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BRETT, John “David”

April 28, 1951 – Kenora, ON
October 10, 2013 – Calgary, AB

David Brett, beloved husband of Janet Brett of Calgary passed away on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the age of 62 years.

Besides his loving wife Janet, David is survived by his daughter Molly, and son-in-law Rob Dorran; his siblings and their spouses Tom and Mary Brett, Maryanne Brett, Paul and Margaret Brett, and Patrick and Pam Brett; as well as his aunt Janet Mulcahy. David is predeceased by his father John Thomas in 1960, his mother Agnes in 2002, and his nephew “Little” Patrick in 1992.

David grew up in Kenora, ON, and along with his four siblings, endured the early loss of his father. David shone in high school, both academically and athletically. He went on to attend McGill University on full scholarship, graduating in 1973 with a B.A. After beginning his legal studies at University of Toronto, he transferred the following year to University of Manitoba, where he earned his L.L.B. He was called to the bar in 1977 and began his professional career in Winnipeg at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, becoming a partner in 1984. David changed the focus of his career in 1991 when he joined the executive of Centra Gas. Eventually he returned to the practice of law with Gowling Lafluer Hendserson LLP in Calgary, AB and expanded into the specialized areas of environmental, Aboriginal, and energy resources.

He was a gifted intellect, a superb problem solver, a fabulous cook and gardener, a passionate golfer, but above all, if he loved you, you knew he always had your back.

David had a truly amazing group of health care professionals fighting for him including Dr. Peter Neweduk and the team at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. A sincere thank you to them as well as the staff on unit 73 at the Rockyview and the Carewest Sarcee Hospice for the incredible loving care that was given to him.

A Celebration of David’s life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

In living memory of David Brett, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. David De Leeuw :

    Dear Janet and Molly,
    My heartfelt condolences on your loss.
    David was a true gentleman for whom it was a pleasure to know and serve. It was obvious in knowing you that there was great love in your home and it was very clear that it brought much joy to David.
    David De Leeuw

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  2. Janet and Molly,
    I was saddened to read about David in this morning’s paper. I have fond memories of all of you while growing up on Queenston Bay. Please accept my deepest condolences and know that I am thinking about you during this time.

    Much love,
    Jill Margolis

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss. David and I reconnected shortly after his diagnosis and the way he handled the illness, including the inevitable, was truly inspirational. His intellect, his breadth of knowledge in so many areas and his sense of humour all fell within the very top percentile. I have saved the Chronicles and intend to re-read them from time to time to remember and reflect upon a truly remarkable human being. The thoughts and prayers of Dave’s many friends in Winnipeg are with you both.

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  4. Marilyn and Joe Taylor :

    Dear Janet and Molly, we were so sad to read about David. We have fond memories about our time together when Ashley and Molly attended McGillvray Montessori. Please accept our heart felt condolences during this very difficult time, Marilyn, Joe, Ashley and Stephanie Taylor

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  5. I was sorry to hear this sad news today .

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  6. The Lakeside Tittlemier Family :

    We were all saddened to hear of David’s passing. Having grown up across the back lane in Lakeside, we got to know David as a young boy and a young man. He adopted all us younger kids in the neighbourhood, and even though he would never let on, he watched out for us. My early memories of David were his love of sports,playing baseball and football in the school yard at South Ward School, and his work ethic…bagging groceries at Safeway. Please accept our deepest condolences.

    Lorna,Diane,Kris,Kim, the Tittlemiers

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  7. Garry Hoffman :

    I was very sorry to hear of David’s death. He and I worked together for many years in the Manitoba natural gas industry. Much of the success that the company achieved was due to David’s dedication to the people that worked for him and with him. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with David. My condolences to you and all of David’s extended family and friends.


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  8. Having known David since the 1980’s as a friend, client and colleague he has always been a special friend who has helped me over the years. David will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

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  9. ab and marilyn clearwater :

    Our condolences for your loss. David will always be remembered as a very talented and special person. It seems like yesterday when he started his career at TDS and very quickly was recognized as an outstanding student, associate and partner.

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  10. Janet and Molly, my sincerest condolences. I practiced with David (at SE) for far too short a time. What I came to learn quickly however, was what a kind and generous man he was – with both his heart and his intellect. Above all, it was very clear to us how much he loved the two of you. He will be missed by many. I wish you strength and fond memories.
    Lou Cusano

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  11. Dear Janet,

    I cannot tell you how many times I have thought of you and Molly over the years since our kids were together at Mcgillvray Montessori and we would go for coffee at Bernstien’s after “drop off.” I am so very sorry to hear about David. I just want you to know I am thinking about you now more than ever. If you ever feel like it, I would love to near from you.

    Debby Hirsch

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  12. To all the Brett family; I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences.

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  13. Meran & Earl Wilson :

    Dear Janet,
    How saddened we were to hear of David’s passing. We have many fond memories of him beginning in high school in Kenora. David was an eternally happy person always finding the positive in his life experiences. We feel so blessed to have spent time with you and him on Coney Island this summer. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and Molly.
    With sincere condolences
    Earl and Meran Wilson

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  14. Bruce and Roberta McLean :

    We were sad to hear of David’s passing. It was an absolute pleasure to work with David during his career with Centra Gas. I will remember David for many reasons but mostly for his intelligence,compassion and sense of humor. I was constantly amazed at David’s ability to take a complicated situation, filter the information and explain it in simple terms. But I will mostly remember David for our often humorous lunch breaks.
    Our sincere condolences to Janet and David’s family and friends.
    Bruce and Roberta

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  15. Tom and Mary Brett :

    Our deep sympathy for the valiant fight David waged against his cancer. Our deep admiration for the tireless care of his wife Jan and newly-married daughter Molly and husband Rob Dorran. Through it all David reached out and talked about his challenges, how he was meeting them, and his thoughts about life from the point of view of someone staring death in the eye. He quoted poets he loved and songwriters who had something to say, and made sure he touched everyone who meant something to him. The energy to mount such a campaign with pain and fatique and hope has taught his whole family a lesson. The dedication of Jan and Molly and Rob, and the constant encouragement of sister-in-law Marg and brother Paul , and other siblings were with him until the end. With love and admiration, Tom and Mary Brett, his oldest brother and sister-in-law.

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