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PUTNAM, Murray Arthur, Q.C.

July 9, 1928 – September 16, 2011

Murray Putnam passed away peacefully on Friday, September 16, 2011 with his family by his side.

He was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan on July 9, 1928 and moved to Regina at an early age where he received his elementary and high school education. He graduated from the University of Manitoba (B.A.) in 1951 and moved to Calgary later that year where he was employed by the Bank of Nova Scotia for 18 months before resuming his education at the University of Alberta. Upon graduation from the Faculty of Law in 1956, Murray joined the Calgary law firm Allen, MacKimmie, Matthews and Wood (later known as MacKimmie Matthews). In 1957 he married Eleanor Nichols in Edmonton. Murray remained associated with the MacKimmie Matthews firm throughout his legal career which extended over 40 years, heading the firm’s litigation department for several years and serving as the firm’s managing partner from 1982 until 1992. He was President of the Calgary Bar Association in 1976-1977 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1978.

Murray was predeceased by his mother, Edna (Freeborn) Putnam in 1952, by his father, E. Ross Putnam, in 1958 and by his daughter, Linda, in 2005. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Eleanor, their two sons, David (Debra) and Mitchell (Bev), son in law, Todd Gardiner and seven grandchildren, Krista, Travis, Jeffrey, Hannah, Jill, Jack and Mitchell.

Murray enjoyed hiking and skiing in the mountains and travelled extensively with Eleanor but his most cherished times were those that he spent with his family and friends at the Sylvan Lake cottage. He was a true gentleman who was respected for his integrity, generosity and sense of fairness.

A celebration of Murray’s life will be held at The Glencoe Club (636 29 Avenue S.W.) on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the doctors and staff at the Peter Lougheed Centre for the outstanding care and support provided to Murray.

In living memory of Murray Putnam, 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.

Offer Condolence for the family of PUTNAM, Murray Arthur, Q.C.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Putnam Family: I was very sad to learn of Murray’s passing. Throughout my years at MacKimmie Matthews I always looked to Murray as an example of how to behave as a lawyer and a partner. He was thoughtful and respectful in his dealings with others and his leadership style was inclusive and fair. My fondness memories of Murray are our interactions on the firm ski trips or on other getaway weekends. What always sticks in my mind about Murray was his sly smile. To me it always conveyed a sense of his happiness in the moment. That smile was captured brilliantly in the picture accompanying his obituary and to me is a great last image of a man I will always respect and admire.

    Kent Kufeldt

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  2. Dave and Pat Seaboyer :

    Mitch and Bev:
    We are so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I know he must have been a wonderful person.
    In this time of sorrow may the memories of happier times help sustain you through this time and always.
    I wish we could be with you at this time of sorrow, our sincere condolences and sympathy to you and your family.
    Dave and Patty

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  3. You have my sincere condolences.

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  4. Eleanor, so sorry for your loss. The world truly has lost a kind, intelligent man. The obituary was well written – a true gentleman.
    Our condolences to you and your extended families.

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  5. Gordon and Deanne Cassie :

    Ellie,
    We were so sorry to hear of Murray’s passing. Please pass on our sympathies to the boys and their families.

    Sincerely,

    Deanne and Gordon Cassie

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  6. Peter Guyan and Catherine Garden :

    Dear Mitch and Bev,

    So sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Our thoughts are with you and your extended family.

    Sincerely,
    Peter and Catherine

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  7. Peter Valentine :

    I was very sad to read of Murray’s passing and I extend our heartfelt wishes to the Putnam family from the Valentine family.

    Peter valentine

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  8. Sam and Gerry Shachnowick :

    Ellie and family,
    Sorry about your loss. We send our condolences.
    Murray will be missed.

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  9. My thoughts and prayers to all the Putnam clan and friends. Murray was the best!
    We will miss him terribly.
    Wish I could be there for the celebration of his life on Monday.
    Sending love and hugs,
    Laurie (Grammy)

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  10. Louise Fontaine :

    Dear Ellie & Family,
    I was saddened to learn of your loss.
    Murray was a good & decent man who cherished, above all else, his family.
    In the courtroom he was a gifted advocate; at the firm he was a wise & patient mentor to all.
    In all things, Murray was truly a gentle man.
    With deepest sympathies,
    Louise

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  11. Rod & Dorothy de Paiva :

    Eleanor we were so sorry to hear of Murrays passing. We remember him fondly from Sylvan Lake. He was a true gentleman and always so interesting to speak with. Our thoughts are with you.

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  12. Hi Eleanor: I read about Murray’s passing and just wanted to send my sympathies to you, David and Mitch. If there is anything I can do or if you just want to talk, please contact me.

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  13. Ellie, David and family: I was very sad to hear of Murray’s passing, but equally I was caused to reflect on what a full and meaningful life he led, and the example he left behind for others to emulate. For nearly a decade at the beginning of my legal career, I had the privilege to learn from Murray, both from his direct tutelage, and even more importantly from watching how he conducted himself with court, clients, and colleagues both at MacKimmie’s and counsel opposite. I never have seen in what is now almost 30 years of litigation practice any other senior lawyer who was as generally calm, measured, reasoned, genuinely kind and respectful as Murray. He treated junior and senior lawyers and clients with equal respect, and earned the same in return. He always let fairness be his guide, and he always came to his own conclusions based on that sense of fairness (and that was maybe his marquee trait and what I admired most of his many gifts). He also had a nice sense of humour, and was never afraid to laugh at himself. He was an excellent lawyer too, proving being a top counsel is not inconsistent with these traits. Simply put (and I can hear Murray telling me to just get to the point), Murray was just all around a wonderful man and mentor and I am sincerely grateful for having had the privilege of his guidance and example.

    Mendy

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  14. Charlotte Bjornson :

    Mitch and Bev

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. My thoughts are with you today as you together celebrate his wonderful life and remember the joy he brought to so many lives.

    Charlotte

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  15. Dear Ellie and Family: Donna and I are saddened to read of Murray’s passing. Our hearts go out to you and yours. George

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  16. I was very saddened to learn of Murray’s passing. As it looks as though my court schedule will not allow me to attend the gathering at the Glencoe Club today, I wanted to send this note expressing my condolences.

    My memories of Murray are, of course, inextricably intertwined with my memories of MacKimmie Matthews. MacKimmie Matthews was an oasis in the legal community. It was a firm made up of people who practiced law as a profession, and did so because, first and foremost, they were motivated by their enjoyment of the practice of law. The firm had a reputation of being made up of lawyers who knew the law, and had the highest ethical standards. Murray was a living example of all those wonderful aspects of the firm. What MacKimmie Matthews was to the Calgary legal community as an example of how principled a law firm could be, Murray Putnam was to MacKimmie Matthews as an example of how decent and supportive a fellow partner could be. He was an integral part of setting the high standards of the firm.

    As will no doubt be noted by many, and more eloquently than I will be able to do, Murray was a gentleman, but he was also a pillar of strength to all members of the firm, both junior and senior. I have struggled with how to best express that strength, and though it is clumsy, the best I can do is to compare Murray’s role in the firm to that of a weight-bearing wall in a house. The weight bearing wall, though ostensibly identical to the decorative walls, as a result of its nature and structure, unobtrusively makes the house stable and secure. That is what Murray was to MacKimmie Matthews. He was one of the people who, without fanfare, and simply by virtue of his character and how he conducted himself daily, gave essential form and strength to the philosophy, conduct, and reputation of the firm.

    As sad as I am to hear of his death, that feeling is overwhelmed by my gratitude at having known him, and having learned from him.

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  17. Dave

    Just heard about your dad’s passing.
    Based on the other posted condolence messages it is clear that you have a lot to treasure in your heart.

    Emery

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  18. Leighton ART Centre :

    On behalf of the Leighton ART Centre, we would like to send our condolences to the Putnam family. The Leighton Art Centre appreciates the generosity of the Putnam family through their support of our Education Programs which allows hundreds of Calgary school children to enjoy the wonders of Art in Nature.

    Our thoughts are with you.

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  19. John Martland :

    I was sorry indeed to learn of Murray’s demise. I knew him in practice and had the privilege of conducting some files with Murray on the other side. He was the consumate barrister: talented, compassionate and firm. A great outdoors man too. My sympathies to all the family.

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