On March 21, friends and family of Gordon MacQueen will gather in the spin cycle room of MacQueen’s Bike Shop to remember the man who started it all.
MacQueen, the founder of the shop and its touring business, died unexpectedly last week after living with a heart condition for five years. The memorial will be held on what would have been his 79th birthday.
The shop was his favourite place and he was always there, said his daughter Kelley.
“To go to a funeral home just wouldn’t be right for Dad.”
His daughter says MacQueen’s quiet, intelligent and strong force allowed him to come up with serious business ideas that also helped others. But Kelley, her sister Kristen, brothers Darryl and Danny and their mom Leslie will also remember MacQueen’s humour and free spirit.
For instance, Kelley says if she asked her father what he was doing, he’d often reply,
“Well, I’m not picking my nose!” And her favourite compliment from her Dad was, “You’re not as dumb as you look.”
MacQueen built the bike business in 1976 and for 40 years he just kept building, said Kelley.
“He was always light years ahead, it seems.”
The bike shop isn’t his only legacy. In 1994, MacQueen founded guided bicycle tours of Cuba. He also owned a U-Haul franchise, a summer BMX racetrack, and an indoor skate park.
His family also discovered an idea he had to start mussel production in Cuba. He thought it would help with jobs and help the people of Cuba have more protein in their diet, said Kelley.
“He was always thinking of everyone.”
After learning about his heart condition five years ago, MacQueen was thankful for the support of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. His family have asked for memorial donations to support the Charlottetown hospital in lieu of flowers.
“Without the QEH he might not have made it this long,” Kelley said.
“All of his grandchildren were born there, too.”
When people asked MacQueen how he was doing, he would usually respond with, “Still above the ground.” This will remain true, as his family will be spreading his ashes in a location of their choice.