Cornwall - May. 12, 2011 - The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce is mourning the loss of one of its longest serving and most respected members. Joe Gunn, treasurer and director on the chamber board of directors, has passed away.
"We were shocked when advised of the news," said chamber President Rick Shaver in a press release.
"Joe has been a rock on our board and was always there to remind us of our mandate. It is a huge loss, not only to all of us at the chamber but our entire community."
Chamber executive manager Lezlie Strasser echoed Shaver's comments.
"Joe was a professional colleague, a wonderful mentor and a close and dear friend," she said.
"He was always there to offer support and advice and I will miss his guidance, his encouragement, and his friendship, and I know I speak for our entire chamber team."
Gunn’s tenure with the Cornwall chamber spanned more than 40 years. He was a longstanding member with his affiliation going back to the early 1970s when he served as its executive manager. He retained that close affiliation, serving as a director and since 2008, as treasurer. Fiscally responsible, Gunn took his treasurer’s duties seriously and spent countless hours working with Chamber staff on budgets and operating activities.
Gunn's conservative nature made him a champion of free enterprise and he firmly believed in the philosophy of chambers across the country. He was a former business owner in Cornwall and operated a Radio Shack franchise in the city.
His contribution and dedication to his community and the people who lived there went far beyond his business related activities. He was a driving force in the Kinsmen and Rotary clubs, and spent a number of years as a trustee on the Upper Canada District School Board and its predecessor board in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
Gunn’s willingness to serve brought him to agencies such as tourism, mental health, Community Living, and more. He also served his country as an air force pilot. One would be hard pressed to find an organization or individual in Cornwall that has not been touched, in some way by Gunn.
The funeral service for Gunn will be held on Monday morning at St. Francis de Sales parish on Second Street West.