We Remember


April 7, 1921 — October 17, 2014



Ross Gorman was born at home, in the community of Glenrosa, on April 7, 1921. The youngest of four children, he grew up during the Great Depression. Life was simple, but busy, as the family worked the small farm. Although his horizons were limited to going no further than a horse or his feet could take him, his life was rich with cousins and friends living on surrounding farms. Despite the Depression, the farm provided plenty of food, and his father frequently invited transients in for a meal.

At the age of six, Ross started attending the one-room school house in Glenrosa, and was taught by his sister, Helen Gorman. He was back in the little building on Sunday; the desks were pushed aside, and the building served as a church. Ross’ Christian faith was important to him, and he accepted Jesus as his Saviour at a young age.

After attending high school in Westbank, Ross worked at a cannery in Kelowna, before moving to Vancouver where he worked as a welder in the shipyards. During WW2, he continued to work as a welder in camps in Radium and at Blubber Bay (Texada Island).

Ross met Eunice Alves through his sister, Helen. Helen invited Eunice to visit the Okanagan in October 1944, and Eunice recalled boarding the bus and then changing to a train for the long trip to the Okanagan, wondering if her life was going to change forever because of that trip. Both Ross and Eunice’s lives changed, they fell in love, and were married on May 17, 1946.

Ross and Eunice were orchardists, growing apples, cherries and peaches. However, the winter of 1949/50 changed the course of his life. Harsh frosts killed a significant portion of the orchards belonging to Ross and his brother John, so at the age of 29, Ross and John decided to buy scrap lumber from local sawmills and re-saw it into fruit box components. The brothers saw this as a temporary solution, until their replanted orchards started producing fruit. This was the birth of what became Gorman Bros. Lumber.

When the company was officially formed, they chose the Biblical motto “a good name is more desirable than great riches”, as their company’s guiding principle. The impact on the employees and the community were always the key considerations when making business decisions.

Over the years Gorman Bros. expanded, and in addition to the sawmill on the original plant site in Westbank, there are operations in Revelstoke, Canoe, Lumby and Oroville, currently employing over 1200 people. Ross was a pioneer in the forest industry, and had a passion for value added. Making sure nothing went to waste by recovering trim ends from lumber, and then producing finger joint edge glued panels was a source of great satisfaction to him.

In 2012 Ross was awarded a commemorative Medal for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In 2007 he received the award of Honourary Fellow from Okanagan College.  In 1998 he was awarded Business Leader of the Year from the City of Kelowna, and in 1997 he was awarded the Paul Bunyan Award by the Canadian Wood Council.

Throughout the years of growth and change in the business, Ross continued to take a hands-on approach. There were few things he enjoyed more than pushing dirt with the D6 Caterpillar, and right up until he passed away, the first place to look for Ross was out on the tractor, where he could be found mowing his acreage.

Ross was a “people person”. To him, the most important part of running a business, was the people. In addition to participating in many forest-industry committees and community Boards, he found time to teach his six children to ski and ride horses, do an annual hike to look at wild flowers in the Spring, take his Sunday School class of boys hiking, and dress up as Santa at the Gorman Bros. employee’s children’s Christmas party. He and his wife Eunice provided a loving home to a number of foster children over the years. As a grandfather, he took the time to take each of his 15 grandchildren and their grandmother on their own special trip.

Ross loved the outdoors. He never failed to marvel at the beauty of nature, and never took it for granted. He was able to travel extensively, and enjoyed the diversity of nature found around the world. He loved to read, and as he got older and had more time to read, his extensive library covered a very wide range of topics. He cared deeply for his business and employees, and went to the office every day, right up to the day before he passed away.

Ross Gorman passed away suddenly, at the age of 93, with his wife Eunice by his side. He is survived by Eunice and his six children; Ron (Jenifer) Gorman, Esther (Andrew) Scott, Carolyn Gorman, Marjorie (John) Wiens, Mary (Doug) Tracey, Louise (Nick) Arkle; 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC on Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Donations in memory of Ross Gorman can be made to: Parkinson Society (www.parkinson.ca), Maple Springs Bible Camp (www.maplesprings.ca) or Westside Community Food Bank (www.westsidefoodbank.ca). For those wishing to send a condolence, photos or share memories, may do so by scrolling down this page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”


Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Trinity Baptist Church

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Parkinson Society or Maple Springs Bible Camp or Westside Community Food Bank Link: www.maplesprings.ca , www.parkinson.ca, www.westsidefoodbank.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for GORMAN, Ross is scheduled for Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Trinity Baptist Church

1905 Springfield Road. Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Len & Susan Cook says:

    Our sincere condolences to all the family.

  • Len & Susan Cook says:

    Please accept our sincere condolences to all the family.

  • Connie & Howie Frohlich says:

    We worked with Ross for 10 years, when we owned Guelph Utility Pole. Ross was always our favorite supplier. We always looked forward to the times Ross and Andy made their trips to Guelph, and enjoyed our trips to B.C..I have a hand saw hanging in our living room today that Ross brought me when we had our open house ,it is one of the first they used. It is very special when a supplier can become a best friend. We both will miss you Ross.

  • Guelph Utility Pole says:

    All of us at GUP will miss Ross. He was a great supplier for 32 years & counting. A real gentleman & true friend.
    The staff of Guelph Utility Pole

  • Barbara Davy says:

    I would like to share that both my parents, Frank & Irene Szabo, always spoke very highly of Mr. & Mrs. Gorman and their family. My dad (who has passed) worked in the Gorman orchards in the early 1960s. My mom and I are very saddened to hear of Mr. Gorman’s passing. He truly was a man with a large heart and his actions spoke volumes about how he cared for his employees both past and present. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

  • Bob Thompson says:

    On behalf of the Parkinson Support Group in Kelowna, I wish to offer condolences to Eunice and the Gorman family. It has been a joy and an honor to have shared a portion of his life. I will always remember Ross and his gentle smile whenever we talked. We shared our common ongoing battle of Parkinson’s for several years. Ross was a symbol of optimism to our Parkinsons Support Group showing us courage and hope for the future. He will be missed but not forgotten.
    Bob Thompson
    Chairman Kelowna Parkinson Support Group
    Director Parkinson Society of BC

  • Ken Marsh says:

    My sincere condolences to the Gorman family. I will remember Ross as a very kind man who always took time to share a few words with his employee’s. A work ethic passed down to family and employee’s second to none. I will truly miss his smile.

  • Greg Heise says:

    Ross’s leadership and empathy is reflected through his family and those who worked with him at Gorman Bros. Lumber over the past many years. I enjoyed seeing him from time to time in the office and it is obvious how loved he was by those around him given how they responded to him and treated others in the manner in which Ross expected. On behalf of my team at Morneau Shepell, I wish the Gorman family and employees our most sincere condolences. Ross will be truly missed.

  • Larry Pedersen says:

    I was saddened to hear of Ross’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting Ross many times during the years when I was Chief Forester for the province. He was a true gentlemen and a great businessman. My most sincere condolences to Eunice and the family.

  • Margaret (Little) Whitbread says:

    I am very sorry to learn of Ross’s passing and send my deepest sympathy to Eunice and all the family. Ross was a kind and generous friend to me and my parents, Jean and Joe Little. He will be dearly missed by all.

  • Shirley Atkinson (Phil) says:

    Heartfelt sympathy to Eunice and all the Ross Gorman family on the loss of a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. We have many happy memories of times spent in the Gorman home in our youth.

  • Sharon Shook says:

    Thank you Gorman family for being such a blessing throughout the past 17 years my life. I endeavour to reciprocate the blessing as I work at your mill in Revelstoke.

  • Tony Wong says:

    Our sincere condolences to all the family. BC lost an outstanding citizen. Our thoughts with all of you.

  • Glen Bonderud says:

    I met Ross twenty + years ago in Vancouver as I guided him through some mills together and talked about Japan. after that he bought into Downie Timber. The pleasure was all mine and a day I have remembered fondly, my condolences to the family.
    regards, Glen Bonderud

  • Cynthia Waldek-Peters says:

    Heartfelt sympathy to Eunice and the Gorman Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. Ross will be sadly missed but his legacy and contributions he made to this city will certainly live on forever.

  • Koichiro Hirata Nice Corporation says:

    My sincere condolences to the Gorman family.

  • Nice International Canada Corporation says:

    Our sincere condolences to all the family.Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts are with all the family during this difficult time.

  • Gary Crooks says:

    I am truly saddened by the news of the passing of our friend and associate Ross.

    My sincere condolences to Eunice and all the Gorman family. Although I know that no words can ease the loss you feel, just know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Ross was a true gentleman and an inspiration to all of us. He will be missed.

    Best regards;

    Gary Crooks

  • David & Carol Janzen says:

    I worked in the office for many years and interacted with Ross on many occasions during which time I learned to appreciate him. Carol & I send our condolences to Eunice and all the family.

  • Lee Ann Schmidt says:

    We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Gorman family at this time. May you find comfort in Ross’s passing by celebrating his remarkable life and accomplishments.
    From the Schmidt family

  • Brenda Lain says:

    Our sincere condolences to Eunice and the Gorman family. We are sorry to hear of Ross’ passing. He was a very generous and caring man.
    Scott, Brenda, Sadie and Brianna Lain

  • Ellen (Stewart) McKay says:

    I was fortunate enough to spent countless hours in the Gorman home during my growing up years and see firsthand what a wonderful father Ross Gorman was. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. Our sincere condolences and love to all the family. Ellen and Kelly McKay

  • Janet Baggott says:

    My sincere condolences to the Gorman Family, I worked with Ross for 15 years. He was truly one of a kind.

  • Lynne Deacon says:

    Mary, Louise and family
    I was very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing.I know you will miss him but have very fond family memories. Please know you are in my thoughts

  • Brian Drought says:

    my sincere condolences to Eunice & family…I happily recall working at the “mill” in late 50s to early 60s, mostly summers with Bob & Art Johnson canting & greenchain, with Clarence Fenton piling from planer, resaw and later in bin factory nailing & assembling apple bins also at the Co-op and Naramata when Bill Whetton was their forman. Greatly appreciated Ross and John and his other staff for allowing a teenager to develop good habits with hard work.

  • Glenn & Karen Griffin says:

    Dear Mrs Gorman & family

    May you find comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus that he spoke to Martha at the grave of her brother Lazarus at this time of sadness at the passing of Mr Gorman.

    “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die…”

    We will miss Ross in our day to day lives. In 1995 when we had our terrible car accident Ross was one who came and helped in our orchard with the work that needed to be done.

    Love Glenn & Karen Griffin

    • Robert Moffatt says:

      I have known the Gorman family since the early 1960’s and am sad to hear of Ross’s passing. When I saw the name Griffin on this condolence page, I immediately thought of your family as one that had several children who were “saved” while my father (Donald B. Moffatt) was having gospel meeting at the Gospel Hall in Westbank. Several of the Gorman children were also “saved” at that time. If my memory serves me right, I think my father said that there were more than twenty who put their trust in the Lord during that series of meetings. It shows that seeds sown have grown. My prayers go to the entire Gorman family. Sincerely, Robert Moffatt

  • Annette and Bob Mason says:

    We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ross Gorman, whom we met just a couple of times, but were impressed at his Christian witness and his love for others. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, and especially to his daughter, Louise, and her family, who we are privileged to consider friends. Treasure the memories of a great man, and know you will meet again, in the Kingdom.

  • Marcello and Llonda Angelozzi says:

    I’ve been with the Gorman Group for 25 years at Downie and now Canoe Forest Products . The integrity / values of the company were formed from Ross’ character . He will be missed but leaves behind a great legacy . Marce

  • Elizabeth and Chuck McFarlane says:

    We are thinking of the Gorman Family during this difficult time. It was wonderful to see the tribute of Ross on Global News. We appreciate knowing that Ross will be remembered for treating people with kindness and respect. That brought happiness to our hearts. Lots of love,
    Elizabeth, Chuck, Owen, and Angus McFarlane

  • Howard Saunders says:

    My sincere condolences to Ron, Nick and the Gorman family. Ross will be missed by all who new him, but most severely by you, his family. Yet there is much to celebrate. Ross lived longer than the time allotted to most of us, and used that time well. His life was full, productive and sharing. He set an example that more of us should follow. It was an honour to have known him.

  • Chad and Debbie Coutts says:

    Louise, Nick and Carolyn,
    We were saddened to hear of your father’s passing. Our sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • Universal Appraisal says:

    Our sincere condolences to the Gorman Family. I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Gorman, but the impact of his leadership could be seen throughout his mills.

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