Worden, Drew Alexander: On Thursday, July 16, 2020 in the seconds between 1:44 and 1:45p.m. Drew Alexander Worden took his last breath. Surrounded by family at the Margaret Bahen Hospice, he died of renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) which he had been fighting bravely for five and a half years.
Born March 19, 1972 in Scarborough, Ontario to Donna (Judge) Worden and Glenn Worden he had a wonderful childhood with his parents, his two younger brothers Spencer and Grant, whom he loved very much and his extended family (Judges - Uncle Bob, John, Dan, grandparents Myrtle and Bert and cousins Julia and Andrew and the Wordens, grandparents Rita and Art and Auntie Jane).
Drew started school at Elizabeth Simcoe in Guildwood Village, where he met his future wife Jenn and his lifelong friend Steve Wasilishin. For middle school Drew moved to Churchill Heights for the gifted program and then on to high school at Woburn CI. He had fond memories of drinking in the photography darkroom with friends like Chris Young, Carlo Allegri and Jamie O’Donnell while developing photos for the yearbook. He was also part of many clubs and teams where he made many great friends like Matt, Scott, Brian and the rest of the gang. He was both academically gifted and socially gifted – a very rare combination.
Drew attended the University of Western Ontario and loved every minute of it, especially all of the incredibly fun times with his roommate from New York, Danny Saraf. After Western, Drew earned a marketing diploma from Centennial College where Dave Moss became a fast friend. They had memorable adventures together that always brought a smile to Drew’s face when he recounted the stories.
Drew spent many years working in the family business. In 2010, as that business closed, Drew took the very brave step of starting his own company. Worden Displays reached its ten-year milestone in April 2020. Over the ten years he had many professional successes, which included earning a spot, on Profit Magazines Fast Growing Companies list three years in a row. He was also a founding member of one of CAFE’s best functioning PAG (business advisory) groups that has continued to thrive for twenty years. As a result of that he made a number of wonderful friends like Jordan, Stephen and Billx2 and others who provided both friendship and business council.
While he was never trying to build a legacy with Worden Displays, he really did. He ran an incredibly successful business that was profitable, but also inclusive, supportive and welcoming, all the while providing top shelf levels of customer service. Many people commented on how nice the “Worden Boys” were to work with and for; which came from Drew’s lead in ensuring his people, his customers and his suppliers were treated well.
However, in Drew’s opinion, his true legacy is his family. Drew and his wife Jennifer grew up in Guildwood together as friends, classmates (at Simcoe) and coworkers (they were both lifeguards for the City of Scarborough). Once Drew returned from Western and Jenn from Queens that’s when it all started. They began dating in February 1996 and never looked back. They married in October 2001. Drew and Jenn worked hard to build a family life and home filled with love, joy, happiness (and lots of music). In 2004 Elizabeth (Libby) was born and three years later Alicia (Ali) was born, both girls ensuring that the home WAS filled with laughter, love and joy. This was Drew’s true legacy and passion. He loved his ladies with every fibre of his being. He was so proud of his daughters.
Drew had many great adventures and a lot of fun over the years. Some of his best memories included hunting, skiing (and apres skiing) at Mansfield with Jenn, the girls, Pete and the Mansfield crew, night missions with his very best friends Brad and the Preston Lake Navy Seals, and travelling with Jenn, the girls, the Whitticks, Wards, Elliotts and Jarretts.
Charles Darwin said “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth”. If this is truly the case, Drew was one of the wealthiest men in the world.
Thank you to Southlake Hospital, Dr. Baguio, Dr. Cynthia Luk, Dr. John Preiner. Sunnybrook Hospital, Nesan Bandali, Dr. Sten Myrehaug, Dr. Georg Bjarnason as well as Robert Lees, Alex, Lawal, Liza, Shefali, Sandra Chadsey, Linda, Dr.Yves Petcho and Dr. Pete Moore for all of your incredible support, professional talents and genuine care for Drew. Each of you had a positive impact on his life and your combined efforts gave us more time together as a family for which we are forever grateful.
A special thank you to Anke and the team at Margaret Bahen Hospice in Newmarket for a compassion I didn’t even know was possible. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Drew’s name – the support they were able to provide to us all in Drew’s final days was invaluable and we would like to pay it forward to others. https://www.myhospice.ca/support-my-hospice/
Due to COVID19 a Celebration of Life will be held when it’s safe, Hoping for October.
Night, night Drew. Sleep tight. Don’t let the…. That’s right!
Arrangements entrusted to Peaceful Transition York and condolences may be forwarded to the family through peacefultransition.ca