OBITUARY

Gordon Cornelis Witteveen

May 19, 1934December 16, 2010

Witteveen, Gordon Cornelis (1934-2010)

Gordon Witteveen, iconic golf course superintendent, mentor, author, family man Passed away December 16 in Southlake Hospital in Newmarket, Ontario of complications arising from chronic leukemia. He was 76. Born in the Netherlands, Gordon emigrated to Canada at age 20 and, notwithstanding the fact that his English was rudimentary, he enrolled in the Ontario Agricultural College (now the University of Guelph), and with encouragement from his brother and sister, and by working during summers he graduated from a program in horticulture in 1958. He became superintendent at London Highlands Country Club. Three years later he moved to Toronto to embark on a 12-year tenure as superintendent at the now defunct Northwood Golf Course. In 1973 he became superintendent at the 36-hole Toronto Board of Trade Country Club, which he expanded to 45 holes a few years later. He was active with the Ontario Suprintendents Association and helped found the Canadian Golf Course Superintendents Association. He also served as a director of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and on its historical preservation committee. A frequent contributor to industry publications, he received awards and accolades for his writings, initiated The Greenmaster magazine and served as its editor for five years. Gordon co-authored a book titled Practical Golf Course Maintenance which is in its second printing, has been translated into Spanish, and serves as a textbook for several college golf course maintenance programs. A seminar based on the book, The Magic of Greenkeeping, has been presented all over North and South America and beyond He also wrote two books on golf course management history, as well as family history books. He tried his hand at golf course architecture and designed several successful courses still in operation today. Upon retiring from the Board of Trade in 199, Gordon, with his brother Harry, re-opened a dormant 9-hole golf course (Pleasant View Golf Course)which he had laid out years before near Brantford and owned/operated it until its sale in 2008. A world traveler who visited and played golf courses all over the globe, Gordon often spoke to superintendent groups with presentations together with his friend and colleague, Michael Bavier of Chicago. He was a lecturer of golf course maintenance courses at local colleges for several years. In 1995 Gordon and his then-assistant Corey Jansen became involved in a website, Turfnet, actively participating in a forum dialog, dispensing advice, opinions and experiences. He wrote a column, The Last Word for six years and most recently contributed a blog, The Way I See It. As an accomplished career superintendent, author, teacher and lecturer, Gordon felt his most lasting and greatest achievement in the golf industry was the many young men and women he mentored as assistants or employees who have followed in his footsteps and call him guru. Over thirty of Canada’s finest superintendents worked for Gordon and currently look after some of the best courses in Canada. He is mourned by his family: his spouse of twenty years,Marilyn; his brothers Harry of Brantford, John of Orangeville, and sister Katherine of Cambridge; his children Ann of South Africa, Sidney of Alma, and Margaret of Guelph; stepsons Andrew of Seattle and Geoffrey of Sydney, N.S., and stepdaughter, Janna of Australia; grandchildren Riley and Katie of Guelph; step-grandchildren Aidan, Sophie and Morgan of Nova Scotia, Callum and Taten of Seattle, and Josie of Australia. He will be missed by many friends and colleagues as an unforgettable influence in their lives. A private funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 22 at Thompson Funeral Home, 530 Industrial Parkway South, Aurora (905 727-5421), visitation at 10 a.m., funeral at 11 a.m., with reception to follow. A memorial service is planned for after the holidays. Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would be appreciated by the family.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Memories

Gordon Cornelis Witteveen

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M.I. SCHAAP

February 2, 2011

Dear Marilyn, Wat een grote schrik te horen van je dat Gordon - Corrie is overleden. Hij vertelde wel dat hij leukemie had.Wat hebben we jaren leukj met elkaar gemaild.Ik keek er altijd naar uit.En daarom ook zo vreemd dat ik zo'n tijd niets van hem hoorde.De reden is mij nu bekend. Lieve Marilyn nogmaals heel heel veel sterkte en een dikke kus van nicht Ria

Ria Schaap-Popma

February 2, 2011

Dear Marilyn. Zoals ik je al mailde, was het toch een grote schrik voor mij dat mijn neef Gordon - Corrie is overleden. we mailden heel gezellig , sinds de Hiemstra dag in Bolsward.Nogmaals wens ik jou en de kinderen en kleinkinderen heel veel sterkte. Een hartelijke groet Ria dochter van Titia Popma - Hiemstra ( zus van de moeder van Gordon.)

Jan en Marijke Mulder-Nota

January 12, 2011

Dierbare Marilyn en Ann en familie

Wij willen jullie nog condoleren met het overlijden van onze neef Corrie (Gordon). Van Tiny hebben wij dit adres ontvangen en kunnen zo ons medeleven tonen. Wij herinneren jullie van de laatste en enige ontmoeting in Bolsward bij de Hiemstra-familiedag, Dat is dit jaar al weer 10 jaar geleden.
Ook had ik af en toe met Gordon via de mail contact. Zijn boekje waarin hij over zijn leven en de familie schrijft, heb ik via mijn nicht Ria ontvangen. Maar dat heb ik al gemaild.
Op 13 december was ik de voorganger in de Vitus kerk in Blauwhuis. Gordon had geregeld dat de misintentie die dag was voor Sidonius en Riek Witteveen-Hiemstra. Cis en Rita ( de dochters van Herman) waren ook in de kerk.
Voor zijn ziekte hebben we in stilte met een kaars gebeden.
Tijdens de kerstnachtviering heb ik bij de intenties in Sneek zijn naam genoemd.
Nu neemt hij een stille plaats in bij jullie met dierbare herinneringen in jullie hart, maar ook bij ons.
Wij wensen jullie veel sterket toe met elkaar.
Een warme groet en liefs uit Fryslan, Sneek van jullie neef Jan Mulder en zijn vrouw Marijke Mulder-Nota (zoon van tante Yfke en oom Hendrik)

ps hopelijk wordt het allemaal vertaald.

Dorothy Hills

January 6, 2011

Dear Marilyn and Family,
I am saddened by your loss and ours. Gordon befriended me as a newcommer to the golf industry 12 years ago and I will truly miss our chats and visits. He was an inspiration to many!

January 3, 2011

Dear Marilyn and family;
Our sincere sympathies to you and your family. I'm sure that Gordon and Mom are having a good chat and thinking of us all down here.
Sincerely,
Sibbel and Glenn and family. Barrington, Illinois

January 2, 2011

Gordon Witteveen will be missed but never forgotten
His legacy will live on for generations.
My sincerest condolences to the family & his friends

Christopher Kane, Victoria BC

auriclelawns@gmail.com

January 2, 2011

Dear Marilyn and Family,

We were saddened to learn of Gord's passing. We all have very fond memories of Gord and the contributions he made as a member of the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club Executive and as a Hike Leader for our club's hiking programme.

Marilyn, you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Linda Murray, President
Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club

Harold Crawford

December 31, 2010

My sincere condolences to the Witteveen family. Gordon always kept the Horticulture class of '58 O.A.C. entertained with his wit. It has been a pleasure to see him from time to time over the years. His accomplishments leave a great legacy to the turf grass industry.

December 29, 2010

Dear Marilyn, Ann, Margaret and Sid
Reading these messages give me a good feeling of the amazing man Gordon was. It sounds like he had time for everyone and always with a smile and kind word. He was a generous man in all ways. The candle is for mom, she would light a candle when someone needed prayers. We will miss him.
Our condolences and thoughts are with you,
Love Piet Bouwhuis, Dora and Peter

Larry Sherk

December 25, 2010

Great clasmate in horticulture at O.A.C. and always free with his compliments and interest in where your career was going. Will be missed. Condolences to the Witteveen family.

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