Adams, Ronald 'Gary'

Born in Hornepayne, Ontario on September 18, 1935 the youngest of four children born to Earl and Clara Adams, Gary passed away peacefully at Grey Bruce Health Services in Meaford with his wife Heather by his side on Thursday August 13, 2020, just a month shy of his 85th birthday.

Gary spent his early years in Hornepayne, a railroad terminal town, north of Lake Superior on the CN line where his father was a “hogger” (engineer) on the railway. In his early teens he came with his family south to Mimico.  Later, while studying Geology at Queens University, he had summer employment working in the Mimico Train yards and was excited to witness the conversion from Steam to Diesel Locomotives.  He was also privileged, while at University, to spend two summers in the Western Arctic doing geological field work in the Richardson Mountains near the Mackenzie Delta which he remembered as an amazing experience.

After graduating, Gary and his first wife Dorothy moved to Calgary where he worked as a Geologist in the “Oil Patch” and they welcomed their first son Stephen. They moved back to London Ontario so that Gary could go to Western and attain his MBA. Son Scott arrived fortuitously during his final exams. After graduating, Gary worked in Management in the Food Industry, first with General Foods for 16 years and then with the Oshawa Group.  These valued experiences gave him the opportunity to live in and travel to many parts of our beautiful Canada.

In 1985 Gary married his second wife Heather and they retired and moved up to Thornbury from Toronto in 1995. He loved living in “four seasons” and enjoyed golf and skiing and was blessed to make many marvelous friendships.  He was instrumental in bringing in the “CAUSE program” to Thornbury which was designed to promote Tourism to the region by encouraging beautification of the downtown area, the waterfront and local parks.

He loved nothing better than a home renovation or construction project or just riding his lawn tractor around his property. There were many happy croquet and bocce parties conducted on that well-loved lawn!

Gary is survived by his wife, Heather (nee Hammond), his first wife and dear friend, Dorothy Hyde, his sons Stephen (partner Julie) and Scott (wife Sacha), daughter-in-law Mary Adams and four marvelous grandchildren Jenna, Willie, Jessica and Tory. Gary was predeceased by his sister, Lois Kohn, and his brother Robert.  Gary is survived by his dear sister Maryian Milsom.

There will be a private celebration of Gary’s life with family at Big Gull Lake at Thanksgiving.

If so desired and as your expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the Meaford Hospital Foundation or Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and may be made through Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E, Meaford, Ontario N4L 1B9.


Private family celebration of Gary's life at Thanksgiving at Big Gull Lake.

Donations: Meaford Hospital Foundation or Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.
Make a donation in memory of Ronald 'Gary' Adams

Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. Magi sibbett
    Saturday, August 15, 2020

    Dear Heather…I’m so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I will remember him fondly.

  2. Doug and Ruth Edmonstone
    Saturday, August 15, 2020

    We are so very sorry for your loss Heather. Gary was a lovely gentleman, intelligent with a unique sense of humour. He will be missed by many in the community. Miss our visits.

  3. Gary & Sharon Long
    Sunday, August 16, 2020

    So sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I worked at the CAUSE program when it was completed. Such a great project and Gary was a big part of it.

  4. Glen, Alison, Ian and Mason McGuire
    Sunday, August 16, 2020

    Our sincere condolences on Gary’s passing, he will be missed.

  5. Brenda Eprile
    Sunday, August 16, 2020

    Uncle Gary was the best uncle a girl could ask for. Always kind and welcoming. So much fun to be around. What a wonderful, generous spirit.
    Fortunately, there are no shortage of wonderful memories of time spent with Uncle Gary and Aunt Heather in the garden, on the ski hill,
    on the golf course and at the beach. His annual Xmas parties in Toronto were the stuff of legends. We will miss him greatly. Bren, Sash and Cam

  6. Ros Dimenstein
    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Dear Aunt Heather,
    You and Uncle Gary, of blessed memory, have taught me so much about how to be kind and loving by the way you have always treated people.
    I cherish the memories of my trip to Thornbury and the time we spent together. I was telling some friends and family who had never met Uncle Gary about him and one thing that stood out in my mind was never hearing him say an unkind word about anyone. May all the good he did in this world and his sterling character be an inspiration to those of us who were privileged to know and love him.

  7. Ingrid Paymar
    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Dear Aunt Heather,
    We are deeply saddened at Uncle Gary’s passing.
    I have such fond memories of his warm “Hello!” when we would visit! He made us feel special and loved.
    He had a kind humor about him that kept those around him smiling and laughing.
    I am grateful for my visits over the years, with my mum, his sister, Lois, OBM, and with my daughters, Miriam and Tova. You and Uncle Gary always welcomed us with such joy and generosity!
    May his loving, joyful nature live on in the lives he touched and the memories of family and loved ones.

  8. Mel and Diane Patterson
    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Dear Heather and the entire Adams family: The always cheerful Gary was one of our favourite and cherished friends. We have fond memories of your visit to our island cottage on Lake of the Woods when you graciously made the effort to come to see us on your return to Thornbury. Heather and Gary were always a devoted couple and and such a pleasure to be with. Gary will be greatly missed. Mel and Diane Patterson

  9. Jeannine Cochrane
    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    My deepest sympathy to family for your loss. Remember fondly Calgary, MBA years and Toronto , Collingwood visits. Jeannine Cochrane

  10. Bill and Betty Hemmings
    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

    Heather, just learned of your loss and wish to offer our sincere condolences to you, Scott, Steve and the family. We have many fond memories of Gary.

  11. Jan Adams
    Friday, August 21, 2020

    Uncle Gary was a wonderful uncle in my life – as a little girl and then as a grown adult, he always made me feel special and welcomed. I loved his zest for life and his wonderful sense of joy and spirit, whether at the annual Christmas parties in Toronto, or in Thornbury or Florida enjoying a wonderful meal together. His fabulous and creative home renovation projects awed me throughout my whole life, and inspired me tremendously. I will really miss him and will always remember him. Love Jan.

  12. Jackie Stewart
    Saturday, August 29, 2020

    I have so many memories of our many adventures over the years. Portugal, Spain, Lake of the Woods on 9/11. So many good times in the beautiful backyard of Russell Street. He loved life and was always a lover of challenges, The CAUSE committee to improve our beautiful Town.

  13. Jane Ollikainen
    Saturday, September 5, 2020

    Dear Heather ,
    I was so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. My condolences to you and all of Gary’s family.
    It seems odd now but I was remembering some of our weekends away, trips to Stratford & the theater, dinner parties & hot tubbing with soft snowflakes falling – over the past few weeks. I was telling my daughter about some of our good times just two weeks ago. And then I got your email.
    Gary enjoyed this life and has left behind good memories and good works. Who knows what he will be doing next? Our job now is to keep the relationship going even tho it seems one-sided, and it is more work for us left here to do that.
    Take good care of yourself and stay in touch, luv Jane O


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