David Gerald Lander

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David Gerald Lander

June 2, 1945 - April 25, 2019

David strived to make the world a place where people helped each other, felt supported and could live their best lives. He was a true advocate and found a deep calling in serving those that lacked the power to make their own choices. He grew up with strong farm values on Rice Lake, near Cobourg, Ontario. He learned the value of hard work and decency from his parents, Mary and Gerald.  David died at home, surrounded by his family. In his last days, he looked out to a beautiful and wide view of Rice Lake, the same one he enjoyed as a boy working cattle on the hills of Northumberland. David and Doreen built a retirement home on Tower Farm in 2005, a part of the old family farm. Being in that familiar setting brought David much solace.  He is survived by his wife Doreen (married 1973) and their three boys, Richard (Seattle), Philip (Burlington) and Ben (Burlington). David is dearly missed and loved by three daughter-in-laws, Annie, Leanne and Tanya, and six grand-children (ages 5-15). Siblings, Howard and June live locally and Dorothy lives in Nova Scotia.  David was a United Church of Canada minister for just shy of 50 years, in Manitoba and Ontario. He spent three of those years with the Presbyterian Church in the 1980s in Taumarunui, New Zealand. He was assigned to seven charges over that time, ministering to the beliefs and needs of the congregations he served.  He was a strong advocate of gay clergy in the 1980s. He helped Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s and then returned to a similar cause in the 2010s with Syrian refugees. He worked with food banks and shelters throughout. His true gift was his children's stories where he made science look like magic and weaved the observed effects into parables that could lead kids, and equally adults, in their lives.  His favorite memories were of the 9-month honeymoon shared with Doreen, the love of his life, and in Europe and Africa and camping and canoe trips in Algonquin Park with his sons. He developed an even stronger reputation for magic on the camping trips, lighting cook fires in the pouring rain. The boys eventually took over the trips and hosted their friends on multi-day trips in Algonquin.  David leaves so many touched by his kind heart and infectious kindness. He will always be remembered and have an ever-lasting effect. We all miss him greatly.  A memorial service will be held at MacCoubrey Funeral Home 30 King St. E., Cobourg on Sunday May 19, 2019 at 2 p.m.  Donations should be directed to the United Church of Canada Mission and Service Fund or a charity of your choice.  Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.  


Sue Campbell - August 12, 2019

Dear Doreen and family,I was saddened to learn of David's death in the last issue of Broadview magazine. Please accept my sincere condolences. David was one of the first to welcome me to the old York Presbytery when I was first ordained. He also had you make a teddy bear for my son when he was born - way back in Nov 2000! I will always remember his warm smile and excitement and great ideas for children's time in worship. Blessings to you all, (Rev.) Sue Campbell

Clarke & Donna Watson - May 28, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Anne Rawson - May 20, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Doctors Without Borders

John Gotzaman - May 19, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

John Buttars - May 19, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

John Buttars - May 19, 2019

Dear Doreen and your beloved children and grandchildren:I only heard by accident yesterday that David had died, I guess soon after the last email he sent. As a consequence I cannot make it today to his celebration. I count it an honour both to have known David and to have spent time together in the same class in theology. There was an openness, resilience, genuineness, and integrity to David and different from me who could sit on a fence he instinctively knew who was the underdog or oppressed and responded accordingly. He asked great questions and had a wonderful sense of humour. When I read the obituary tears came to my eyes for it expressed so poignantly and eloquently who he was. Healing mercies and blessings for all of you. If the view of Rice Lake from your home was a blessing to David I hope it will continue to be a blessing for you. John Buttars

Dan & Linda Marshman - May 19, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Marian Davidson - May 19, 2019

My condolances to all the family.I remember David's parents well....at an early age I attended Sunday School at Plainville, where David'sfather was Superintendent. Sincerely, Marian Davidson.

The Weatherhead Family - May 18, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Debbie Jeffery and family - May 18, 2019

I am so sorry to know that David passed on April 25th. I did not know until today. David was a pillar of our Kilbride community and my children and I have such fond memories of his talks, stories and experiments at our church services. I also am honoured to have spent time with him in Israel with my parents and my daughter, Erin. We will remember him always. With sincere condolences...Deb Jeffery and family (Erin, Kyle, Caity and Taylor)

Debbie Jeffery & family - May 18, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Darlene McBride - May 17, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Tyler and Ruby Miles - May 15, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Al and Judy Fleming - May 15, 2019

Doreen: We remember so much our visit to your home on Rice Lake. It was during the building of your home, and the excitement that you both felt about the structure that was going up was amazing. David was a very special Minister to us at Fairlawn Avenue. From the very first meeting wit him, he always exhibited courage and a willingness to help others. We are so fortunate to have known him as our Minister.Al and Judy

Stephen Novitski - May 13, 2019

We are very sorry for your loss. We are the neighbour directly to the north of the beautiful home on the hill that David lived in. We had known David as a friendly and very approachable man. He displayed a passion for the local history and the land that he called his home. On the few occasions that we had talked he always had a smile and a story to tell and spoke proudly of his grand children. Sincerest Sympathies,Stephen and Tracey

Miles - May 13, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Kathryn Blezard - May 12, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Elaine Maynard-Lloyd - May 12, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Elaine Maynard-Lloyd, Clark Lloyd & Family - May 12, 2019

Dear Doreen & Family,Our Deepest Sympathy and Condolences to All. We will remember David always with fondness and love, he was a great friend and minister to our family.Clark, Elaine, Evan, Alison & Malcolm

Trinity United Church, Peterborough - May 8, 2019

On behalf of the congregation of Trinity United Church, Peterborough, we send our condolences to the family of David Lander. Rev. Lander spoke at the service when we received our Certificate of becoming an Affirming Ministry in April 2016, and his message was extremely thoughtful and inspiring. Jane Darling Trinity Affirm Committee

Reverend Dorinda Vollmer - May 5, 2019

I was so very sorry to hear about your beloved David. We were talking about him in church this morning at Alderville. He took a couple of services here and the congregation remembered him and felt very badly. They liked him but everyone who met David couldn't help but like him. He was a good man and one of a kind. We said prayers in church this morning and remember him. I loved being in the same Presbytery with David. I will miss him. Unfortunately I cannot attend the service. I leave tomorrow morning at 3:50 a.m. to go to Coos Bay Oregon to visit my sister there for 10 days but I will be thinking of you all. I am so sorry. There are not enough good men who care about others. He was a wonderful person and it was my privilege to know him. I know how hard David's illness was for him but he handled it with grace and courage.

Sheila-Mae Young - May 4, 2019

To the family of David,Please accept my sincere condolences on the death of David. I had the pleasure of knowing David through our membership on the Bay of Quinte Conference Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response team. On a couple of occasions we worked to provide the SAPR message to Youth and UC groups. He will be greatly missed as a member of that Team and more importantly as a kind and compassionate individual. Thanks for sharing David with us.Sheila-Mae YoungWoodville

Barbara Morrison & Dale Dutton - May 4, 2019

Dear Doreen, we were so sorry to hear about David's death. Our prayers are with you and the family. He was an amazing man and mentor who will be missed by so many.

Mike and Susan Pidgeon - May 2, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

Melody Johnston - May 2, 2019

I told you once you changed my life. And you did, for you changed many of our lives even with your suttle actions. It was an honour to know you and to be a small part of your life! Salam Alaykoum my friend! May peace be with you always.

Kate Young - May 2, 2019

I was very sorry to hear of David's death. As a colleague he had a passionate voice for justice in the United Church and the world beyond. My sincerest sympathy to all the family. He will be missed.

Rosemary Clewes - May 1, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

United Church of Canada - Mission and Service Fund

A H Harry Oussoren - May 1, 2019

Dear Friends: My condolence to you on David's passing. He was for me in Halton Presbytery a valued and trusted colleague and a pleasure to work with. I am glad that he was able to enjoy full-time the beauty and joy of Rice Lake these past few years. I know he loved the place and area. I hope that the service will be a joyful celebration of all that he contribute towards the well-being of the human family and all the love he had for you who were closest to him. Joy and peace be yours.A H Harry OussorenOttawa

Tom & Lynn Wallace - May 1, 2019

Our condolences to the family of the late David Lander. He was a wonderful man and it was our privilege to have known him.

Rev. Sheila Campbell - May 1, 2019

While I didn't know David well, only through some conferences and ministerial gatherings, he made a wonderful impression in the time I did know him. My sincere condolences on your loss.

Laurie Burns - May 1, 2019

So sorry to hear of David’s passing I was his neighbor for years and he was so kind Helped me with his kind words through difficult times He’d come get manure for his garden then awhile later he and Doreen would bring over some vegetables from it My thoughts are with you Doreen and all your family RIP David From all my family

Frederick Pratt - May 1, 2019

Sorry we cannot attend David's celebration of life. We will be thinking of him on Sunday May 19th.Fred and Lynn

Esther Steen - April 30, 2019

Dear Doreen,David was a gentle guide during the amalgamation of St.James Bond and Fairlawn and a pleasure to work with on the Worship Committee because of his positive attitude. As someone said to me, he went into ministry for the right reasons and will be fondly remembered.Sincerely,Esther Steen

Linda Flower - April 30, 2019

Very saddened to hear of David's passing but glad he was at peace and was not long suffering.When I recall David from Fairlawn and all the moments my mom, Marjorie Flower, shared of him I think of him as a "salt of the earth" type. Kind, sincere, warm but with a good sense of humour and friendly demeanor.Know there were many who appreciated his disposition and grace.He will be missed.Sincerely, Linda Flower

Hear Right Canada - April 30, 2019

We are so saddened to hear about David. Our sympathy is with you in your time of grieving. Sincerely,Riana, Andrea & Maggie

Hetty Vanderput - April 29, 2019

Dear Doreen and family.Just received notice of David’s passing.My thoughts are with you.I remember David as an important person in my spiritual ljourney and also for his commitment to social justice.You will miss him.Hetty Vanderput

Clarice Gilchrist - April 29, 2019

Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute to David. We will miss him here in Carman,too. Thanks to all of you for taking such good care of him during this last part of his life, in such a beautiful location and home. We will be thinking about all of you. I will miss his giggles at some of the ridiculous topics of conversations.

Don Davis - April 29, 2019

To the family of Rev. David Lander: Saddened to hear of Rev. David's passing, but the obituary so accurately describes him. We did not know each other well, but exchanged emails. I met him at the funeral, many years ago, for my cousin Marion Clink from Fairlawn Heights U.C. David also knew Marion's husband, Allan. I enjoyed reading David's articles and thoughts that were published in local newspapers. We also shared an interest in local history. I am a native of Colborne, and David knew of my cousin, Very Rev. Hon. Dr. Lois Wilson. Lois's mother was a Davis. We pay tribute to this fine gentleman, and send out our condolences to the family. Donald Clink from Toronto writes: "I had a few interesting conversations and heard some amusing stories with Rev. Landers over the years when he visited my parents. I never would have guessed he enjoyed wild boar hunting. Very pleasant man.I especially appreciated and remember his kind words and thoughts when Mom and Dad passed away."

Ian McBride - April 29, 2019

To the family of David LanderI don’t think I have met any of you. But I think that I know you a little. David spoke of you with such joy and pride.I was fortunate enough to know David during two of his Pastoral Charges, in Toronto and back home in Grafton-Castleton. We were both from Haldimand Township, the farm, loved ministry and making things happen. I was very pleased to be able to congratulate him when Grafton-Castleton became an Affirming Pastoral Charge. I had the further good fortune to help out, just a little, with some refugee resettlement support.I will miss his gentle and wise presence, his insights and his humanity. May I be so bold as to salute an outstanding ministry career and an outstanding life. I will unfortunately not be able to attend David’s Celebration of Life, as I have unassignable pulpit duties that same day.During this difficult time I hope that you may be comforted by that which you know better than I.Blessings to you all.Ian McBride409-18 Thorncliffe Park DriveToronto, Ontario M4H 1N7

Gord and Joan Eagle - April 29, 2019

Remembering the Lander family with fondness and thinking of you in the coming days.Gord and Joan

Jan Fluke - April 28, 2019

Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."Rev. David spent his life giving to his fellow travellers on this journey of life. We were all blessed by his humour and patience no matter whether one saw him a lot or a little. He just accepted us. My condolences to Doreen and family.

june rowe - April 28, 2019

I so enjoyed David's spiritual leadership when he was with us at Fairlawn. Rob Metcalf mentioned him during service this morning and reminded us of David's "Time with the Children" . (a lovely part of the service that we no longer do). I remember his little puppet scenes and his stories and how he often, after a prayer and accompanying Amen, would shout Hallelujah! He and I had several conversations including one in particular when I lost my mother. He unselfconsciously shared his experience on losing his own mother. It made me feel understood and supported in my grief. In short - he was a very special man.

Cindy Wong - April 28, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss Doreen.

Barry & Mary Gilbert - April 28, 2019

Hi Doreen:Our hearts are broken with your lose. May David rest in pease, free from illness and pain.Praying for your family at this time of grief.Think of your family often. He was such a gift to the church. Mary & Barry

Heather McPherson - April 27, 2019

Doreen: Had to send you a wee note. As you know David was a beloved minister at Fairlawn. Both of you were so supportive of me, including coming to my place for a significant birthday. I remember being invited for lunch to your home in Toronto shortly after your arrival at Fairlawn. What a wonderful way to get to know your congregants. As well to the home you two built. Sending my love.

Rosemary Pryde - April 27, 2019

Dear Doreen and family,I was so sorry to hear of David's death this week. When I joined Fairlawn Avenue United Church in late 2007 I had not been to church for more than 40 years. David was one of the key reasons I came back. He was such a gentle man with a great sense of humour (I can see his laughing face in my mind's eye)and a strong social justice bent which particularly appealed to me. You will miss him so very much. Please accept my sympathies for your great loss.Rosemary

Rev. Cynthia R. Stretton - April 27, 2019

David had a great and generous spirit. It was a delight to share in ministry with him at Fairlawn Avenue United. Rest dear friend in the love and peace of God. My prayers are with Doreen and all the family.

Robert J. Lean - April 27, 2019

My condolences to the family at this difficult time.David and I shared family tree information, photos, etc. and I always looked forward to the annual Christmas messages from him. As second cousins, we did not see each other often but developed a communication relationship in the 1980s when both of us were working on the family tree.My thoughts are with his family at this time.Rob Lean, Canmore AB

Valerie Smith & Dan Groeneveld - April 27, 2019

our sincere condolences to the Lander family. Rev. Lander was truly a man of God and will be missed by everyone. He was there for me when I lost my Dad last July

Judy Bemrose - April 27, 2019

My. Condolences to the Lander family.8989

Ian F. Robb - April 26, 2019

Doreen and family, Please know that David will be sadly missed by everyone he touched in his inimitable way. He is a very special guy and I for one am pleased to have known him as a friend.I am sure that you were able to share many things, and will meet again on another spiritual plane. Peace and Blessings. Ian