Gordon John Kitch Packer died May 13, 2010. He was born Feb. 25, 1940 in Wellington, New Zealand to Jack and Joyce Packer. His mother died when he was 4 and his father remarried 2 years later. Gordon studied in Wellington and attended university in Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand, earning a BSc in Chemistry and a BE (Hons) in Chemical Engineering in 1963. He was awarded a PhD in Food Technology from Massey University, New Zealand in 1968. Gordon was appointed to the University of Alberta to teach engineering of food processing. While in Edmonton, he met and married Jean Mark, a survivor of the 1953 polio epidemic. In Nov. 1974, they moved to Vauxhall, Alta., where Gordon was manager of quality control and research at Vauxhall Foods (now Agristar). Jean died in 1992. In 2001, Gordon married Connie Clark, a friend of Jean’s – also a polio epidemic survivor. Connie died in 2007. Gordon had an inventive mind and technical skills to match. He saw problems as challenges to be solved. He enjoyed travelling by plane, van, and bicycle across New Zealand and North America. Gordon had many “adopted” children, including the children of Nathan and Kim Born, Jorge and Susana Elias, and Nicole and Ed Richard. Gordon was a member of Vauxhall Mennonite Brethren Church, where he served in boys’ club and the quiz team. The driving force in his life was his love of his Lord, and he lived it out in service to his community.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.