MUIRHEAD, G. George - George Muirhead died very peacefully on the evening of January 11, 2018 after a brief illness.
He was in his 102nd year, and the 75th year of his marriage to his beloved wife, Audrey, who mourns the loss of a wonderful husband.
His children were delighted to find the following among his well-documented preparations:
“Born in Toronto May 8, 1916, died in Kingston on ____ at the age of__. Survived by Audrey, his wife of _______ years, children Ross of Vancouver, Ann (Jamie) of Toronto, Barbara of Kingston, Donald (Deborah) of Kelowna; grandchildren Robert, Alex, Leah, Kristina, Ross, Daniel, Helena; great grandchild Sydney...
Prior to World War II he lived and was educated in Toronto. In 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery and served in Canada, England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 1943 Audrey and George had a military wedding in Sussex, N.B.
After the war he completed his high school education and graduated from Trinity College and the School of Social Work at the University of Toronto. On a CMHC fellowship he then enrolled in the first Town & Regional Planning course at the U of T.
In 1952 he began his professional planning career with Dryden & Smith, Planning Consultants in Kitchener: In 1955 he became the Planning Officer for the City of Kingston and in 1963 Director of Planning for the Township (later Borough) of Etobicoke in Metropolitan Toronto. He was also appointed to the Ontario Environmental Appeal Board as one of their first members. In 1970 he returned to Kingston as Director of Planning & Urban Renewal, and retired from City employment in 1980.
In 1960 he co-authored with Prof. Gordon Stephenson, U of T Planning School, a “Planning Study for Kingston”. This study, which was financed by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, was the first comprehensive planning study of Kingston and region and prepared the groundwork for many civic programs in ensuing years, e.g., redevelopment of Rideau Heights, removal of substandard housing, neighbourhood improvements in old parts of the city including new parks and the Artillery Park recreation complex, historic building preservation (especially in old Sydenham Ward), central business district and waterfront improvement.
Upon retirement he established a planning consultant service and for nine years, as an adjunct professor, taught planning to civil engineering students at Queen’s University.
In 1972 he was one of the founding members of the Frontenac Heritage Foundation, a group of citizens dedicated to the preservation of the architectural heritage of Kingston and Frontenac County. In 2005 he received the Gabrielle Leger Award from the Heritage Canada Foundation for services in the field of heritage conservation.
George enjoyed his planning career and life with his family. He participated in many recreational sports at various times including tennis, badminton, hiking, canoeing, camping, skiing, sailing and gardening. In 1941 he was a member of the Toronto Boulevard Club crew which won the one-mile war canoe Dominion Championship. Music was also an important part of his life. At the University of Toronto he sang with Hart House Glee Club and in church choirs in Kitchener and Kingston. Later he played tenor recorder with the Kingston Consort and recently struggled with the electronic keyboard.
He departs from this life feeling that he had been fortunate in entering the planning profession which gave him opportunities to serve many communities. Above all, he felt that he had been blessed with a wonderful wife and family.”
George told a story about the irony of an obituary saying someone had died “unexpectedly” at age 104. He had evidently prepared his obituary well in advance, before the birth of his great grandchildren Alanna and Harrison and before he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Arrangements are entrusted to Robert J. Reid & Sons, “The Chapel on the Corner”, 309 Johnson Street, Kingston. The funeral service will be held at St. George’s Cathedral, 270 King Street East, Kingston on Friday January 19th. Please visit the funeral home's website as the time will be posted once available.