Gordon Boyd Noseworthy may have thought he had no one, but a story about his death has turned up at least two women who say they were cousins and others interested in his story.
Noseworthy, 86, apparently died with no identified next of kin in Ontario earlier this month, although the Humber River Hospital would not confirm his death due to privacy laws.
An apartment complex neighbour, Carline Watson contacted The Telegram last week because she and her husband had called an ambulance when Noseworthy collapsed in the parking garage in July. Watson visited him in hospital and said she has had contact with hospital and government officials who are trying to resolve his case.
The couple didn’t know Noseworthy well — they lived in the complex a year while he lived there 34 years. According to Watson, he had prostate cancer and other health problems. He had indicated he was divorced with no children and had no one.
His remains and possessions are in limbo and Tuesday Watson said she was contacted by the Public Guardian and Trustee’s office of Ontario, which indicated it was trying to gain access to his apartment.
Since the first story in The Weekend Telegram, readers have tried tracing his genealogy, providing possible clues to The Telegram. Relatives who came forward said Noseworthy was from Pouch Cove.
Watson, who found his wallet in his car after his death, checked it again Tuesday and discovered a slot with his birth certificate, and said it indeed shows he was born in Pouch Cove.
“See what happens when people really try to care for people, what they can find,” Watson said Tuesday of the interest in the story.
Noseworthy planned to retire back to Pouch Cove, but suddenly decided to change his plans and head back to Ontario, said Diane Mulley, who said Noseworthy was a cousin.
“My husband and I tried to talk him into staying,” the Torbay woman said of Noseworthy, who talked little.
“He said there was nothing here for him. He spent his life on the mainland and he felt he needed to go back. He didn’t tell us he was sick, but I knew he was.”
That was a few years ago when Noseworthy came home to Pouch Cove and thought about renovating his childhood home.
But after some time in the house, which was gutted to the studs, he abruptly announced his intentions to go back to North York.
Another reader indicated she had purchased his home.
Another cousin, Mildred Knight, spoke to The Telegram Monday and after hearing Noseworthy’s voice on his answering machine, said it was definitely him.
Mulley and Knight both told The Telegram that Noseworthy kept to himself.
Knight only recalled him coming home once — for his mother’s, Julie Ann Noseworthy’s funeral — and said he left without arranging a headstone. Knight’s husband built a cross.
Watson, who went through his car hoping to find contact information for family to inform them of his passing, said she found phone bills, but no one called Noseworthy and he called no one.
“He was a loner. I always wondered how he was. … When he went away he became a hermit. I don’t even know if he had any friends up there,” said Mulley, who seemed to have sparse contact with him, when he made trips home.
“It’s sad though to think someone could go out of the world not having a soul belonging to them.”
Mulley — whose grandmother was a sister to Noseworthy’s mother — said Noseworthy went away at age 16 and had problems with his father. Mulley was a year old at the time.
He came home for his mother’s funeral and a couple of other times, she said. The last time, Mulley said, he spent a few nights with her and then came back and forth for meals when he stayed in his old family home.
Mulley called his phone number in Ontario after reading The Telegram story regarding his death.
“It was definitely Gordon’s voice,” she said.
Before his retirement, Noseworthy apparently had a small business fixing TVs, radios and other electronics.
She said she suspects Noseworthy had money set aside for his own burial, but does not know for sure.
Knight had told The Telegram Monday that Noseworthy’s mother would have wanted him buried next to her in Pouch Cove. He had one brother, Victor, who died years ago in Ontario.
But Mulley said Tuesday that while Julie Ann Noseworthy would have wanted her son in the same graveyard, his own wish would to be buried in Ontario.
“I can’t see bringing him home,” she said. “But it would be nice if Pouch Cove was on his death certificate as his place of birth.”