We Remember


March 12, 1937 — October 23, 2020

With profound sadness we announce the passing of Gary Alan Brown early in the morning of Friday, October 23, 2020, at Kelowna General Hospital, Kelowna, BC, surrounded by his loving family.

Gary was born on March 12, 1937 in Calgary, Alberta. He was the first-born child of Alan and Elizabeth Brown (both deceased).

Gary was both a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. Our love for him is beyond measure.

Beloved husband of Heather (née Closs). Loving father of Cara (Maureen Mallmes), Lisa (Laura Warner), Matthew (Melissa Michaud), and Catherine Schaad (Jordan). Loving grandfather of Sophia, Johnny, and baby Drew. Dearly missed brother of Greg, Brenda Brown, and Jo (Tom Bradley). Cherished brother-in-law of Brian Closs (Timothy Rawson), Karen LaRose, Terry Closs, Bonnie Delay (Sebastian Agosta), Ralph Closs (Carrie Lynn), and Susan Stapleton. Dear nephew of Teresa MacEachern, Ken and Helen Gustafson, and Joan McPhee. Much loved uncle of several nieces and nephews throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Gary will also be sadly missed by Winston.

Gary received an Honours Physics Degree from the University of Alberta and followed up with a teaching degree from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

His working career of over 40 years began as a Physicist at Western Research in Calgary, Alberta. In 1973, Gary accepted a teaching position at Cambrian College and moved his young family to Sudbury, Ontario where he later became Chair/Professor of the Electronic Engineering Technology Program. Gary was well respected amongst his friends and colleagues for his brilliant mind. In 1989, Gary returned home to Western Canada and settled in Kelowna, BC, where he had been given the unique opportunity to develop, chair, and teach in the Water Quality Technology Program at Okanagan University College, retiring in 2002. Throughout Gary’s teaching career he made a positive impact on thousands of students, many of whom continued to keep in touch with Gary up to this day.

While building his professional career, he also devoted much of his time in giving back to the community through the sport of Ringette. Gary was the proud father of three exceptional ringette playing daughters. Not only did Gary coach Ringette at various levels (in both Sudbury and Kelowna) and operate summer ringette camps, he also co-authored the book ‘The Game Girls Play’ in 1978 and followed up with another book titled ‘Ringette… The Next Generation’ in 2003. In 1982 Gary was inducted into the Ontario Ringette Hall of Fame for his service/dedication to the sport.

Of all the roles Gary had during his life, the two he cherished most were being a husband and father. Time spent with Gary was certain to include laughter and many, many Gary-isms. Gary fully believed in furthering one’s education and strongly encouraged and supported each one of us as we pursued our post-secondary degrees. As ever the proud husband and father, he cheered the loudest at every one of our graduation ceremonies.

For the past eight years our family travelled together on a very heartbreaking journey. Gary refused to be defined by his illness and was determined to live his best life – which he did. One of his main goals was to stay living at home during his entire illness, and he succeeded. In the early to middle stages, Gary would spend several hours each day at the college library completing research that was very important to him. In the last stage, Gary would go out for daily walks or be taken for drives in the community he loved. Our family will be forever grateful for all the acts of kindness, friendships, prayers, and compassion shown to our Gary through his illness.

Our family would like to thank Dr. Alex Canning sincerely for his outstanding care and compassion for our Gary.

In addition, we are thankful to the staff at Kelowna General Hospital for the excellent care given to Gary in his final days. We are also grateful to the hospital staff for their kindness and compassion shown to all our family during Gary’s short stay, especially under such strict conditions.

A viewing for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, from 3-5 pm at Springfield Funeral Home (2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC) followed by prayers at 6 pm at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church​ (839 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC). If you would like to attend the viewing please click here register for contact tracing.

The Funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 10:00 in the morning at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.  If you are unable to attend, the funeral will also be live-streamed at m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=khne8NYfrX0

Due to the limited number of spaces, if you wish to attend the viewing, prayers and/or Gary’s funeral please email Heather at heatherandgarybrown@outlook.com. An email will be sent to you confirming your attendance.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Gary’s name to the Alzheimer’s Society, www.alzheimer.ca, would be appreciated.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

Prayer Service
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 (after viewing)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, from 3-5 pm
Springfield Funeral Home
(2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC (Please register for contact tracing if attending))

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 10:00 AM

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

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Alzheimer Society of Canada Link: www.alzheimer.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The prayer service for BROWN, Gary is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, 2020 (after viewing) at located at 839 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC, Kelowna, BC.

The service for BROWN, Gary is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 10:00 AM. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

839 Sutherland Ave. Kelowna BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Doug Lawson says:

    So many memories of cousin Gary come back with reading the obituary. A wonderful job on the obituary! I hope the memories bring peace and a full heart.

  • Lulu Hall says:

    Dearest Heather and Family,
    I admire your strength, dedication and profound love while providing your Gary with such exemplary care and support during his illness.
    My heart breaks for the sadness and pain you and your family are going through.
    I have many fond memories of your Gary and they make me smile. I hope you all will be able to smile again soon remembering him and all his Garyisms.
    Sending my deepest condolences to all of you.
    I have to say, I agree with Jo Brown’s comment made on Facebook, this is the most beautiful obituary ❤️ and hugs

  • Heidi and Bob Garnett says:

    Dear Heather and Matthew, Though we only met briefly, we were so impressed with the care you gave. Such loving dedication is rare. Gary was a fortunate man.

  • Nancy Wilkie says:

    Dear Heather and family. My deepest condolences to all of you. I had the pleasure of working with Gary at Cambrian College. Gary was a pleasure to know and work with. Gary had a wonderful devilish smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you a Heather and family during this very difficult time.

  • Sandra and Oliver Mendoza says:

    Hello, Heather and Family
    Please accept our sincere sympathy on the passing of Gary. A wonderful man who I first met at Okanagan University College so long ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Wayne Robert Hanna says:

    My condolences to Gary’s Family.
    This man was a driving force behind my whole career. He placed his confidence in me and made me raise my self to his expectations. This man molded my life. Best teacher I’ve ever had. Hard-nosed and fair.
    I will always remember “The Screamer”.

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