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WOOLSEY, The Rt. Rev. Gary Frederick

B.A., B.Th., D.D.
March 16, 1942 – Brantford, ON
October 18, 2013 – Calgary, AB

Gary, beloved husband of Marie of Calgary, passed away on October 18, 2013 at the age of 71 years.

Born in Brantford, ON, March 16, 1942, Gary graduated in Theology from Huron College in London, ON, in 1967. As a Priest-pilot, based out of Kenora and Big Trout Lake ON, he ministered to twenty five remote native villages in northern Ontario and Manitoba; as Priest, he served in Norway House and Churchill, MB; and as the Bishop of Athabasca, based in Peace River, he oversaw twenty parishes in northern Alberta. Gary rounded out his 35 years of ministry as rector of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Calgary, AB. After his retirement in 2002, he continued to lead conferences and retreats as well as taking on the role of National Director of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. For the past 11 years he has been attending St Martin’s Anglican Church in Calgary, as well as helping out wherever needed. During his eight months in Southwood Hospice, Gary completed two writing projects and saw them both published. ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’ is a book of motorcycle meditations, stemming from his great love of motorcycle touring. ‘Meditations From a Hospice Bed’ follows his own journey from brain surgery to disability in hospice care. Both draw on his 35 years of experience in ministry. Gary will be missed by his family and many friends at St Martin’s and St Peter’s Anglican Churches, in the Chinook Wings Motorcycle Club, and by many others whose lives he has touched.

Gary is survived by his wife and soul mate of 46 years, Marie (nee Tooker); children Todd (Terri) of Fairview, TN, Kathleen of Norway House, MB, Drew (Heather) of Calgary, AB, Tina of Kamloops, BC; grandchildren Shane, Leo, Chad, Peter, and Jordan Woolsey, Alyssa Craddock; great grandchildren Derrell, Skyla and Nyla; sister Diane Bray (Ron) of Brantford, ON; sisters-in-law Jane McCurdy of Dundas, ON, Rose Roach (Daryl) of Burlington, ON, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Monday, October 21, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again in the evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church (903 – 75th Avenue S.W.) on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Our thanks to the staff in the Neurology Units at the Foothills hospital, the Palliative Care Team at the Foothills and the entire staff at the Southwood Hospice, who made Gary’s stay comfortable and even enjoyable. We will be forever grateful.

In living memory of Rt. Rev. Gary Woolsey, 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.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Janine and James Tremblay :

    We only met Gary and Marie a few years ago but they have both made a great impression on us. Gary, and especially the time we spent traveling up to Prince Rupert and on Vancouver island with him and Marie, will live on in our memories.

    our sympathies go out to you Marie and your family

    Love
    Janine and James

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  2. St. Peter's Anglican Church :

    Our love and prayers to Marie and family. Bishop Gary has been an integral part of our life together and his legacy will live on.

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  3. Doreen Dunford :

    Dear Marie and family
    I have been following your journey with Gary since his operation,
    and have been touched deeply by his display of God’s strength
    and support through it all—– and you and your families creative
    way of helping him. Please accept my condolences. You will all
    miss him terribly.
    I am reminded of our times together Marie, and of how helpful you
    were to me and George.
    with much love,
    Doreen

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  4. Rev.Deborah Rivet :

    Love and Peace to Marie and family,
    Gary contributed so much to the beginning years of my ministry as a curate and new priest. He was a blessing to me as I struggled to find my way to live in “church world”. He often asked, “What is God saying here?” Gary helped me laugh at myself, helped me to see the necessity of discipline, and was always generous and kind with his words. Even in death, Gary offered us his words to promote healing and wholeness of life through his books. Thank you Gary, and thank you God, for the life of Gary Woolsey.

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  5. I first met Gary when he came to Thompson to baptize my son and several other children. He was the archdeacon of northern Manitoba at the time. When he told me that he also had a son named Todd, I remember thinking that was special. I would see him at other functions over the years and I marveled at his joy of life. I’m glad that he is in a better place now, but he truly will be missed. He was one of the church’s bright lights. My condolences to all his family.

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  6. Diane & Ron Bray :

    Dear Marie and Family:

    My brother Gary meant the world to me. He was always there for me when I needed him. We were raised by the most wonderful parents in the world. Gary & Marie travelled a journey that lead them to many parts of the world. I never imagined that Gary would be taken from us like this. Gary, you are now in the arms of your Lord and Saviour. Ron and I send our deepest sympathy to you all.
    Love Diane

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  7. Kevin and Joanne Norris :

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you Aunt Marie and family at this time. Uncle Gary has been a great influence in our lives and we will truly miss him. May God give you the grace and peace that you need at this time. Love you all very much, Kevin, Joanne, Cory, Stefana, Cayla, Mackenzie, Kyle, Jace and Katia.

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  8. I have often thought of Gary and Marie too, after my year as an RN in Churchill Manitoba in 1978. I am deeply saddened to hear of his illness and death, and send my prayers and much comfort to you all in this time of deep loss. I give great thanks for Gary’s life and legacy and I know that you will be given what you need for the road ahead.

    May the peace of Christ be with you.

    Ruth Roberts

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  9. Dennis Laughton :

    Gary was our spiritual director on the Cursillo weekend that I led. His love of motorcycles resonated with two other core team members. Hands up on the handlebars with the twisting motion to indicate zoom zoom became the unspoken mesage that it was time to move along. Gary’s prayerfulness, trust in God ans love of fun, who else would carry his Bishop’s crook in a gun case, was a perfect fit with the theme of our weekend ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Thankyou Gary for HIS gift.

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  10. Rt Rev Barry Hollowell, PhD :

    Dear Marie and family – I hold you in my thoughts and prayers as you journey through this experience of loss. God bless.
    +Barry

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  11. Marie and family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. We have fond memories of shared times and laughter which we treasure.

    Ken and Joanne Wells and family

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  12. Sara Matteson :

    Marie and Family, much love and comfort in this difficult time. Bishop Gary has been a strong influence in my life for a long time. Back when I was a teen at St. Peter’s and how he was a gentle and caring soul. He guided us and brought our church back from a difficult period. Later on when he was on sabbatical and still willing to travel to marry Chris and I in Alliston, ON. He is remembered by all my guests for joining in and having fun and dancing at the reception. We were truly blessed to have known him, I only wish we had been able to come back to Calgary so he could meet our children. He is deeply missed by our family. Love and hugs to you all. Sara (Mockridge), Chris, Leia, Xander and Tessa Matteson xoxo

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  13. The Ven. David Pickett :

    Please know that we will be keeping Marie and all of Gary’s family in our prayers and thoughts and that he will be remembered in worship here at St. John’s in Ancaster. I will always be grateful for Gary’s wonderful stories about vocation and call, and how God made it possible for him to teach, fly and serve. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
    Isaiah 40.31

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  14. Judy Angevine :

    Dear Marie & Jane
    Thinking of you. I have passed the hospice several times looking up at Gord’s room, but I could not make myself come in to visit. So many have told me that there is comfort in the memories and I am so grateful for those treasures. Please know my heart is breaking for you.

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  15. Margot Brisbin :

    Marie, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. What a wonderful man! Personally, he helped me through some very troubling times and I’m sure there are many, many other people. Thanks to God for his life.

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  16. Jim Theobalds :

    Many years have passed since our baseball team days near St. Jude’s Anglican church and our basketball games together at Pauline Johnson Collegiate in Brantford. Gary was a great athlete and a wonderful leader – his parents contributed greatly to his fine upbringing in our neighbourhood. My deepest thoughts go to all his family members at this difficult time.

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  17. Gordon & gerri Mercer :

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marie and family. We met Bishop Gary when we lived in GP We were very touched by his ministry to us at that time . His memories will stay with us for a long time. May the peace. of Christ be with you all at this time

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  18. David and Arlene Long :

    We are so sorry to hear about Gary’s death. Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.
    David and Arlene Long

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  19. Jay and Fran Johnson :

    It is with great personal sorrow that we have read of the passing of a long-time Brantford friend. We express our sincere condolences to Marie and all of the family members. Also to Diane, we would hope to be able to attend the Memorial Service in Brantford on November 30.
    Our deepest sympathy

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  20. Bob and I are so sorry for your loss. We have fond memories of our association with Bishop Gary while we were attending St. .Peter’s.

    Bob and Loyce Clarke, High River, AB

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  21. The Stedman Community Hospice :

    The Volunteers and Staff of the Stedman Community Hospice, Brantford, Ontario offer our condolences to the loving family of Gary. We are very proud to be part of his birth community and are inspired by his life story. Thank you for the blessing of the “Meditations From A Hospice Bed”.

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  22. Lawrence S. Cumming :

    I was saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. I remember him fondly from our overlapping time at Huron College. Having just recently returned from my own fiftieth anniversary of graduation combined with the sesquicentennial of the institution, I was reminded by several stories just how limited our time on this earth is. Gary obviously served his Lord and his flock faithfully and with great dedication.

    Lawrence S. Cumming, Ottawa

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  23. Pauline Dempsey :

    I was saddened to hear of Bishop Woolsey’s passing. He was truly a friend of all peoples. I was lucky that I came to know him. I am always proud of the fact that when St. Gabriel’s was scheduled to close that Sandra O’Neill Brown, myself and Bishop Woolsey were the only three who did a complete inventory of our beloved St. Gabriel’s and in the end former parishioners came together for a closing “Blessing Ceremony” which was very moving, conducted by Rev. Woolsey. May he rest in peace knowing that he truly loved his fellow man.

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  24. Hello
    I was thinking today about Marie Tooker with whom I roomed our first year of teaching in Brantford. I did a Google search for Marie and found this. The Brantford connection and age lead me to hope this might be Marie. In any case I
    am glad this Marie has had a wonderful meaningful life. Sincerely Sheila

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