Glenn Peirson walked boldly and compassionately in this world, blazing new pathways, dreaming new dreams into being, and maintaining beautiful relationships. The complications of cancer treatment suddenly claimed him in November, 2009, after a three year heroic battle. His deepest devotion was to his God and his family: his exceptional soul-mate, Dr. Mary Peirson; his twelve year old daughter, Theodora; and his nine year old son, Henry.
Glenn was born in Kingston, Ontario, and raised in Guelph. He was a scholar, athlete, musician, spiritual giant, poet, gardener and great lover of the Land of Narnia. Before he completed secondary school, he was admitted on scholarship to the University of Guelph. During this time he was tenor soloist at Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. He received research grants, in particular, an NSERC grant in brain laterality and music. He was the Winegard Gold-Medalist at his convocation.
Glenn went immediately from his studies to McMaster Medical School in Hamilton, Ontario. In the entire period of medical school and residency, he sang with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s Chamber Choir, Toronto. Glenn also created practicums that took him to Moose Factory and further north, to Kapsowar in Kenya, and to St. Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. It was in his residency at McMaster that he met and fell in love with Mary Beingessner, who had studied medicine at the University of Toronto. They married in 1991, in their final year of residency and while Glenn was Chief Resident. In 1992, they spent two months in Malaysia, running a preventative medicine research project they had designed.
Glenn and Mary moved to Guelph in 1994. Mary established her career in public health medicine. Glenn worked as a palliative care physician, a community health centre physician and, in 1999, established a private practice in Cambridge, near Guelph. He was also the Addictions physician at Stonehenge Therapeutic Community. He maximized a life-style that included time for his highly cherished home-life, his music, his faith and finally his writing. He was a founding member of Tactus Vocal Ensemble, and a wine and spa writer for North American Inns magazine.
Finding and encouraging artistic gifts in children was a great joy for Glenn. His children have participated abundantly in the Guelph Youth Singers, Operetta Camp, the Kiwanis Festival and the Southern Ontario Suzuki Institute’s summer program at Laurier University. He was a vital member of Dublin Street United Church in Guelph, relishing it as a spiritual community for his family and as a place of spiritual growth and healing for all who attended. Our friend Evelyn once said, “Dublin Church is the platform for the articulation of Glenn’s soul.”
Glenn’s spirit continues to be strong. As he said, with a gentle touch, to every patient at the end of an appointment: “Be well.”