group in heaven. I'm enjoying thinking about Gordon and Mary Oliver in their Newcomers Orientation Group. I'm also enjoying thinking of Gordon paddling on the River of Life. I'm sure that Bill Mason has organized a fleet of canoes by now! :) Thank you for always sharing your laughter, love and deep wisdom.
Posted by Paul Sharpe on 17th January 2019
I knew Gordon as "Scottie" from about 1962 through 1972, while I was a camper, CIT, JC and part of maintenance & boat crew. He was the best leader, boss, minister, manager, mentor, entertainer, navigator and boat captain that I ever experienced. Thank you for sharing memories of him.
Posted by Paul Borthistle on 16th January 2019
For all of my adult life Gordon has been a mentor. I first met him when I was a young staffer at MPC in 1968. His character, humour, grace and life of faith was a shining example of what a human is meant to be, fully alive in the image of God. Rest In Peace brother and rise in glory. Gordon and Donna individually and together were the finest, real team, I have ever known.
Posted by Rob Parkinson on 16th January 2019
Gord was, is and will always be the most important person in my life. Words cannot begin to express what he means to me, but I will try. Gord enabled me to grow. He made me feel valued. He allowed me to fail. He taught me forgiveness. He led me to explore new avenues for pursuing dreams. He refused to let me be a loner. He enriched the lives of all whom he touched. He cared. He exemplified God's love. Thank you, Gord.
Posted by Kathy Suffel on 16th January 2019
So sorry to hear of Gord's passing. Loved reading your words Donna and looking through all the photos. I was honoured to have known him. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that Gordon had an inner light that won't ever be extinguished. I will remember him fondly for his interest and kindness. And, of course, his robust "Amen's"! Thinking of you and your family with love and a wish for sweet healing in the coming days.
Posted by Anne Kaario on 16th January 2019
As a member of St Andrews where Gord (and Donna) are so loved and have been for quite a few years, I am sad to see his bodily life has gone - especially for Donna's sake who we know was so much a part of him. But he truly does leave behind a beautiful legacy in this world. Donna, you wrote about his life so eloquently on this site; I cannot even begin to disagree with anything you said. I knew him best once his best physical years were over, but he truly was a saint, always giving with his encouragement and wit and wisdom and faith. You're right, Donna, as one of the choir members we loved the way he shouted out AMEN in his strong and lusty voice after an anthem. Not sure if you'd characterize them as "brash" which has a bit of a negative connotation: Gordon could never be seen negatively - he was loved by all for very good reasons. The choir loved to sing to him over the phone on occasion once he was pretty much home bound, just to try to return a wee bit of the goodness he had given over the years to us and everyone else too. I am so glad to have known him even a little with his beautiful energy, kind and always-twinkling eyes , loving ways and intelligence. A spirit like his leaves the world a much better place, enriching everyone who has been part of his life. Much love to you, Donna, and all his family as you celebrate his life and mourn his passing from this earthly life.
Posted by Andrew Stewart on 16th January 2019
Dear Uncle Gordon, From my first recollections of you as a little boy, through to my last time with you a few months ago, you were in the best sense, always the same. You always engaged, took seriously, told the truth winsomely, left room for uncertainty, maintained a great sense of humour, and loved. Thank you. I will miss you very much. I enjoy thinking of you together now with my Dad and other loved ones, in that great light.

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