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GORDON ALEXANDER MACKIE  Obituary pic GORDON ALEXANDER MACKIE  Obituary pic

GORDON ALEXANDER MACKIE

Born: Jan 17, 1922

Date of Passing: Apr 27, 2014

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GORDON ALEXANDER MACKIE January 17, 1922 - April 27, 2014 After a richly blessed and generously lived life, our beloved husband and father passed away at home, on April 27, 2014 with his family by his side. He will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered with dignity by his wife Marguerite (Margo), sister Kay, children Heather, Craig (Jane), Holly (Keith Berg) and Bonny (Manuel Arruda); three grandsons; three great-grandchildren, and sister Kay Hermiston. Predeceased by his mother Catherine (Katie), father Alexander, first wife Margaret, sister June (Cliff Fryers). Born in Winnipeg, Gordie demonstrated a drive for sports excellence at an early age, playing both baseball and hockey. At 15, he pitched two "No Hitters" in the provincial baseball championships to win the pennant. When his 17th birthday arrived he was introduced to boxing, a sport that would truly hone a lifelong passion. With the declaration of the Second World War, Gordie enlisted in the Canadian Navy Reserve at 19 years of age, serving as a signalman on His Majesty's "Skeena", "Wetaskiwin", "St. Croix", "Sherbrooke", "Raccoon", and "Reindeer". His fortunes were realized early as he twice received transfers prior to the loss of two ships, torpedoed in the North Atlantic. While in the service, he boxed against all contenders Canadian or American in a "Middleweight" classification. His record of 25 fight cards ended with 21 wins, two draws and two losses. During shore leave, he shared his love of jazz music with shipmates, attending concerts at various ports. The likes of Tommy Dorsey's and Benny Goodman's Big Bands had him front row center. He witnessed the return of Gene Krupa on drums at the Paramount Theatre in New York. Discharged from the Navy, Gordie pursued a professional boxing stint from 1945 to 1949, where he had six Provincial and National fights, winning all but one. With a reinstatement to amateur status, he moved to Montreal to take the role of trainer and boxing instructor for the Y.M.C.A. He transferred back to Winnipeg to an assistant health director position and boxing teacher for the Y.M.C.A. and a volunteer spot at the Y.M.H.A. In 1951 he completed his post-graduate studies in Physiotherapy at a college in Chicago, IL. Successfully finishing at the top of his class, Gordie returned to Winnipeg as Physical Education director at St. Paul's College and opened the infamous Madison Boxing and Health Club in St. Boniface. That year he was head trainer for "The Norwood/St. Boniface Legionnaire" football team, winning the Dominion Junior football championship and are proud members of the Manitoba Football Hall of Fame. The following year, Gordie was asked to be an assistant trainer for the football team at West Point Military Academy under Coach Colonel "Red" Blake and assistant coaches Vince Lombardi and Bobby Dawes. He returned two years later to take on the position of head coach of the Canadian Boxing team to compete in the British Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. 1954 witnessed the launch of Gordie's professional therapy career, as he worked for Terry Hind's "Winnipeg Goldeyes" baseball team in the summer and Jack Perrin's Winnipeg Warriors in the winter. Both teams had their successes, but the likes of Billy Mosienko, Bill Juzda and Fred Shero truly helped put Winnipeg on the international hockey scene. Gordie followed Fred Shero to Minnesota to train the Fighting Saints for a season then he got a call for a role he could not refuse. It was 1959 and Bud Grant's Winnipeg Blue Bombers were hot off a Grey Cup Championship in Vancouver against Jim Trimble's Hamilton Tiger Cats. Along with assistant coaches Joe Zeleski and Johnny Michaels, Grant had put together a formidable balance of American talent with names like Rauhaus, Pitts, Van Pelt, Ploen, Shepard, Lewis, Grey and Rigney and "home grown" greats such as Piper, Tinsley, Latourelle, Miller, James, Miiklechuk (and many others) to win. The following 10 years gleaned Cup appearances in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1965, winning three out of five championships. 1969 Gordie left his beloved Blue and Gold for a cross-town opportunity, when he went to take on the responsibility of Head Physiotherapist and trainer for all University of Manitoba Bison sports teams. He is heralded for the co-founding of the Canadian Athletic Trainers Association and developing the first accredited "Student Trainer Programs" in the country. 1970 witnessed the launch of Gordie's international exposure as a top Canadian Therapist, first in Turin, Italy at the World Student Games, followed by Canada's entry in the Davis Cup Tennis match. He was awarded the "Outstanding Service Award" from both the Davis Cup committee, and the Winnipeg Football Club. In 1971 was the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia followed by the Canadian Indoor Track and Field Championships. Munich, Germany hosted the summer Olympics and started Gordie's invitation to five years of being the trainer for the C.F.L. All-star games. The World Aquatic Championships were hosted in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1973 and of course 1974 had him in Moscow with the three Howe boys (Gordie, Mark and Marty) taking on the Soviets in a Team Canada tilt in hockey. Cali, Columbia played host to the World Aquatic Championships and Gordie was there to assist our athletes. That same year, The Manitoba Boxing and Wrestling Federation named him president, a position he held until 1978. In 1967 the Manitoba Amateur Football Association honoured Gordie for his contribution, and he became the Coordinator / Therapist for boxing, wrestling and weightlifting at the Montreal Olympics. The "Bike Foundation" inducted him into their North American hall of fame and in 1978 the C.A.T.A. bestowed the same honour in their hall. Probably his finest recognition came when the University of Manitoba established "The Gord Mackie Scholarship" program, presented annually to the student athletic therapist reaching academic excellence en route to full accreditation. He retired from the faculty with countless other sports awards, most notably the Leo Mol sculpture "Healing Hands". The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inducted him in the late 1980s and the Canadian Football Association recognized his efforts soon after. Gordie remained an active member of the Blue Bomber Alumni and a proud member of A.N.A.F. Unit #303 as the eldest Navy veteran. In 2008 Leo Ledohowski, along with a crafty team of Blue Bomber Alumni, initiated the return of Bud Grant to present Grey Cup rings for those "Glory Years" in the late 1950s and early 1960s to all players and staff. "Ring in the night" was hosted with such eloquence by the "Voice of the Bombers", Bob Irving, and was a tribute weekend and banquet that will be remembered for years to come. A very special thank you to Canad-Inns. The Pemby Brew House was Gordie's Saturday afternoon "Walk through Memory Lane" with jazz aficionados and good friends listening to Winnipeg's talent. George Reznik, Bob Jackson, Billy McMahon, Jimmy Gillis, Frank Burke, Craig Fotheringham, Brian Klowak, David Hildebrand, Janice Findlay...the list goes on and on, thanks to the Druxman family. The family would like to thank Dr. Daeninck, the Home Care and Palliative Care Teams for allowing a dignified finale of Gordie's "Fourth Quarter" and final "Round". As per Gordie's wishes, a private family service has been held. A celebration of his life is to be held May 8, at Canad Inns Polo Park from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the charity of your choice may be made. Wojcik's Winnipeg Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 2157 Portage Ave., 204-897-4665, is in care of arrangements. wojciksfuneralchapel.com

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 03, 2014

Condolences & Memories (24 entries)

  • Gord Mackie was probably inducted into the MB Sports Hall of Fame more times than anyone else... first as an individual for sport medicine in 1987 and then several times with Grey Cup champion Blue Bomber teams, national hockey champions and national champs in junior, intermediate and senior football. He was truly a pioneer in athletic therapy and proud of his affiliation with the Hall of Fame... and you couldn't meet a nicer man. Miss you Gord. - Posted by: Rick Brownlee (MB Sports Hall of Fame) on: Jun 18, 2014

  • Dear Marguerite, I was so sad to hear of Gordie's passing. He was true to the word Gentleman. I feel truly blessed to have known Gordie and yourself. You have my Deepest Sympathy. Love Shirley Ammeter (Tracy Rowland's Mom). - Posted by: Shirley Ammeter (Friend) on: May 12, 2014

  • Uncle Gord will always have a special place in my heart. My earliest memories were visits to Warerloo St to see my cousins and to root through the Blue Bomber treasures that Uncle Gord had in the basement. Gordie was also the go to healer of my injuries, ranging from facial road rash from falling off my cousin's handlebars, separated shoulder, countless sprained ankles and pulled hamstrings. As a fourteen year old, the greatest treat was to go to the U of M and share whirpool time with the occasional Bisonette. Gord you showed me how to curve a stick using the stove and a pot (never a favorite of my mother's!), created my mouthguards and gave me my first and only boxing lesson. You gave me a saying I've kept for the rest of my days and have passed on to every employee I've ever had (at least once, usually until they beat me to it). "You can't learn how to box from a book". Gordie I've got all the treasures you were kind enough to bestow upon me from Cali, Munich, Team Canada and many others. I got to share "a little rum" during the great flood of 96 and an afternoon at the Pembina. The last time I saw you at Hollie's a couple of summers ago you said that you had been "very fortunate" to live a long and healthy life. Uncle Gord, I think we were all very fortunate. - Posted by: Rob Willox (Nefew) on: May 08, 2014

  • I remeber when I broke my collar bone in junior high in gym. I got home from emergency and Bonnie and her Dad came down to our house. They sat down, he had his arm on the back of the couch, and as we chatted about my clumsiness he reached over and pushed on my shoulder I looked at him and he said "needed to do that dear as it wasnt in the right place" as he said with his awesome smile. Thoughts and Prayers are with all of you at Mackies at this time of sorrow. - Posted by: Carolyn (Veitch) Perreault (Friend) on: May 08, 2014

  • I was introduced to Gordie in my high school days and that is when I discovered how giving he was when he worked out of the beginnings of the Pan AM clinic in the dark corners of the Pan AM pool. Once at University Gord would always make time for me and the other Bison athletes. I enjoyed listening to him and Pat Gill share stories when on road trips. I watched him develop so many young athletic trainers like Alice, Mike and Ruth. It was always nice to talk to Craig about his Dad as it brought back fond memories of being hurt or injured and you knew that you would recover because of Gord Mackie and the people he mentored. - Posted by: Demetro Danyluk (Bison Football) on: May 08, 2014

  • My deepest sympathies to Bonnie and all of Gord's family. I had the pleasure of meeting Gord through Bonnie many years ago for lunch at the Olive Garden. I smile as I remember the day, and other meetings we had over the years. My love to you all. - Posted by: Sheila Tomlinson (Family Friend) on: May 08, 2014

  • Gord was revered in the sports physiotherapy community and a true legend albeit a very humble one. We all heard about his talents from athletes, coaches and his patients. He was our "trailblazer" in the early years of sports medicine in this province. I first met Gord personally about 20 years ago when out of the blue he called me up to treat an elbow injury of his! I remember how nervous I was when I thought of the fact that I was going to have to treat Gord Mackie! Gord's easy going manner made our first meeting very comfortable and he was so appreciative of the help I could provide him. We became good friends after that day. Gord would call me from time to time to refer a patient to me and I felt honored that he had that confidence in me to send someone my way. I don't know if I had the same "magic touch" that Gord had that so many people refer to but I think what I learned from my interactions with Gord besides the hands-on techniques was how far listening and caring could go to help someone in the course of their rehab. Gord was a great listener and genuinely cared a great deal about the people he looked after. We were so fortunate to have Gord Mackie here in Manitoba passing on his knowledge and skill to the rest of us who chose to follow in his footsteps. He was a true inspiration to many and I think he is why we have such a strong and thriving sports medicine community here. This will be one of his many legacies to us and for that I thank you Gord for your mentorship and friendship. We will miss you lots. - Posted by: Sam Steinfeld (Friend/Colleague) on: May 08, 2014

  • Gord Mackie will forever be remembered as a generous man who gave us our profession and continued to give back to the Athletic Therapy program. His legacy will live on. Thank you Gord for having a vision for this wonderful profession that I am so blessed to be a part of. - Posted by: Tracey Nyczai (U of M Athletic Therapy Centre Director) on: May 07, 2014

  • When we first came to Canada we lived across the street from the Mackie family on Oak St. When I was student manager for the U of M men's basketball team in the 80's Gord was an valuable resource. He taught me how to tape ankles in case I needed to when we went on road trips and didn't take a trainer along. He always had time for you and was interested in your life. A great man who will be missed and his legacy with sports teams throughout Manitoba will carry forth. - Posted by: Andrew Stambrook (friend/neighbour) on: May 07, 2014

  • I met Gordie in the fall of 1972 when he invited students to work as 'trainers' with the UM Bison sports teams. For 2 years, several students had the privilege of working with him and realized that he was a great friend and an excellent role model for those who would aspire to enter a profession of giving. Gord Mackie gave so much of himself so that others could pursue their goals in sport and in life. I had the good fortune to follow in his hallowed foot steps and, like so many others who have been touched by a master, have tried to emulate his outstanding work. Gordie, thank you for your patience and guidance; I will miss you. - Posted by: Steve Dzubinski (friend/student) on: May 06, 2014

  • Gord was a fine gentleman with a kind heart. I first met Gord while playing football at the U of M. He took care of all our aches and pains. He was soft spoken and had lots of stories to tell. My next experience with Gord was when I was playing soccer. I had the misfortune of tearing all the ligaments in my ankle 6 weeks before the season. I was in a cast and told by the doctor that I wouldn't be ready for the soccer season. I really wanted to play so I contacted Gord to see if he could help. To my surprise he saw me every day for six weeks leading up to the season and I was ready to play. My Dad had back problems and visited many specialists but the only person who could help him was Gord. He had my Dad visit him at his home and placed him in traction for treatment that worked, thank you Gord. Perhaps my most memorable story of Gord occurred while playing soccer in Bermuda. Gord was the team trainer (as we call it in soccer). During one of the games I pulled my hamstring, big problem with 2 games left to play. Once again Gord worked his magic and had me playing again much to the surprise of the opposition. They wanted to know how he did it so they invited him to appear on their National TV Network. I do believe that after this interview Gord was looked upon as a person with magical powers. They even tried to convince him to stay in Bermuda. What great memories I have of you Gord. I will miss our occasional meetings but I will always remember you. I regret that I will be unable to attend the Celebration of Life due to a previous commitment. I know that there will be many great Gord Mackie Stories shared. - Posted by: Walt McKee (Friend) on: May 06, 2014

  • Gordie and I knew each other since I was a little boy. Gordie was the trainer to several of the hockey teams my father, Danny Summers played for. My Dad and Gordie were great friends in and out of the rink. I saw Gordie regularly when he was Head Therapist at the University of Manitoba....always exceedingly helpful, always super positive and fun. A couple of years ago, I sat next to Gordie as the Winnipeg Warriors were being inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. It was a memorable evening..one I will hold in very high regard for the rest of my life. Old school..real school. A real Warrior...a true gentleman. Gordie and I last talked several months ago. As usual, he spoke of how he revered and loved my father, and spoke very kind things about myself. Thank you for a wonderful life of making the world a better place Gordie. You were a terrific human being..one of Manitoba's greatest. We love you and will miss you greatly. - Posted by: Cole Summers (Close friend) on: May 06, 2014

  • I was saddened to hear of Gord's passing, but at the same time happy to have had the opportunity to have studied under such an amazing man / mentor. Not a hockey season goes by that I do not use some of the skills that were taught to me at the U of M, by such a gracious, humble man named Gord Mackie. He took the time to show a student some of the tricks of the trade and they have since been shown to many more Athletic Therapists and I have always made sure to give him full credit for the skill set I was able to demonstrate. Thank you Gord for all you have given this world and thank you to your family for sharing you with all of us. Jim "Rammer" Ramsay (friend / student) - Posted by: Jim Ramsay (Athletic Therapy Student UofM, ) on: May 06, 2014

  • Gord was the original "nice guy" who was always there with a smile. The Manitoba sport community will miss him. I feel very fortunate to have known him. My sympathies to his family in these tough times. - Posted by: Ross Wedlake (Friend) on: May 06, 2014

  • From the moment I first met Gordie and he began to care for my knee I was inspired. I switched faculties into Physical Education and tried to learn everything I could about Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries with him as my mentor. My life, as the lives of thousands of others, was changed for the better. I am grateful every day. From one Winnipeg Warriors Trainer (ahem, Athletic Therapist) to the best they ever had, Thanks, Big Guy. Much love, Doc. Prayers and warmest thoughts to the family as they celebrate his life. And what a life it was! - Posted by: Howard Skrypnyk (Student and friend) on: May 06, 2014

  • Gordie was an amazing man. In addition to all else he was doing, he also managed to find time to help tend to the Winnipeg Scottish. This is how my dad, Ernie White met him. They had a lifelong friendship and shared many things, including boxing and a birthday, I see. There were numerous times over the years that I ended up with various injuries. Dad would phone his friend for an appointment for me. Gordie always made time for us, either at the University or at his home and without exception I was up and running after his marvelous treatment. My sincere condolences to you, his family and to all of the people who will be missing this lovely man. - Posted by: Heather White (Friend/Patient) on: May 06, 2014

  • Margo, Craig, Heather, Holly & Bonny - Gord was a true and loyal friend to both my Mom and Dad throughout their lives. I feel blessed to have known him. He will be missed but I like to think he and Dad will be "grooving" together again. Thinking of you all. - Posted by: Connie Burnett Alton (Family friend) on: May 05, 2014

  • Dear Margo I was so sorry to hear of Gordon's passing. My sympathies to you and your family. I guess the last few years have been very hard on your family to see his health failing. I had often thought of phoning you and although I have not attended our support group meeting I missed seeing all our former members. The people who now attend are mostly younger than you and I and it is not the same. I hope you are keeping well. Keep in touch as us widows must stay in touch. It has been 7 years since Bob passed and time never gets much easier. Only the memories and my son keeps me going. Take care and phone if you need someone to talk to. I sold my house and now live in an apartment. - Posted by: Doreen Amadatsu () on: May 04, 2014

  • Word of Gordie's passing was sent to me in Regina today. Gord helped me lay my foundation in Athletic Therapy. We both were part of the Medical Team to the Pan American games in Cali Columbia and Mexico City. Had a great time with my mentor Gordie, as we navigated these placed and cared for the athletes. Gord support my time with the Winnipeg Blue Bomber's in the 70s and taught me many sports medicine techniques. He was a great friend with a great listening capacity and wisdom. Although we have not connected much over the past number of years your memories of our time together provide me with much joy and satisfaction. Thanks Gord for all of this...Miss you bud.... - Posted by: Doug Calder (Friend, colleague, and mentor) on: May 04, 2014

  • Gord lived his life caring for others. So many were able to call him his friend because he reached out to them. Those that admired him, he reached out to as well. He had a magic that was very special, and it was because he gave it freely to anyone, without reservation, but with the sincere hope that they would feel good about themselves. That is how he made them well. Thanks ol' buddy.... - Posted by: Jim Norris (friend) on: May 03, 2014

  • Every person should be blessed with someone who comes along and forever changes your life and gives you direction. I am one such person and Gord was that influence for which I will be forever grateful. Your legacy will live on. Thank You. - Posted by: Glen Bergeron (Friend/student) on: May 03, 2014

  • It truly was an honour to have known you the angels are in good hands r.i.p. - Posted by: jack whelpton (friend client) on: May 03, 2014

  • Thanks Gordie for your all you are and for all you've done... and lastly for being such a good role model human being. Rest in peace. - Posted by: Jim Lake Vallee (Student - Friend - admirer - client) on: May 03, 2014

  • Gord was a true friend and perfect gentleman. It was always a pleasure to see his smiling face at Rockwood 303. We will miss you Gord especially on Thursday afternoons. - Posted by: Rosie Towers (Friend) on: May 03, 2014

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