Cover photo for Harry Freeman Gyde's Obituary
Harry Freeman Gyde Profile Photo
1928 Harry 2022

Harry Freeman Gyde

August 1, 1928 — August 13, 2022


Our North Star has passed the horizon, clear skies, fair winds and following seas from here on.

Harry was born August 1, 1928 to John “Jack” Gyde (a printer) and Edith (nee Doran) Gyde (a teacher).

His childhood was spent in the Meaford/Cape Rich of  area of Ontario on his Grandfather's apple orchard farm, of which he had many fond memories.

The family then moved to Hamilton and then later to Toronto and settled in the Beaches.  Harry worked part time at Eatons, a department store, in the tailored men's wear department, to put himself through a Bachelor's Degree program in Education at  U of T.  He was an athlete and Varsity Football star as well as a top scholar!   Later, while teaching and supporting his family, he earned a Master's Degree in Education and was asked to stay on to complete his PhD in Education.

Teaching was Harry’s passion.  He encouraged and inspired thousands of high school students to achieve their diplomas throughout his years.  Harry proudly introduced the very first Computer Studies course in the Province.  He was selected and trained by IBM to then train others to teach this new and exciting program.  Harry also championed high school intramural soccer in Scarborough.

Harry was a true Renaissance Man!  He was a passionate traveller, a lover of history, admired and collected art, a voracious reader and a lover of Dixieland Jazz and gospel music.  He was an avid sailor belonging to the Hawkstone Marina.  He was a proud member of the Dukes of Harmony, representing Canada in the international Barbershop chorus competitions.

After the passing of his wife, Barbara, Harry had the good fortune to meet Ruth at their church.  They instantly recognized their “other half” in each other.  They loved and supported each other – hand in hand and heart to heart   They enjoyed spending time with their growing families and many friends.  They found a home in their beloved town of Orillia, joining the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and became active and enthusiastic members. Together, they travelled the world from the Arctic to the Antarctic, always returning with wonderful stories of their adventures.  Home for Harry was wherever Ruth was!

One cannot speak of Harry without mentioning his dogs.  He doted on his dogs over the years and they adored him – always at his feet or on his lap.  It is rumoured that every pocket had “bickies” at the ready for them.

Harry always had a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes and gave great bear hugs.  He was a humble and quiet man, in many ways, but was always quick to enjoy a good full out laugh.

Harry passed away peacefully in hospital August 13, 2022 at the age of 94.

Harry is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 39 years, Ruth.

His 3 children:

Brian (sp. Susan) Gyde, Sheila (nee Gyde) Wayne, and Blair (sp. Adita “Edi”) Gyde

His 3 Step Children:

Victoria Adams, Ellen (sp. Don) Skazin and Ross (sp.Cecelia) Kenneger

He was blessed with 11 Grandchildren:

Kerry, Kimberly, Paul (d.2021), Ryan, David, Laura Beth, Mark, Glenn, Grant, Laura Elizabeth

and William.

And further blessed with 11 Great-Grand Children:

Amy, Megan, Grace, Elise, Hannah, Thomas, Charlie, Ellie, Hunter, Jake and Noah.

Harry's son, Blair remembers his father's enduring words:  “When faced with adversity, put one foot in front of the other and carry on.”

With heavy hearts today, we will take this advice, and our joyful memories of Harry, and do our best to carry on.

Visitation will be held at Orillia Presbyterian Church St. Andrew's, 99 Peter St N, Orillia, on Thursday, August 18, 2022 from 11 am until time of Funeral Service at 12 noon. Private family interment Barrie Union Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Orillia Presbyterian Church St. Andrew's would be appreciated and may be made through the Mundell Funeral Home.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 18, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Orillia Presbyterian Church

, Orillia, ON

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Funeral Service

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Orillia Presbyterian Church

, Orillia, ON

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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