What can you say about Gordon MacKinnon. What hasn't been said about Gordon MacKinnon? Loved his family fiercely, was stubborn as all get out, hardest worker you're likely to have ever met, could make you cry or laugh at the drop of a hat and he loved a good joke. He was like a horse's hoof; hard and rough on the outside, soft on the inside. Gordon passed away on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
Gordon was born from the love of his parents Anne MacKinnon (Red Annie) & Frederick MacKinnon at his parent’s home in Balls Creek, February 6, 1940. Gordon was the last surviving sibling of his 3 brothers, Frederick, Russel, and Danny & a sister Charlotte, who died when she was a baby. Gordon grew up on his parent’s farm working hard on the land with his family. In his early twenties he moved just down the road to the original MacKinnon homestead, first settled in the late seventeen hundreds, beside his grandfather’s house, and it was at this time that he met a beautiful young lady from Sydney Mines named Ann Catherine MacNeil at Jabalee’s Grocery Store in North Sydney where they both worked.
From that love four children were born, Frederick Harold (Carol), Shauna Ann, Ian Daniel (Laurie-Anne) and Katherine Lois. Gordon also had grandchildren he loved very much, Shannon (Shauna), Connor (Ian & Laurie-Anne), Miranda, Ariel, & Paige (Fred & Carol), Claudia & Sadie (Katy & Rod). He also had two great grand children he was very proud of, Christopher & Claira (Shannon & Jason). Gordon worked hard all his life to provide for his family. He went to Cape Breton Business College, took many trade courses, then did various jobs until he finally settled at Marine Atlantic in the machine shop where he stayed for 27 years. Although he was employed full time he still came home and worked making hay, looking after farm animals, cutting, splitting and selling wood, fishing, bee keeping, making maple syrup, planting huge gardens and orchards and helping his parents and brother Danny with the family farm. For fun he used to go on long horse rides on Molly, his morgan, with his friends, the other Cape Breton cowboys. He also enjoyed long motorcycle rides and exploring his beautiful island, snowmobiling in the winter as well as going for long walks into the woods on his hundred-acre property.
After he retired, he, Ann & Katy drove across Canada and the United States. He also worked on the TV show Pit Pony as an extra and an animal wrangler. He would come home very excited and tell us how they dressed him up as a miner or wagon driver, etc, and about a nice little girl named Ellen Paige on set that would play with his dog Doug. He was also an extra in a movie shot in Louisburg. When he got older his hammock under his apple trees was his favorite place. He gave his children a wonderful childhood filled with hard work and hard play, taught them a sense of respect for others, a love of adventure and that family always comes first. Gordon was a fighter to the end and lived a good long life full of love. He also had very good friends (some lifelong), Hammond “Hammie” MacInnis, Roddie Musgrave, Donnie Hickey, Earl "Hodgie" Hodgson, Bernie Curtis, Harold McKinnon, James MacKinnon, and so many more, too many to mention, but you know who you are.
The family would like to thank the VON, the care workers from the Cape Breton Homemakers Association, the doctors & nurses & all of our family, friends & neighbors who helped care for dad during his lengthy illness.
Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home in North Sydney. There will be no visitation. His ashes will be spread by his family at a later date. A memorial service will be held on his farm at a later date as well, and those involved will be notified of the details. In lieu of flowers, maybe plant a flower or a tree that will help the honey bees. Online condolences can be left for the family by posting on the tribute wall of the obituary page at www.wjdooley.com.