June 26, 1949 – November 24, 2018
Gary died at Penticton Regional Hospital on Saturday, November 24th, at the age of 69 years, from COPD and lung cancer.
Gary loved his family unconditionally and thought his children and grandchildren were the most intelligent, funny and wonderful children in the world (which they are). He was so incredibly proud of all of them.
Gary was grumpy but soft- hearted, quick-tempered but kind and generous. He smoked way too much, drove too fast, drank too much coffee (and whiskey), ate the wrong food, and swore constantly, and we loved him.
Other than his family and his Smokey-dog, he loved his motorcycle and auctioneering. Gary could sell anything to anyone. He did love working at both Shell and Canadian Tire but, most of all, he loved the auction. One of his proudest accomplishments was buying Smithson’s from George and Barb. Over the years, he spent countless hours doing charity auctions for anyone who asked and, more recently, was always willing to sell tickets for the OSNS motorcycle raffle.
Although Gary talked often about growing up in Wingham, Ontario, as the youngest of 11 children of Addison & Alice Fraser, when he married Pat, all those many years ago, he became a member of the Hayes family as well. This meant that he had to endure many hours of playing smear (which he called “that crazy Fort Frances game”) but it also meant new siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins to tease, enjoy and love.
The pictures of Gary that we will carry in our hearts include him riding his motorcycle of course but, also, sitting at the table doing hundreds of jigsaw puzzles, relaxing in his recliner with Smokey by his side, and laughing with (or at) his children, Chris, Rob, Adam, Ashley and Amber, and their significant others, Kyla, Angie and Steve. Gary was the world’s best Poppa to his grandchildren, Alex, Damien, Addison, Ben, Arthur and Levi.
The family is especially thankful to Dr. Simon Steunenberg for his care of Gary (and Pat) during this last month, to his long-time doctor and friend, Paul Cobbin, and to the wonderful, compassionate and caring nurses of Med South.
As requested by Gary, in the spring, his ashes will be released in the wind as his Harley roars down the highway. A bit of a rebel to the end.