May 22, 1945 – Apr 22, 2018
My dad was born in Calgary, AB at the Holy Cross Hospital. He had two older brothers, Billy and Adrian and sisters Dee and Loralee. He attended Stanley Jones Elementary School and Crescent Heights High School in Calgary. After graduating high school, he took a job as an apprenticing printer at the Calgary Herald. It would end up being the only place my dad ever worked. He was a paper boy in his teens and he worked as a printer for 36 years.
My dad loved working at the Herald, especially when the Southam Family owned the paper. It was at the Herald that my dad met my mum, Linda Duncan (Kennedy). This year was their 48th wedding anniversary. The Herald is also where my dad met lifelong friends. They curled, golfed, played baseball and partied together. To Ralph, Tommy, Lyle, Morley, Charlie, Ricky, the Kennedy’s in England, the McGreevy Family, Midge and Jerry Thompson, the Sisson Family, the Griffiths Family and everyone else that was good and kind to my dad, thank you for being great friends.
My dad was a great story teller. I loved hearing stories about what it was like growing up in Calgary in the 50’s and 60’s. A lot of his stories always seemed to end with the cops showing up at his house looking for dad or his brothers. He used to talk about cruising in his ’67 Cougar, trips to England with mum, great uncle Stanley’s farm in Beiseker as a kid, his infamous trip to Vegas in ’65, and fishing and pheasant hunting in Brooks with Uncle Les.
My dad had an entrepreneurial spirit in him and he always seemed to be working on his next big money maker. In the late 1970’s my dad and his brother Adrian started a peat moss company. As a young kid I remember sitting on bales of peat moss on Elbow Dr, watching my dad and uncle make their “millions”. It was my first introduction into business and it would be one of many ventures that my dad would start.
In 2007 my parents sold their acreage near Chestermere Lake and built a house in Calgary. My dad always had a green thumb and loved his garden. It was always an oasis in his backyard with fish, butterflies, exotic plants and flowers. In 2011, my wife, Shauna Duncan(McGreevy) and our three kids, Keelie, Charlie and Max moved to Vancouver Island. My dad’s health had started to worsen, so in 2014 my parents moved out to the Island to be closer to us and the kids.
I will remember my dad for his love of music. He cherished playing the organ and listening to old country artists like Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins. My dad always thought he looked like Elvis and I must admit, he kind of did. I will remember the summers when my dad was on holidays from the Herald and we’d stay up late watching Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Everything in the world always seemed alright when I heard my dad laugh.
A celebration of dad’s life will be held in Comox, BC and Calgary during the summer. Condolences or messages of remembrance can be forwarded to the family by visiting www.tonefffunerals.com.
It’s been a tough couple of years since my dad’s cancer and dementia diagnosis. I hope he’s at peace and wherever he is, I hope he’s got jet black hair, a cool suit on and he’s wearing his red Italian shoes. Say hi to the King for us dad.
Toneff Funeral Services