November 13, 1945 – May 20, 2012
Bernie passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at Southwood Hospice at the age of 66 years.
Bernie was born in Cornwall, England on November 13, 1945. He immigrated to Calgary in 1975. He was a long time member of the Lions Club international. He started his Lionistic life at Beiseker, Alberta in 1982, transferred to the Calgary Southridge Lions Club in 1989 where he served for 20 years before joining the Lions Club of Calgary in 2009. He oversaw the development of the Lions Village, a 90 unit affordable rental housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. On May 14, 2012, Bernie participated in a site visitation and tree planting with Lions Clubs International President Dr. Tam.
Bernie’s tenure as District Governor, 1999-2000, only strengthened his desire to be of service to his fellow man. Bernie passionately embraced the goal of Lionism, “to become Knights of the Blind”. Singlehandedly overseeing the Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre (CLERC), he was the guiding light in restoring eyesight to over three million people throughout the world.
Bernie promoted the CNIB’s activities and fragrance garden, Instrumental in the development of the Lions Pride in Community award, A Lions Historian of great proportion, Edited Lions District 37-O Newsletter. He was inducted into the Lions Hall of Fame, a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, Bill Webber Fellow, Jack and Denise Isaman CNIB Fellow. He was the recipient of several International Presidents Appreciation Awards for outstanding service, loyalty and devotion to Lionism. Bernie encouraged everyone to live every day as it was their last, leave nothing undone today, he was the living example.
Left to mourn are his wife Esther, daughter Sam (Rick) Martine, sons Ken and Phillip and four granddaughters Jaala, Autumn, Brooke, and Baylie; sister Rosemary (Colin) Jose and brothers Bill (Joyce) and Allen (Linda). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews in Canada and the United Kingdom. He also leaves many close friends. Bernie’s service work was admired by many all over the world.
A Celebration of Bernie’s life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Calgary Lions Housing Society, c/o Lions Village, Box 895, Calgary, AB T2P 2J6. (www.lionsvillagecalgary.com)
In living memory of Bernie Gribben 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)243-8200Print This Obituary & Condolences