Born in 1931 and raised in the Lake District in northern England, Gerry Stephenson graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in Mining Engineering. Over the course of a career spanning 65 years, he worked in 25 different countries, from mining gold in Quebec to managing seven coal mines in India.
Given his early fascination with cowboys and tales of the Canadian west, it was appropriate that, with his wife Avice and daughter Glennis, he finally ended up in Canmore in 1968, working as chief engineer and assistant general manager. There was a population of 1,000, no paved streets and he bought 170 feet of Bow River frontage for his home for five hundred dollars. At the end of the mining era, Gerry and Walter Riva began to reclaim Canmore Creek #3 Strip Mine, and Quarry Lake, now one of Canmore’s most popular recreation areas, was created.
Gerry loved Canmore as Canmore loved him. He was wise, honorable, humorous, passionate. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, the kindest of friends; he was a lover of the arts, and an exceptional gardener. He was also a defender of wildlife, preserver of community spirit and a lover of the outdoors; he was an avid fly fisherman for over seventy years. He will always be remembered by those who knew him as a man who perfectly exemplified that old saying – a saying so often misattributed to one of his heroes, Winston Churchill – “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”