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Richard Gagnon
November 19, 1949 - January 31, 2017
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<div itemprop="description">Richard (Rick) Gagnon passed away peacefully with his sister at his side on the morning of January 31, 2017. He had recently been admitted into palliative care at Ottawa General Hospital after a long bout with cancer. <br>Richard was born in Edmonton on November 19, 1949. He is survived by Holly, his wife of 35 years, and his children Nicole and Michelle, all of Ottawa; his loving sister Colette of Vancouver, BC; brother-in-law Ben (Mary) Schoo of Aylmer, QC; and many relatives and friends. He will be mourned and missed by all. <br>Rick grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and graduated as a telecommunications technologist from NAIT in 1970. He began his 33 year career with the David Florida Laboratory (aka Canadian Space Agency) in 1976, and helped test the first Canadarm. He worked variously in Thermal Vacuum, Radio Frequency, instrumentation and data acquisition, and was eventually responsible for optimizing computer systems used to test satellites. Rick introduced PCs to the DFL, and became head of Infomatics in 1991. He played a major role as IT Specialist, establishing networking and integrated services. A skilled technical writer, he also assumed responsibility for developing and managing the lab’s ISO 9000 documentation system, and supervising technical writers. In 2002 Rick was appointed Technical Services Specialist, designing and managing videoconferencing facilities until his retirement in 2010. His organizational and multitasking skills, thoroughness and attention to detail helped establish the DFL as a world class environmental test laboratory. Both a generalist and a specialist, he was considered by many in his workplace to be irreplaceable. <br>A devoted husband and father, Richard proudly provided for his family and encouraged their talents and interests. He wryly joked that he’d helped put everyone in his family through university--except himself. Outwardly gregarious, Rick was also a self-described homebody. He enjoyed time with his family and vacations in cottage country, reading, and listening to music. A dedicated audiophile he was known for his love of 60s & 70s Rock and Blues and state-of–the-art sound systems. He called himself a newshound, and keenly kept up with politics and world events. <br>Passionate in his beliefs and interests, Rick’s problem-solving nature made him somewhat of an amateur inventor. His boiler plate speaker stands and custom designed recycling sheds were only two examples. He put both his writing skills and commitment to his Christian faith to work over many months on his published study guide, Footsteps Through the Bible. <br>Rick will be remembered by all for his kindness and love of others. He appreciated his fellow beings in their full humanity. Generous with his time and talents he lent his help to others in many practical and spiritual ways. Friends and family turned to him for help with computer problems, taxes, writing and editing, fix-up tasks, and so on. He was a compassionate friend to those who needed emotional and spiritual support. He empathized with the underdog and the disadvantaged. He quietly and generously donated to local charities and those in need, and willingly volunteered his services to his Christian community. <br>Rick had long been on his Christian path when he became a member of Liberty Church, Kanata. There he made many friends and continued to grow in his love for God. Throughout his long illness Rick’s faith in Jesus was his anchor. He made little of his suffering even to the last, and was an inspiration to others for his spirit of hope and humility. <br>The family expresses their gratitude to all those who cared for and supported Richard throughout the four years of his illness; the doctors, nurses, and palliative care teams of Ottawa General Hospital, The Irving Greenberg Family Cancer Centre, and Carefor Community Services. In particular we thank all of Rick’s friends from Liberty Church for their loving care, and to the many friends and family near and far who gave their love, prayers, and support. <br>Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are appreciated. <br> <br> <br></div>