Gary Edwin Fribance

September 20, 1940 – January 19, 2021
The phrase “work hard, play hard” epitomized Gary’s approach to life. Both work and play were his zest for living. As is often the case with people who want to wring the most out of life, for Gary the line between work and play was often blurry; the opportunity to contribute was rarely passed over; and a moment to celebrate, always indulged in. He expected himself – and encouraged his family – to leave the world better than he found it.
Gary’s many pursuits exemplified his desire to seize every moment. He would greet a blustery autumn day by hoisting the sails; see promise in a budding opportunity and explore it to the fullest; glimpse passion in a family member and become head cheerleader.
A man who shattered the stereotype of the stodgy accountant, Gary saw his work as both an art and a science, a lens he applied to most things in life, and he conducted his work – in all its forms – with great flair and pride. He combined his love of business and numbers with that of history and politics.
Many fiery conversations were held around the dinner table — laden with Louise’s gourmet cooking which he so loved (the cooking and the conversation). In a recent discussion reflecting on the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gary is remembered to have said, “We should all strive to be the best at what we do. Don’t just get through something. Don’t be average. Be great. Be the best.”
While he may not have shared a political perspective with the late Justice, he did greatly admire those who gave of themselves in the service of others and on whose shoulders our collective society stands.
Gary’s careful consideration of politics and business, his study of maps and charts, balanced if not belied his love for fun and camaraderie. A social butterfly and consummate host, Gary absolutely loved people. He could “dance on a dime,” tell stories, and strike up a lively conversation with anyone.
Having lived so fully, and been taken unexpectedly, Gary will be greatly missed by those who survive him: his loving wife, Louise Fribance, his son Mackenzie Fribance (Valerie Rome) of Broomfield, CO, his daughter Robin Fribance (Barry Shiffman) of Toronto, ON and his stepdaughter Erica Moore (Jason Young) of Coquitlam, BC, his 10 grandchildren, and a large extended family – several of whom he bestowed with unshakable goofy nicknames.
The family will hold a private service in the summer, befitting a man who was happiest in the company of others. In lieu of attending a public service or sending flowers, donations in memory of Gary can be made to Canuck Place, www.canuckplace.org.
In place of gathering to acknowledge Gary’s life, his family asks that you raise a glass, toast to fair winds and a following sea, and give thanks for family and friends.Obituary


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