Greater Sudbury loses a mining legend, community activist – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – January 11, 2019)

Smiley is gone, but not forgotten. Sudbury lost a beloved father and husband recently, when Gord Slade passed away this week.

“Some of my earliest and most vivid memories were him taking us out into the bush — teaching us how to hunt, how to fish, teaching us all about nature,” son Fred Slade said Thursday. “He grew up in the bush, in northern Manitoba during the Depression.”

Born on Feb. 12, 1929, in Swan River, Man., Slade was one of 11 children. Most have passed away, but he is survived by his brother Johnny. Slade said growing up, they “lived off the land.” “They were 10 miles from the nearest town, on the side of the railroad tracks,” Slade said. In fact, the family’s homestead was so remote, Gord was homeschooled until he was 10 years old.

“They sent the lessons on the train,” Slade said. “Everything in his life depended on the train. They literally lived on the side of the railroad tracks. His father was a section foreman and was responsible for 10 miles of railroad in northern Manitoba, just south of Flin Flon.”

Gord married Pat Thompson in July 1954 and together they raised three children. Pat is still living at Red Oak Villa on Ste. Anne Road. He was also a grandfather to four grandchildren, and great grandfather to one, baby George.

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