Cornwall Ontario Realtor, Chamber of Commerce Director, Master Kinsmen Joe Gunn has passed away – May 11, 2011

Cornwall ON – A very dear friend has sadly passed away today.    Joe Gunn wore many hats in his life.   Real estate, civic duty with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as his role with the Kinsmen of Cornwall where he was a life member, and Master Kinsmen.

He  called me out of the blue in early August of 2009; called me a Commie Pinko while laughing, and became our first corporate sponsor.    Technology frustrated Joe at times and he was forever having problems with his computer, but was excited and embraced it as the future and present.

That experience led to a wonderful friendship.   Joe was very giving even though we rarely agreed on things politically.   His support, advice, and friendship helped me personally in so many ways, and as different as we were we found common ground on a lot of things.

I think we have about a dozen unresolved 2 bit bets; many of which cancelled each other out!

Joe loved our little online radio show.  He and Denis Sabourin were the pundits on The Political Round table and he shared his experience as  a long time School Board trustee.   He loved politics the way some people love Hockey.  It was his sport.  The Political Round table ran for nearly one full year, and luckily all of the shows are available via podcast.   He also was a regular with John Bolton.

Denis sent in the following statement:

“No matter what the subject, I always knew where Joe stood.  While we disagreed from time to time, we always respected each other, you can’t ask for a better form of friendship.

Joe moved to Cornwall years ago and became very involved in the community.  He loved everything about Cornwall and area.

He made many great contributions to the city and local area, particularly in education.  Joe always talked about his involvement as a way of  giving back to a community that gave him so much.

He will be missed by many friends in Cornwall and across the country.  As Joe would often say in our  radio segments, God Bless.”

MPP Jim Brownell contacted us as well after finding out the sad news.
In Memory of Joe Gunn 

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of a true community advocate, Joe Gunn. Joe was a true friend to so many in the community, and, despite our political difference, Joe was, indeed, a mentor to me.

While Joe was very fond of waving the big, blue political flag, and I waved a bright, red one, he never let politics get in the way of words of encouragement to me. Whether in politics or education, Joe always had wonderful words of encouragement, and I shall miss his periodic emails about politics, education, and jokes. Joe loved to share his jokes!.

As we all know, Joe gave so much to education, and he championed the youth of our community’s schools. As a teacher, it was always my pleasure to welcome Joe into my classroom, and, again, he was always there with encouragement and support.

With outstanding leadership ability, Joe was a champion in so many aspects of community life. This community has lost a fine citizen, and his memory will live on forever. My sympathy to his family and friends.

Jim Brownell, MPP
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

From Mayor Jim McDonell:

I was very sad to hear of Joe’s passing.

Joe was a very involved person who cared deeply about his community.  We will all miss him and his great work.


Jim McDonell


South Glengarry Township

Joe came to Cornwall originally to work for and manage the Chamber of Commerce.   He also owned and managed Radio Shack stores in the area.

He appeared on our second test show and talked about his going to see not one, but two Bob Marley concerts live which most people in Cornwall would be very surprised to connect him with.

Click HERE to listen to the show.

News spreads fast and my smart phone has been pinging tonight frequently.

1st Episode of the Political Round Table with Joe Gunn & Denis Sabourin Part 1

I spoke with Joe Tuesday.   He’d missed his appearance and called to apologize sharing that he’d been to the Hospital Monday, but was sent home and told to return today.  He’d suffered a fall about a week before and developed some breathing issues.   Sadly Mr. Gunn didn’t get an opportunity to return to the hospital.

From his website:


Joe attended at the Canadian Institute for Business Studies at the University of Western Ontario. After receiving his undergraduate degree he continued his education in graduate studies at the University of Western Ontario Business Faculty, graduating in 1971.


Joe’s experience as a businessman and community leader is well documented. His Career has seen him involved in many aspects fo life. From his first job as a statistical clerk for the Department of National Defense, his many and varied carrer paths have seen him tackle jobs such as the initiating with his friend Ernie Priess, the Kin Lottery which has become the Ontario Lottery Corporation.

His employment with the Development Corporation of the Ontario Government and his term as Executive Manager with the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, afforded Joe the technical and practical knowledge to make him an expert in Industrial and Commercial Real Estate procurement and development.


1963-64          President - Kinsmen Club of Exeter
1968-69          Charter President - Kinsmen Club of Midland
1970-71          President Kinsmen Club of Cornwall
1970-74          School Board Trustee Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Board of Education
1970-10          Member of the Cornwall Golf and County Club
1971-74          Director - Seaway Valley Regional Tourist Council
1971-80          Director - Cornwall & Area Tourism Commission
1974-75          President - Kinsmen Club of Cornwall (2nd time)
1974-75          Vice-Governor - Association of Kinsmen Clubs - District Six
1975-76          Governor - Association of Kinsmen Clubs (National Executive)
1976-78          Director - Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
1982-10          Member of The Royal Canadian Legion
1982-85          Director - Community Living Stormont County
1982-97          School Board Trustee Stormont Dundas & Glengarry Board of Education
1984-85          Director - Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
1985-87          First Vice-President - Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
1986-94          Senior Executive Member  Ontario Public School Boards' Association
1987-90          Board Chairman  Stormont Dundas & Glengarry County Board of Education
1989-10          Charter Member of The Cornwall Sunrise Rotary Club
1990-10          Charter Director F.T.E.
1993-95          Ontario Director - Canadian School Boards' Association
1993-95          Director - Cornwall Mental Health Association
1993              Social Contract Negotiator - Education Representative
1993-94          President - Ontario Public School Boards' Association
1995-96          Host - Radio Call-in Talk Show
1996-10          Member - Royal Canadian Air Force Association
1996-03          Host - TV "Profiles" and call-in Show
1997-00          School Board Trustee Upper Canada District School Board
2000-03          Director - Canadian Liver Foundation
2001-05          Write a weekly column on Education for the Local Daily Newspaper
2002-04          Member - Cornwall Community Police Service Board
2008-09          Director - Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce
2009-10          Treasurer - Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce


Association of Kinsmen Clubs of Canada

Ontario Public School Boards’ Association

Rotary International – Honorary Life Membership

1976 Awarded Kinsmen’s Highest Award – “MASTER KINSMEN”

Our condolences to the Gunn family on its loss.

We will be updating this story as the tributes come in.   If you want to share a photo or memory of Mr. Gunn please email us at

Photo courtesy of Team Cornwall


  1. This is sad news. We’ve lost a man who cared deeply about our community and had the courage to speak out about everything that affects us.

  2. “I spoke with Joe Tuesday”. “He’d missed his appearance and called to apologize sharing that that he’d been to the Hospital Monday, but was sent home and told to return today”. ” Sadly Mr. Gunn didn’t get an opportunity to return to the hospital”
    Sadly, too many people are sent home from our local hospital, only to pass away. This has to change. This can and will happen to a loved one in every ones family. (it happened to my father 3 times, only to be taken by ambulance to Ottawa, on his 4th visit)
    Joe deserved better’ and so do we. In October, vote for the party who will make health care our number one issue.
    RIP Joe.

    “He’d missed his appearance and called to apologize sharing that He’d suffered a fall about a week before and developed some breathing issues. Sadly Mr. Gunn didn’t get an opportunity to return to the hospital “.
    This happen too often at the Cornwall Community Hospital. Joe may very well be alive today had the flks at the hospital had more doctors, I knew Joe fur many years as an acquaintance,

  3. Joe will be missed. I loved his outspoken comments which were always spoken from the heart without rancour. His sense of humour was infectious. While I only shared a few shows on radio with Joe he is one individual who I will always remember. My best wishes to his family and all who knew him.

  4. Shock, total shock and what a loss. Not everyone always agreed with Joe, but everyone had respect for him. I just cannot picture Cornwall without Joe Gunn.

  5. You’ve done so much for us Joe and I’m sure God needs you to do things for Him too. It was a pleasure to have known you Joe. God Bless You and Rest in Peace.

  6. I never met Joe, except through the comments on this site. Although we never agreed on anything political, he was always a gentleman. I’m sure he will be missed by many people. Rest in peace, Joe.

  7. Same here, Furtz. Well said.

  8. I liked Joe so much, he contributed alot to this web-site and I loved conversing with Joe from time to time. Joe was a very respectable person. He loved and cherished democracy, free speech and his country. I am so surprised to hear of his passing. How sad…a great loss.

  9. Rest in peace Mr.Gunn.May God bless you.

  10. Joe was a friend of my father Ernie Priess. I unfortunately did not get to know Joe but I knew my father had helped to start the Ontario Lotto Corporation in the spirit of community growth. I’m so glad to have read about a friend of the family!

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