A gentle, caring & loving man passed away suddenly on April 30, 2018 leaving behind to cherish their thirty-one years together; his soulmate, best friend and wife Joan.
Gary is also survived by his brother Ross (Beth) of Black Diamond, AB, nephews Gordon (Suzanne) & Rob (Kim) and their children. His sons: David (Val) of Lacombe, AB, Donald (Deb) of Nanaimo, BC, Robert (Alma) of Kikino, AB; granddaughters Lindsay (Keith) Miller, Nanaimo, BC & Cassandra (Tyler) Barnes, Campbell River, BC; great grandchildren Isabelle & Logan Miller &Julianna Barnes. Step-daughters: Cheryl Talbott, St. Albert, AB, Jannet Talbott, Barrhead, AB, Leslie (Steve) McDougall, Edmonton, AB. Grampy to Katelyn (Joel) Wright, Carter Ganton, Jackson Ganton, Colby, Emma & Kenzie McDougall and Great Grampy to Oliver Wright. Joan’s six brothers and sisters, their spouses & numerous offspring.
Predeceased by his parents Francis & Olive Best, son Daniel & step-son Jason Talbott.
Gary was born in Moose Jaw, SK and moved to Edmonton in 1949 where his father owned & operated Best Photography Studios.
Gary’s amazing 60-year career as an Independent Insurance Adjuster began in 1957 with Henry Runte & Co. Adjusters where he was handed piles of claim files to read, study & discuss and soon after “qualified” as an adjuster. In 1963 he was a partner with Rikstad Graham and Best Adjusters and in 1983 established his own firm of Gary Best & Co. Adjusters. In 2000, he began a six-month contract with Risk Management & Insurance which continued until his retirement January 18, 2018. His integrity, knowledge, fairness and respect to all people he dealt with (clients or employees) during his many years as an insurance adjuster was a special gift he had. He was a 57-year member of Blue Goose International and was honoured to serve as MLG for two terms and as PMLG. He was Co-Chairman of the Blue Goose Edmonton Convention and was a Trustee on the Development Fund Board for over 15 years. He served as President and other positions with the Alberta Association of Insurance Adjusters.
Gary also enjoyed over 40 years of curling with the Blue Goose Curling Club and insurance industry leagues. He was a longtime member of the Highlands Golf & Country Club and he & Joan enjoyed many golf trips across Canada & USA. His favourite ‘go-to-place’ was Las Vegas and he was thrilled to have played in several World Series of Poker Tournaments – always hoping to win “the big one!” In 2004 he got the ‘cruising bug’ and he & Joan enjoyed the sights of many beautiful places around the world. On those trips he was able to achieve many things on his Bucket List including zip-lining, scuba diving, river rafting, a trip to the Vatican & Leaning Tower of Pisa. But he always said his greatest achievement was his 7-month planning/scheming & marriage proposal to Joan on a plane enroute to San Diego where family & friends had secretly gathered to witness their outdoor wedding & then joining them on a Cruise. He had a zest for life, laughter & fun and many family & friends will recall that at weddings or parties, when the music started, he would be the first on the dance floor and the last off. He readily admitted he was NOT a handyman but always volunteered his services as ‘foreman’ on any home project.
For 37 years Gary helped and mentored those who were struggling with their addictions and he will be fondly remembered by many. “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference. Amen”
Gary will be fondly remembered by all who knew him & will remain forever in the hearts of his devoted wife, family & cherished friends.
Honouring Gary’s wishes there will not be a Funeral Service.
In lieu of flowers, you may wish to consider a donation to one of his favourite charities, The Salvation Army, 9115 75 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 4L3; The Alberta Lung Association P.O. Box 4500, Stn. South, Edmonton, AB T6E 6K2 or a charity of your choice.
Joan extends a sincere Thank You to his Family & Respiratory Doctors for the dedication and kindness shown, especially during the past 5 years of his health issues. A huge Thank You to our dear friends, neighbours & family for your support & hugs this past week. Rest in Peace my love.
Departed friend, our voices we raise,
In humble tribute, honour, praise.
With one accord our greetings swell;
Hail Fellow Gander … and Farewell.