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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My sincerest sympathies on the loss of this sweet man although I only knew him for a short time he was such an inspiration and how incredibly loved he was by his family. From: Kim Hines 4A
Love to all, Carol MacNeil (Johnston) and son, David
Boo it's Cooge, I will miss you and keep you in my heart and thoughts.
From: Alex Gillis
Dear Maxner family: Dave and I would like to pass on our condolences to the family on Boo's passing. We knew Boo for a very long time and liked him very much. Time passes so fast but I wanted you to know how sad we were to hear about his loss. Life is sometimes so cruel and we just don't know what God's plans are for us, but I believe he is in a better place and will never suffer again. I always knew Theresa and Margaret-Anne and Art and my heart goes out to you and all your family. We will keep you all in our prayers and thoughts–God Bless you all—Sookie (Nichols) and Dave LeBlanc
John and Family: Please accept our most sincere condolences for the loss of your brother. In reading his obituary, he certainly was a very caring and humble gentleman. He truly will be missed by all. We hold you safe in our hearts at this time of sadness.
From: Gary and Arlene Peach
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my first cousin Gerard. Although it has many years since I've seen Gerard, I have happy memories of my time with him at Nana Jewell's. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
From: Tim LeVatte
May you find peace in love in the memories you cherish. With heartfelt condolences.
From: NSTSA Board of Directors and Staff
VERY SORRY TO LEARN OF GERARD'S PASSING. WE KNOW THAT THE MAXNER FAMILY IS A VERY CARING ONE AND WILL MISS HIM DEARLY. OUR HEARTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT YO ALL OF YOU. SORRY WE ARE NOT CLOSER TO OFFER OUR SUPPORT.
From: MAURICE & ELIZABETH FLEET
My thoughts and prayers go out to you all at this time.
From: Bernadette Holland(Fleet)
Gerard's brothers and sisters and extended family. So sorry to learn of Gerard's death. Gerard's cousin – Gayle LeVatte
John, Yvonne and Family: May fond memories of Gerard bring you comfort during this difficult time. Look back on all the good memories you have had and smile at the fact that you were able to share these special times with him. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family.
From: Linda and Garry Alderdice
Dear Maxner Cousins, We are so truly saddened to learn of Gerard's passing. A wonderful human being and precious gift. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Sincerest sympathy.
From: Pam LeVatte Bouchard and Family.