It is with great sadness and broken hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved brother, uncle and great-uncle after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Gerard, age 59, passed away on Friday, January 13, 2017 at the An Cala Palliative Care Unit, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, surrounded by his loving family.
Gerard was born November 21, 1957 to the late George Osborne Maxner and Elizabeth Margaret (Jewell) Maxner.
Gerard is survived by brothers, Berwick (Lois), Moncton, NB, Art (Thelma), Sydney, Victor (Joyce), Sydney, Gary (Shirley), Halifax and John (Yvonne), Glace Bay; sisters, Theresa Hiscock, Sydney, Eleanor Kennett (Richard), Barrie, ON, Rose Maxner, Moncton, NB and Margaret Anne Maxner-Peddle (Kevin), Albert Bridge, NS. ‘Uncle Boo’ (as he was affectionately known to family and close personal friends) is also survived by many nieces and nephews who held a special place in his heart. Gerard also leaves to mourn a special lifelong friend, Louise Leblanc, who comforted Gerard and family with smiles, hugs, memories of years gone by and photos seen by family for the first time.
Besides his parents, Gerard was preceded by his brother, Bernard and nephew, Robert Maxner, both from Moncton, NB; nephew, Arthur Douglas Maxner; niece, baby Maxner and brother-in-law, Clayton Hiscock.
Gerard graduated from Sydney Academy in 1976 with distinction and from the College of Cape Breton in 1977 with an Arts Certificate. His greatest educational achievement was obtaining his Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Political Science and History from UCCB in 1992.
In 1980 Gerard started working with Sysco in the coke ovens department for one year; he then went on to work for Sysco on various grants (i.e. building the Police Boys Club, the New Victoria Fire Hall, the Ukrainian Park in Whitney Pier). Gerard took industrial mechanics and carpenters course with Steel Workers Union.
Gerard had to retire early on in his life, due to mental health issues and used this as a stepping stone to become an advocate for better services and programs for those suffering with mental health and other challenges in their day to day lives. Gerard joined Crossroads in 1997, where he made many lifelong friends, whom he had the highest respect for. This was clearly evident during his stay in hospital, when he was visited by both friends and staff members, who thought so much of Gerard. To find out more about Crossroads and Gerard’s story go to: http://www.crossroadscapebreton.ca/Sept%20pass.pdf
Gerard enjoyed playing hockey, baseball and floor hockey in his youth, and coached at the midget level in hockey in his early twenties. He was a diehard Toronto Maple Leaf and Blue Jays fan, whose earliest memories are of the Leafs winning the cup in 1967 when he was 10 years old and the hope that they win again in 2017 the 50th
Anniversary of their last win!! Gerard had his photo taken with the Stanley Cup, during his stay in hospital, where he had the opportunity to read the names of the 1967 Stanley Cup Winners (Priceless).
Gerard was a loving and kind natured person, who gave freely of his time and skills to many projects and renovations, his quick wit and sense of humour made these times extra special for both family and friends.
The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to doctors and nurses of unit 4A for their compassion and care and to the Hospice Palliative Care Team, especially the An Cala Palliative Care Unit who welcomed Gerard and the family with a level of care and compassion that can only be described as ‘Incredible’ Thank you so much.
A Celebration of Gerard’s life will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. at the Pier Community Funeral Home, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street). Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Holy Redeemer Church, Whitney Pier, with Fr. Paul Murphy officiating. Following the Mass, light refreshments will be held in the funeral home reception area. Interment will take late in late spring of 2017 in Forest Haven Memorial Gardens, Sydney.
Family flowers only, donations may be made in Gerard’s memory to the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County or a charity of your choice.
Funeral Arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.
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