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Deyell – Roy Victor

April 23, 1925 – March 31, 2011

The Honourable Roy Victor Deyell, loving husband of Barbara Deyell of Calgary for 61 years, passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2011, nearing his 86th birthday. Born on a farm near Frobisher, Saskatchewan, Roy was educated at Saskatchewan public schools and the University of Saskatchewan. But he called Calgary, his chosen city for over 60 years, home.

A former Justice of Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, serving 12 years until retirement at 75, Roy enjoyed a vibrant law career as a senior partner of McLaws and Company/Parlee McLaws for 38 years. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1968. He also served as a director of Petro-Canada from 1984 to 1987, chaired Alberta Blue Cross from 1980 until 1990, and chaired Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada (1986-87). Never one to retire, Roy served on Canada’s Pension Appeals Board for seven years, until age 82.

Roy was more than judge and professional; he was a giver, giving his time, immense organization skill, and acute sense of service to Calgary, Alberta, and Canada. Beginning in the 1940s, he was the president of the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservative Youth Federation; then at 33, the youngest president in the history of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. He was elected Calgary Alderman in 1963, serving until 1965. From 1985 to 1987 he again served as Alberta Progressive Conservative Party President. He also served on the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada executive.

More than politics, Roy valued citizenship. He volunteered for the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (1944-45). He chaired the Metro Calgary and Rural General Hospital Board District 93 from 1969 to 1972 and from 1975 to 1978. Also, he served as president of the Alberta Hospital Association (1976-77). Roy was honored with lifetime memberships to Calgary’s Heritage Park Society (1970), the Calgary Real Estate Board (1978), and the Alberta Hospital Association (1984). His outstanding record of service was recognized when he received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), Alberta Achievement Award (1986), and the City of Calgary Centennial Award of Merit (1987).

Above all, Roy was a loving, caring and supporting husband to Barbara; father to Colleen, Brian, and Bert; grandfather to Madeline, Andrew, Amy, and Kate; and father-in-law to Johanna. At Roy’s request, a private family gathering was held. The family also wishes to thank Dr. Maria Celis and the compassionate staff at the Colonel Belcher Care Centre.

Because Roy so valued his Chairmanship of the Board of Governors of Mount Royal College (now Mount Royal University) from 1981 to 1987, his family is establishing the Roy V. Deyell Memorial Scholarship at Mount Royal University in his memory. If friends so desire, instead of flowers, please send donations to the scholarship at Mount Royal University Foundation, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6. A celebration of Roy’s life will be held at a later date. Forward condolences through

In living memory of Roy Deyell, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200

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Condolence Messages

  1. Doug & Carolynn Bigelow :

    Our deepest sympathy for your loss. The Honourable Roy Deyell was indeed a remarkable individual of whom I have many fond memories from my youth.

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  2. Gord & Bev Tallman :

    Barbara and family,
    We were saddened to read in this morning’s Calgary Herald that Roy had passed away. We enjoyed our relationship with him over many years. He was an outstanding individual with a long list of accomplishments.
    May your many memories help to comfort you at this sad time and in the future.
    Our sincere condolences.
    Gord & Bev Tallman

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  3. Connie Christensen :

    Colleen, I read your dad’s obituary in the Herald this morning and just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. I remember your dad best as kindly employing me for several months before I went to Mount Royal College. I was barely fit to be a ‘file clerk’, but he generously took me on at McLaws & Company. I’m sure this was done after you mentioned to him that you had a very unqualified friend who needed a job! Take care.

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  4. Farewell dear friend
    You have my sincere condolences.

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  5. Dave Russell :

    Dear Barbara and Family
    I was very saddened to return from the South and learn of Roy’s passing. We shared many good adventures together on City Council and in the PC Party. I always appreciated his wisdom and dry wit and have many fond memories of those times.
    I send my sincere sympathy to all of you. Dave

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  6. Gerald And Deanie O'Brien :

    Dear Barb and Family
    It is with great sadness that we just learned of Roy’s passing. As you know in my time at McLaws Roy was a great support and advisor to me. While he was a Tory he even tolerated me. We have very fond memories of you and Roy from those days.

    While he was doing Pension Appeals Roy visited me in Saint John. Much appreciated and enjoyed.

    Kindest regards to all

    Gerry and Deanie O’Brien
    Saint John NB (since 1993)

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  7. Theresa Tedesco :


    Your Dad sounded like an amazing man. Someone I would of loved to have met and talked law with. His accomplishments are truly a testiment of the man he was and will always your memories and in your heart and the hearts of those lives he has touched. God Bless.

    My sincere sympathy to you and your family.
    xoxo Terry

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  8. John P. Deyell :

    I write this to the family of Justice Deyell with saddness and condolences. May your time of mourning turn into times of fond memories. I met Justice Deyell many years ago as a Captain with Air Canada. We were introduced when it was discovered we had the same surname. We met once again through Justice Moshansky. In the brief time that I had with him it was apparent that he was a remarkable man.

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  9. Patti Proctor :

    Colleen, I was sadden to see the obituary of your Dad in the paper the other day. My sincere condolences to you and your family. It took me back to our younger years. Back then he impressed me as a quiet man who cared deeply about his family, but obviously also about his community, as I read about his many accomplishments throughout his life. May your fond memories of him give you comfort at this difficult time.

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  10. Robert Fallon :

    To the family of Justice Deyell I express my condolences and the promise of prayers for you all. Although I did not know him personally, I am deeply impressed by his wonderful accomplishments and the generosity of his spirited work. I know Colleen, and through her may my heartfelt wishes be shared with you.

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  11. Margaret and Bob Montgomery :

    Dear Barbara,

    We were saddened to learn of Roy’s death on 31 March and wish you to know that you have been in our thoughts throughout these difficult past months.

    Roy made a substantial contribution to the Court and to the Bar. It was my pleasure to know him as a colleague.

    You will miss him so very much, but I am sure you will always find solace in the many happy memories that are yours to treasure.

    Margaret joins with me in extending to you and your family our deepest sympathy.


    Bob Montgomery

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  12. Dear Barbara and Brian,

    I just read about Roy’s passing and it made me very sad. In the short period of time that I spent with Roy I grew very attached to him and his gentle spirit. I know it was a difficult time for you both and I always felt empathy for you. I will always remember your family fondly and wish you all the best with your futures.

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  13. Blair Dickerson :

    Dear Barbara – Please accept my sincere condolences on the death of Justice Deyell. He was such a titan in politics and was so very helpful and encouraging to young people who also were interested in making a contribution to public life. He accomplished so much – you must have been very proud to have been married to such a great man.

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