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AITKEN, Gary Frederick

August 9, 1942– Edmonton, AB
August 12, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Surrounded by his loving family Gary passed away on August 12, 2014. He will be remembered as a kind, compassionate, family man who made the world a better place for those that had the pleasure of knowing him. Throughout his illness he was unselfish, brave and remained positive, teaching us all to live with “no regrets”.

Gary was born in Edmonton, where he grew up and went to the University of Alberta obtaining a degree in Commerce. After marrying his true love, Judy, they moved to Calgary to begin their life together. Gary started his career as a Landman in 1967, which led to an appreciation for all aspects of the oil and gas business. His knowledge, integrity and passion for people gained him respect and admiration from his colleagues. Gary always believed in every negotiation there were two winners and any deal could be finalized with a handshake. In April of 2014, he proudly received his forty-five year Canadian Association of Petroleum Landman award.

Gary is remembered by his loving wife of forty-eight years, Judy, his daughters Jill Rossi (Ken), Laura Metcalfe (Darryl) and his son Ross (Kirsteen), as well as his sisters Barb and Susan and their families. Many of Gary’s cherished memories were spent with his grandchildren Mark, Kevin, Garret, Kieran, Jennifer, Payton and Dylan. They will forever treasure his wonderful sense of humour and his unconditional support in all their endeavors.

Active living was a priority to Gary. He enjoyed his early morning runs, racquetball games and golfing at Priddis Greens. Gary was a bright light in this world and his spirit will forever be with us.

Our family will have a private celebration of life but encourage friends and colleagues to forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. We are strengthened by the many people whose lives he has touched. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, https://netcommunity.ucalgary.ca/SSLPage.aspx?pid=209 or a charity of your choice. We would like to sincerely thank all the staff in Unit 47 at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for their compassionate care.

In living memory of Gary Aitken, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Spadafora Family :

    Judy, Jill, Laura, Ross and all of the Aitken family. What a wonderful tribute of who Gary was, what he accomplished and most importantly what he stood for. We know you are a strong, close knit family, that will together get through this difficult time. We also know that Gary’s legacy will carry forward through the generations left behind.

    Sincerest thoughts, condolences, and best wishes – Biagio, Monica, Madeline and Luke.

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  2. It must be difficult to write such a short amount about someone who lived a long, large, loving life and meant so much to his family & friends. You are a family that I admire and I am thinking of you all and sending lots of love. ~ Karen xoxo

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  3. Don & Cecile Poile :

    We were so very sorry to hear of Gary’s death. It was such a pleasure for us to enjoy this special man. We remember many good times together and he will truly be missed by many. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

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  4. I am very heartbroken to hear of Gary’s passing. Gary was a great mentor and dear friend to me. He was instrumental in giving me advise and leading me on my career path ever since working for him at Sentry Select and Precept. We have been good friends ever since and will miss our early morning breakfasts at the Pete Club. Take care Gary you will be missed.

    Your friend,
    Adam Thomas

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  5. Dear Judy and Family:
    Passing along lots of love and our sincere sadness. Although it’s been many years having seen all of you, John and Helen talk fondly of their time with you and fill us in on how you have been. Wishing you and your family our condolences.
    Marty and Shirley Hope

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  6. Gay Fischbuch :

    Dear Judy, and the rest of the Aitken family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Although I hadn’t seen much of Gary over the years, when I did he was always very kind and welcoming, and genuinely happy to see me and our family. We often saw him when our paths crossed in the Victoria airport. Gregg had so much respect for him both as a true gentleman and professional in the oil business, but also as a man of great integrity and kindness. We are deeply regretful that you had to lose him so soon. Wishing you, your children and all of your extended family much love and support.
    Gay and Gregg Fischbuch

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  7. Bruce and Dina Chernoff :

    Very sorry to hear of Gary’s passing – Gary is inspirational with regard to his unflinching positive outlook on life, vigorous and active lifestyle and most of all his dedication to and love of his family
    Much love to all the Aitken’s family
    the Chernoff’s

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  8. Dear Judy, Barb, Susan and families, I was so saddened to learn of Gary’s passing, too young. I know we have not seen each other for many years but I have often thought of you all and am sorry that we have lost touch. However, please accept my sincere condolences in the passing of a great guy. Take care and much love, Jay.

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  9. Walter Vrataric :

    Judy and family, I was saddened to hear about Gary’s passing and my thoughts are with you all during this difficult time. I mourn the loss of a close friend and mentor but am comforted in knowing he made such a positive impact in so many lives. I love that picture, we’ve all been on the receiving end of that mischievous and genuine smile whether it was on the golf course or deciding who’s turn it was to buy lunch! Such a great man, he will be missed.
    Walter

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  10. Dear Judy and Family,

    I offer you my deepest condolences in this time of sadness. As Marty said, it’s been many years since we have seen each other, but i remember very fondly the times we visited at Seba Beach and in Calgary – specifically Gary’s wonderful smile and infectious laughter. Please know that my thoughts are with you.

    Rich

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  11. Pat and Don Murray :

    Dear Judy and Family,
    We were deeply saddened to hear of Gary’s passing, way too soon.
    Such a warm and friendly person, he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Pat and Don

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  12. Jennifer Swertz :

    The Aitken Family,
    Our sincerest condolences to you and your families on the loss of Gary. Gary has an amazing legacy which will live on in each of you. I take solace in knowing that the bonds you have with each other will help you through this time. Gary’s love for his family, approach to life and business is an inspiration. Take care of each other. Our thoughts are with all of you.
    Jen

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  13. Dave and Arlene Bowman :

    Gary’s presence will be sadly missed by all. He was a quietly proud and respected husband ,dad, and friend. Everyone felt good just being with him. Judy we share in
    our humble way your sad loss of a great partner.

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  14. Susan Chaffee :

    My heartfelt condolences to the Aitken family.  I had the privilege of working with Gary at the Petrofund and Insignia offices.  He was a gracious, unselfish man who always had time to talk and  listen to a person’s thoughts and ideas.  We had many laughs over the years.  I was always intrigued by his business sense and how well he knew all aspects of the oil and gas industry.  I always learned something from our chats. I am thinking of your family at this difficult time.  He will be missed by many. – Susan Chaffee

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  15. Judy and family,

    My deepest condolences on Gary’s sudden passing. It’s clear to all how much love you share in your family, and how much respect and admiration Gary earned in his lifetime making this is a difficult loss for so many. I’m sure you’ll agree that Gary lived a very full and enriched life so there’s some comfort in knowing he never took anything or anyone for granted, and likely never left anything unsaid. My heart goes out to you all for the large empty space this leaves in your lives.
    Kindly,
    Mark

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  16. We’re so sorry for your loss; he was a great man.

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  17. Peter and Kathy McAleese :

    Judy, Jill, Laura and Ross:

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family in your time of sorrow and loss. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Gary was a great friend, mentor and business partner to me in my young career. I will cherish his wisdom, advice and kindness for the rest of my life. The generosity of spirit that both of you showed toward us will never be forgotten. I am a much better person for having had the pleasure of his company.

    With Fond Remembrance,
    Pete

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  18. the world has lost a very nice man…

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  19. Uldis & Nancy Upitis :

    Heartfelt sympathy and condolences go out to you Judy and your family. I knew Gary for over four decades, at first professionally as competitors, and then over the last 6 or 7 years as a partner in various business ventures and as a friend. He could always be counted on for sage advice, integrity and honesty in all his dealings, and support and inspiration when needed. He was an “oilman’s” oilman with his encyclopaedic memory and knowledge of the business–he could and would share many stories about his numerous experiences.
    Over the last several years, when golfing in Palm Springs, which we did as recently as this February,his fair play and especially his unique sense of humour, gave our foursome many entertaining moments–moments and memories that will be cherished forever.
    May you take comfort during this time of bereavement –our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Uldis and Nancy

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  20. Rudi and Liz Kolodziejzyk :

    Judy and family So sorry to hear of your loss. Gary was a splendid example of mankind. A wonderfull, kind person. Our prayerts are with you. REudsi and Liz Kolodziejzyk

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  21. Heather and Ross Collett :

    Dear Judy and Family!
    Our sincere condolences to you and your family! Gary was a great guy and a very special friend. We played a lot of racquetball and golf over the years but it was not about winning or losing it was about playing the game and visiting either during or after the game. We’d talk polictics, the oil business, our healthcare system, our families and recall the past and look forward to the future.
    We are all going to miss Gary’s positive energy and his great friendship.
    Take care!
    Love always.
    Heather and Ross Collett

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  22. M. Elizabeth Burke-Gaffney :

    I’m so sorry to read about Gary; our family knows the trials of cancer too — not for sissies. Gary was a fine man, a great landman in addition to being very kind to me.

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  23. Stephanie (Rule) Howard :

    Dear Judy and Family,
    I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Although I hadn’t seen Gary in a long time, I have wonderful memories of the fun we all had back in U of A days. It seems Gary went on to have a very successful and happy life with a close family and a career that he loved. My thoughts are with you at this very sad time.

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  24. Arlene Hamilton :

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. Having known Gary for 44 years has been an honour, first as my boss at Provident Resources, then as a mentor, friend and much admired colleague. I shall always remember that twinkle in his eye when he was attempting to pull my leg, and the times when Grampa Gary and Gramma Arlene tried to out-brag each other when it came to our grandchildren.
    Judy, Jill, Laura and Ross and families, please accept my heartfelt condolences. He will be missed by all who have known him. He set the bar pretty high for all of us!

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  25. Darla and Doug Heimlick :

    Our late son, Markus Bihl, a colleague of Ross’s at Remax Central, was very fond of Gary. Several times Markus spoke of the respect that he had for the words of business advice that were given to him and Ross by Gary. Advice that was simply spoken but carried a strong message. We wish to let your family know how much Gary’s guidance meant to our son.

    There are no words to adequately describe the emotions of a “broken heart”. Please know that our deepest sympathies are with your family at this time of loss.

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  26. Bob and Bernice McKenna :

    To Gary’s family- having known Gary for many years both being landmen, he was a very nice guy, enjoyed his company and sorry to see him go so soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  27. Dear Judy and family…

    My sincere thoughts are with you…Love Anne

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  28. To the Aitken family;
    I am very sorry for your loss.
    I met Gary in 1980 when I was young Landman with a start up company, Cabre Exploration Ltd. and we shared offices with Gary’s company, Colonial Oil & Gas. Several of Cabre’s first deals were with Colonial and I came away from those early transactions appreciating Gary’s breadth of experience and fairness. We kept in contact over the years usually getting together every quarter or so for breakfast at the Pete Club after his morning work out. I enjoyed talking with him about people, problems and strategies, appreciated his sense of humour and take on doing a “good piece of business”. In the late 90’s Gary consulted for Cabre, mentoring some of our younger and older staff and in the 2000’s, he worked for an institution that invested in my private companies. He was always a supporter, a fair minded critic and my mentor. He has left us far too soon and will be missed by a lot of people.
    Please accept my heart felt condolences to your family at this sad time.
    Doug Kay

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  29. Donna Cathery :

    Dear Judy and family,

    I was very saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. Gary was a wonderful mentor and friend to many in the land business and will be sorely missed. He was always very kind to me and generous with his time and advice. My thoughts are with you and the family.

    Donna

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  30. Graham&Bridie Robbie. :

    Dear Judy, Jill, Laura, Ross and Family,
    So sorry to hear from Kirsteen of Gary’s passing. Words cannot express the loss you must be going through. Please accept our sincere condolences.

    Graham&Bridie

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  31. Grace Galanti :

    Judy and family,

    I just opened my email to find such sad news of Gary. Please know that I send my deepest condolences. Gary was such a nice man, so kind and friendly and I’m happy I had the chance to know him. My thoughts are with you and I will reach out when I return in September.

    Grace and family.

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  32. Susan Cochlan :

    Dear Judy, Jill, Laura, Ross and families.
    The world has lost a wonderful man. Take all of your most loving and happy memories of Gary and put them in your memory banks. Then, when your need of him is great, make withdrawals for memories that make you happy.
    Know that our support is with all of you during this journey of grief and healing.
    With our love, Bob and Susan Cochlan and family.

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  33. Like so many I am very sorry to hear about Gary’s passing. He was a very special man. His unrelenting optimism was infectious. I enjoyed our many breakfasts and golf games and it was always such a good time. He was a very pleasant person who has left his mark on many people in such a positive way. He will be dearly missed.

    Mike

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  34. Don Provencher :

    To the Aitken family:
    I worked with your husband and father at NCE. It was truly a pleasure working with him. He always had time to answer your questions. My deepest condolences and sympathies go out to each member of the family.

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  35. John Driscoll :

    So Sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. He was an extraordinary man who was admired by all his friends and business colleagues.

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  36. Barry and Dawn Metcalfe :

    We want to let the Aitken family know that our thoughts are with them today and having lost our own father recently we also want to encourage them that their memories live on. They will never be forgotten and they will always be loved as they continue to watch over us.

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  37. Tim & Linda Cumming :

    Judy and Family, Linda and I were shocked and saddened with the news of Gary’s passing. Gary was a very smart and funny guy who taught me a lot about business and life’s challenges. We often had a lot of laughs even when working hard solving Land problems. He will be missed by many many people. Our thoughts and condolences are with all of the family and friends that Gary touched.

    Tim and Linda Cumming

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  38. Tom and Elaine Dickson :

    Judy and Family
    We were saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. We enjoyed knowing him and he was a very positive and nice man. We remember our golfing days at Priddis. Our thoughts are with you all at this time.

    Tom and Elaine Dickson

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