George Albert Mossman

12-Dec-1932 - 15-Mar-2021

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory

Mossman, George Albert
1932 - 2021

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our beloved husband, brother, father, friend George Mossman, last living in Penetanguishene (Georgian Bay area), Ontario. George was a gentle scholar, quiet in nature, sharp of mind.

On Monday, March15, 2021 George died in the hospital at Midland, ON. His sudden collapse followed several years of slow, debilitating losses due to dementia and took him from us at the age of 88. George was peaceful, knowing his family was with him. He left behind his wife of 65 years Carolyn (Schurman); his daughter, Catherine (and her partner Michael Uyttebroek), Penetanguishene, ON, and son, John, who lives and works in Jasper, AB. George and the family have been held by the love and support of many extended family and good friends.

George was born and grew up in Rose Bay, Lunenburg County, NS - the middle of 3 siblings born to Titus and Helen (Spindler) Mossman. His sister, Carolyn Brown and family, live in Ottawa, ON and brother, David Mossman and family, in Wolfville, NS. He is 'Uncle George' to many, and even 'great uncle’ to some, both on the Mossman and Schurman sides of the family.
Sadly, George and Carolyn have had two of their family of 4 children journey ahead of them to life beyond this life, Fred (1978) and Charlotte (2015). George was Grampa to five grand-daughters: Charlotte's twin daughters, Heather Blok (Exeter, ON) and Erin Aitchison (Galashiels, Scotland); and John's three daughters: Kira, Kali and Makayla, in Cumberland, BC.

George liked being a student - he was quick to grasp and hold facts and his high scholastic performance resulted in him being supported by scholarships throughout his academic years. He was not to become a fisherman along the South Shore of Nova Scotia, like many of his kin – he was never able to leave seasickness behind. As a mature adult, after he had built his own sailboat, he became a fine sailor - sailboats, sailboards and kayaks - exploring the rocks, beaches and coves of the Atlantic shore with Carolyn.

While completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Mount Allison George was introduced to the SCM (Student Christian Movement). He spent his first summer after graduation at an SCM Work Camp in Toronto and remained there through the following winter, living 'in community' with other SCMers and working in Industry. Still, the study of theology tugged at him; he spent his first year in New York City at Union Theological Seminary - completing the last two years of a Bachelor of Divinity at Pine Hill Divinity Hall in 1956.

George and Carolyn married in 1956 and travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland where they lived for nearly four years as George continued his theological studies at New College. On their return George was ‘settled’ on the Coldstream Pastoral Charge where they lived in Valley, near Truro. There George was introduced to rural ministry in Canada, responsible for the pastoral care of five churches. Next was a move to Fredericton where he served both church and community in various ways. This pattern continued for George wherever he was called to serve. In 1969 the family moved to Chicago for two years as George earned a Master of Arts, the Division of Social Sciences (Urban Studies) at the University of Chicago and, a year later, a Doctor of Religion degree from Chicago Theological School. From there, Edmonton beckoned, where George was committed to social ministry in several guises – with the joys and challenges of each.

His entire life appeared to be one of increasing spirituality (although he would not have called it that) through formal learning (philosophy, theology, sociology) and living his own life alongside others whose experience was like his own and, often the case, very different from his own. He was not alone in this life - he was married and had 4 children - there was certainly 'life' happening all around him/them.
All through the years, while the family was young, every summer and winter found them busy with all kinds of fun activities, often shared with extended family and friends: swimming and boating at a cottage at Shortts Lake, NS, and visits to George’s family home in Rose Bay, NS, swimming in the Atlantic at Hirtles Beach; then, in Chicago, bike rides and picnics near the shores of Lake Michigan, and attending events with the University Church; in Edmonton the call of the Rockies had the family camping every summer (in the winter too), in the tent trailer, playing board games, Michigan Rummy, skiing, skating, soaking in the hot springs at Jasper, enjoying singing around the campfires, fishing with John and Fred, swimming in the Pacific at Long Beach at Tofino, to name a few. And of course, throughout George’s and Carolyn’s lives they established and nurtured long friendships that were very important to them; many nights of wine, laughter, and deep conversation enriched their lives!

In 1994, George and Carolyn moved back to Nova Scotia for ‘retirement’- where George the carpenter, the dreamer and social activist thrived. When not building garages or learning the confounding intricacies of snow blowers he loved being close to nature. He was always busy doing something around the property, be it protecting new shrubs, grafting plants, growing massive tomato plants in the grow boxes he built, planting and pruning trees and bushes, building, planning and tending his blueberry and garden plots, or piling up firewood. When the chores were done he enjoyed lying under the trees in his hammock with his beloved Border Collie, ‘Keeper’, nearby. Taking part in weekly Peace Vigils with like-minded friends and protecting Nova Scotia's forests were causes close to his and Carolyn’s hearts as well.

In 2015 George and Carolyn moved to a retirement home in Ottawa to be nearer to their family and friends. There George enjoyed making new friends and the activities of playing bridge, shuffleboard, memory fitness classes, exercises, walking outside, and later inside with his walking poles.

At the end of 2020, with the new reality of Covid-19 hindering their activities at the retirement home, George and Carolyn made the move to Penetanguishene to be closer to their daughter Catherine.

Interment will be held in Rose Bay Cemetary when travel is permitted.

The family suggests no flowers.
For those who wish to make a donation as a way of honouring George, we suggest:
Multi Faith Housing Initiative (Ottawa);
Or Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre (Training Indigenous men and women for ministry);
Or a choice of your own

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Judy Lewis | 15-Apr-2021

Carolyn, it was a pleasure to become acquainted with you and George in Bass River. I now send sincere sympathy to you and your family in George's passing. Judy Gilbert Lewis

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Posted by Charlotte Boates | 30-Mar-2021

Dear Carolyn--We are so sad to read of George's passing. Lots of memories-from Riverport days--he took my sister and I and our husbands on a tour of the lighthouse--very impressive. Last time we met was for lunch in Lunenburg--our sincere sympathy to you and your family--- Charlotte and Keith Boates

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