Gabrielle left this world with peace, surrounded by her family. We’re grateful we were given time to be near, together.
Gabrielle leaves behind her devoted children Melissa Pardoe (Shane) and Matt; siblings Roxanne, Amy (Duncan), Jason (Kelly) and beloved grandchildren Eva and Noah. She was predeceased by loving partner Dennis Cannon, and is survived by former spouse Jerry Garcia.
Gabrielle grew up as near to being a twin as you might imagine a child being, with kid sister, Roxanne. They were dressed alike, and Roxanne skipped a grade making them inseparable until high school graduation. They were close. As close as two kids could be while pouring corn syrup and cocoa on their night-shift dad sleeping on the kitchen floor. Not quite as close with Amy who shared the bottom bunk (on alternate nights), because she kicked in her sleep. Then came babysitting little brother, Jay with fourteen years difference. Gabrielle cooked supper while Mom was working evenings at Dr. Wright's office. She was substitute mom right away – maternal in nature, maternal by circumstance.
A cool job at Shopper’s Drug Mart started her purchase of vinyl records. And we played Gaby’s records until they were virtually see-through. And the clogs. The rose embroidered clogs and her ever-present mane of glorious hair in multiple styles.
She went to York University and studied at the magical Glendon campus. Her favourite course was poetry, one class taught by a very young Michael Ondaatje (whose book “In the Skin of a Lion” echoed her father’s Italian-Toronto family journey well).
Gabrielle was very proficient with languages – teaching English at Humber College, both ESL and English proficiency (business), as well as learning German, French, Spanish and even a bit of Japanese. German helped her go on her first international trip for an exchange program in high school. Later, the Garcia family made learning Spanish a worthy goal.
Gabrielle worked for a time at McLean’s Publishing until Melissa came along. Then Matt (a second Montreal move later). Her children were her focus and joy. Montreal to Oakville, Oakville to Calgary…Calgary to Oakville, and Oakville to Tokyo. So many experiences and so many new friends. She even ended up teaching Spanish at the American School in Tokyo for a short while.
Gabrielle was always generous with her heart and home, with helping young readers, then adult students with the Oakville Literacy Council, and finally Humber College. She loved teaching people how to crack the literacy code and she was very, very good at it.
Life changes brought old friends back into her life, and new romance, with the ever-effervescent, graceful Dennis Cannon. From Vancouver to Toronto and the cottage near Buckhorn, together, Dennis and Gaby explored the city, went on jazz excursions (Panama!), lock hopping on the Trent-Severn, enjoyed CBC fundraisers and their beloved Blue Jays games. And lunches. Many, many lunches with friends (including all of Dennis’ WCVS, Ryerson, and Kodak crew). Gaby loved hanging and talking with York friends Vesna, Evie, Sarah, and (forever from high school) Rose Marie (and Sylvia). Rose helped so much with rides and encouragements in the last year, Gaby couldn’t have managed without her. And a special shout out to the meal train crew! Thank you.
The cottage was her safe place, which she dearly loved and loved to share. Nothing was better than a quiet morning canoe. Gaby had her very own paddle and, as an introspective, gentle person, she spent a lot of time on the water thinking and watching and paddling. There was always…time.
We all just wanted a little more with her.
Donations can be made to the ACPMP Research Foundation (https://acpmp.org/) and the PMP Pal (PMPPals.net).
A service will be held for Gabrielle on Sunday, April 24th at 2:30pm. The Zoom link can be shared by contacting email@example.com