It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Archdeacon Noel Goater. He was born in Romford, Essex, England, and immigrated to Canada in 1955 to study theology at Emmanuel College of the University of Saskatchewan. While in Saskatoon, he met the lovely Jenann MacLachlan. Noel and Jenann were married for 62 wonderful, fun-loving, and adventure-filled years.
Noel’s earliest years were strongly influenced by war. During the 2nd World War, the Goaters were evacuated to rural Ireland, where austerity and food-rationing were a common feature of daily life. As a young man, he enrolled in the Royal Air Force, becoming an accomplished and respected gunner in support of the Korean War.
Archdeacon Goater was ordained as an Anglican Church minister in 1970. His 55-year career in the ministry began in Ontario with parishes throughout the Diocese of Algoma in Sault St. Marie, Copper Cliff, and North Bay. This period was followed by 6 years as Dean of St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Brandon, Manitoba, then Archdeacon and rector of Trinity Anglican Church in Parry Sound, Ontario. In semi-retirement, Noel was Director of Sorrento Centre (associated with the Anglican Church of Canada) on Shuswap Lake in British Columbia. While there, he led initiatives to improve the trails at Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, the site of the world-famous sockeye salmon migration spectacle. Upon ‘retirement’ in nearby Chase, Noel preached at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Monte Creek, and was Interim Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Prince Rupert. Upon retirement to Penticton in 1999, he was Associate Minister at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church. Over his long-storied career many, many people benefited from his ministry, his characteristic sense of humour, his love of story-telling, his love of nature, his friendship, and his kind and wise leadership. His sermons were always memorable, often packing a punch that balanced wisdom, professionalism, and his flair for light-hearted and mischievous humour.
Noel was a proud and active member of the Rotary Club of Canada in each of these communities. He was a member of 5 different clubs, spanning 4 decades. While a Rotarian in Penticton, he received one of the Rotary Club’s highest honors, the Paul Harris Award, for his lifetime of outstanding ‘service-above-self’ contributions. In each of these communities, Noel also took a leadership role in local theatre guilds and in local choirs. He loved to sing and he loved to entertain through musical theatre, often playing the shadiest of characters. Noel’s sons fondly recall the countless hours that were spent rehearsing lines in support of Dad’s roles as ‘Jud Fry’ from the musical ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Dick-Dead-Eye’ from H.M.S. Pinafore, and ‘Dirk Sneath’ from Love Rides the Rails.
He was also an ardent sports fan. His early years as a young man were spent sailing and on the cricket and rugby fields in England. During his University years in Saskatoon, he spent countless hours on the tennis courts. One fateful day, a local coach suggested that the young woman playing on the adjacent court ‘would give him a good game’. A good game indeed. He lost that game, but he won 62 years of marriage to his beloved Jenann. They were a formidable mixed doubles team for many years. Noel was a life-long cheerleader of ‘Rider Nation’, the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was also an avid golfer. While in Penticton, he and Jenann were enthusiastic members of the ‘Iron Army’, volunteering in the athlete’s massage tent for the famed Ironman Canada race.
Above all else, Noel was a family man who cherished his hours spent with Jenann, his two sons, and his faithful Labrador retrievers. His passing has left a huge void in all of our lives and in the lives of all he touched. We will keep his legacy shining, always remembering and cherishing the deeply fulfilling life he led and inspired.
He is pre-deceased by his brother Peter Goater. He is survived by his loving wife Jenann, his sons Dr. Tim Goater (Mary Anne) in Lantzville, and Dr. Cam Goater (Lori) in Lethbridge, as well as his grand-children Ben and Alli Goater, and Genevieve and Jules van der Voort. Noel was also close to his nephews in England - Lindsay, Rod, and Euan.
The family wish to especially thank Rev. Canon Nick Pang, Dr. Mac Paterson, Rev. Rick Paulin, and Mr. Ron Mason for their steadfast friendships and considerable assistance in the later years of Noel’s life. Special thanks are also due the special friends and wonderful staff at The Regency Southwood Retirement Resort in Penticton. A funeral service will be held for immediate family at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church in July, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting the development of an ‘Archdeacon Noel Goater Memorial Scholarship’, potentially through the Penticton Sunrise Rotary Club, that will be available in the near future.
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