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McCREADY – Kenneth Frank

October 9, 1939 – July 30, 2011

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Kenneth Frank McCready, at the age of 71 years, on Saturday, July 30, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Ken will be remembered as a kind, generous and patient man with a big heart and a winning smile. He believed in people and loved to encourage and nurture them. He was a wonderful husband and loved all of his children and grandchildren very much. He truly was a great human being, and we will all miss him so much.

Ken was born in Edmonton, AB on October 9, 1939. He was predeceased by his father Ralph, and mother Lillian. Ken will be sadly missed by his wife and best friend, Brenda, his stepchildren Holly and Kyle; his children, John (Zoe), Janet (Brad Keys), Brian (Renee), and their mother Margaret McCready; grandchildren, Alex, Jack, Will, Jamie and Claire, sister, Mary Hislop, brothers, Stuart (Shirley), and Ralph.

Ken earned his BSc in Electrical Engineering in 1963 from The University of Alberta. He built an outstanding career focused on conventional and alternative energy. Ken was CEO and President of TransAlta Corporation from 1989 to 1996. During that time Ken was asked by the provincial government of Alberta to chair the Alberta Round Table on the Environment and Economy, one of the first multi-stakeholder groups that included senior business, government and environmental stakeholders. The vision of the Round Table was considered innovative and progressive and allowed Ken to position TransAlta and other companies that he was associated with during his career well ahead of their peers. During this time, Ken also sat on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and he worked closely with Stephan Schmidheiny in the development of the book “Changing Course” which was presented during the Earth Summit Conference on Climate Change in 1992. Ken’s vision of the need to bring together environmental, economic and social factors in major decisions was a major influence in his belief that innovation, openness to change and investment in technology would significantly improve our economic and environmental well-being. He took his views to the many boards that he served on and investments that he made including: Encana Corporation; ABB Environmental Advisory Board – Zurich; Computer Modelling Group; Senior Policy Advisor – Energy Council of Canada; Member – Business Council for Sustainable Development; Nexterra Energy Corp; Chair, Naikun Wind Energy Group; Chair – Minister of Natural Resources Canada’s Advisory Board on Energy Science and Technology. After retirement Ken continued to be involved in the energy industry as president of K.F. McCready & Associates. He was a member of the Ranchmen’s Club and APPEGA. He received many awards including the 1993 Emerald Award For Individual Leadership In The Business Community. The Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada was conferred upon Ken, by the Governor General of Canada, in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada. Ken worked to progress the success of all the companies he worked with right up until the end of his life. He will be missed for his council, depth, vision and friendship by his many business colleagues.

Special thanks to Dr Victor Sainz Rocha, of Bucerias, Mexico, who became Ken’s best amigo & guardian angel. Also a special thanks to our Mexican neighbours, Tom Rubel & Candace Tisch who were always there to help.

A Celebration of Ken’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Friday, August 5, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Telephone: (403) 205-3966, email
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In living memory of Kenneth McCready, 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. Tim & Gwen Hall :

    We are truly saddened by Ken’s passing.

    In our few brief conversations at Punta Esmeralda, Ken always was upbeat and optimistic and not one to dwell on any adversity.

    Our best wishes to Brenda and all Ken’s family and friends.

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  2. Len and Bonnie Johns :

    Brenda and family
    Len and I are sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Please know that you’s are in our thoughts and prayers…
    Love always Len and Bonnie and Jeff

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  3. Perry E. Toms :

    Brenda, I am filled with great sadness at the loss of Ken. Anne and I are merely days away from moving back to Calgary from Australia and you and Ken were on the top of my list to reconnect with upon our return. I will always fondly remember Ken as a wonderful mentor, teacher and inspirational leader. It was Ken who taught me the essence of sustainability, well before it became a hackneyed term, that affected the very direction of my career since 1990. I have just started a new company that at its heart are the very lessons that Ken espoused during his life. We send our very best to you and Ken’s extended family. With much affection, Perry Toms

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  4. Hi Brenda and family,

    My condolences to you on losing Ken. From 1980 to 1984, I worked with Ken fairly extensively when an executive assistant at TransAlta. I enjoyed my working relationship with him and learned a lot, particularly regarding his wisdom and patience when dealing with people. I found him to be a unifying force in TransAlta.

    I encourage you to take particularly good care of yourselves at this time.

    Dan Levson

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  5. Stella Thompson :

    Dear Brenda and all those who are grieving Ken’s passing at this time,

    I had the honour of working for Ken in the 90’s. He introduced me to the idea of sustainability when it was a very new idea – Ken was a visionary with a wonderful warmth and generosity.

    I wish you strength at this difficult time.
    Stella Thompson

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  6. Anne Louise Bartlett :

    Our sincere condolences to you Brenda and all the family. I always enjoyed our visits at the pool below Coral 5 in Punta Esmeralda. Your strength and spirit are truly an inspiration. May your beautiful memories sustain you at this time.

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  7. Gerry & Anna Maier :

    Dear Brenda and all of the McCready Family:

    You have our deepest sympathy on the loss of Ken. He was an extraordinary person who contributed so much in so many ways.

    Gerry and Anna Maier

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  8. The only real thing that is greater than my sadness at Ken’s illness and death is my gratitude that I knew him as a friend and colleague. He is among just a few for whom I had an unvarnished admiration. Our world is better because he was in it as the person he was. Know that he was admired and loved. I hold him and you in my heart.

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  9. Natalia Krawetz :

    Dear Brenda, My heart took a dive into a well of memories when I read Ken’s obituary today. I fondly remember our work together and his incisive yet gentle leadership. The world is a better place for his having been here. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, Brenda, along with my sincere sympathy to all the McCready family.
    Natalia Krawetz

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  10. June Kilcolm (Wozny) :

    Brenda and all the McCready family.

    Sincere condolences during this time of sadness.

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  11. Janie Houston. (Fleming) :

    I always loved seeing Ken on my flights to and from Edmonton back in the PWA days. It was fun to call such a successful businessman “cuz”.
    Our condolences from our Fleming clan…..lLinda Nancy Jack Cathy and Janie.

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