Gunnar Keerma
Gunnar Keerma

Obituary of Gunnar Keerma




January 5, 1924 – October 4, 2014


Predeceased his beloved wife, Lelia; loving father to his sons Michael and Peter and their spouses Helen and Diane respectively; proud grandfather to Kristen, Katherine, Lauren and Alexander; Gunnar passed away peacefully in his 90th year. A strong, intelligent and talented man, he was devoted to his family. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, he was severely injured in battle against the Russian invasion of his homeland in July, 1944. He was sent to West Germany to recover, and after the War, he worked for the British Military Motor Pool. He immigrated to England and took jobs as a field hand and factory worker. He met and married his wife Lelia in Yorkshire, and they immigrated to Canada in 1951. Gunnar made his career in the pharmaceutical industry filling and packing division, retiring as plant manager. Gunnar and Lelia built a wonderful life for themselves and their family through hard work and persistence. Both sons and all grandchildren graduated university, fulfilling a goal that circumstances prevented either from achieving. A physically large man, Gunnar was quiet and gentle, with a keen intellect and ironic sense of humour. With close friends, he would often discuss philosophy and politics into the early morning, usually accompanied by a bottle of brandy. Gunnar loved fine dining, travel, reading fiction, and opera. He was a proficient carpenter who single-handedly finished the basement of his home to create a wonderful living space. Gifted with an uncanny musical talent, he could play almost any instrument. Blessed with a fine tenor voice, he and his wife both sang in the Toronto Estonia Choir for many years. Gunnar enriched the lives of all who knew him and will never be forgotten by family and friends.