Charles Gregory Hall – February 1, 1932 to February 3, 2018
Charles Gregory (“Greg”) Hall passed away peacefully at Victoria Village in Barrie on February 3, 2018, as a result of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 86 years old and, in his own words, he had lived a very full, rewarding and wonderful life.
Greg was born in Saskatoon in 1932 to James and Beulah (Strongest) Hall. The Halls were descendants of Irish immigrants from County Tyrone, Ireland, who first settled in St. Colomban (Que) and eventually in Saskatoon.
Greg had four siblings, all of whom still reside in Saskatchewan: Marilyn, Sharon, Jim and Patrick. Being the oldest, Greg was fondly looked upon by his brothers and sisters as their big, responsible older brother who dutifully looked out for and protected them.
Greg attended Campion College in Regina and started at the Ford Motor Company in 1952, where he worked for 37 years. At the bus stop on his way to work, he took notice of a beautiful Agnes (“Gussie”) Lenore Benko, beginning a love affair lasting 68 years.
Greg and Gussie were married on August 17, 1954 and their 3 children, Warren (Val), Joanne (Jamie) and Bruce (Anne Elise) were all born in Regina. Greg’s work ethic at Ford meant promotions and transfers to Winnipeg and then Brampton. Many long-lasting friendships developed with neighbours from Regina, Winnipeg, Brampton and Barrie.
In 1993, Greg and Gussie moved to Barrie to be close to their grandson Kelly (Gallacher). They settled across from Sunnidale Park, where they spent time with their 3 grandchildren Kelly (Joanne) and Owen and Gwyneth (Bruce and Anne Elise). Greg volunteered with the Barrie Horticultural Society to maintain the park’s expansive gardens and landscape.
Greg was a life-long outdoorsman and loved many kinds of exercise, physical activity and sports, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, skiing, tennis and golf. He was lucky enough to beat the 12,500 to 1 odds and score a hole-in-one in golf. Greg was fortunate to have retired early at the age of 55, allowing many years of good health, outdoor and social activities, volunteering and travel before his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.
During retirement, Greg and Gussie enjoyed many wonderful trips together, including the opportunity to visit Portugal, England, Bermuda, Barbados, Florida and many trips out west to visit family and friends. Greg and Gussie volunteered with Meals on Wheels and spent time at the Parkview Seniors Centre.
Gussie suffered from renal failure in 1997, requiring a long hospital stay and period of recovery. Her fierce determination and strong spirit allowed her to overcome the illness. During this period, Greg provided unwavering support, staying by her side, advocating for her care and treatment and driving to Orillia for multiple hospital visits each week.
In 2004, Greg and Gussie moved from Sunnidale Road to the Roxborough condominium and enjoyed living in Downtown Barrie near the waterfront, parks, activities and shops and restaurants, including Greg’s favourite Mango Chicken at the Royal Thai restaurant.
Gussie, having regained much of her strength and vitality, was able to reciprocate and faithfully looked after Greg and his increasing physical challenges associated with Parkinson’s until he moved into Victoria Village in 2012.
Greg’s time at Victoria Village was surrounded by staff and volunteers who developed an affection for him and always had his best interests in mind. Greg was very brave and accepting of his diagnosis. He always remained positive despite his declining health and mounting challenges and he rarely complained about his condition.
Greg’s attributes and values in life, love, friendships, work and his interests and hobbies were deeply engrained, notably his being a devoted, faithful, honest, kind, and generous person to those around him. He was an extremely hard-working, confident, determined and patient person in both life and business, highly inquisitive in nature and methodical in the way he approached almost everything he did. This was reflected in the many pieces of finely crafted wood furniture he built, his photography and landscaping projects.
Greg was a clever person and loved a challenge in building or fixing something. He would think about it endlessly and research it tirelessly, collect the right tools or parts, reverse engineer it and when it was all said and done, you knew it would last forever. However, he was a perfectionist and he sometimes kept at it until he got it exactly the way he wanted it. It would be hard to imagine if he’d had access to the internet.
Greg didn’t necessarily know or realize it, but he was a great teacher and had a profound influence on his kids, grandkids and siblings. He was a great teacher, not only because he often told or instructed us how to do things, but in that he also showed us by example.
Greg show us by example how to be a great and loving husband, father, son, brother and grand-father and an all-around good, caring, generous and principled person. He also showed us, again by example, how to be hard-working, patient, confident and successful. Greg imparted much of his being and values onto us and we are imprinted with his DNA, therefore these lessons will be taught and lived every day whether we realize it or not.
Our family would like to thank all of Greg’s and Gussie’s family and friends who were an important part of his long and amazing life. We also thank all of the staff at Victoria Village who have diligently cared for him with compassion and grace, especially in his last few weeks.
A celebration of Greg’s life will take place during the spring in Sunnidale Park in Barrie and details will be provided at a later date. No flowers please, only condolences and best wishes left on this website are appreciated. If you feel inclined to make a donation in Greg’s honour, please do so through Parkinson Canada.