Obituary of Charles Bourne
Our brother and friend, Charles “Tony” Bourne passed away at Kingston General Hospital on Saturday, July 15th after an 11-week struggle from a brain stem stroke.
Tony was born May 20, 1949 in Thetford Mines, Quebec to the late Charles “Pep” and Gwynneth Bourne (nee Gale) from St. Lambert and Toronto respectively. He is survived by brothers Peter (Kitty-Fredricton) and Brian (Sandy-Halifax) and sisters Sheila (Denis-Kelowna) and Vicky (Greg-Toronto/Barbados). Nina, Emily, Will, Wyndham, Charlie, Meghan, Amy and Chris are his surviving nieces and nephews, whom he doted on.
Tony was born with a marginal learning disorder which made schooling a real challenge. Tony had several years at Stanstead College in his early teens, where he excelled at cadets and sport. From Stanstead he went to Knowlton High School, and took classes at several other schools before settling on various unskilled but (in those days) well-paid jobs, such as seasonal work at O’Keefe’s Brewery in Montreal.
In 1995 Tony arrived to live in Kingston, home of our then-widowed Mum. Throughout the years in Kingston he had many types of jobs, including furniture moving with Capitol Movers, which he enjoyed very much.
Tony’s love and passion was always sports – playing them, watching them, cheering them on, coaching and encouraging them. As a schoolboy it was mostly basketball, soccer and track and field. In Kingston, his passion for long distance running which began while he was in Montreal was fostered and encouraged by the Kingston Road Runners Association and Runners Choice shop. Over his career he ran in some dozen or more marathons and an equal number of half-marathons, 10 K’s and even a couple of triathlons. The highlight by far for Tony was being accepted to run in the 2000 Boston Marathon where he placed 11080 overall with a time of 4:00:26. Can anyone else picture Tony, moments after the race, berating himself over those 27 seconds, and not breaking 4 hours as a 51-year-old?! As if he hadn’t achieved an enormous milestone just by getting there…
Another running program Tony was devoted to was the Reading and Running program at local Kingston elementary schools. On several occasions, Tony accompanied the youngsters from local Kingston schools to their track meets in Toronto. He loved the idea that kids could get great running coaching while improving their reading after school for FREE. He had a big heart and loved to volunteer.
The word impossible was just not part of Tony’s vocabulary. He struggled with many things and the clock and terribly banged up knees did not treat him kindly. Still, he had many friends in Kingston and loved to go on long walks up until a few years ago when the knees simply couldn’t take it any more.
The family wish to thank a number of outstanding organizations and people in the Kingston area who encouraged and befriended Tony over these many happy years:
- Home Base Housing, who’s staff constantly went the extra mile to help Tony feel at home in dignity. Special thanks to Sherri his case worker and Mike and Kyle his housemates.
- Al Cantly, Runners Choice and the Kingston Road Runners – too many names to mention, you all know who you are
- Darryl McIntosh and the Manhattan Sandwich restaurant on Princess Street where Tony was known to enjoy a beer while cheering on the Red Sox or the Habs and lamenting the loss of the Expos. Life was barely worth living when Montreal lost the ‘spos… Thank you for your friendship Darryl and gang
- Lunches, beds, hugs and support to visiting family members provided by so many in Kingston and beyond – you know who you are! Thank you.
- Kingston Meals on Wheels and the many cheery volunteers and staff who encouraged Tony
- And last but definitely not least, Dr. Sladic, Tony’s family physician; Kingston EMS, the MIRACLE WORKERS at KGH Emergency and ICU, as well as the neurology team on Kidd 7; Providence Care and Dr. Bagg’s rehab team. Seriously, if you’re going to get sick, do it in Kingston, Ontario, you will get the best care in the world!
Donations to the following organizations in Tony’s name would be appreciated:
Home Base Housing http://kingstonhomebase.ca/donations/
Any of the charities sponsored by the KRRA (Kingston Road Runners Association)
A small celebration of Tony’s life will take place at the Kingston Brewing Company on Clarence Street in Downtown Kingston on Monday July 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Rest in peace, dear one!