April 18, 1936 – September 16, 2020
Born August 18, 1936 in Vancouver, B.C.
Passed September 16, 2020 in Cranbrook, B.C.
Gary was a “Mans Man”. Growing up in Vancouver, he learned the meaning of the word, “WORK”, at a very early age. He started working for his dad’s roofing company and kept learning, improving his skills with every job site.
A story about a young entrepreneur:
When Gary was a young teen, he wanted to make money for Christmas. He saw people buying Christmas trees. “That seems simple”, he thought. “Great way to make a lot of money.” He went down Hastings street across from the PNE grounds and saw some beautiful Christmas trees in a park. You guessed it, he chopped quite a few down and started selling them on the street corner….. I believe his parents had quite a fine to pay…..
There are many stories that each one of us holds close to our hearts and that was just one of the many that I will continue to tell my grandchildren…
He married Dorothy in 1957 and they had four children in a span of 12 years. Gary leaves behind Debbie (Mike, who is predeceased), Sherry (Rick), Brenda (Kurt), Gary (Tracie) and 7 grandchildren (Kimberly, Jennifer, Carmen, Amanda, Nicole, Kylee, & Kristopher) and 6 great grandchildren and one on the way…..
Gary’s work ethic and drive gave him the strength and know-how to work for himself and be his own boss. He found himself busier than he ever expected. His first home was on Dominion Street in Burnaby, then the dream of owning a farm in Langley (which he nicknamed the work camp) became a reality. The small houses along the way that he fixed up and sold, brought him to the King Edward Hotel which he purchased in 1981. It was a different way to make a living than renovating and building was.
Running a bar brought out a different skill set, which can take you back to the cave-man era and fight or flight mode. After many years of being the bouncer and “silver fox”, he sold the Hotel and went back into renovating and developing. The Texaco and Food & Stuff across the street, The Giselle building next door, and the Model A Inn that Gary Jr. helped develop and build were among the many projects that he accomplished.
He moved quite a few times in his lifetime, always purchasing the fixer-upper and selling it after much hard work and dedication of getting it right. Gary did wife, Dorothy, by his side for 27 years and then in 1985/86 Karin became his new partner, working endlessly with each new project he took on. Karin has two children, Joanne, and Jonathan plus many grand and great grand children.
This man was a “doer”. Gary needed to accomplish something every day and always had plans for the next day and the week after that. He was a self- taught millionaire in his prime due to the many developments he had his hands on. His background was roofing,construction, developing properties up to their potential for re-sale and basically getting things done!
Gary loved to play golf, go to Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, and play poker. He had specific keno numbers that he played for over 50 years. His favourite number was 57 and he put that number on his stock car that he raced at echo yes…that was Gary!
He did not want a funeral. Gary’s words were, “If you can’t come and see me when I’m alive, I sure as (Bleep) don’t want you gawking at me when I’m dead!”
Not everyone saw the soft side of Gary Woodward but if you were one of the lucky ones that did, you will miss him terribly…… I sure will dad…
Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Services.
Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com
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