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Gordon Burnett

BURNETT, Gordon - (May, 1920 - April, 2015): Prominent broadcast pioneer Gordon Burnett passed away peacefully early April 25 at the St. Catharines General hospital. He is survived by his loving children, Wayne and Michele-Elise and grandchildren, Zander and William. Born in Guelph, Gordon, with younger brother Russ, was the son of Stan and Florence Burnett. Raised in North Bay, he became that town's youngest alderman and leading soloist in the Baptist church. He met and married Doris Washburn with whom he had 2 sons, Wayne and Lee and served overseas with distinction flying Lancaster bombers in Algeria during WWII. Starting his career as an announcer at CKFH, Gordon rose quickly through the Roy Thompson chain of radio stations throughout Northern Ontario. In 1955, he was invited to establish the first radio station in the West Indies, in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After successfully building Radio Guardian there, he applied and was granted a licence in 1957 to build Radio station C-HOW in Welland. C-HOW went on to become an important presence in Welland and area and Gordon contributed greatly with his commitment to public service becoming a mentor to many. In 1960, he met and later married his second wife, Suzanne Rochon, with whom he had daughter Michele-Elise. Gordon was innovative, creative and convivial. When C-HOW turned country in 1975, he began his famous Jamboree concerts at the Welland fairgrounds introducing and promoting many country artists like Ronnie Hawkins and Carol Baker and guided Shania Twain early in her career. An architect of the Canadian Country Music Association, he became its president from 1981-1983 and was inducted along with Tommy Hunter, into the CCMA as builder in 1992. Always curious, Gordon constantly looked for new challenges and lived a colourful and adventurous life. He is deeply missed but comforting us is the fact that he chose the life he wanted to live and did so to the full, a life filled with achievement and love. To celebrate the wonderful life that Gordon treasured, please join his family the BUTLER FUNERAL HOME , 424 Niagara St., St. Catharines ON, Monday, May 11, 2015 between 7 and 9pm. BUTLER (905) 646-6322.12928651
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Condolences(5)
My Sincere Condolences
Posted by Dennis Barch (Family Friend) On Sunday, January 8, 2017
I was blessed to grow up with Michele-Elise (George) and the Burnett Family for years. I have fond memories of C-HOW Radio's Fanfare party; a yearly celebration at the family's home in St. Catharines, and meeting all the Country singers. My condolences go out to my special friend Michele Elise. May Gordon's unforgettable, and unique soul, soar forever.
My Sincere Condolences
Posted by Dennis Barch (Family Friend) On Sunday, January 8, 2017
I was blessed to grow up with Michele-Elise (George) and the Burnett Family for years. I have fond memories of C-HOW Radio's Fanfare party; a yearly celebration at the family's home in St. Catharines, and meeting all the Country singers. My condolences go out to my special friend Michele Elise. May Gordon's unforgettable, and unique soul, soar forever.
Condolences...
Posted by steve kelley (Former Employee) On Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Suzanne and Michele-Elise...I was shocked to hear of this news. I just found out today. I started at C-HOW in the Wayne Ens, Bob Privett era in the mid-80's and to say that Gord was great to work and learn from would be an understatement. Certainly shocked to hear of his passing, but I know he lived life to the fullest...all the best to you all!!
great memories
Posted by vic phillips (friend) On Monday, May 18, 2015
Gord welcomed me into broadcasting in the 1950's in Kirkland Lake. We became friends as we worked throughout the North with Thomson broadcasting, and recently laughed away an evening with old cronies at a radio club in Richmond Hill. He was a fun guy with great stories and was in the radio biz when it was a hoot every day.
Deepest sympathies
Posted by Richard Zeliznak (Family friend) On Monday, May 11, 2015
Saddened to hear of Gordon's passing and pleased to have gotten to spend time in his and Suzanne's company some years ago. May he rest in peace.

Richard & Nijole Zeliznak


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