Obituary of Murray Andrus Gifford
April 9, 1938 – Oshawa, Ontario
April 13, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta
Murray Andrus Gifford, of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully at Foothills hospital surrounded by his loving family on April 13, 2022, at the age 84 years. Born April 9, 1938, in Oshawa, ON, he was the son of Hilda Ruth Gifford (née Wilkinson) and William George Gifford.
Murray grew up in Oshawa, ON until the age of eleven when he moved west with his family to Edmonton, AB. He then moved at age seventeen, with his parents, to Reno, Nevada. There he finished high school and attended the University of Nevada completing a civil engineering degree. His brief engineering career was cut short by an amazing opportunity to work with his big brother and mentor, Gordon Gifford. Together they successfully joined forces to work in real-estate development for the next two decades. After the passing of his brother Gordon in 1986, he diversified his career into a combination of real-estate sales and small business investments (A & W and Dairy Queen).
One of Murray’s big passions was sports; He played and loved hockey, football, baseball, and golf. Golf was the one sport that he played throughout his life and was most passionate about. He was a long-time member at Willow Park G & CC in Calgary and was a stellar amateur player winning the Edmonton junior championship at age seventeen.
Murray also had a great love for music. He played endless hours of piano and organ/keyboard by ear. He would often enjoy playing alone, for family & friends or for his favourite audience of one, Simone. Music was always around him, whether it was at home or when travelling. It is one of the many gifts that he has passed on to his children and grandchildren. But above all else, Murray was the ultimate definition of a family man. He enjoyed family vacations, playing, or watching sports with his children & grandchildren and celebrating holidays, birthdays & family traditions at every opportunity. His love of family also included annual visits to out-of-town family and friends. Annual Christmas Road trips to Edmonton or vacation detours to visit extended family & friends were always the priority for him. His ultimate joy was being around family and soaking up their every new experience and adventure. His endless support and generosity to his family and friends will forever be remembered.
Murray is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Simone (née Lavallée); children, Dianne (Jay) Villanueva, Bob (Laura) Gifford and Karen (Devin) Sundstrom; grandchildren, Gabrielle Villanueva, Abigail and Ella Gifford, and Isabella and Liam Sundstrom; and many loving sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and extended family. Murray was preceded in death by his parents and older brother Gordon.
Memorial Services will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 Banister Rd SE, Calgary, AB) on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mr. Gifford’s service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, 6007 – 1A Street S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 0G5 Telephone: (403) 255-6108, www.kidney.ca or to the Canadian Celiac Association, Suite 503, 1450 Meyerside Drive, Mississauga ON L5T 2N5 Telephone: (1-800) 363-7296, www.celiac.ca.
The family would also like to give a special thank you to Dr. Samuel Schorr for his incredible care over the past thirty years.
In living memory of Murray Gifford, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.
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