Dr. Michael Christopher Pyryt 1953-2008. Michael passed away Tuesday morning at the Foothills Hospital upon his return from a trip to Australia. His parents, Edward Joseph and Frances Mary Ellen (née Loughren) Pyryt pre-deceased him. He is survived by his wife, Leta Gonzales-Pyryt, his daughter Tara and her husband Chris Gales, his grand-daughter Brooke, and his sister Dorothy, as well as many family members in New Jersey. Born on June 26, 1953 in Passaic, New Jersey, Michael obtained a B.A. in Psychology in 1975 and a Ed.M. in Gifted Education in 1976 from The Johns Hopkins University. He completed his doctorate in Educational Psychology in 1984 at the University of Kansas. His subsequent distinguished professional academic career focused on gifted education. He was a tenured assistant professor at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, a tenured assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Calgary, and from 1995 an associate professor in the Division of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Education, at the University of Calgary. In 2000 he became the Director of the Centre for Gifted Education at the University and was responsible for expanding the profile of gifted education and promoting the education of gifted children locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. He published extensively in his field, held numerous professional memberships, and was involved in innumerable research projects. A devout Catholic, Michael was a former runner and in addition a life-long fan of the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays lacrosse team, the University of Kansas Jayhawks and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams. He was also known for lifting a glass of red wine with colleagues and staff at the Centre on a Friday afternoon. Michael loved the many dogs and cats he had over the years and his signature slide at the end of presentations pictured his dog, Fufu, and read “My goal in life is to be a person as good as my dog already thinks I am”. He was that and more, and he will be dearly missed by family, friends, colleagues and students.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes that will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18th, at St. Pius X Catholic Church (2424 – 24 Avenue NW, Calgary). Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19th. A reception to celebrate Michael’s life will follow at the Centre for Gifted Education (Room 602, Education Tower, University of Calgary). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “Dr. Michael C. Pyryt Memorial Fund – Centre for Gifted Education” (to The Development Office, c/o Kathy Bhana, 6th Floor Craigie Hall, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4).
In living memory of Michael Pyryt, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences