Kenneth Hugh Patrick Ham passed away on Sunday the 20th of October 2019 at the Dulcina Hospice in Calgary. He was 72 years old and had only recently retired from his busy and successful law practice in Calgary. Hugh was also a dad, brother, and grandpa. He is survived by his sons Jarrod Ham and Jeremy Ham, daughter in-law Sarah Ham, Grandson Lawson Ham, brother Gordon Ham, Gordon’s wife, Paddy, sister Jane-Anne Johnson, step-sister Jill Taylor, niece Brenda May and nephew Dean Johnson.
Hugh was born in Edmonton July 8th, 1947 to Harry Ken Ham and Catherine Theresa Ham. As a boy he spent summers out in the woods at the family cabin at Long Lake and later Windermere. He was a camper at YMCA Kamp Keewaydin as a youngster and went on to become a Counselor.
Hugh gave an indication of his possible career choice as early as High School as a member of the debating team. He completed his first degree in economics from the University of Calgary in 1969 and worked as a financial analyst for a major Canadian chartered bank. Hugh decided to change his vocation from finance to law. He graduated from the University of Alberta faculty of law in 1977.
As a student in the 60’s he had a strong social conscience. He was a critic of the Vietnam war and joined Students for a Democratic Society. His sense of social responsibility followed him through his career as he represented numerous groups and causes in Calgary. He went so far as to run for civic politics during the early part of his career. He also served as the Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Athletes Village in Canmore for the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Hugh’s sense of adventure would influence his life. He developed a passion for world travel as a young man which he pursued until a year before his death. In the early 70’s, he traveled overland from Western Europe starting in England, to Eastern Europe, through the middle East from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and eventually ending in India. Throughout his life he would visit other countries and continents from such faraway places such as Greece, Russia, Columbia, UAE and South Africa.
In 1977, in the early days of building his successful municipal law practice, Hugh welcomed his first child Jarrod Lawson Ham and his second child Jeremy Patrick Ham, in 1978. Hugh loved being a dad. He developed a strong bond with his two sons and instilled in them his love for nature and travel. He was active for over a decade with his sons in Scouts Canada as a Scout leader with a troupe of over 20 kids. Hugh became Grandpa in 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed his grandson, Lawson. He maintained a close relationship with his boys, Jarrod’s wife, Sarah, and Lawson. He took comfort in having family close in his final days.
Hugh became a well-respected and successful lawyer in the area of municipal law. He frequently appeared in court of all levels and before boards on behalf of his many clients. He created a multidisciplinary service in the area of municipal law and development – Municipal Counsellors and remained active in the Canadian Bar Association and Calgary legal community.
A wake will be held in Hugh’s Honour at Country Hill’s Crematorium and Funeral Services on Saturday, November 9, 2019 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
Hugh was much beloved by his family, friends, colleagues, and associates and he will be truly missed. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made on his behalf to Scouts Canada.