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STOPA, Brian

February 25, 1958 – Edmonton, Alberta
November 12, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

It is with profound sadness the family of Brian Stopa, announces his sudden passing on Monday, November 12th, 2018 at the age of 60 years.

In July Brian celebrated his forty-second year at Canadian Freightways as Fleet Service Manager. He loved his job and his dedication, hard work and knowledge of the trucking industry is unsurpassed. Brian’s biggest joy and passion was travelling with his wife Jackie to numerous dog grooming competitions all over Canada and the U.S.A. for the past twenty years. Whether they travelled by car, plane or by his favorite way, in their RV, he was always by her side proudly supporting her love of the competitions. He made many friends through the dog grooming community and was proud President of the Husbands Club, with his buddies Alex and Les. Anyone that knew Brian knows he always had a hand to lend, an ear to bend or a gentle word of encouragement. Brian was the most loving, funny, devoted and, supportive husband, with the absolute kindest and most generous soul. This world is a darker place without him.
His sweet little girls, Emma and Sasha, will forever be waiting for him at the front door.

Brian is survived by his wife and best friend of twenty-two years, Jackie Boulton. Brian will also be fondly remembered by his brothers and their wives, Wayne and Jackie Stopa and, Gary and Michelle Stopa; his sister-in-law and her husband, Debbie Cameron and Garry Motiuk; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was especially grateful to have reconnected with his nephew Colby.

Brian was predeceased by his father, Frank Stopa, mother, Rena and sister, Debbie.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal” For now my love, “I’ll see you in my dreams, I’m so proud of you.”

A Celebration of Brian’s Life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate in Brian’s name to Groom Team Canada www.groomteamcanada.ca. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Brian Stopa, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. My condolences on your loss. Brian was a very caring and genuine man. It was an honor to have worked with him and known him.

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  2. Jackie, I love you and I am so incredibly sad and sorry. Brian was a gem. Not a man kinder, lovelier and more committed to love and support of his beloved than he. I wish I could be there with you to honor him.
    Missi

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  3. Jackie, I was deeply saddened to hear of Brian’s Passing this morning. He was a wonderful man , and my thoughts and prayers are with you , family members , friends , all who knew him.

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  4. Shawn MacQueen :

    My condolences on your loss. I had the Honour of working beside Brain daily for the past 6 yrs. Brain was a very caring person .

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  5. Dear Jackie
    I was so sad to hear of Brian’s passing. He was a great guy and I’ll always remember how he made us laugh everyday on vacations. He was a devoted husband and dog dad. He will be greatly missed.
    Love Dona Glosser xo

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  6. Jackie , So Sorry
    Our sincere Condolences, Jackie and Family, Brian will surely be Missed, Lots of great Memories, through Many Years, No body can meet Brains Passion for Family and Friends, Just one great Guy, Will really Miss you my Friend.

    All our Love Rick & Lynda Bishop

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  7. I feel very privileged to have known this wonderful man and to have called him my friend. Jackie you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  8. Jeff & I are absolutely crushed by this news. There are no words to express our sorrow. The grooming industry has lost one of its most loving supporters. There is bright new star in the sky tonight.
    Jackie, our hearts go out to you. Your grooming family loves you and shares in your grief.

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  9. Gail Traughber :

    Oh Jackie, my heart is aching for you! I remember Brian as such a wonderful, gentle and friendly man. He was so special in the way he supported you in your grooming travels! I pray that you can find comfort in all your wonderful memories of him. Hugs and love to you and your family from Gail, Chris and Kienan

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  10. Wendie Patrick :

    My dearest Jackie, I have no words. I know your heart must be breaking. Brian was the most wonderful human and the biggest cheerleader you will ever have, it was always with such honour and pride he was at your side and sitting ringside. Never forgot me no matter how many years it had been and always had time to share some words. Yes, the world is a darker place indeed now. Mourning his loss and sending you strength to carry on. Much love to you and all the family xxx Wendie.

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  11. Priscilla Suddard :

    So very very sad to hear of Brian’s passing. I’ve sat ringside with him numerous times sharing stories . Such a lovely man! My deepest condolences to all his family .

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  12. Jackie,
    I am so very sorry , I am glad I got to know your wonderful husband , he was a kind man and such a great supporter .

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  13. Oh Jackie and family, I am so sorry to hear this news. Brian was such a sweet guy and brought joy when he was around. It was an honour to get to know him…he will be missed by all who knew him.

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  14. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of a Sweet man. I remember him at a seminar held by Jackie in Smith falls and he was so nice and Made me smile. I am sorry for your loss.

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  15. Jackie,
    Brain is a great man, a kind man, a great supporter. I remembered he had always encouraging me and offer to help. He will be missed. I felt your pain, will always be there, but a bright star is shining on us forever. Please stay strong. You are in my prayer.

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  16. My deepest condolences Jackie and to your entire family. Brian was such a kind and caring man. My heart just breaks for you.

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  17. The Mooers family :

    Dearest Jackie Sasha & Emma

    I am so sorry to hear about Brian’s passing.

    To this day, we still laugh when Brian was telling us how hard grooming is. That he needs to go and pop 2 Advil’s at noon just to get through our “normal” day.

    I still laugh but admire his love for all dogs. It was a busy day at the shop and you had him in helping. He would always comment on every dog he touched, that he had the cutest one. The cutest one would then be bumped up by the next dog he would come in contact with

    Brian will forever live on in legacy through grooming. His compassion and love for dogs is one of a kind and he shared that with you.

    His kind eyes and smile was always very welcoming and warm when we would say hello.

    We will miss him dearly ❤️

    Xoxo Samantha Brenda Vernon Brandon & Devin

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  18. Jackie, I am so sorry for your loss. Brian was truly the sweetest man. He was always so welcoming and kid. You are in my thoughts and in my heart.

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  19. Lorna Phillips :

    Brian was the most kind gentle man I think I have ever met. His love for you was so obvious.

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  20. Dearest Jackie, shocked and heartbroken to hear of your beloved Brian passing! Such sadness fills my heart! Your grooming family will miss his kind smiling face so much! Please accept my heartfelt condolences!

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  21. Jackie, I am at a loss for words. My heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry you are going through this. You will be in my prayers.

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  22. It is so hard for me to comprehend this right now so I could never imagine how Jackie and family must be right now. Some of us are so fortunate to travel and support our wives/girlfriends around the world in the wonderful grooming industry. There are few of us who understand how much of a bond and unique understanding is formed. For those of us who have done it for many years the bond only gets stronger and more refined. I was so fortunate to firstly admire then get to meet and eventually able to call Brian & Jackie friends. Like everyone our heart breaks for you Jackie and your families as you are indeed a unique couple. Our wives supporters club was a fun thing we came up with in February at Pasadena of this year and will forever be a most cherished memory of Brian to me. A truly beautiful genuine person. RIP Brian

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  23. Dear Jackie and family ,
    So sad and sorry to hear of your husbands passing . Grief and disbelief comes in waves . With some time , I hope some of the special memories you shared will start to seep in. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers – lean on those who love you ❤️❤️❤️

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  24. Scott Wasserman :

    Jackie, I’m so sorry. You know we all in the industry loved him. And we love you! Hugs to you and your family.

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  25. Jackie, I am so sorry for your loss. Every time I would see Brian sitting ring side I knew you weren’t far. If they had an award for best assistant, dog walker, driver, cheerleader, boy Brian would have won that. Please know your in my thoughts and prayers. I’m sending you big hugs and I pray all the wonderful memories you have together will give you strength to get through this difficult time. If there is anything you need please reach out your grooming family loves you!

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  26. Chantel and Bill Hunt :

    Jackie, we send our love and heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Bill and I always looked forward to seeing you both at competitions. He will be missed.

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  27. Brian was one of the kindest souls I have ever met. I am so sorry for your loss Jackie.

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  28. My deepest sympathy and condolences to you Jackie on your loss of Brian. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  29. I’m so sorry Jackie. He was such a wonderful man. I always loved talking with him and seeing him at the shows. He will be greatly missed by all. I’m just so heartbroken. I love you <3

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  30. Jackie, How do we say good by to the most wonderful, caring, loving person I ever have known! We are so sad and our hearts hurt so bad for you dear Jackie. Keep close to your loving Poodle kids and your dear sister Debbie and Gary. I just don’t know what to say but a huge hole in this world with out him! You are in our hearts, Love you Renee and Don

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  31. My heart breaks for you, Jackie, all those who loved him. He was a wonderful man. Thinking of you as you go through this difficult time.

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  32. Paddy and Frank heuvelmans :

    What a horrific shock. Oh Jackie all our love and condolences to you and your family. Such a wonderful kind man. He will be sorely missed

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  33. LuLu Rodriguez :

    My heart breaks for you Jackie. May you & Brian’s family find peace & comfort knowing that Brian was loved so very much. He was an amazing person & always had a smile & kind word for all. I will miss him at our grooming competitions. Much love!

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  34. Jackie, I am so sorry to hear about Brian’s passing! So shocked and my heart aches for you! You had a “one of kind” husband for sure and he will be greatly missed!! May God give you peace and comfort during this time! Sending you and your family prayers, love, and hugs!!! Love you Jackie!!

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  35. Paul & Marilyn Vickers :

    Jackie we’re so sorry to hear about your loss.
    Please know you will be in our prayers.
    Words are so inadequate at a time like this.
    Brian seemed like such a special person.
    Try and stay strong.

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  36. Dear Jackie, I am shocked at this news. Brian was the nicest guy, I was always a little jealous of you because he always came with you to all the shows and you could see how proud he was of you. His love shined through everytime you saw him. Love you.

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  37. Christein Pearson-Sertzel :

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, Jackie. I only met Brian a couple of times, but he was the biggest fan of yours and anyone could see how much she loved and supported you.
    Sending you strength and prayers.

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  38. Denise McDonald :

    I am so sad to hear of Brian’s passing.
    It was always a pleasure to see him Ringside ant any show I went to. I can’t even imagine your loss. Hugs and prayers for you and your family

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  39. CHERYL PURCELL :

    Ron, Krystal and I are so sad for you. Just know that there are 2 entire countries full of people thinking about you and wishing they could do anything to make this hurt less for you. Go ahead and be angry, be sad but also be thankful for the time you did have, however short it was, cause its never long enough and we never think it going to end. Thinking of you both Love Always Cheryl

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  40. Dear Jackie and family: I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to you. The last 10 years of working alongside Brian will stay with me as some of the best years at CF. Brian was more to me than my supervisor, he was a true friend. Brian will be greatly missed and forever remembered.

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  41. Connie Jankovich :

    Oh Jacqui , my heart breaks for you and your family. Praying for you to find strength.

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  42. Ren & Lynn Netherland :

    Jackie,
    We are both so sorry for your loss! I can’t believe this! Please stay strong and always know we love you and are here if you ever need anything.
    I will miss our chats during the competition. Plus, all the laughs we had together.

    Love, Ren & Lynn

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  43. Richard Hovagimian Liz Lemke :

    Both of us were sorry to hear of your loss. Brian was a great co worker, friend and will be missed deeply. Stay strong and our prayers are with you.

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  44. Jackie…

    I sit here at my kitchen table, with tears running down my face. You are such a kind person, it is hard not to feel heartache for you, despite not knowing you very well. I’m very sorry for your sudden loss. So sorry for you in so many ways. But envious too…I’ve never known a love like that, and so glad that you were able to have been loved like that. My heart goes out to you.

    —Your grooming competition friend, Tammy Ellis

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  45. Jackie , it is both shocking and sad to hear of Brian’s untimely passing. He was the nicest and most friendly man, always by your side and your biggest fan. He will be missed by many. Please stay strong .

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  46. Allen, Cathy, Colin, Bryan and Allison DeGeer :

    We are so sad to learn of Brian’s sudden passing. We was a wonderful brother-in-law and uncle and we have always loved him. Our sincere condolences to Jackie and the two girls. You will all miss him tremendously, particularly the fur babies who won’t understand.

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  47. Jessica Tillman :

    There are no right words… I didn’t know Brian and I don’t know you that well. But what I saw was love between the both of you. All I can hope for is that time can help the anguish you must be going through. Big hugs…

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  48. Susan Lockyer- Gunson :

    My dearest friend,
    Glenn and I are so sorry to hear of this very sad news. Know we are thinking about you and that we were very fortunate and happy to have had many fun times together with you both. Brian will never be forgotten and will be in our hearts forever. Much love to you❤️

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  49. Dear Jackie,

    My heart breaks for you ,reading of Brian’s passing
    Brian was such a Gentle soul and He cherished you.
    Sending you lots of Love and Hugs ❤️❤️

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  50. What a great man, the role model of a husband. Always there to support and smile. He was always a welcome sight for me. Brian will be greatly missed. My condolences

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  51. Dear Jackie,
    As I sit reading all these messages, I know its all been said! Brian simply had a way about him that made all who met him love him. His love and devotion to you and your kids always put a smile on my face. Just by saying hello he made you feel he was a friend. His many qualities are truly rare, to find wrapped into one wonderful person. He really will be missed by us all. I love you Jackie and wish I could do something to help you get through this devastating time. Sending prayers and hugs to you and your family.❤️❤️❤️

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  52. Leon & Donna Green :

    Jackie, so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. We were stunned when we heard. Leon and Callum were honored to have had the privilege of working with Brian at CF and remember the time fondly. Brian was the kindest, sweetest man you could have the pleasure to meet. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

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  53. My deepest condolences to everybody that knew Brian. I had the privilege of working under Brian for 5 years and can say definitively that Brian was one in a million. He was there for me during some of the hardest years of my life. As a musician I was constantly asking for time off when it wasn’t easy for him to allow and he always tried his best to help me out wherever possible. I promised him if I ever finished writing an album his name would be in the credits and I plan on keeping that promise. Brian was a truly good man with a heart of gold and will be missed terribly by many. I’ll be keeping his other friends and his family in my thoughts.

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  54. I am soo sorry for your loss. Brian was a great man and he a huge smile that lit up the room. Give your puppies a extra hug…

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  55. My sincere condolences to you & your family for your loss Jackie. I had the pleasure & honor to work with Brian for several years back in the Byers days, and most recently, dealing with him on CF’s Vancouver fleet – and he was truly one of the most sincere hard working guys in our industry and will be greatly missed by all! I saw the business side of Brian, but considered him a friend of so many years because that’s how he treated ‘everyone’, so could only imagine the ‘family’ Brian. My heart & prayers go out to you!

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  56. Jerry /Deborah Huisman :

    Jackie and family so sorry to hear about the passing of Brian I worked with Brian at CF as truck mechanic until my retirement 3 years ago He was a great person to work with and will miss him he always made me laugh

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  57. Deb Cameron & Garry Motiuk :

    I wish I had the gift of prose to express to everyone how much my sister Jackie loved my brother-in-law Brian and how devastated she is to lose him, so I urge everyone to look up the poem “Stop all the Clocks” by W.H. Auden. This poem says it all.
    Garry and I will miss his kindness and compassion but most of all we will miss his warped sense of humour and often inappropriate musings that left us crying with laughter. We didn’t say it enough but we love you Brian and we will carry your great sense of humour and funny stories that you shared with us in our hearts forever and we will share them with others through out our lives. Sleep well Brian. You deserve nothing but peace forever more.

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  58. Jackie, so sorry to hear of Brian’s passing. I will miss seeing him at the competitions. My husband Bart and Brian talked for hours one year at intergroom. He was so sweet. So proud of you, he would always say. Our hearts give out to you.
    Bart and Lisa Ritson

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  59. Susan Viveiros :

    Jackie I am stunned and so sad to hear this news. You and Brian are so special to me. He was the best. I always sat with him and watched you groom in my few times out of the dog room at Intergroom. He was a wonderful kind and warm guy and I will miss him. I will never forget the engraved coffee mug you brought me one year and the words he always said “It’s all good”. Rest in piece Brian.
    Susan Viveiros

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  60. A few days have passed, very long, sad and deafeningly quiet days and nights in our beautiful home we created together. My heart aches. I have so much to share with you, stories that only you and I understood. In our years together we shared more grief and heartache than some people ever experience in their lives but we always had each other to lean on. Now I must travel this road without you and feel sadness and emptiness I never imagined possible. There will never be another like you Brian, I miss everything about you but especially your gift of seeing the best in everything and everyone, and your ability to make me laugh no matter what. RIP my dear sweet man, I love you more than you will ever know.
    Jackie

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  61. Della Brulotte :

    Jackie, last I saw you two it was saying goodbye to Stanley… Everytime I would see Brian, no matter the number of years, he always, always, made me laugh and smile. So many memories from decades ago! Above all, his honor, he remained true to his friends – a gentle loving soul with an amazingly genuinely funny personality. Deepest sympathies Jackie, words just can’t articulate!

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  62. Vern & Donna Conrad :

    Jackie so sorry to hear about Brian. He was truly the greatest neighbour and friend we will ever know, he was always so willing to help us with anything. We truly miss him and memories of him will always be in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jackie.

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  63. Terri Hotchkiss :

    My deepest condolences go out to you and your family Jackie. I am so saddened by this news. But, I will always remember Brian with a smile on his face and a funny story to share with me. He loved you so very much. RIP Brian. You will be greatly missed by all who knew you.

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  64. Dear Jackie; you well know how devasted we all are. My heart breaks for the unimaginable pain you are in. Brian has been in my life for over 20 years, most of it as my esteemed colleague. Although he was in a hurry most times and loping past my office in the way he did (I know you can picture his walk!), he always waved and said Hi Kim! We shared so many brief encounters on a weekly basis I took for granted there would always be many more. Now I look at my office door and think how sad that Brian will never be standing there again to tell me an RV adventure, a funny dog story or just catch me up on your competitions. His sense of humour was ridiculous. I loved it. I loved him. It’s our secret but you and I both know Brian taught me to boogie board. Well maybe he taught me What not to do. He wasn’t the most polished surfer but did we ever laugh! I think those stupid giant ‘toxic’ pineapples were his idea too! Do you remember his ridiculous safety meetings at the pool bar. Oh my god that man could make me laugh. Which makes me cry now. I know you have a million memories. I only have a fragment of that but I cherish them. I will cherish them always. I could fill this page no shock. Jackie I look forward to seeing you soon and remembering together one of the most amazing men I have known. Love you xo.

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  65. Jackie So sorry for your loss.I Remember when you met him and thought how lucky you were. Brian was a sweet ,kind Man

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  66. First met Brian at Byers TSPT, and still delt with him at Canadian Freightways. Always a helpful person. I was always impressed with Brian as it seemed that when things got busy it never seemed to affect him. Always calm and professional. He will be missed.

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  67. Brian was a good manger, but was a great and fair man. Always had time for any of us he well be missed.

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  68. I am so saddened to hear of Brian’s passing.
    Although I did not work with him at the shop he was a constant source of help and encouragement when I was fleet manager at the Prince George Shop.
    I enjoyed his sense of humor and his patience.
    Canada lost a good man with his passing.
    He will be missed.

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  69. I have worked with Brian over the past 6 years. He was always so patient and kind not to mention his great sense of humor. He will be greatly missed personally and professionally. My condolences to his family and close friends.

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  70. Very sorry to hear of your loss. I knew Brian from Byers Transport and if we ever needed anything done on our tractors he was the man to see. He will be missed.

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  71. Vicky & Darren Bogstie :

    Dear Jackie

    I am so sorry for your loss. Brian was such a wonderful man and I will treasure the vacation memories we had with him and you. He could me laugh like no other. Darren has many fond memories of Brian. They worked in the same industry for so long. He will truly be missed by everyone. RIP Brian.

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  72. Deanna Ghantous :

    Just found out the world lost Brian yesterday from a friend. I have known Brian since the Byers days as well, over 15 years. Considered him a customer, a friend and a dog lover. He always took the time to visit with my dog Shar when I stopped to make a delivery. I will miss him.

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  73. Jackie, Sasha and Emma, I was shocked to hear about your loss today. Brian was always so kind, caring, friendly and always willing to give anyone a helping hand. He loved you and his fur babies so much and was so proud of you. I feel very fortunate that I was able to get to know him. My thoughts are with you through this very difficult time.

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  74. Deb & Doug Giles :

    Jackie; we are both shocked and deeply saddened at the news of Brian’s passing – he was such a wonderful man and we’ll miss his caring and friendly nature. You are in our thoughts and please know if there is anything we can do, please ask.

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  75. I had the pleasure of working with Brian for many years. He was our go-to person for anything to do with our fleet and we came to rely on his knowledge and expertise more times than I can count. Myself and my claims team will greatly miss that. What I will miss most though was his terrific personality. He was back and forth between the Shop and main office frequently and always had time for a quick chat and laugh, always was upbeat no matter how busy he was. There is a huge hole in the office these days now that he is gone. It will take big shoes to fill it. My deepest condolences to his entire family and all his friends and colleagues. Rest in peace, Brian.

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  76. Tim Christensen :

    I will always appreciate the past two years in which I had the pleasure of working directly with Brian. Being new in my role, it was importantly for me to seek Brian’s opinion or advise on any equipment decisions we were looking to make. Often in our discussions we would often get caught up talking about “the good old days” when trucks were more reliable and less complicated. Talking shop with Brian was always so much fun. Brian had so much passion for his work, and if the rest of us could take anything from Brian it would be to enjoy each day as much he did, as his positiveness and happiness rubbed off on all his colleagues. Brian’s industry knowledge was second to none, and he was always open to new idea’s and change. I will miss our daily phone calls and weekly meetings, as I always learned something new from Brian.

    You will be greatly missed Brian, but please know the legacy you have left behind. I think you would be very happy to see how the team you have build has responded since you were taken from us far too soon. I also want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to Brian’s family & close friends.

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  77. Danny and Norma Hayes :

    Jackie.
    We were so sorry to hear about Brian, he has been a great friend, co-worker and boss to me for so long it amazes me sometimes. I hope you are managing okay and I’m sure you have lots of support but if there is anything Norma and I can do just let us know. Also
    pass on our condolences to your and Brians family’s.

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  78. Hi Jackie! Words fall short in order to express my sympathy. I worked with Brian for 12 years. He became my shop manager when Canadian Freightways and Byers were merged. It became very clear, very early in our work relationship, that he loved you very much and was very proud of his wife Jackie. Monday morning I would gently knock on his always open office door, compliment him on his fine looking shirt he was wearing, followed by his smile and a shake of his head. “Good morning, Mr Stopa, how was your weekend.?”, I would ask. He would stop key punching, look up and smile and begin to relate his wonderful weekend with you! You were the center of his universe. He found great pleasure and fulfillment accompanying you, supporting you and observing you in whatever adventure the both of you were on. He could talk about you for hours and hours only to be interrupted by the days responsibilities. He was a family first kind of manager. That’s who he was. Whether it was his family or my family, regardless of the crisis at work, his response, unequivocally, “Go, your family needs you”! That’s because Brian loved people. In a world where people can be hard to love, Brian loved people. And he loved you most of all. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  79. Donna Galenza :

    Very sorry for your loss, Brian was a great man and will be missed by all who knew him. I feel honoured to work with him for over 15 years

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