PURDON, Stewart Hill
Stewart Hill Purdon was born August 25, 1940 in London, Ontario to Thomas and Norma Purdon. He was an only child and would often remind us all that his parents decided to stop having children after having delivered on “perfection”. Stew lived in London until the age of 5 when his family moved to Deloraine Avenue in North York. There he attended Bannockburn Public School and Bathurst Heights High. Stew enjoyed school so much he decided to take an “extra” year to finish his grade 13 studies. He was accepted to the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1963.
As a youth he played football at school and had a paper route for the Toronto Star. He worked at Austin’s Hardware store in Toronto driving a delivery truck to help pay for his hobbies and school from 1956 to 1960. During his summer breaks from University he loved teaching waterskiing in Muskoka and working at Avenue Road Marine. While selling a boat to the Canadian President of Colgate Palmolive he was offered a job as a salesman upon graduation. He realized quickly, however, that the traveling sales life was not for him. A friend encouraged him to pursue a teaching career and in 1965 he started teaching retail merchandising at Borden Business and Technical Institute in Scarborough. It was in teaching that he found his true calling. In 1971 he transferred to Woburn Collegiate where he spent the rest of his career educating hundreds of students in business and accounting courses until retiring in 1998.
Stew loved the cottage life purchasing his first cottage in the late 1960’s on Jack’s Lake in Apsley, Ontario. In 1972 he bought a cottage on Lake Drive in Island Grove on Lake Simcoe. He enjoyed many years of fishing, snowmobiling and time with friends on and around the lake.
Stew’s life changed forever (according to his friends for the better) when he met Lois Barclay in 1987. They were married March 11, 1989 and Stew became an instant parent to Lois’ two teenaged children Tamara and Todd. As he often said, he was grateful that his lifelong dream of having a family had finally come true and he embraced wholeheartedly everything that came along with it. Truth be told, it was all of us who benefited most from his decision to take on our crew. Stew truly and completely became our family. He was a rock for all of us over the last 35 years helping to set us upon a new path. Together he and Lois started their new life together designing and building a “log house in the woods” outside of Ballantrae.
In 2001 Stew and Lois moved to Peterborough. His retirement years were spent on “the farm” overlooking Lake Chemong, puttering in the barn, playing with his dogs and driving the tractor through the pastures. He cherished spending time with his neighbours, church community friends and ‘Friday Nighters”.
The greatest love of his life however was his time with Lois, “his” kids (Tamara and Michael (Stec), Todd and Sarah (Nunan)) and his six grandchildren (Jonah, Isaac, Sacha, Isobel, Grace and Iris). “Grampa Stew” was a huge presence in their lives, enjoying cheering them on and supporting them at every graduation, championship, tournament and competition whether locally or across the country. His profound influence on their lives will continue.
In 2016, Stew was diagnosed with metastasized prostate cancer. He fought through various treatments for over 4 years and continued enjoying time with family and friends until the last few weeks. He died peacefully at home on September 26, 2020 one month after celebrating his 80th birthday.
A celebration of life will be delayed due to Covid-19. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Peterborough Humane Society or the Canadian Cancer Society would be welcomed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stewart Hill Purdon, please visit our floral store.
Peterborough Humane Society
385 Lansdowne Street East ,
Tel: (705) 745-4722
Canadian Cancer Society
730 The Kingsway Unit 2., Peterborough ON K9J 6W6