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GOW, John William

November 12, 1934 – November 24, 2012

It is with deep sadness that the family of John William Gow announce John’s passing at age 78 on Saturday, November 24, 2012 in Calgary, AB.

John was born in Medicine Hat, AB on November 12, 1934. He was the only son of three children, including sisters Norma and Jean, born to Foster and Gladys (nee Olson) Gow. John grew up on the family farm near Whitla, Alberta, and began his education in a one room prairie school about a mile from home. John graduated from Western Canada High School in Calgary in 1953, and attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana from 1953 to 1957, where he was a proud member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Mechanical Arts, John moved 13 times in forty years during his career in the oil and gas industry. He worked in locations such as: Taylor, BC; Stettler, Ponoka and Calgary, AB; and as far afield as Halifax; New Jersey; Indonesia and Abu Dhabi; where he worked primarily as a safety professional. John worked with Gulf, Pacific Petroleum (now Petro-Canada), and Mobil Oil. At Mobil Oil, he was the Safety Manager before his retirement in 1990, at which time he opened his safety consulting firm providing services to many other oil companies. John often spoke of his early days in the industry, driving around Alberta on mud roads. John received an award of merit from the Canadian Petroleum Association in recognition of his contribution to the safety in the industry. Following his official retirement, John incorporated Rubberworks, a company involved in reusing large off-road industrial tires for animal watering troughs from locales as diverse as Sparwood, BC to Fort McMurray, Alberta. John would proudly report regularly how may pounds of discarded tires he had saved from going to western Canadian dumps. Following his retirement from Rubberworks, John settled in Carstairs with his wife Pauline. John was very handy – from stained glass lamps to furniture to overseeing the construction of a house and a swinging bridge in Rincon De Guiabitos, Mexico. John was a very social person who never let the truth get in the way of a good story. A few of his favorite things included golf, winters in Mexico, chunky peanut butter, Tim Horton’s maple dip donuts, and a wee nip of scotch. He enjoyed his time volunteering with the Lions Club both in Stettler and Carstairs.

John is survived by his loving daughters Kristie, Lisa (John) and Allison (Craig), his grandsons Sean, Christopher and CJ; his wife Pauline and her children Kevin (Deborah), Martyn and Amanda (Raffi) and their children Chelsea, Sydney, Brandon and Sophia; his sister Jean (Tony) and nephews Greg (Michelle), Garnet, Brett (Barb), Ricky and their families. John was predeceased by his parents Foster and Gladys; his sister Norma; brother-in-law Peter and niece Dalyce.

John will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

A Celebration of John’s life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family would like to thank all of the doctors and nursing staff at the Didsbury Hospital, Tom Baker Centre, and the Southwood Hospice for all the exceptional care, compassion and comfort provided to John. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations in John’s name be made to the Southwood Hospice, 211 Heritage Drive SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2H 1M9.

In living memory of John Gow, 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. Moe Andruschak :

    Dearest Pauline
    I am so very sorry to hear about John’s death. The line in his obituary “…very social person who never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” made me chuckle. It reminded me of a time years ago at Brenda’s when Cody came to me after you and John had left for home and said “mommy I don’t know who that man was but he sure tells funny stories”. I will remember John as a kind, generous man with a great sense of humor who, until his illness, gave you the love and the life you so deserved. With sincere love and sympathy, Moe Andruschak and family

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  2. Pauline: Slim and I were sorry to read of John’s passing. We thought many times of you folks and the great times and fun we had together. John was so hospitable and welcoming to us. He will be missed. All the family is in our thoughts and prayers. I know that we lost contact over the past few years, but we still talked and thought about you.
    Gerry and Slim Scharff

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  3. Tracy and Alan Beairsto :

    To Pauline and family – we have read with sadness of John’s passing – we will remember him and his ready smile when we are golfing at Carstairs.

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  4. Dianna Belitski :

    Our sincere condolences to John;s family. He was a true gentleman. e will be missed by all his friends in Guayabitos.
    Larry and Dianna Belitski

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  5. Mavis and Mike Holoiday :

    Mike and I send our sincerest condolences from Lo de Marcos, Mexico where we met you and John at the golf course. Everyone here gave a toast to his memory at Sunday golf. RIP

    Mavis and Mike Holoiday

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  6. With sympathy, thinking of you Pauline.

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  7. Deepest sympathy Pauline.

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  8. Dick and Vivian Wiggins :

    John was a great person and and a great friend. He will be missed by all of us!
    Love and sympathy,
    Dick and Vivian

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  9. Darell and Marjorie Seib :

    Dear Pauline and Family
    We are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you at this time of loss.
    Darell and Marj

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  10. Ross Norminton :

    Dear Pauline and extended family,
    Many toasts and moments of silence have been held for John amongst his friends here in Mexico at the golf course, poker table and at various gatherings. You are in the thoughts of many, many friends down here. Sorry we cannot join you physically on friday but rest assured our thoughts are with you all.
    Love,
    Ross

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  11. Carol Treleaven Merle Phillips :

    So sorry to hear about John’s passing . We are thinking of you at this sad time. We’ll stop by for coffee when things have settled down a bit for you.

    Carol & Merle

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  12. Bill and Jan Poteat :

    We met John on the golf course in El Monteon Mexico, as did many others. A friendship developed as we kidded each other, told jokes, played poker and enjoyed one anothers company. On our trip to Canada, one of the most enjoyable visits was spent with John and Pauline at their place in Calgary (at the time they were building the home in Carstars) The side trips we went on were made even more fun by John’s humor and his wit! He will be missed by all his friends in Mexico as well as the ones he made in other parts of this world. Bill and Jan Poteat

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  13. Jean Hayden and family :

    John ” did not go gently into that dark night” His strength , humour, kindness and love will be remembered by those of us who knew him during a long and eventful life. Dawsy will be part of our lives and missed by all who knew him.

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  14. Karen and Derrek Hahn :

    John was such a great person and friend. He will be sadly missed in the Guayabitos community. Our thoughts are with you Pauline and all of the other family members as this is truly a very difficult time.

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  15. Audrey and Bill Bubel :

    Our sincerest condolences Pauline in John’s passing. Our loss because we never had the pleasure to meet him in person but did enjoy our annual catch up letters in Christmas cards. Our thoughts are with you.

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  16. Bob & Linda Gibbs :

    Dear Pauline & Family, Everytime I look at John’s photo on the internet, I have to smile. His smile was contagious and he loved to talk to people. We met John soon after we moved to La Penita. The community was much smaller than it is now and we soon all became great friends. We had many laughs, right from the first fashion show right up until this spring when we all left. John loved a party just like the rest of us and we all loved John. He will be missed. He was a good friend to many. Adios amigo.

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  17. Jim and Susan Schrandt :

    Pauline, we are both so sorry for your loss. John’s presence will be missed both off and on the golf course. We hope to see you down in Guayabitos soon. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

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  18. Dear Pauline, thoughts with you. Thoughts of John. Remember the good times as there are many. God Bless
    Sarah

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  19. I was so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Please accept my condolences. I dealt with John for many years (perhaps 20 or more) as a supplier of safety and fire equipment to Mobil and I think before that with Pacific. I always thought highly of John and he always treated me well. Many a story were shared over a pint or a coffee.
    On one occasion we travelled to Burstall, SK to visit the plant. It was winter and it was cold. There was only one cafe in town (the chineese restaurant). We would go in for lunch and Peter would ask if we were having breakfast the next morining and at what time-so he could come in early and open up for us and feed us. That was a long time ago (mid 60’s perhaps). I will keep John in my prayers.

    Regards.

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  20. My sincere condolences on the passing of a good man who shared his safety knowledge and concern for others.
    He brings to mind the poem Abou ben Adam by Leigh Hunt
    Mark McCowan (retired from AON)

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  21. Ross and Barbara :

    Dear Pauline, Barbara and I want you to know how very sorry we are to learn of John’s passing. We know that for John it was a blessing. He is now at peace and no longer in pain. And we know that for you it is hard to accept. We are sure your heart is broken. As for us we will miss him very much. He was a wonderful person. We had very good times will both of you.With much love Ross and Barbara

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  22. Gladys & Irwin Mahon :

    Our sympathies to Pauline and all of John’s family. We were so lucky to have visited with John in Feb 2012 when him and Pauline were driving back to Carstairs from Mexico – memories that will not be forgotten!!

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  23. Kevin & Deborah :

    Stay strong, Mum. Your family are with you and thinking of you.
    We loved the way John held strong views and opinions and was never shy in sharing them, as the Irish side of the family found that out last year over a drop or two of good whiskey and what I think would be one of John’s favourite golf courses, Druids Glen. What a shame we didn’t get to go back and play again.
    We will miss our little (and sometimes long) chats every evening along with the help and advice John offered.
    It was a happy release from a lengthy and frustrating ordeal for someone who was so active and lived and loved life to the full.
    You will be missed, Kevin

    I never got to meet you in person, or give you that hug, but you hugged me virtually….and I thank you for that. You put me right on many of our chats, will miss you for that. Our Skyping was as if you were sat right next to me!
    Rest in peace, John, hugs from Deborah x

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  24. Pauline
    Thinking about you at this time. You gave your all to John especially through his illness, thinking of you as you begin your “new normal” life without him. stay strong

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  25. John, Tilly and the Behan Family - Dublin, Ireland :

    Dear Pauline

    We are so sorry we can not be with you in person at this very difficult time. We are sending you all of our love and want to pass on our condolences to the Gow family.
    John was a wonderful person and we are so grateful we had the opportunity to meet him even though it was too short a visit.
    Please know that you are in our hearts and we are there with you in spirit. Should you need anything please let us know.
    With Love & deepest Sympathy
    John, Tilly & the Behan Family

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  26. Bernadette & Gerry Black :

    Our sincere condolences on the passing of a gentle giant . We met John and Pauline Last year when they stayed with us in Ireland. It was like we knew them all our lives, Johns gift for telling a good story kept Gerry’s interest perked up no end. Such a huge loss to all his family and Friends. Pauline a great big hole is left in all your lives but he has left great memories for you all to fill it with. So sorry we are not with you On this sad day.
    Love hugs and tears Bernadette, Gerry, Jonathan, Adrian and Connor Black

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  27. Dear Lisa and the Gow Family:
    It was with sadness when I read about the passing of your father. I extend my deepest symnpathy to you Lisa, your Mother and Family.
    During my last few years with Mobil, before my retirement in 1990, as well as several years later while consulting in the oil & gas industry, I met with John several times. I always enjoyed our discussions, appreciated his friendship,knowlege and advice. He was truly a very nice person. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

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  28. Pacific Gateway Branch, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure :

    Dear Lisa and family:

    Our sincere condolences on the passing of your father.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    the whole Pacific Gateway Branch

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  29. Charley & Mona Bryant :

    Dear Pauline,

    We are so very sorry to hear of John’s death. it just doesn’t seem possible that the dynamic full-of-life person we know could not longer be with us. He was such a special guy, always with a smile on his face… and there is now a giant hole in the hearts of all who knew him. Our hearts go out to you and your family in your pain and sorrow. Please know that we have you in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time. Sending lots of hugs your way. With deepest sympathy, Mona & Charley

    We find this poem very comforting so hope it will be for you too!!
    …………………………………………………………………
    All Is Well
    Death is nothing at all,
    I have only slipped into the next room
    I am I and you are you
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
    Call me by my old familiar name,
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
    Put no difference in your tone,
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
    Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
    Just around the corner.
    All is well.
    Henry Scott Holland
    1847-1918

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  30. Elaine Dicken :

    So sorry to hear about John’s passing. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

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  31. My condolences. Sorry to see another friend gone from Rincon.

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  32. Our Sympathy to John’s Family at his passing. I dealt with John many times and we supplied hundreds of large Water tire troughs to many people all over Alberta. Many may not have realized it was him that supplied the tires during the dry years that we delivered. I never met John in person but he was always accomodating whether it was late evenings or weekends. Many a good story about our Oil and Gas lives or just to review a tire order John always made time and helped us many times. He will be always remembered. The Hartys.

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