George Alexander Thorburn
Visitation will be conducted on Wednesday May 22, 2019 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM and on Thursday for 1 hour prior to the funeral.
MacKenzie & McCreath Funeral Home, Ripley, ON

Ripley Cemetery, Ripley, ON
In Memory of
George Alexander Thorburn
September 3rd, 1946 - May 18th, 2019

Place of Death

London, Ontario


George Thorburn of Ripley passed away at Victoria Hospital, London on May 18, 2019 at the age of 72. He was the beloved husband of Elaine (McIntyre) for 31 years. George was born in Montreal on September 3, 1946 to the late Myrtle (Doig) and Norman Thorburn. Missed by his children Jim of Ripley and Carol (Andrew Evans) of Port Elgin. Survived by his sister Linda Thorburn of Montreal, brothers in law John, Donald, Allan & Bruce McIntyre all of Elign County and sister in law Dianne McIntyre of Ottawa. Also survived by his extended family in Montreal and Lachute, Quebec. Predeceased by his parents and infant brother Nelson.


Please select one of the family's preferred charities:

  Canadian Cancer Society

You can also select the charity of your choice below:

Message from Gordon Barnett2019-06-12 19:07:43

My sympathy.

We were classmates at Macdonald.

Message from Miro & Sonja2019-05-24 19:52:40

Dear Elaine, Jim, and Carol,

Our hearts go out to you. While it is hard to find the right words exactly, I want you to know that we are with you in thought and wish you comfort and peace as you remember the many fond memories, and time you shared.

With deepest condolences,                                                       Miro & Sonja

Message from George Seymour2019-05-24 08:00:51

Sorry to hear of the passing of George. He displayed a great amount of common sense and wisdom in all my dealings with him at Bruce A. Truly a rare individual. My condolences go out to the family.

Message from Harry Snowden2019-05-23 16:43:51

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with George in the early 2000's on the SCA project at Bruce A Restart. I enjoyed working with George very much and I appreciated his knowledge and his patience as we became colleages and friends throughout the project. I am so sad to hear this news and my condolences go out to his family on this great loss.

Message from Ruth Kent2019-05-23 11:34:04


I worked with your dad when I first came to the area. He was always willing to mentor and had an anecdote for most occasions. Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your family.


Message from Bill Walker2019-05-23 11:22:37

Dear Elaine, Jim, Carol & Andrew and family,

Please accept my sincere condolence in the passing of George. I had the pleasure to work with him at Bruce Power on the 1&2 Restart Project, and he always kept me apprised of the nuclear world in my capacity as MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

George was a very knowledgeable man whose passion for the nuclear industry was only surpassed by his love of family and commitment to our community, province and country.

It was truly a pleasure to share his friendship and he will be truly missed.

Regrettably, due to previously scheduled work commitments, I was unable to attend the visitation, and I am not able to attend the service in person to pay my respects. Please know I am thinking of you, and may fond memories of George provide you comfort.

With sincere condolence,


Message from Allan Snowden2019-05-23 10:45:38

Elaine,Jim and Carol. I am so saddened to hear of George's passing . I know things have not been easy for him in the last few months but we were praying that he would recover. It was not to be and he suffers no more. I can not express how much George and your family means to me personally and everyone else here at Montgomery's. He was truly a unique individual and I will miss our chats that we had when he was in for service. He was such a knowledgeable man and I had learned alot from him on whatever the conversation of the day was. George was a much appreciated customer and always treated us with respect. He trusted us to do the right thing for him. I can honestly say over the past 30 years he was one of the customers I could call a friend. 

Deepest sympathy  from myself and the complete staff here at Montgomery Ford Lucknow. 

Message from Tanya Jones2019-05-23 00:59:51

Goerge was always a bright spark to my morning routine. He would come over to my desk to share the "water cooler news". He was always the wealth of knowledge, a source of humor, and a shoulder to cry on. Goerge always had an extreme amout of pride and love for his children and wife. Over the years i worked with Goerge, I gained a new appreication to the the life of a local farmer and the community we live in. I have a deep respect for goerge and i send my condolences to the family and friends. 

Message from Donald & Donna Geddes and family2019-05-22 23:34:51

Elaine, Jim and Carol, so sorry for your loss. You are all in our hearts and prayers.

Donald, Donna, Laura, Rob, Matt and Tanya 

Message from Glenn Sutton2019-05-22 20:07:28

I first met George in 1971 at NPD in Rolphton.  I was a Shift Instructor on a work term and George was with a group of newly hired engineers to follow our shift for one shift cycle.

Later at the Bruce site at Bruce B, I would meet George from Bruce A at various technical meetings.

Upon retirement, George worked on studies for nuclear power in Western Canada and also on new types of nuclear generation for the future.

He developed an interest in politics and was an advocate for nuclear power. He presented his views to personnel from the Ministry of Energy at their Long Term Energy Plan open houses in London. He advocated to have PNGS run until 2024 and suggested what type of new nuclear generation would fit in best.

During his career, he also, with his family, ran a successful farm operation.   He had a special interest in farm equipment, especially tractors.

George was at his best in one on one personal talks and he was a pleasure to work with in a group.

George was a true gentleman. We have lost someone who was a husband and a father and a friend of all.

Our condolences Elaine, Jim and Carol.

Rest in peace George.

Joan & Glenn Sutton

Message from Glenn Sutton2019-05-22 20:07:04

I first met George in 1971 at NPD in Rolphton.  I was a Shift Instructor on a work term and George was with a group of newly hired engineers to follow our shift for one shift cycle.

Later at the Bruce site at Bruce B, I would meet George from Bruce A at various technical meetings.

Upon retirement, George worked on studies for nuclear power in Western Canada and also on new types of nuclear generation for the future.

He developed an interest in politics and was an advocate for nuclear power. He presented his views to personnel from the Ministry of Energy at their Long Term Energy Plan open houses in London. He advocated to have PNGS run until 2024 and suggested what type of new nuclear generation would fit in best.

During his career, he also, with his family, ran a successful farm operation.   He had a special interest in farm equipment, especially tractors.

George was at his best in one on one personal talks and he was a pleasure to work with in a group.

George was a true gentleman. We have lost someone who was a husband and a father and a friend of all.

Our condolences Elaine, Jim and Carol.

Rest in peace George.

Joan & Glenn Sutton

Message from Steve Parsons2019-05-22 16:59:41

So sad to hear of George's passing.

I remember George fondly back from the days when I first started my career on site in Bruce A Engineering and had tremendous respect for him.  He was so very knowlegable and highly intellegent but he listened to everyone and never spoke down to anyone.  Even in a dark period he was a tireless advocate for the site and it was never "if Bruce A was restarted again" it was always "when Bruce was restarted."

I enjoyed working wih him and it was my pleasure to have known him.  Rest in peace.  My condolences to his family.  We all share in your loss.

Message from Keith Tilley2019-05-22 15:51:49

I am sad to hear of the sudden passing of George and wish to express my condolences to the family. I worked for George a number of years at Bruce A in the '70s and again whilst I was back on site for Unit 1-2 Restart in 2009-2012.

George was a very knowledgable fellow in nuclear energy and had a sense of humour which he shared; he wil be missed


Message from Blain & Priscilla Carruthers2019-05-22 15:25:33

Elaine, Jim and Carol, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. George will be greatly missed by all. May all your happy memories bring you comfort. 

Message from Corrie LeRoy2019-05-22 15:09:31

George will take care of the clouds by running his plough over them.  There will also always be people around to talk to.  Rest easy Geotge!


Message from Becca (O'Handley) Cooper2019-05-22 12:36:19

Jim, Carol and Family 

So sorry to hear of your dad's passing. 

My thoughts are with you. 


Message from Gail Johnson2019-05-22 08:56:16

Elaine, Jim and Carol

I send my deepest condolences to all of you on the loss of your husband and Dad. May special memories of happy times spent together bring you comfort in the days ahead.


Gail Johnson

Message from Rick Carder2019-05-22 07:59:39

I worked with George for many years at Bruce A. I had a lot of respect for the man.

My Condolences to the Family

Rick Carder

Message from Robert S. Broughton2019-05-22 06:45:53

Dear Elaine, Jim and Carol Thorburn:

My condolences to you on the recent passing of  husband and father George Thorburn.

I have memories of meeting George during and after a second year class in 1964 and then having the pleasure of being his Academic Advisor from September 1965 through to his B.Sc. graduation in 1967. During that time I was one of his instructors in at least five Agricultural Engineering courses. George was an enthusiastic student who posed many good questions in class discussion periods and during laboratory and field trip observations. There were also good one-to-one question and discussion events in the hallways and my office.

I could see that George had the capability to become a very good Engineer. So I encouraged him to undertake the Master’s Degree Studies and apply for membership in the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

George was friendly and personable and he invited me to come to visit him and his parents at their family farm near Lachute Quebec. I managed to bring my 5-year old daughter Sharon with me when I came to the Thorburn farm in December 1966. George graciously arranged to give Sharon the experience of riding on a reliable competent calm horse.

I hope in the near future to write this and more in a proper letter, and perhaps be able to include a couple of photographs for your Family Book of Memories. 

Yours sincerely,

Robert S. Broughton, Ph.D., L.L.D.,

Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Engineering,

McGill University.

Message from Dave Mullen2019-05-21 23:23:56

Elaine and family - I offer my sincere sympathy on the loss of a great friend, colleague and family man.  I have had the pleasure of George's company, opinions and discussions both in and outside of work for the past few decades. I do not know a more stalwart champion of issues that he was so knowledgeable and passionate about.  May your fond memories of George help to lighten your heavy burden at this difficult time.  He will be dearly missed and always fondly remembered by those who knew him. May he rest in peace!

Message from Doug Gould2019-05-21 19:54:20

So sad to hear of George's passing. While I spent most of my time at Bruce B I still had the opportunity to connect with George now and then through the years. Few people knew the plant better than George and he was an untiring nuclear proponent, always straightforward and to the point. He will be missed. 

Message from James Pladsen2019-05-21 16:19:18

I'm one of those who only knew George from the Red Power magazine forum where he was always someone who called 'em as he saw 'em and was always a source of good information.  He came off as a very solid person and his family and friends have my deepest sympathy

Message from Ben snd Linda Beishuizen2019-05-21 14:31:38

Elaine and family we wish you our sincerest condolence with the passing of George.

Message from Steve & Teresa Rolland2019-05-21 09:57:46

Worked with George for many years and will remember him fondly.  Our heartfelt condolences to the family 

Message from Ursula & Bernd Portz2019-05-21 07:54:08

Our condolances goes out too you Elaine and family. George was a great guy , farmer neighbour and friend. He would always have time to have a good long chat with lots of knowledge to share, May God be your strength in this difficult time. Take care Bernd & Ursula

Message from Bob Dougherty2019-05-21 06:43:00

My sincerest condolences Elaine, Jim and Carol.  Be comforted by knowing that George loved you deeply and you were by his bedside to the end, he was able to acknowledge your presence as you said your goodbyes. George will be sadly missed.

Since before our graduation from University, I have been friends and remained in contact with George for over 50 years.  He first entered my life in 1964 as a 2nd year student in the faculty of Agriculture at MacDonald College (probably the year he met Professor Broughton who had no problem encouraging him to enter Agricultural Engineering).  He graduated in 1967 with a B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering, shortly afterwards returning for his M.Sc. and P.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University.  After graduation, he was employed as a lecturer in Agricultural Engineering at Kemptville Agricultural College, Design Engineer for McKee Bros in Elmira, Reliability Engineer for John Deere Welland Works, but spent most of his career and retired from Ontario Hydro.

After retirement, he returned as a consultant to Ontario Hydro, writing specifications for rebuild and replacement Ontario nuclear plants. In his retirement, besides continuing his farm operation, he became involved in Ontario politics, sharing his knowledge and experience to develop policy papers for rebuild of existing and design of future nuclear power requirements, wind power, etc.  George had extensive knowledge in many subject areas, was an excellent speaker and had no hesitation in voicing his opinion and position on most issues.

He moved to Ontario after graduation and lived most of his life on a cash crop farm near Ripley, Ontario. Besides being employed at Ontario Hydro, he and Elaine operated the farm and made continual improvements for over 30 years.  He placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of farmland and land stewardship.  Prior to his retirement years, he built a new home on his farm, a lovely modern house on a hilltop overlooking his farmland.   

He was always an avid International Harvester (IH) fan and his knowledge on the history of this company was limitless.  He frequently participated on Red Power, an IH collector’s website and over the years contributed 1000’s of submissions where he provided factual information.   Based on his participation on this website, George 2 as he was known is recognized across NA as a very knowledgeable individual on the history of IH.  He is widely known in his local area by dealers / collectors and across Ontario because of his knowledge and history of farm equipment, all makes.

His pride and joy is his collection of at IH tractors that includes the original tractor bought by his parents in the late 40's (Super C), his Dad's 414, along with others he has collected e.g. 544, 656, 966 up to an including his main farm work tractors,  2 Magnums and a Maxim along with many other items of IH memorabilia.  As with all his equipment, George ensured that these tractors were kept in top condition, always show ready. His last hope was to exhibit this collection at the IH show in Paisley, Ontario this coming summer.

He and his wife Elaine raised 2 children, Jim and Carol.  Jim is a graduate of McMaster University in Electrical Engineering, employed with a research company that supports the nuclear industry.  Carol, several years younger, is a Human Resources specialist working for Bruce Power.  George was very proud of his children and their accomplishments.  Elaine and the children were a great source of comfort / support to George in his period of sickness. I was able and glad I could visit George in his final days at the Victoria Hospital (London) as his health was declining. Elaine and when possible, his children made the 2 1/2-hour trip (one way) from Ripley most days for almost a month. 

Bob Dougherty


Message from Moe Hanif2019-05-20 22:55:58

Sadden to hear of George’s passing; he was a brilliant and outstanding gentleman with whom I had the pleasure to work and interact with. A big man with a big heart and a smile to match.

 You will be missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and love ones.

Moe Hanif

Message from Brian Churchill and Sue Shedden2019-05-20 18:09:15

Our Deepest Sympathy to the family!  George will truly be missed and fondly remembered by all his work colleagues. RIP “Big Fella”!

Brian Churchill and 

Sue Shedden

Message from Howard and Anne Bromfield2019-05-20 17:28:34

I was very saddened to hear of George’s passing. Over the many years that we interacted Gorge could always be counted on to give the best technical and operational opinions and advice. He was always an invaluable resource, with the rare ability to provide a unique historical perspective on whatever the issues were. 


In later years I particularly enjoyed running into him and he was always “current” on what the nuclear situation affecting our site was. He will be missed.


Our sincere thoughts and prayers to his family.


Howard & Anne Bromfield

Message from Sonny /Carol2019-05-20 17:08:12

Elaine,Jim and Carol were all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of George and dad

Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time

With deepest sympathy

Sonny,Carol,Nina,Jamie,river and taurian

Message from Walter Hogg2019-05-20 16:37:27

Very saddened to hear that George had passed away. My condolences to his family.

George had a huge breadth and depth of knowledge that he applied to everything he did with enthusiasm and dedication.

He'll be missed.


Message from Doug Owen2019-05-20 15:09:50

George was a great guy to know and work with. He will be missed by all who worked with him.

Message from Fred Gibson2019-05-20 14:15:14

Sorry to hear of George's passing. As you can tell from all the comments here, George was a pleasure to work with at Bruce "A". Thoughts and prayers with the family at this time.

Message from Michael & Eileen Conway2019-05-20 14:12:38

Eileen and I offer our heart felt condolences to your family. We worked with George on and off from 1975, last time was 2008. George was the best. He took people seriously and always offered a hand. He had our total like and respect. Many more tractor meets George!

Message from David Stevenson2019-05-20 12:59:49

I worked for George several stretches over the years, and always respected his forthrightness. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Message from Richard Kosikar2019-05-20 12:58:56

My condolences to the family.

George and I crossed paths many times over the years.

George was a sincere individual, with a big heart.  I was truly shocked to hear of his passing.

Rest in peace George, till we meet again.


Message from Cheryl & Hugh Pollock2019-05-20 12:40:54

Elaine, James & Carol,

We extend our deepest sympathy to each of you at this time.  Cheryl has many memories of the summers when she and George were young and had fun driving horses and tractors on his and their grandmother's farms. They had fun together.  According to George, the only good tractor was an International tractor!   I too remember many genelogy conversations with him - all very enlightening for me.  Even while he was sick late last year, he took the time to write me explaining why his great-grandparents changed their name from Goodchild to Smith when leaving England.  

While the ooccasion is defintely sad, I hope we can all celebrate his life .  Those great memories we all have will help us as life moves forward.

Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Cheryl & Hugh

Message from Mary-Jo Farrish2019-05-20 12:39:31

So sorry to George’s family and friends. He was always a smiling face at work and will be missed by all who knew him. 

Message from bill mckee2019-05-20 11:33:37

I worked with George for several years and always found him to be a very dedicated worker. My condolences to the family.

Message from Stephen Jacob2019-05-20 09:37:27

Condolences go out to all of George's families; George was always such a dedicated fellow and the following will demonstrate.Around 1980,  Bruce County being what it is during the winter , the wind was blowing and snow was falling making visability low. Roads were barely drivable except for "Thud". He got on his prized International tractor with the blower and came from Ripley into the Bruce stopping and clearing a path the snow drifts as needed to get through. He was there to cover his night shift. 

The Gentle Giant will be fondly remembered.

Message from Bill McLeod2019-05-20 09:32:22

Quite a shock. I remember all the discussions we had on midnights and he was the guy to go to for Ford technical advice. One of the common sense  bosses that would listen to your view.

Message from Ken King2019-05-20 09:07:49

Elaine and Family.

I wish to express my sincere condolences on George's passing/ George was liked and respected by many people that had the honour of working with him on the Bruce site. He was always willing to share his knowledge and exxperiences with all. 

R.I.P my friend.

Message from Dave Brophy2019-05-20 08:20:01

Monique and I want to extend our deepest and sincerest sympathies to the Thorburn Family. George and I spent a lot of time together on "A" Crew, and "C" Crew at Bruce A in the 1970's, and 80's. Many a night shift discussion took us from every topic under the sun. Some I liked, some I didn't. George was a likable, and caring friend. I have fond memories of our working years, and always will. 

Message from Marilyn Hume Kirkpatrick2019-05-20 07:53:27

i am so terribly saddened to hear of George's death. He was away too young. I haven't seen George in many years but have kept up with news of him through my brother Jack.  I have so many fond memories of George growing up as well as with the rest of his family Linda and his parents Myrtle and Normand. I regret I have never had the opportunity to meet his wife and family. I would love to have gone with Jack to George's funeral but unfortunately am sick and unable to go.  I just want to express my sympathies for all of his family . Truly sorry for your loss.   Marilyn Hume Kirkpatrick xo

Message from Stephen Allen2019-05-20 07:41:39

So sorry to hear of George’s early passing!

George seemed to always have a smile on his face, and a spring in his step. He always liked to talk about projects to upgrade or refurbish the Nuclear units, and enthusiastically supported the benefits of Nuclear power!

He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and many close friends!

Message from Ron Hutt2019-05-19 23:38:54

Worked with George for a number of years at Bruce "A". He was a great guy to get along with. He will be missed.

Message from Dianne McIntyre2019-05-19 23:35:58

Dear Elaine, Jim and Carol,

George was a caring, gentle man who engaged me in long conversations about politics and life. In them he showed me and let me practice the art of debating a point magnanimously, without being confrontational. I will miss George. He loved you very much. I am sorry for your loss.


Message from Dave Pachota2019-05-19 23:17:30

So sorry to hear that George has passed. George was a pleasure to work for and with on the old C shift and unit outages.

Message from Sandy Donald2019-05-19 22:44:43

George was one of the nicest, gentlest human beings I have had the pleasure of knowing. A true gentleman. He will be greatly missed.

Message from Bill Palmer2019-05-19 21:27:02

Sincere condolences to all the family.  George was an early friend on arriving at Bruce GS, as it was called in those days.  We shared time on shift together, and our paths crossed many times over the years.  George could always be counted on to give an honest point of view.  A man of integity, and often perceived as a gentle giant.  He cared deeply about the nuclear industry, and was respected for his sincerity. He will be missed.

Message from Dale MacCrostie2019-05-19 21:03:32

So sorry to hear about George’s passing. Worked with him for many years. He was a great guy and will be missed. George was always up for a good discussion on farm machinery. Especially Case IH.

Message from Angus and Lynda Roseborough2019-05-19 20:58:40

What a shock. I worked with George for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of George's family. George will be missed. 

Message from John Kaminski2019-05-19 20:36:02

My condolances to the family.  I have known George at work since 1977 and interacted with him very often.  He was always keen on his work and knowledgable on both the nuclear topics and the potential application of Ripley technology to a nuclear problem.  He was a great guy to work with.  Sad to see him leave us so early.

Message from Richard and Donna Marcus2019-05-19 20:33:38

Sorry to hear that George has passed away.   We know you and my sister Bonnie were good friends for many years.  You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Message from Mary-Jo Farrish2019-05-19 20:30:08

So sorry to George’s family and friends. He was always a smiling face at work and will be missed by all who knew him. 

Message from Dwight Clarke2019-05-19 20:20:20

I worked on George’s crew in mid to late 80’s. I enjoyed working on his crew. He was a great supervisor and will be missed by all.condolences to the family

Message from Janet White2019-05-19 20:05:30

To all of George’s family...I knew George from Bruce A and I found him to be such a kind person, always ready for an encouraging word and a chat.  I am so sorry for your loss and my wish for you is that your happy memories of your time with George will carry you through this sad time.  

Message from Clare & Cheryl Lindsay2019-05-19 19:38:16

Dear Elaine,

Our deepest sympathy to you & your family on the loss of  your husband George.  Hope you find Comfort & Peace in all your beautiful memories.  Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

Clare & Cheryl Lindsay


Message from Sarah Farrell-Lotton2019-05-19 19:29:44

My condolences to you & your family.

Message from John Bird jr.2019-05-19 18:11:37

my Condolences for your loss Elaine,Jim and Carol.

I'll miss you uncle George.

Message from Jack Hume2019-05-19 17:25:22

Elaine, Jim, and Carol, I am so saddened and heartbroken to learn that  George is no longer with us. He and I go back to our childhood and I have many fond memories of your husband and dad. His parents did not have a TV in the early days and George would never miss coming over to watch Hockey Night in Canada. As he was a Canadian fan and I was a Leaf fan it made watching that much more enjoyable. After the hockey game, we would play monopoly with my brother Wendell until the wee hours of the morning. This is just one memory of many. I will miss him but not as much as you, he thought the world of his family. May he rest in peace, God Bless

My deepest sympathy  

Message from Keith Flaherty2019-05-19 17:09:10

George was a friend, mentor, and a great person to work for and with.

Truley saddened by your loss.