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STEVENS, Ronald Gordon (Ron) Q.C.

September 17, 1949 – Empress, AB
May 13, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Ron Stevens, Justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, and former MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, passed away on May 13, 2014 at the age of 64.

A proud Albertan his entire life, Ron was widely known and admired as a community builder and strong leader in the province, dedicating 12 years of service as an MLA, cabinet minister and Deputy Premier for the Government of Alberta, followed by his appointment to Court of Queen’s Bench in 2009. He is dearly missed by friends, colleagues and by his beloved family, including his wife Phyllis, daughter Kristen (David Powell), his son Grant (Eleanor Carlson), and granddaughters Ellen and Eden. Ron was predeceased by his parents Wilma and Les Stevens.

Ron was born September 17, 1949 in Empress, Alberta and raised on a farm nearby. He graduated from the University of Calgary in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and from the University of Alberta in 1975 with a Bachelor of Laws. He articled and practiced at Code Hunter Wittman LLP as a civil litigation lawyer and mediator in Calgary until 1997. Ron was appointed Queen’s Council in 1996.

He was first elected as MLA for Calgary-Glenmore in 1997, and went on to serve as Minister of Gaming and Justice Minister under Premier Ralph Klein. He was appointed Deputy Premier and International and Intergovernmental Relations Minister by Premier Ed Stelmach.

His accomplishments in government include successful sponsorship of the Holocaust Memorial Day and Genocide Remembrance Act and the Irrigation Districts Act, along with the private member’s bill the Emblems of Alberta (Alberta Dress Tartan) Amendment Act, 2000.

Always an active community member, Ron served as president of the Palliser Bayview Pumphill Community Association, director of the Community Mediation Calgary Society, director of the Federation of Calgary Communities and director and vice-chair of the Calgary Housing Authority.

Known for his commanding presence, quick wit, wry sense of humour, and his insatiable curiosity, Ron was an invaluable advisor, a respected mentor, and a connoisseur of life that included his deep love of conversation, great food and drink, music, art and travel. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and son, and the regular family gatherings and holiday celebrations that he rarely missed will not be the same without him.

Despite Ron’s busy and public life, his most cherished moments were spent with his family. In recent years, he especially enjoyed spending time with Phyllis at their place in Victoria, going for long walks and reading.

A Memorial Service to Celebrate Ron’s Life will be held at Gasoline Alley – Heritage Park Historical Village (1900 Heritage Drive S.E., Calgary, AB) on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, donations in Ron’s memory can be made to Pro Bono Law Alberta Society or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta.

In living memory of Ron Stevens, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of STEVENS, Ronald Gordon (Ron) Q.C.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Dave Baldwin :

    Although Ron and I had lost touch over the last several years, I remember him as a true friend. I helped during his first political campaign, but my relationship was not through politics or through his legal career.
    For a number of years, Ron and I played squash together regularly at the Glenmore Club. We sat together in the Sauna and chatted on Saturday mornings for a number of years. He provided me with advice on many subjects over the years. We got together socially on occasion. I remember a kind, thoughtful man who always had time for his friends and family.
    My wife Vivian and I were saddened to hear of Ron’s death and our condolences to you at this time.

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  2. Jeff Kovitz :

    I am heartbroken. Hugs to you all.

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  3. Drury Mason :

    Phyllis, I was so shocked and saddened to read about Ron’s passing. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. You probably have no idea how much I respected him. Few do. Ron was a great man, one of my greatest mentors and a person I truly admired and respected. In fact, as a guy who packed up his life in three suitcases, I can tell you that one of the things I still have with me is the letter he wrote to me thanking me for my service after I resigned. I have fond memories working for him and some of my best memories are the times the three of us spent together in UAE, Jordan and Israel. It is trite to say that my thoughts are with you because everyone says that…rest assured in this case it is true. Take care of yourself. My warmest regards. Dru.

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  4. Cheryl Gottselig :

    Phyllis -my heart goes out to you and your family. Ron was such a great guy. C

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  5. Barbara Sturdy :

    Phyllis – I am so sorry for your loss and very sad that Ron left us too soon. So many great memories to be cherished and remembered when we need them. My favourite “Boss”!

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  6. Mary O'Neill :

    Phyllis and family,
    You might recognize my name as one who served with Ron in the Alberta Legislature for two terms as the PC MLA for St. Albert. Ron was a real gentleman and an astute politician. Ron’s passing is the loss of a good man in the many social, professional and political circles to which he contributed. But no more so than to you – his family. My condolences to you.
    Mary O’Neill

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  7. George Rogers, MLA :

    On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to offer my condolences. I had the privilege of working with Ron from 2004 until his retirement; Very much admired his work ethic, and the way he treated his colleagues; he will be dearly missed…….Walk good, Ron

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  8. Sue Sinclair :

    I have such fond memories of Ron and was shocked to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with you.

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  9. Jim & Barbara Burton :

    Rest in Peace Ron. I will always cherish the many great moments we enjoyed on the squash court at The Glenmore Racquet Club. Win or lose you always had a smile on your face. We both enjoyed your company and your great personality. You rose to great heights and will remain in our hearts forever.
    Jim & Barbara Burton

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  10. Bill & Shirley Smith :

    Phyllis, we were so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing.
    Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and your
    family.
    Bill & Shirley Smith

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  11. Nancy Close :

    As a school board trustee from 1999-2007 for Wards 11 and 13 , I was privileged to know MLA Ron Stevens.
    I can remember arriving at his constituency office in Glenmore Landing, angry, and he still talked to me. How astute, indeed.
    We travelled in my car and visited schools, some not in his constituency, but schools that were examples of information that provided answers to his questions. He wiped the dust off of my dashboard, in a nice way.
    We ate great Indian food together, while having honest, thoughtful and provocative discussions.
    We stood together at the ATA’s Convention booth, when their executive could barely acknowledge he was there. And, I was proud to do so.
    We didn’t always agree, but he was definitely a man of tremendous integrity, intellect and grace.
    I am so grateful and honoured to have known him. It was definitely a privilege to have known him in my small way. And, I am so sorry that we have lost him too soon.
    My sincere condolences to his wife Phyllis and his family.
    Nancy Close

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  12. Tony and Karen Phillips :

    Phyllis,

    Our hearts are with you and your entire family and your loss is deeply felt. Ron was a man of rare warmth by whom we felt immediately befriended. We wish you peace in this terrible time and we hope the joy of a life spent with such a special man may bring you continued blessings in times to come.

    Tony and Karen Phillips

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  13. Bill Ruskowsky :

    I was very sad to hear that had Ron passed away, Phyllis I just wanted you to know that I thought Ron was just a great guy, he was always so respectful of our guys and treated them as people. I remember the first time I met Ron way back, we discussed the sculpture in your front yard as to it’s uniqueness, weight, color and the rusty water it held. I will keep Ron in my memories and I wish you and your family the best during this difficult time, warm thoughts, Bill

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  14. liz (Semmens) Samson St. Albert :

    Dear Phyllis,

    May your memories of Ron, a thoughtful and compassionate person, a wonderful father and husband and your life together give you strength and comfort .

    Love liz

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  15. Joan Peters :

    I was shocked and saddened to read of Ron’s passing in the Globe this week. He interviewed me for an articling position at Code Hunter a long time ago, and once I joined the firm, I found that the impish grin and wry sense of humour that was part of the interview were, in fact, an integral part of Ron. He will be sorely missed by all his many friends and colleagues. We are thinking of you, Phyllis, and your family, at this sad time.

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  16. Laura Traquair :

    It can be so hard to face the first year without your loved one, but the love of family and friends can carry you through. My deepest sympathy to the Stevens’ family during this terrible time of loss. Another great man that the world has lost!

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  17. Dan Gallagher and Darlene Schwab :

    Phyllis, on behalf of Darlene and I, I want to extend our condolences. We so much enjoyed dealing with Ron over the years while he was in government, including in relation to Heritage Park and the great support he showed for the Park. He will be very much missed. Darlene and I have made a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in his memory.

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  18. Jack Stevens :

    Barb and I and our family were saddened to hear of Ron’s passing and we offer our condolences to his family.

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  19. Margaret MacEwen Simpson :

    To Phyllis, Kristen and Grant, our heartfelt sympathy. I’ve started this note a number of times and quit. My heart is broken for you. The memories of working for Ron during those early years at Code Hunter make me smile. I learned so much, but he taught me the value of integrity. Ronald G. Stevens, the man of integrity, and so much more. Thanks for being my friend. Hugs and prayers are sent across the miles. Wish I could be there.
    Margaret and Brian

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  20. Brian & Kate Gallen :

    Our deepest condolences, Phyllis, go to you and your entire family. We first met you and Ron through our association at Heritage Park and our relationship grew over time. It’s often the small things that you remember. Ron gave me a private tour of the new Calgary courthouse – he was unselfish with his time. I subsequently attended a session in court, at which he was the judge. He was always a warm and interesting man. He will be missed by many.

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  21. Ted and Connie Stevens :

    Sorry to hear of Ron’s passing I did not have a chance to meet him Ted and connie

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  22. Richard Roos :

    I was deeply saddened to hear that Ron passed away. Although I hadn’t seen Ron since attending his installation as a judge on the Court of Queens Bench, he was an important mentor to me over the past 23 years. I first met Ron when he was a lawyer with Code Hunter and I was an inexperienced insolvency practitioner with Coopers and Lybrand. Ron was patient and provided great advice on numerous legal and life issues. I was also fortunate to spend time with Ron on several sailing trips in the early/mid 1990’s when 40-50 insolvency related professionals from Calgary would meet annually for a regatta in the Gulf Islands. Ron’s quick wit, generous spirit and love of good red wine made him the life of the party. I appreciated that he continued to keep in touch long after our career paths had gone in different directions. It was impressive having a friend and mentor that was an MLA, Cabinet Minister and Judge. I wish his wife Phyllis and Ron’s entire family much strength as you deal with your loss. He will be missed by many.

    Warm Regards,
    Richard Roos
    Melbourne, Australia

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  23. Honourable Allan H. Wachowich :

    Dear Phyllis and Family:

    It has been some weeks since Ron passed away and I apologize for not expressing my condolences to you on an earlier occasion. Perhaps this is partially due to the fact that I had a difficult time in choosing the appropriate words to pay tribute to his memory. For this I apologize and I also do the same for not being at his funeral service to personally express my sincere condolences, but prior commitments stood in the way.

    I did wish to write, even at this late date, to let you know the high respect I had for Ron. He was a man of integrity. A lawyer first and a politician second. He understood the word “trust” and lived by it.

    I first dealt with him when he became the Minister of Justice and I was the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. As Minister of Justice, Ron was my lawyer. Of the six Ministers of Justice I had to deal with while I was Chief Justice, Ron understood his role better than the rest. Over those years we became good friends and when he became a member of our Court, I was so proud because he was a man of stature and knew his law. I publicly spoke on his behalf when the Press questioned the policy of appointing a politician to the Court so early after resigning his political post. Ron was more than a good Justice – he adapted to his new position and was a credit to the Court and maintained his reputation of being a man of integrity.

    When a loved one passes away it is the members of his family who suffer the most. Hopefully short notes such as this one ease that pain.

    May my good friend, a loving husband and father and a Justice at two levels of Society, rest in Peace. A Peace he so much deserves.

    Sincerely,

    The Honourable Allan H. Wachowich

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