Canadian Association for Equality Mourns the Death of Danny Guspie (1958-2015)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Danny Guspie.

Danny Guspie, founder and executive director of Fathers Resources International (FRI), certified law clerk, divorce educator and divorce coach, champion of fathers, families and children, passed away on Friday morning January 2nd 2015, at his home with his family by his side. Danny was 56 having just recently celebrated his birthday on December 18th. Danny’s passing marks an end to a battle with cancer.

Danny Guspie and his beloved kids, Luc Gauthier and Ely Enne
Danny leaves behind his beloved wife Heidi of 24 years, proud father of daughter Elyenne and son Luc, brother to Carmil and Paul, whose family includes sister-in-law Donna and their three children Shayna, Dan and Ben. He is grandfather to Audrey, Victor and another due in July. He is father-in-law to Tyrone and Nicole.

Danny’s passing leaves a huge hole in a community of single, separated and divorced fathers who attend or have attended the weekly and monthly free Q&A support meetings run by Danny and Heidi. Fathers often attend these meetings in search of tools to enhance their relationship with their children. There they learn solutions that help them become the involved fathers they want to be. Danny taught hundreds of fathers the importance of waging peace for children, of disengaging from conflict, and of striving not to let the emotional aspect of family court be a distraction. This community has been meeting every Wednesday in Toronto for over 20 years, and once a month in Hamilton for 14 years.

Danny established Father’s Resources International because of his own personal experience as a single father of two young children. He had initially worked with three lawyers while going through the family court process, but found little progress or success. He concluded that he himself could do a better job on his own provided he learned the law. He ultimately gained joint custody with primary parent status of his then 5 year old biological daughter and 10 year old step son, along with over 80% access.

After he achieved his own success in family court, Danny applied to law school, but when he considered the amount of time involved to complete education and articling – time away from his two children – he switched to become a Law Clerk, completing a three year course in one year at the top of his class.

Through this process he discovered that there were thousands of much needed services for women and mothers, but was greatly concerned that few resources existed for men or fathers. In response Danny would end up pioneering a new movement on behalf of dads.

Danny Guspie and his wife and partner Heidi Nabert
Danny Guspie with his wife and partner Heidi Nabert
Though the FRI support meetings were a free service, Danny often said that they were the highlight of his week. He had the opportunity to see growth and change in his group of fathers. He could be harsh when a dad was being lazy or not willing to do what was necessary to achieve his goal. At the same time it was his commitment and attention to detail that helped thousands of fathers over the past two decades achieve the success that would improve the lives of their children.

Danny’s help has been far reaching and not exclusive to helping fathers, but also included couples, non-custodial mothers and grandparents – essentially anyone who was simply trying to spend more time with their children or grandchildren. He was a truly blessed father, man, law clerk and political advocate for the rights of children to have an ongoing relationship with their father or non-custodial mother or grandparents after separation and/or divorce.

He was a perfect example of what one person could do to fight for equality where none exists. His victories came in the rewards of seeing parents gain time with their children and listening to their success stories.

His passing will leave a void in our struggle to make the Canadian family court system fair for all parents, regardless of sex. The struggle to ensure both mothers and fathers have an equal right to share in the parenting and lives of their children is a joint commitment by FRI, CAFE and many other allied organizations.

CAFE benefitted greatly from the work and support of Danny and Heidi. Danny performed the inaugural public presentation for CAFE in September of 2011 held at the University of Toronto. As one of CAFE’s original and ardent Advisors, Danny Guspie was a steadfast beacon of hope and his unending support and encouragement will be greatly missed but not forgotten.

His words and actions have created a ripple that has positively influenced the mesh of society in which we live. Danny’s generous devotion of his time will forever be appreciated and we acknowledge and are indebted to his family’s sacrifice. We can only hope that our commitment does justice to the legacy left behind by a very special father.

Danny Guspie, you will be missed but your example will forever be part of CAFE, its executive and its members. CAFE has pledged to do everything in its power to support Heidi and the FRI at this difficult time to continue to build on Danny’s vital work. Our children are depending on it.

Obituary and Planned Memorial Events

Read the Obituary

Danny was cremated on Tuesday January 6, 2015 at a small private ceremony with family only. A church service in Toronto is being planned for either end of January or beginning of February followed by a wake.

In May 2015, Heidi will host a “Celebration of Life” at Eastminster Church sanctuary where any and all fathers who ever attended a meeting for came for many months can attend and share stories of what they learned and how their situation improved from what they learned as well as the lives of their children. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Words from Nick Kovats – CAFE Advisor and former Board Member

I knew Danny Guspie for over 20+ years. That he passed away suddenly last week is hard. He never told any of us about his long bout with cancer and that’s the way he was. Working tirelessly to support Fathers and their beloved children right up to the end. Always available and giving so much selfless support.

Occasionally, the Universe releases such outstanding good Men as Danny Guspie and we are blessed with his legacy of waging peace.

Danny’s love for his own children and his spouse Heidi was always evident in his beaming 1000 watt smile. I will never forget. I just missed my chance to reintroduce my beloved 24 year old son who he met so long ago. We are indebted to his patience and gentle reminders to persevere in the face of unnatural forces to separate us.

Until we meet again.

Nick Kovats

PS. I sent a special request to Jimi and he says you may touch his guitar.