With sadness we announce the death of Russell Peden, a former editor on the Gazette’s city desk. He came to Montreal in the early 1960s because it was the most interesting place in Canada. He worked for the Canadian Press, the Montreal Star and finally the Gazette. He covered the 1963 Ste. Thérèse plane crash, elections, the October Crisis, both Quebec referendums and many other events.
The eldest son of a United Church minister, Russ was born on his uncle’s farm near Roland, Manitoba, and grew up in Rainy River, Dryden and Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay, Ontario. He studied chemical engineering at the University of Manitoba.
He worked in a pulp and paper mill, for a wire and cable company in Canada’s north, and across the Prairies as an assistant mechanic for the CNR, living in a boxcar and climbing signal poles in all weathers. For a year and a half he taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Port Coldwell, a tiny fishing port on Lake Superior served only by rail, without electricity or running water.
Russ was a gentleman, chivalrous and considerate of everyone he encountered. He was a valued driver for Meals on Wheels and helped arrange the installation of a geothermal system in St. Mark’s Church, Dorval.
He was predeceased by his sister Aylene (Robert Reynolds) and a son from his first marriage, James Peden. He will be deeply mourned by his wife of nearly 50 years, Barbara Black, his son Neil (Stephanie Lee), daughter Shelagh (Jason Markovits), granddaughters Alexandra, Raphaëlle and Joséphine Peden, son by his first marriage David Smith, sisters Lynda (Patrick O’Brien) and Joan (Derek Burney) and brother Alexander Peden (Beverly).
A small private funeral will be held at All Saints by the Lake Church, Dorval.
The family invites you to donate to the Russell Peden Memorial Fund at Concordia University, which will provide financial aid to students. Donations may be made online at concordia.ca/givenow, by telephone at 514-848-2424, ext. 3884, or by mail to 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd, FB 520, Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8, cheques payable to Concordia University.