We Remember

BUDD, Gary Evan

December 31, 1955 — July 2, 2023

Gary Budd was born in Victoria, BC, on December 31, 1955, and passed away peacefully on July 2, 2023, at Kelowna General Hospital with Claudia Steeves, his best friend, and the love of his life, and son Dalen, at his side. Gary will also be missed by his sister Cheryl Kedoziora; nephews Jason and Christopher; his brother Wayne and sister-in-law Linda Budd, and nieces, Brittany and Lauren.

From an early age, Gary showed his athletic ability starting with Little League baseball at 8 years of age and went on to Senior Babe Ruth, followed by Senior Amateur Men’s League. From the field, he ventured into the gym. At 6’3” he was tall for his age, and therefore a natural for basketball where he earned a scholarship to Green River Community College in Auburn Washington, playing for the Gators. Gary then spent time at the University of Victoria earning his Bachelor’s Degree and playing basketball for the Vikings. Gary carried on his education at the University of British Columbia, earning his Master’s (MBA/83). After graduation, he went to work for the Royal Bank of Canada in Kelowna, where he and Claudia met on a tennis court in 1985. His career then took them to Toronto from 87-89.

Missing the ocean and wanting a change, he moved back to Vancouver in 1989 and married Claudia on the bridge in UBC’s Nitobi Gardens.

1992 saw the birth of their son Dalen James, who came into the world seven weeks early, launching Gary into fatherhood. Gary loved his role as a dad and was soon dubbed the Mr. Rogers of Edgemont Village by all the children and dogs that walked by his home on Newmarket Drive.

After stints at GE Capital and G.C.N.A., he landed his dream job at TELUS. Gary was with TELUS for over 18 years and was a mentor, coach, and wonderful friend to those on the finance team as well as many other TELUS Team members. Gary certainly had a way of bringing humor to the day and will be missed by so many in the TELUS family.

In late 2011, Gary and Claudia moved to Gallagher’s Canyon where he took up African drumming in his spare time, and went on to join local drumming groups: Nankama and The Rippers. His passion for drumming continued to grow until his retirement in 2021 when his health started to deteriorate. Gary was a friendly giant of a man who brought laughter and music to everyone he encountered. He’ll be sorely missed.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Diabetes Canada or to the KGH Foundation.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Gary’s honour, details to be announced here at a later date.

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

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Diabetes Canada or KGH Foundation Link: www.diabetes.ca, www.kghfoundation.com




  • Len &Betty Lou Koltun says:

    Claudia and Dalen, we are so sorry to hear of your loss, may happy family memories help you through this sad time. We enjoyed Gary’s company at the many Gallagher’s Canyon functions we attended with you. Take care.

  • Elizabeth Christie and John Christie says:

    Dear Claudia and Dalen We are so very sorry to hear of Gary’s passing We all have fond memories of Gary and his drumming
    He was a kind and gentle man
    Please know we are thinking if you both at this sad time Elizabeth and John 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  • Lorna Soderling says:

    Scott and I were devastated to hear the sad news. Please know we are thinking of you at this time.

  • Brenda Putz says:

    Dear Claudia and Dalen, our sincere condolences for the recent loss of your gentle giant, Gary. We are grateful to have known Gary back when you lived here at Gallagher’s Canyon. May it comfort you to know that we’re thinking of you. And may you be comforted by your many memories of happier times.

    Sincerely, Brenda & Herb

  • Elizabeth Linden says:

    Gary was such a great guy and a real tribute to our family gatherings with his ever gentle manner and his wit (often sardonic) and humour. So sad that those gatherings in both Vancouver and Victoria ended when the family left the wet coast for the sunny and warm Okanagan. My thoughts are with Dalen, Claudia and all members of Gary’s family as we share this loss but are comforted by our many happy memories. Here’s one from my home in Victoria.

  • Chris and Marie says:

    Dear Dalen and Claudia we are very sorry for your loss. Going through old photos we realize we have had so many amazing adventures long forgotten and now recaptured.. Lovely memories to rediscover from Kelowna, Vancouver and Toronto. Those were great years. Gary will be missed. Hugs to you both.

  • Dave Secco says:

    Hey Big Kid…
    I just found out and feel nauseous. I am stunned! We haven’t talked in a few months and now you are gone…
    Our friendship started in the physio clinic at UVic in the 70’s…
    So many memories…
    The other Big Kid, Mongo and The Chief! We put her down!
    Ian’s Cafe!!!! Pan Fries!!!!
    The Rice Bowl
    The Sting!
    Earth Wind and Fire
    Beacon Drive-In; cakes ‘n eggs
    The Hosh, The Mulchs, The Bish…
    C-Jazz Radio
    The Bowels….ha ha ha!
    Sunning in Kitsalano!
    And who could forget Hawaii with The Cat!
    The Budser!
    Dalen and The VW Van and Pesto Pasta!!!
    And always a big gab on Dec. 31st…
    Oh man, I miss you already Big Kid…
    You know I loved you like a Brother…
    Dave Secco
    Little Kid
    – Dave Secco

  • Jacky says:

    It is with great sadness that I just heard of the passing of our friend Gary. You will be missed by our entire village of African musicians here in Vancouver. I am sad that I will no longer have those long phone conversations with you, or see you show up at our events here in Victoria and Vancouver, but I celebrate that you are finally meeting our African ancestors and will no doubt be asking them all the many questions you had about African drumming and traditions! I think of those you leave behind, and to them I express my sincere condolences. We will keep drumming with you and for you.
    Rest in Peace, dear friend.

  • Joy Tan says:

    I knew Gary from the drum circle. I used to attend and dance with all the drummers. He was always so encouraging, he always told me how much he enjoyed drumming for passionate dancers like myself. I read some of our old chat conversations and it warms my heart to know how inspired he felt being part of our drum circle community. Condolences to his family and loved ones, he is a man who truly cared for those around him. Thank you Gary for sharing rhythm with so many of us. You will be missed.

  • Janice Downing says:

    So sorry and saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. He was a beam of light during our years at UBC doing our MBA together. His warmth, sense of humour and kindness were so much appreciated and enjoyed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him . He will be sorely missed,

  • Nikolai says:

    My heart goes out to you both and the rest of Gary’s family. He was such a nice man and I will always have such fond memories of Gary, Claudia and Dalen from when I lived in Vancouver and they were in North Van. We stayed in touch over the years and am proud to call him Uncle. He was always so very kind to me. He will be missed by many. My thoughts will be with you on September 3rd. X0x0

  • Wayne Budd says:

    As Gary’s younger brother I wish to thank everyone for all the amazing comments and memories you have shared. I will miss my big brother immensely. My favourite photo of Gary and I

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