Gregory Colman

Obituary of Gregory Leonard Colman

The Life Adventures of Greg Colman
Gregory Leonard Colman passed away on Wednesday May 22, 2024, having lived a full life spanning 82 years. 

Husband of Margaret ‘Peggy’ (nee Wardle) of 43 year. Father to Carol Huffman (Phil) of Inglewood, Christopher (Tania Turpin) of Orleans, Geoffrey (Rachel) of Ottawa, Timothy Binkley (Alison) of Toronto and Don Binkley (Katrina Greeves) of Sydney, Australia. Along with a brood of grandchildren including, Sabrina Huffman; Kayla, Devin and Brooke Colman, Ivy Turpin; Meigh, Micah and India Colman; Grayson and Callaghan Binkley; Lachlan, Lucas and Jackson Binkley.
As Greg’s time came to an end, our family has been inundated with love and support we could have never imagined. In life, Greg’s compass was steered by modesty, humility and selflessness. To memorialize him, allow us to indulge and share a few personal anecdotes of Greg (aka Dad, Grandpa C. Tall Grandpa, Big Guy, Mister Mustard, and the Mayor of Port 32) that made him so special.
Greg was a ‘wartime baby’ born in 1942 in Sussex, England. As the threats of Hitler’s troops crossing the English Channel grew louder, Greg’s father, Colonel Leonard Colman, thought it best to move the family to safer ground. So, he whisked his wife, Molly and the children (Jeremy, Lionel, Anne, Gregory and Melanie) away to Kent to wait out the war.
There they had time to contemplate their next chapter. And so, in 1947, the Colman clan picked up and moved from one island to another: Nassau, Bahamas, which was still pristine and unadulterated by the tourism we know today. This is where Greg and his siblings were able to hone their adventurous spirits. When school was out, you’d be sure to find Greg mastering his sailing skills. Otherwise, he’d be beneath the surface spearfishing for all the local fare (grouper, snapper, crawfish, the elusive manta ray, and sharks). In fact, there’s a ‘fish story’ of the Colman boys actually catching a shark, by grabbing its tail with their bare hands! 
What better place to feed a child’s imagination, than on the beach. For it was there that the grandest sandcastles were erected, makeshift games were conjured up in the surf, and cycling races were held along the water’s edge. Greg’s sister (Anne) even recounts whittling spears to terrorize giant anthills commonly found around the property.
But as we all know, all good things must come to an end, so in 1956 at the ripe age of 13, Greg boarded a plane by himself destined to Canada to attend Trinity College (Boarding School). Upon touching down, young Greg hailed a taxi from Pearson International straight to the Royal York Hotel downtown Toronto. There he spent a day or two getting fitted for his private school uniform and all the other essentials before boarding a train to Port Hope.
Now, one would think this school was reserved for the most privileged boys, and perhaps it was. But the headmaster was determined to knock any pretense out of the young lads upon arrival. The first order of business? Make your bed. No, not put sheets on it. Actually make your bed! That’s right, nuts and bolts, lumber and all. Now this too could be another grand ‘fish story’ but Greg always told that story with
such conviction, so it leaves little doubt, it must be true. 
Greg passed that first rite of passage, and in no time fit right in. As with all his schoolmates, he was assigned a nickname. Greg became affectionately known as “Sharpie”, homage to the colourful neckties he liked to wear.

It didn’t take long for Greg to whiz through high school, and promptly enroll at Trinity College, University of Toronto to study finance and accounting. When not hitting the books, you’d find Greg once again in the water. This time with The Canadian Water Polo team (1960-1964). Given his strong swimming acumen and wingspan the natural position for Greg was goalkeeper. But perhaps there was another reason? It’s a little-known fact that water polo is actually quite barbaric. As Greg would recall, the underwater antics of grabbing, pulling and yanking wasn’t for the faint of heart, particularly knowing one’s only protection was their Speedo! Quite frankly, Greg was far too gentlemanly for such boorish behaviour.
Fresh out of university (1964), Greg embarked on his next chapter – adulthood, kick-starting his career at KPMG, getting married and starting their young family (Carol, Chris and Geoff).
On September 30, 1980, Greg mustered the courage to invite Peggy on a blind date, and wouldn’t you know it, on June 27, 1981 they were married, both for the second time. With this fresh start, the family moved to Richmond Hill and resided there for nearly three decades. Sure as with any family there were ups and downs and lots of drama along the way, but Greg and Peg’s unrelenting love for one another was a galvanizing force. It became the gold standard for all their children to aspire to
Once the nest was emptied Greg’s last chapter began with the move to Port 32 in Bobcaygeon where Greg quickly fell in love with the small town. It was there where he really lived life, travelled the world, rediscovered his love for tennis and tending to his garden, harvesting the best tomatoes along the path of the side of the house. He loved his home and he loved Peggy with all of his heart. He cherished all the friendships he made there, often schooling locals and family in the likes of ping pong, bridge, tennis and pickleball to name but a few. He loved the water, swimming off the dock at the Water’s Garden Park and chatting with neighbours on the way there and the way back. He volunteered as Treasurer at the Shore Spa (5 years) and

moonlighted as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels (Bobcaygeon). His love for the Port 32 community and Bobcaygeon seemed like the happiest days of his life.
When asked to describe his Dad, his eldest son, Chris simply stated, “Clark Kent”. Wow, that’s interesting! Google defines Clark Kent as, “A regular guy, brave and moral…a good man who is smart and kind and uses his powers to help others because it’s the right thing to do”. Sound like Greg? To a tee! In fact, Greg may have been wearing a cape all these years.
So what were Greg’s super powers? He had the ability to teach, without saying a word. He always saw the person within without casting judgment. People felt his kindness and generosity and the ability to be a good listener, never expecting anything in return. He was contemplative and reasoned, yet always optimistic. He always found the silver lining. He always found the good in people. Above all, he was
decent. And it would be remiss not to mention his swimming ability. We’re quite sure he holds the Port 32 pool record for the number of laps swam underwater with one single breath (3).
His kryptonite, or shortcoming? Stubbornness comes to mind. His bullheadedness was enough to drive one crazy! However, at times this personality trait worked in his favour. How? He never identified himself as being a cancer patient. He simply tried to live a healthy life. When the doctors told him he had fourteen years to live, he lived eighteen. More recently, the doctors told him he had six to nine months to live. He beat them again living fifteen!
Greg lived a remarkable life. He told us he had no regrets and that he had lived a full and rewarding life. He was strong in his conviction near the end. He did not fear death or what lay ahead once he turned the page. And now he’s at peace. Perhaps back in that big turquoise blue ocean swimming the backstroke while basking in the sun.
Rest in peace, Greg (aka Dad, Grandpa C, Tall Grandpa, Big Guy, Mister Mustard, Mayor of Port 32).

Arrangements have been entrusted to THE HENDREN FUNERAL HOME – MONK CHAPEL. Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 8 2024 from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the Shore Spa Community Centre of Port 32, Bobcaygeon. A full obituary will be available through the Hendren Funeral Home website provided below. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society by calling 705-738-3222 or by visiting