Thomas (Tommy) Shymka of Calgary passed away on Tuesday afternoon, July 31, 2007 at the age of 84 years.
Tommy was the son of pioneers, Andrew and Doris. His father came to Canada at the turn of the century and settled in Smoky Lake, from which Tommy’s parents operated a small chain of general stores in Northern Alberta during the 1930’s and 40’s and ingrained in Tommy an entrepreneurial spirit. He served in the RCAF form 1942 to 1945 then settled in Edmonton, operating several stores and businesses such as the Garneau Coffee Shop near the U of A campus, where he came to know scores of war veterans through their university years who later became the leaders of their professions in the oil patch, medicine and law. He started the Bookmark bookstore on Jasper Avenue, built the Windsor Bowl and operated the Park Hotel Restaurant and Tommy’s Coffee House. Tommy became a director of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club and came to know well such notables as Normy Kwong, Johnny Bright and Rollie Miles. He also became associated in business with the legendary Jackie Parker and Roger Nelson. Tommy was elected president of the South Edmonton Kiwanis Club and was co-founder of the Edmonton Huskie Football Club. He then moved to Calgary and opened the Governor’s Grill (now the site of thee First Canadian Centre), Toby’s Jug (now the Scotia Centre), and with partners built the Town and Country Motor Hotel. In the 1970’s and 80’s Tommy owned and operated the Circle Inn and Roundup Motor Hotel in Motel Village. His hobby was reading and his family room resembled a book store.
Thomas is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, formerly Jeanne Reid, of Edmonton; son Ronald Reid Shymka; granddaughter Kelli; sister Olive Hatfield (Walter), and his brother Ernest (Nancy). As Tommy was the titular head of the Shymka Clan he also leaves his nieces Debbie, Laurie, Carla, Carol, Audrey and Janis; nephews, James, Michael, Andrew, and Kenny; as well as extended family and friends. Tommy was predeceased by his parents, his brother Bill (Elsie) and his niece Tracy.
Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Crowfoot Chapel (82 Crowfoot Circle, N.W.) on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family wishes to extend their thanks to the team of doctors and nurses at the Foothills Medical Centre, who worked tirelessly for his recovery. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 – 14th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549, www.heartandstroke.ca.
In living memory of Thomas Shymka, 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