Gary McCuaig

In loving memory of GARY McCUAIG 1945–2023

The family of Robert Gary McCuaig KC sadly announce his passing on August 3, 2023 at St John Hospice in Vancouver, BC.

Gary was the beloved husband of Dorothy (Dot, neé Carroll), father of Ryan, father-in-law of Carole Birks, and grandfather of Graeme, who captured his heart from the moment he was born fifteen years ago. He is also survived by his cousin Beverly Rook (John), sisters-in-law Sharon Hart and Mary Carroll, nieces and nephews Margaret Cologna (Shawn), Carla Moore (Darryl Ward), Krista Rowell (Dave), Sean Moore (Petra), Valerie Hobbs (Dale) and Craig Moore and his eleven grandnieces and grandnephews. He is predeceased by his parents Robert and Grace McCuaig, and by his brother-in-law Carl Moore.

Gary was born in Toronto and grew up in Chatham. He nurtured life-long friendships with a group of his childhood friends in Chatham. He graduated from Western University’s law school in 1969, and he initially practiced law in London, Ontario. He moved to Edmonton in 1978 with Dot and Ryan, and joined the Alberta Prosecution Service. He considered the decade that he served as Chief Crown Prosecutor the most difficult but rewarding years of his work life. He was seconded to the UN in 2002-2003 to prosecute war crimes in Kosovo. He retired in 2008, but continued to mentor junior Crown prosecutors. He served six years on the Edmonton Police Commission.

He loved sport. He played baseball as a teenager in Chatham. He was a catcher for a team that won the Ontario championships five years in a row. He loved baseball and read and studied all aspects of the sport, and remained unfailingly loyal to the Detroit Tigers. He was a distance runner who raced the Edmonton and Calgary Marathons and the Jasper-Banff Relay. He was a golfer, and played at Edmonton's Highlands Golf Course for 30 years. He was a hockey player, goaltending for 37 years—of late with Edmonton's Golden Eagles.

He and his wife travelled extensively: to the 1974 Russia-Canada hockey series in Moscow, to Kenya and to South Africa, to Antarctica, to Yukon to raft down the Tatshenshini River, to China, to Thailand, and to many countries in Europe (including a golfing cruise in the British Isles for their 50th wedding anniversary), to Israel, to Turkey and to Australia and New Zealand. He loved Scotland, and was proud of his Scottish heritage.

We will remember Gary for his kindness and thoughtfulness, his integrity and courage, his ability to nurture relationships, his humour and humility, and his resolute support of and devotion to his family and friends.

There will be no funeral, at his request.

He supported many charities, but Edmonton Meals on Wheels was dear to his heart. He worked the 6-8 AM kitchen shift a few days a week for about 15 years. In lieu of flowers, feel free to donate to the charity of your choice.

Memories of Gary, aka. my dad

If you knew my dad, I'd appreciate if if you'd use the form at the bottom of this page to send me and my mom a message that you'd be comfortable with me sharing on this page. (If you aren't comfortable, that's ok; you can still email me at ryan@ryanmccuaig.net and I'll be sure that my mom sees it too).

Today is December, and a time to reconnect with friends and associates after leaving Alberta.

Today was not a happy day, as I just learned of Gary's passing.

I have many fond memories of him, especially his willingness to offer advice and assistance in criminal cases I investigated with the RCMP, and later working in the same office with him in the Bowker Building. Many laughs during our lunch time gatherings at work, and lots of good times with him and Mike golfing at Victoria.

My sincere condolences to the family. Gary did surprise me when he fit into his half-car-sized Mercedes, and also had room for his golf clubs.

RIP Gary. You were an icon in your field.

R. J. (Bob) Mettlewsky

I just returned from Edmonton, where we gathered to reminisce about Uncle Gary. The event was filled with lovely stories that brought back memories, particularly when people spoke of his intelligence, wry humour, and big smile.

As a child, I knew he was kind, the way kids just know. Quiet and unassuming, he would bring out his camera and take candid shots as we played on the swings or sang Happy Birthday. It was easy to see that he and Ryan had a special relationship. We used to wonder what he said to Ryan when they would whisper together at family events.

He was well read and worldly. I remember visiting Aunt Dot and Uncle Gary in my late twenties. I was dazzled by my sophisticated aunt and uncle, who spoke to me like an adult and welcomed me to their home. They spoke of current events and travelling that helped me see the world differently.

At the recent gathering, his friends and colleagues spoke about his professional life. It was a new side of him for me because he never spoke of it to us. In their stories, only his personality was the same: articulate and patient, with unfailing humour.

Mostly I remember that Uncle Gary made you feel special.

My condolences to you Aunt Dot, Ryan, Carole and Graeme.

Margaret Cologna

As a young girl, Gary always seemed so unbelievably tall to me and somehow, now that I am grown, he still feels larger-than-life.

Gary was a gentleman, and a constant loving presence in my life. In 2018, Dot and Gary drove down to the Edmonton airport and took our family of four to dinner after our (discount Swoop) flight was delayed by eight hours. This was an epic act of kindness, and was so appreciated!

Valerie Hobbs

I will always remember Gary and Dot's hospitality. I arrived in Edmonton in 1980. As a new Crown Prosecutor, I was introduced to the members of the Edmonton prosecutor's office. Gary invited me to dinner that evening. I had never been to Edmonton before and winter's chill still gripped the early April air however Gary and Dot's hospitality warmed me up to Edmonton.

I knew Gary as one of the most capable prosecutors in the Edmonton office, handling more than his share of serious and difficult cases. His work with the Kosovo UN war crimes commission was inspiring.

More than the work was the games: Sunday morning hockey, the office pick-up softball and touch football games, golf, and the Jasper-Banff relay team, to mention only a few.

I was diagnosed with peripheral T cell lymphoma in July 2021. I experienced some of what Gary endured. We corresponded about our experience with the symptoms and the treatment. I was devasted when I learned of Gary's passing.

I will always remember Gary's smile and enthusiasm.

Paul Bourque

Our deepest condolences to Dot, Ryan and family. We always enjoyed our time with Gary. Conversations were always engaging and interesting. He showed great love for his family and he will be dearly missed.

Craig, Kya and Summer Moore

My deepest sympathies to the McCuaig family and the countless friends that Gary had. I was incredibly fortunate to have had Gary as a friend and advisor, and I take some solace in knowing that he is in peace after a long and courageous battle fighting his affliction. As I told him several times when we were able to chat during his illness, the docs must have loved him as a patient.

I first met Gary in 2002 in Pristina, Kosovo, shortly after the Balkan wars where he was working as an international prosecutor, and I was an international judge. Life was chaotic and very uncertain as Kosovo, a UN Protectorate at the time, was trying to recover from the ravages of war and extreme mistrust. Gary was assigned to prosecute several guerilla war commanders for war crimes. They were deemed supreme patriots by many people in Kosovo, and they were well connected. On several occasions Gary received threats and intimidating remarks, something I only learned of in his casual unassuming remarks weeks after they occurred in the context of some humorous anecdote. Notwithstanding his busy schedule he took time on many occasions to check in with me and re-assure me that things in the Mission were going to be okay. His quick wit and dry sense of humor were treasured. He was incredibly brave at a time when he had ample reason to be fearful. He was very good at what he did because he clearly and insightfully spoke the truth about so many things, including the war criminals that he prosecuted and who were never successful in their attempts to intimidate him.

Although I only worked with Gary for about five months, he became one of my best and closest friends. He left a profound and incredible impact on my life. He was incredibly generous. I am sure that I, like countless others whose lives he touched, will never forget him.

Rest in peace my dear friend and advisor!!

Bob Carolan, IJ

Gary was the chief Crown when my wife and I moved to Edmonton from Fort McMurray in 1988. Gary was a rare leader who led quietly and by example. He was devoid of the narcissism and self-promotional tendencies that seem so rife in this era. I was lucky to be able to work with Gary and the Edmonton group for the rest of my career.

Charlie Cobban

Gary was not only a kind and generous friend but also a very good athlete. For several years we enjoyed playing fastball together. He caught (very well, I might add) and I played shortstop. Before moving west, Dot and Gary were a fun addition to our couples club which met monthly for various social activities. It was a sad day when they moved. Fortunately, a couple of years later, Barb and I also moved to Edmonton and our friendship was rekindled. Gary was a delightful conversationalist with a great sense of humour. We will miss him deeply.

Ken & Barb Willan

My condolences to Dot and Ryan.

Gary and I were police commissioners together. He taught me a lot about law in general and administrative law as it pertained to our work.

Gary had many stories about characters he worked with or encountered in the courts. I tried to counter with medical stories from my years of practice. But somehow his stories were more intriguing.

I will never forget Gary. He was a fine gentlemen.

John Lilley

Dot and Ryan, Roger and I are so very sorry for your loss. Gary was an exceptional man. He was a much valued colleague, as well as buddy, to many of us on the Edmonton Police Commission. He was respected by all. He spent many, many hours contributing as Chair of the Professional Standards Committee, as well to innumerable difficult discussions and decision making processes. He certainly provided me with much valuable advice one-on-one as well. Gary was the definition of integrity and commitment.

We of course enjoyed Gary’s terrific sense of humour, jokes he circulated, and his kindness. Roger and I had lots of fun times with Gary and Dot at various conferences, events, dinners and other gatherings.

Gary will be very missed by us for sure.

Cathy Palmer

I was so very sorry to hear the news of Gary's passing. I knew Gary both as a defence lawyer and as Crown counsel. My most enduring memories of Gary were when he was Chief Prosecutor in Edmonton and I was a defence lawyer. What I appreciated so very much was that he was approachable and responsive to concerns being expressed.

Gary was a person who was easily admired. He was a firm but fair, and so very forthright when dealing with him. I confess I did not like playing baseball against him. I had no idea that he had played that much baseball. Sheesh, I could never get the ball out of the infield.

But I think what instilled my view of Gary was that he had time to help others outside of the office. He volunteered to assist the disadvantaged, and undertook the dangerous work of an international prosecutor in what was then the incredibly dangerous city of Pristina. I think that my image of Gary as, not just a good lawyer, but as a person with compassion for others, is an image that I will never forget.

James Robb

We were shocked and saddened to hear about Gary's passing. The last time we saw him and Dot was at one of the gatherings at The Common in Edmonton. It was always great to see them both and catch up on their travels. Gary gave me my first job as a prosecutor after I completed articling with Justice, and I'm forever grateful to him for that. I left the prosecution service for several years before returning and, although I only saw Gary from time to time, it was like no time had passed each time our paths crossed. That was due to Gary being so welcoming and so easy to talk to. Our deepest sympathies and condolence to you, your mom and your extended family at this difficult time.

Rob and Cheryl Beck

Dot, Ryan, Carole and Graeme, I have been slow writing my message. It is hard to know where to start. A truly wonderful brother-in-law! We had so many great family times over the years and a lot of travelling between Edmonton and Woodstock. We could always count on Gary's support when needed for any event. He helped get ready for many weddings, and birthday parties. Krista and Dave's wedding was the first and, yes, Gary ended up going back to Woodstock many times for yellow mums and green grapes while Ryan was unmolding the ice sculpture! Dot, we got married the same year and lost our husbands within eight months of each other. We were fortunate to have many years of marriage. The path ahead is one of loss, but with many great memories.

Sharon Hart

My deepest condolences. I very fondly remember golfing with Gary (and Dot) and having many laughs together. He love for his Persimmon wooden driver is forever etched in my mind and brings a smile to my face.

His infectious smile will be sorely missed!!

Yue Ming

Dot, Ryan, I am so sorry to hear about Gary’s passing. I had messaged with him just last month when we learned of our friend Brian Fraser’s passing.

From time to time, someone special enters your life and makes a mark. Gary was one of those people for me. As a young police officer, he (as well as Brian) would go the extra mile to help me be a better cop. I’ll never forget sitting at Gary and Dot’s dining room table hammering out a wiretap order or DNA warrant. Our relationship led to golf and the occasional meeting at a local pub for a late afternoon beer with Brian and others.

I’m pretty sure if you look up “integrity” in the dictionary, there’s a photo of Gary. I’ll miss you my friend!

Al Sauve

I am a classmate of Dot's and knew your dad through her. We visited from time to time in London, Edmonton and Waterloo. Gary always had a smile, a wry sense of humour and was a great host. When our son located to Edmonton, your parents were very helpful in helping us find an apartment for him and welcoming him to the city. I was sad when they were unable to come to our reunion last September but I did have some good chats with your mom about Gary's health issues. He will be missed.

Barb Leask Wynne

Dot and Ryan, I am so sorry for your loss. In the early years I knew Gary as a proud father and latterly whenever we were in touch, he was always the joyful grandfather.

Gary and I opened a law office to practice together in London in the mid-70s. We were partners in the true sense. We shared a strong bond and an abundance of meaningful experiences together. It was a profound friendship that has shaped my life in positive ways. After those delightful four years we each left London to be Crown prosecutors.

He enriched the lives of all who knew him. Gary was a great man and a life friend.

Paul Lepine

This is difficult. Its hard to articulate Gary's impact on so, so many of us. The profession that we have chosen is extraordinarily difficult. We are called upon to engage ourselves in the personal crises and heartbreak of others, and somehow find solutions and answers, to provide a voice to the less powerful, to fight for someone else. For a twentysomething to enter this world, a world populated by professionals who seem so much smarter than you are–Gary was the beacon. Gary had a way of convincing you to stand up, to let you know that you are good enough because he believed in you. Mostly he stood behind his staff, supporting you every step. Occasionally he stood in front of you, to protect you from blowback. Gary was never far. Long after he was no longer my Chief, Gary was never far. Like many, I heard from him at every stage of my career: the celebrations and the times when support was needed. It is difficult to imagine that he is not somewhere cheering me on, as usual. I hope that it gives his family comfort to know that Gary has changed the lives of so many–many whom you will never know. I know that we demanded more of him than we had a right to demand, but please know that Gary's influence will be felt long after he has gone. At this difficult time, please know that we all silently stand with you.

Michelle Doyle

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. So many good memories working with him when he was Chief Crown. Whether you were office staff or a fellow prosecutor, he treated us all with the same respect.

Always professional, approachable and fair.

He used to constantly tease me about my choice of favourite baseball players. And seeing him dressed as Santa for the children’s Christmas party still makes me laugh.

There are countless memories for so many people and I feel very lucky to have known him.

Michelle Redpath

Deepest condolences to Dot, Ryan and family.

Gary’s permanent smile and light-hearted banter always made a round at Highlands that much more enjoyable.

A true gentleman.

Gary Poignant

Dot, Ryan, Carole, and Graeme: I am sorry for your loss.

I was blessed with the pleasure of golfing with Gary and listening to him talk on various topics. I learned something from him by listening. My stepfather was very involved in Little League Baseball (Canada and International). So, Gary's passion for the sport was very close to my heart, and endearing.

Since, being out in Vancouver, I have missed seeing Gary, in his golfing hat, pulling his cart up No. 11 (formerly No. 2). Oddly, I will take a look over at 11 every now and again.

A patient, kind, considerate man with a big genuine smile. A true gentleman.

Kylene Nauman

Just a note of remembrance from an old Edmonton Police Service member who, as a detective, was always pleased to find out that the Crown prosecutor for the case I was called to testify on was Gary McCuaig. He always treated us with the utmost respect, in and out of court. Just maybe we had a few beers in the mess too!

Rest in peace, Gary and peace be with all his family.

Gerry Roden

I'm so sorry, Dot and family, on the passing of Gary. I always loved our chats at Highlands Golf Club, and was very thankful for his support and guidance to our Board of Directors at our Club when I was the President. He always had a big smile, and was the consummate gentleman. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Club.

Gary Brennan

I worked as a city police court liaison. He always had time for us when it came to laying appropriate charges on a accused. He was an outstanding Crown and a mentor to many. He will be sadly missed. My deepest sympathy.

Donna Grant

My remembrances of Gary span two different, unique perspectives.

As a detective in the Serious Offenders Section of the Edmonton Police Service in the late 1990s, I came across a little used section of the Criminal Code that some agencies in eastern Canada were using to monitor recently released dangerous offenders who had served their full sentences, and were therefore released into the community with no conditions whatsoever. I approached my boss at the time: he liked the idea of using Section 810 here, and told me to go ahead and make it happen. No one in the Crown’s office had ever heard of such a thing. I was directed to Gary, the Chief Crown Prosecutor at the time. I’m sure he was very busy doing “Chief Crown” stuff, but he took me under his wing, shepherded me and the application through the process and we were successful. To this day, when you see a news report about an offender being released into the community ‘with conditions,’ it is a result of Gary’s believing in a unique opportunity to make our community safer.

My second memories of Gary involve golfing. He was already a long-term member at Highlands when I joined, and it was there where we reconnected. He was so incredibly well-respected and mentored me in so many ways (except with his persimmon driver). I could always count on his wise counsel and support while I was on the Board and my time as President. He was always there to bounce ideas off of, use as a sounding board, or, more often than not, just spend a wonderful four hours or so on the old course: two retired public servants enjoying life and fresh air.

Gary: you will be missed. You touched so many people in your life. I’m eternally grateful I was one of them.

Mike Derbyshire

I loved golfing with Gary: Not because of our on-course prowess, but because we always had rich conversations on varied topics. He always had great insight and shared it with a smile. I will miss that.

Norm Turtle

I only knew Gary professionally. He was a mentor at the Crown's office when I started there at the very beginning of my career, and helped me prepare for court and debrief afterwards. It must have been a sight to see: him, tall, lanky, and relaxed, walking over to the courthouse with me, stomping away in my high heels trying to look and feel bigger and more confident than my five feet, one inch (and a half) terrified self felt.

I still talk about one of the moments in which I was so appreciative of Gary. It was during my first full day of court, featuring two trials I felt in way over my head for, with an older male defence lawyer not known for his pleasant in-court demeanour. During what could only be described as a yelling match between the Judge and the defence lawyer, resulting in the Judge swiveling his chair around so his back faced us, I turned around and looked at Gary. What in the world should I do? I gestured to him, as to whether I should stand up and say something right now??? I will never forget the look on his face as his shook his head no with his eyes mostly closed, and swung his flat hand back and forth to communicate, ever so clearly to me, to stay sitting down and shut up. I took his advice and stayed glued to my chair, which was definitely the right thing to do.

He had a wealth of legal knowledge, able to provide practical advice, and had a reassuring demeanour. He would frequently pull out copied extracts from resources for me to tuck away during those crucial first months of my career. He always had an infectious smile on his face and a mischievous twinkle in his eye that gave away his jokes just before the punch line.

Thank you for sharing him with us, even after his official retirement. I am so sorry for the loss you have suffered. I hope our words and shared stories bring you comfort and smiles. I offer your family my deepest condolences.

Kristen Logan

Gary and I were in the same McKeough School class until grade 8, when my family moved away, but not before the Chatham PeeWees won the 1958 Ontario title. My contributions to the success of that team were small, as became clear when several more championships followed after we moved away.

Early that summer, Gary's dad took us to Lippmann's in Detroit to buy new ball gloves, which we hoped would help us catch a foul ball at Brigg's Stadium that afternoon. (No such luck!) How to avoid paying duty on our purchases? We decided not to try to hide them in case we were found out, so we both started to pound a ball into our new gloves as we neared the border, hoping this would make them look worn enough to avoid being caught smuggling. To our great relief, the border guard saw what were were doing and asked if we'd enjoyed the ball game. In unison, we told him we did and resumed breathing normally again. Unfortunately, our paths rarely crossed after that.

John Bullen

To Gary's family, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. What an incredible, classy, beautiful person Gary was. When I first started with the Alberta Prosecution Service in 2014, Gary ushered me into what felt like a tizzy whirlwind of cases, courtrooms, and lawyers. He sat in the back of the courtroom gallery for two weeks while I ran my first trials in a high-volume trial courtroom. My time with Gary was exhilarating. Gary taught me the ethics of the profession in those first two weeks. He helped me make difficult decisions under pressure. He brought humanity into the law for me. He was so supportive, he was so kind, he was a shining bright light. The lessons that I learned from Gary in those first weeks of my career became core memories for me. I am so grateful for the time that I had with him, and I will never forget his smiling face.

Camille Tokar

Gary was a stalwart volunteer who made an immeasurable impact to Edmonton Meals on Wheels. He was an early bird volunteer, happy to help at 6am (or earlier if he could) to ensure food was prepared, delivered and everyone was fed. Gary's soft-spoken way and his warm smile will live in our hearts as we remember him. We are so lucky to have had him in our midst, supporting food security for Edmontonians for more than fifteen years.

Gary truly was an incredible man with a generous heart. We send our deepest condolences to his family.

Sonja Zacharko (Edmonton Meals on Wheels)
August 14, 2023

I had the privilege of knowing and working with Gary McCuaig in the Alberta Prosecution Service. I learned a great deal from him; sometimes from what he said but more often from the example he set. He was a man of integrity and a lawyer you could trust. He worked tirelessly and believed in doing the right thing, making a positive contribution to the administration of justice. He will be missed.

Bart Rosborough

I had the pleasure of working with your dad at the Crown's office when he was our Chief Crown prosecutor. He was such a joy to work with; always a hello in the hallway or a smile. But the thing that sticks out for me is when we had a bomb threat at the office after he had gone to work at head office. After we had been all shuffled over to the police headquarters, who is there to greet us and and make sure we were safe but Gary!!! He didn't have to do that but he did...

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

Louise Wadlow

Sometimes, when someone we care about dies, we think about our loss.

I offer my thoughts about what I gained by having a friendship with Gary.

He was both gifted and a giver.

On London

We played hockey with other lawyers on the ice, playing late night pick-up. You played with the players whose sticks landed with yours in the “sorting”.

We only had time after for one beer and then home to get up and meet at the courthouse the next morning to scrimmage in a different way.

Doug Specht (a reporter with the London Free Press), joined Gary and I hanging out talking after court and we became the “Three Muskateers”.

I never got a chance to do the baseball game bus but I hear they were quite the adventure.

On moving

We both left London: Gary for Edmonton, and I for Toronto. When I decided to become Crown counsel, Gary gave me so much insight about what I was getting myself into. I am thankful he convinced me to follow him in that direction and that it would be rewarding... it was!


In Ontario, we got to visit and share war stories at the Crown Attorney’s Summer School in London, with a bunch of us going for walks along the Thames.

In Edmonton, I spent time at the Criminal Lawyers Conference. Dot and Gary picked my colleague and I up in Dot’s car as he told me his was too little. We enjoyed Dot and Gary’s special hospitality and later Gary showed me his “Smart Car”. It is total amusement to watch him curl himself up as he got into his special car. He told me there was lots of room and there was!

In Toronto, we also had visits when Gary and/or Dot were passing through to visit with Dot’s sisters for various special occasions.

Emails and talks

Gary always sent a good joke for a giggle or a helpful insight into an update on life.

Our last emails were about my upcoming trip to Croatia, which Gary told me would be awesome. I had hoped to tell him all about it but instead I will think about him as I see the things he told me to see.

I thank you, Gary’s family, for sharing such a wonderful person with us. I will miss his mentoring. I hope all his wonderful memories and those shared with you give you comfort in this time of loss.

Mary Lou Armour

Among prosecutors and support staff there are still a few in the office that would have known Gary as a prosecutor and then Chief Crown Prosecutor. There are still others that would have had the benefit of Gary’s patience, wisdom, and gentle mentoring about ten years ago when he was brought back by then Chief Crown Steve Bilodeau to act as a mentor to prosecutors. After leaving our office, Gary went to the Bowker Building (at the time known as “Head Office”) to develop an Alberta Gang Strategy, and deal with other special projects. He also served in Kosovo involved in war crimes prosecutions. After his retirement from Alberta Justice Gary was engaged by the BC Attorney General to review their pre-charge approval process. Gary was also a member of the crown curling team in the Edmonton lawyers' curling league.

Prior to becoming Chief, Gary was a line crown prosecutor recruited by Dan Abbott, along with others from Ontario, to create a more professional crown prosecution office. He served under Chiefs Dan Abbott, Steve Koval and Michael Allen.

Gary was Chief in June of 1998 when he hired me from private practice to join the Edmonton office. At about the same time Gary also hired Wade Marke, John Watson and Bill Gatward and it was at a time when the office had lost several senior people within a few months. Personally, it also came at a time when I was fed up with a general private practice after 18 years. At that time, about 50% of my practice was as an ad hoc prosecutor for both the Edmonton office and the Feds. The problem was the other 50% had lost its “lustre.” I have often said to Gary how grateful I was for his taking me on. It was one of those life changing moments for me.

Once a year Gary and I would get together for a pint or two, talk about our families, the Edmonton office, golf–which he did well and I did poorly–and the world in general. Last year he bought the beer. This year was to be my turn. Both of us were of Scottish ancestry. He may have gone on remembering that I owed him a few pints. For me, while it would be in keeping with my ancestry to think that I am relieved of that obligation, I would gladly have bought more beer for many more years just to be able to spend more time with him.

May his memory be a blessing.

Kevin T. Mott KC

So sorry, Dot. I had no idea of his recent medical issues. He was a hero for our class and had a career that so many envied and admired!

So sorry for your loss. I have also communicated with our class.

John Eberhart (Class President 1969, Western)

It's difficult to find the words to commemorate an old and dear friend.

We became friends, at the age of 12, playing what was then called Peewee baseball in Chatham, Ontario. The baseball friendship morphed into much more during our high school years at Tecumseh Secondary School and Chatham Collegiate Institute.

We spent hours walking to and from those schools discussing everything from politics to the latest prospects of the Detroit Tigers to the new girls who joined our class. After school found us sipping cherry Cokes at the Sunshine Restaurant, or playing road hockey on Forest Street in Chatham.

Postsecondary school came, and we went our separate ways: Gary to law school, most of the rest of us to teachers' college. Communication in those pre-social media days days was more difficult, but we never lost touch.

I recall more than one occasion while teaching at Chatham Collegiate, looking up to see Gary's smiling face, sitting in the back of my classroom, taking in the discussion of the day. Gary, practicing law in London and handling a case in the court house across the street from the school in Chatham, would slip unnoticed into the back of my class to observe the action.

As time went on, and Gary and Dot moved west, our group would always look forward to their autumn visits to Southwestern Ontario and our lengthy catch-up dinners.

More recently it was our pleasure to travel with Gary and Dot to Turkey and the Canadian battlefields of Northern Europe.

It's difficult to process that Gary is no longer with us. As we move through life we encounter special people who become our true friends. Gary was one of those people and we will all miss him dearly.

Dennis Makowetsky

Ron and I were so sorry to hear about Gary’s passing. Ron was a classmate of your mom’s, and your mom and I lived together one summer. We remember your dad’s smile and his quiet supportive way and his humility. We realize the tremendous loss that his death will be for you and your mom. Condolences again to all your family.

Denise and Ron Wexler

Gary McCuaig was a wonderful Assistant Chief Crown and then Chief Crown Prosecutor. He was fair to a fault, and always approachable and available to provide his sage counsel. I enjoyed very much that Gary would grace special occasions in full Scottish attire. I curled with Gary on the office curling team, and teased him occasionally about choosing duct tape for his slider shoe instead of getting something more fancy. He had great good humour and energy. He instilled confidence in me, and even after he left his role as Chief Crown, Gary took the time to reach out and communicate his support for what I was doing. I can only imagine that is what he did for countless others in his life. I am very sad Gary has passed, and I send my sincere condolences to his beloved family.

Patricia Innes
August 13, 2023

Jill and I were saddened to learn of Gary's passing. Gary was a a sweet, soft-spoken gentleman, a real mensch. We recall enjoying ourselves at a barbecue at your home on Steele Street shortly before your departure for Edmonton. Gary was always interested in our class activities, and it was beautiful to see the loving relationship that you and Gary shared. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Michael and Jill Simmons

Gary will be sorely missed by many. I had the privilege of golfing with Gary and Dot at Highlands, and definitely concur with the mentions of his athletic ability. I knew Gary best from sharing a dressing room at Golden Eagles Hockey. We all appreciated his sense of humor and smile and laugh that could light up the room. Gary was a true gentleman and was never boastful about his hockey abilities. He would say things like his inability to get out of the way quickly enough was the main reason for his many saves. But I, like many others on the team, was often thwarted by his great glove hand!

Gary will be missed immensely by the Golden Eagles Hockey team. I feel privileged to have had the chance to be a friend.

Michael Carby

Gary was a great goalie and a greater friend. We miss him on the Eagles Hockey Team. A great team player who cared for his teammates. Personally Gary and I had some great laughs and joke on the ice and in the dressing room. He will be missed by all of us. God's team got a great goalie. My sympathies to the McCuaig family, and especially Dot.

George & Nancy Pon

I have many fond memories of Gary and credit him for taking a chance and hiring me. He was the best boss I ever had and such a wonderful man. Those mentoring sessions at the Sidetrack Cafe not only developed my prosecutorial skills but gave me lifelong treasured friendships.

a toast

Gary changed my life by hiring me: a woman, at a time not a lot of women were being hired, an unknown with very little criminal experience and from a non-criminal law firm.

A bunch of the women he hired and mentored at the Sidetrack got together a few years ago on Vancouver Island and lifted a toast to him.

My deepest sympathies are with you and your family.

Michèle Collinson

I am so sorry to hear that Gary has passed away. He was a good friend both to me and to my late husband Danny Abbott (the one who managed to convince Gary to come west from Ontario and join the Alberta Crown). Gary was a thoughtful man and helpful to others because he was always aware of others’ wants and needs and he never missed even the little things.

He was a well-respected lawyer in Edmonton, and should have gone to the bench when many of his colleagues did. I think he was just too modest to even ask, but he would have been a good and fair judge just as he was a good and fair man.

Gary will be missed so much by Dot especially but also by Ryan, Carole, and Graeme. A big virtual hug and my deepest condolences to you.

Donna Read

So sorry to hear about Uncle Gary's passing. He was a thoughtful and caring Uncle to Dave, myself, and our children. I will remember his intelligence and wit. I especially remember him helping at the house at my wedding with all the many chores for my big day. My condolences on your loss. Take care.

Krista Rowell

Shelley and I offer our condolences to Dot and Ryan and all of the family. We very much enjoyed our time spent with Gary and Dot, including admiring Gary’s towering drives at the Highlands Golf Club. My memories of Gary, the splendid athlete, include all those shots of mine he stopped while goaltending in old timer hockey and of him setting off on long runs through the Edmonton river valley. No one knew more about baseball than Gary and I loved talking baseball with him.

It was an honour and a pleasure to have worked with Gary and to spend time with him away from work.

Peter and Shelley Teasdale

Hi Ryan and Dot, like so many others here, I was shocked and saddened to hear about Gary’s passing. He was so well summed-up in your "We will remember Gary…" paragraph above and nobody needs to tell you that he was, above all, a good person.

I was in practice, then doing a lot of criminal law, for a number of years at 1984 Century Place when your Dad came to the same building with the Edmonton Crown. We hit it off well and from early on–his Ontario roots did not offend me–as an army brat, my Dad’s various postings saw us live in three places in Ontario, including London in the late 50s, early 60s.

We saw a fair bit of each other when he came to Alberta both by reason of our professional practices and our proximity in the same building. I can’t recall ever seeing him without his big smile and he was always honest and fair (but firm) to deal with on a case.

We also played "old timers' rules" hockey together for many years on those Sunday morning U of A Rink pick up games. In fact, despite my dismal hockey skills, Gary asked me to join the Edmonton Crown team for a weekend tournament playing the Calgary Crown, an RCMP team and one other. (Dot, you may remember that weekend). He asked me, as he said, "because (I) was the only guy who could keep a lid on (Brian) Fraser." No surprise to me, and as I warned him, he was very wrong in that regard; but it was a fun long weekend and we, at least, kept Brian (later The Honourable Judge Fraser) out of jail, if not the penalty box.

I also have always appreciated Gary’s support and reaction when I was the speaker at a "Judges’ Dinner" where, in honouring various judges, the balancing act was between deference and humour. I had one "throw away" bit that I did not expect a big laugh from, but one that amused me. (“You know why they are the Lost Generation, don’t you? They all have their hats on backwards.”) It was a quiet response as I expected except for one person who audibly cracked up: your dad. Clearly I had touched a nerve as a result of his years of having to deal with various yobbos and ‘creeps.’ (Not his wording).

Before I retired, we moved our office to 103rd Avenue and 124 Street and I enjoyed running into Gary, and catching up, from time to time after he and your mum had, I believe, retired to that neighbourhood. Again, I was always met with that big smile and a friendly chat.

I had not known that Gary and Dot had relocated to BC and I certainly did not know he had been unwell. The word on his passing came (through Ken Tjosvold) as a real shock then. While I admit that my susceptibilities might be increased with age, inter alia, I have to confess to shedding a few tears at the news. I will certainly not have been alone in that regard.

My condolences you you, your Mum and your family generally. Enjoy your memories of him.

Richard W. Rand

From our first meeting during Frosh Week at Western, I was drawn to Gary's calm demeanour and gentle humour. Our friendship grew and we shared many good times together.

We both enjoyed baseball. I was a Tigers fan, but spotting Gary come across the field to play catch for the first time I knew he was THE FAN. Dressed in a Tigers cap and jersey, he was the first person outside the major leagues I saw with flip-down shades.

To attend a ball game with Gary was both an experience and an education from choosing the appropriate seats, getting to the park in time to see field preparation, checking line-ups to spot opponents' weaknesses to actually scoring the game out by out. We missed the Tigers pennant clinching game in 1968 by a couple of days but were on hand to see Denny McLean pitch his thirtieth win of the season.

Over the years baseball yielded to other, more important things. His love and devotion to you, Dot, and to you, Ryan and your family, took precedence. His commitment to justice is well-known.

However, for me an enduring picture of Gary is him circling a pop fly, flipping down those shades at the last moment and giving a big smile after the catch.

You are missed dear friend.

Dennis Switzer

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary in Pristina, Kosovo in 2003/4. We were both international prosecutors working for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. There was a major war crimes trial against four defendants, all former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who were still revered by many in the Kosovo community. Gary put his hand up for that trial. Any of you reading this who knew him so well will understand this choice that he made. It took great character, legal ability and courage to do this trial. Gary was not deficient in any of those three qualities.

All of us in the mission admired him. Gary was a great example to me of that unruffled and calm prosecutor who left no stone unturned and who appealed to his audience. People liked him both in and out of court. I loved him, and it has been my honour to remain his friend until his passing.

He and Dot visited me in Australia twice. I took him to a court in country NSW for the opening of the law term. McCuaig QC (as he then was) was admiringly acknowledged by the judge in her opening speech.

Such men are rare and when they pass the loss is enormous, but if ever someone deserved to meet their maker it is Gary.

Rest in peace, great man.

Chris Maxwell KC

(I will absolutely not post your email to this page, or do anything else with it except:

  • get in touch about your story if I need to; and
  • at your option, notify you when there are new stories to read).

Please do post this story on this page for others to read.

Please email me when there's a new story on this page.