It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Allen Gorham at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Saint John, on November 13, 2023. At his side were his wife Janet Gorham and sister, Willa Mavis.
Allen was born in Saint John on November 16, 1942 and lived most of his life at Pancake Hill, Carter’s Point. He was the seventh child of the late Arthur and Jen (Allen) Gorham and is survived by his wife Janet (MacPherson), sister Roberta (Keith) MacKenzie of The Village of Gagetown, his brother Frank (Faye) Gorham of Carter’s Point, and sister, Willa Mavis of Carter’s Point and Rothesay, Janet’s sister Dorothy Jackson and her children Stacey and Corey Allen Jackson; Brenda Sparks and Craig and Heather Sparks. As well as nieces Sherri Felhaber, Heather Hicks, Dale moar, Allen McQueen, Paul McQueen, Wendy Murray and Robin McQueen; Andrea Maisonneuve; Adwynna MacKenzie; Vicki, Judy, Karen and Glen Gorham and Greg Colpitts.
He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Dorothy Felhaber, Winnifred Leggett, Audrey McQueen, brother Arthur Gorham Jr. and brother-in-law Mack MacPherson.
Allen was a graduate of Saint John Vocational School in 1962 where he studied Motor Mechanics. He worked at Battery & Electric; Simpsons Sears Service Department, Fairview Plaza; G.E. Barbour; Sears Service Department, West Saint John; Saint John General Hospital; and Trane. While self-employed, he built houses, opened and closed cottages, especially at Sand Point and Crystal Beach. He was a plumber, electrician, a welder, proficient in small motor repair as well as all household appliances. A Jack of All Trades, and master of all.
Allen was a good neighbour, plowing and snow-blowing driveways, (sometimes for 12 hours), pulling cars from ditches, fixing water pumps and generally available during emergencies.
In the early 1970s Allen and Janet began building their A-frame house on the top of Pancake Hill, overlooking the St. John River. He then helped his family members build their homes on the property purchased by their grandfather Gorham in 1905.
An avid birder and member of the Saint John Naturalist Club where he led tours, he carried his notebook at all times, keeping track of his sightings. He was also the popular resident Naturalist Guide for Inn on the Cove, educating and entertaining visitors from England as well as the USA and Canada. Allen gave the first Bird Walk interview on CBC Radio.
He and Janet travelled extensively as birders and naturalists, around the Maritimes, and visiting Newfoundland five times, Pt. Pelee, Ontario, Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, the Gaspe Peninsula, Florida and the Bahamas, twice to Costa Rica, the southern US as far as Arizona and Utah, and Australia and New Zealand.
Allen was also a duck and deer hunter, although he later traded his gun for his camera and took spectacular pictures of nature.
He and Janet both enjoyed an eclectic variety of music, but particularly Irish and traditional and became good friends with the members of Ryan’s Fancy. They attended festivals and concerts throughout the Maritimes. There was generally an ABBA or Roger Whittaker album playing in their house.
Janet would like to give thanks for the exceptional care given by the staff on the 5th and 7th floors of St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road, Saint John, NB (506-646-2424). In keeping with Allen’s wishes cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral, but a Celebration of his life will be held at a later date.