On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at age 72, the world lost a skilled fisherman, notorious prankster, gifted storyteller, dedicated father, and beloved husband.
Ken was born in Montreal on June 1, 1947 and raised in “The Point”. He completed his draftsman training in Montreal, packed up his VW Beetle, and moved to Calgary in 1972. It only took several decades of fishing, but he finally caught the love of his life, Joyce. They were married on July 16, 1983 and Ken became a stepfather to Wade and Jennifer, and later a father to Sarah, Brittany, and Meghan.
Ken’s main mission in life was to bring a smile to everyone’s face, especially complete strangers (much to the chagrin of his wife); either with a compliment, quick joke, or bald-faced lie (e.g., the family pet turtles hibernated in the fridge in the winter). He was an avid fisherman, like his grandfather, and was keen to patiently share his knowledge with his children, friends, and anyone else who would listen. To him, fishing was not just a hobby, it was a passion and an opportunity to make a spiritual connection with nature. He often said he belonged to the “Church of Duck Lake Montana”. Ken loved working for various engineering firms and as a contractor in the Calgary oil and gas industry for over 40 years. He was a hard and honest worker who enjoyed interacting with his many colleagues and being part of the “rumor distribution” department. Ken volunteered for many organizations over the years including the Petroleum Ski Club, Fish and Wildlife, the Salvation Army, Westwind Fly Fishers, and the Calgary Hook and Hackle Club. He took pride in his famous lasagna and pasta dishes, was an enthusiastic consumer of international cuisine, and sincerely enjoyed bringing people together to share a meal. He always made sure to have a steamed hot dog every day whenever he visited Montreal.
Ken was predeceased by his parents, George and Doris(Fiander). He is survived by his wife, Joyce(Rooks), his five children, Wade (Heather) Gieni, Jennifer Gierent, Sarah (Jason Wong), Brittany, and Meghan (Christopher Plessis), and his brother, Howard (Lynn). He was a proud grandfather to Kaden, Madison, Tyler, Adriana, Cameron, Laura, and Simon.
Our family would like to express our deep gratitude to the doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers at the Salvation Army Agape Hospice for the exceptional care they provided Ken since February. Your kindness and care eased our minds and allowed him to enjoy the time he had left with an endless line of visitors. It was a fitting last home for Ken as he rang the bells for the Salvation Army every Christmas for many years until his cancer diagnosis. Thank you to Dr. Sy Lam for many years of care and the staff at the Liver Clinic at FHH. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Canadian Cancer Society Research, Agape Hospice, or the SPCA since Ken was a proud owner of several dogs throughout his life. As Ken said after his diagnosis, “have an annual checkup”.