Gerald Massing L.L.B. Too soon, on Monday 10 Sept 2018 at St John Hospice U.B.C., we lost the kindest husband, brother, father, uncle, friend. Gerry committed his life wholly to the service of his family, his profession and his community.
Born 18 Dec 1950 in Ponoka, Alberta, where his family had homesteaded in 1907. His first love was his bicycle which provided him freedom to stretch his imagination as he explored the countryside. Gerry attended several schools in Lloydminster before his family moved to the Kelowna area. He graduated from Rutland Senior Secondary School and proceeded to UBC in 1969, taking Honours English and where he met his wife to be, Wendy. They were married in 1974.
Graduating from UBC Law in 1975, he took articles with the WCB Legal Services Dept where he was recruited by the Board after his call to the Bar in 1976.He was appointed Associate General Counsel in 1995 and remained there until his retirement in 2014. Along the way he skilfully represented the Board in various legal forums, including appearances at the trial and appellate courts in BC and also before the Supreme Court of Canada. Gerry continuously acted as a mentor to young lawyers and organised legal education programs for Board employees. Using his legal and interpersonal skills he was especially effective in working with bringing competing interest groups together.
In 1981 Gerry and Wendy chose Savary Island for their summer retreat. In 1995 he became a director of the SSID at Savary. When the Savary Island Committee was formed in 1996 he was elected, became a mainstay while in office and continued to be an eminence gris thereafter. He was admired and respected by all.
Gerry’s dedication and advocacy for community was unwavering. He was first elected to the KCCS Board in 1982. He served 6 terms as President at Kerrisdale from 1985-1990 In 1994 he was recognised by Park Board as Volunteer of the Year.
In 1990 when Grey and Wendy became proud parents to Dana his focus shifted. He took up positions with local softball and soccer associations and eventually graduated to chief juggler, joker and cheerleader to Kitsilano High School girls basketball games.
He joined the DCCA Board in February 2011 where he has served as President until July of 2018. Gerry was one of the leads in the negotiations with Park Board to renew the Joint Operating Agreement that took over 6 years to complete. He spent hundreds of hours with his Community Centre Associations colleagues adding commentary, direction and insight to the position the CCAs put forth. That accomplishment finally came to a close this year. Although a major achievement, is only part of his legacy that left the community he represented better than before.
He is survived by his wife, Wendy, daughter Dana, sister Eileen and brother Wayne, nephews Colten, Connor and Kaden Bettger. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to pancreatic cancer research or to the hospice of your choice. Private service at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale.
On Sunday 30 Sept a Celebration of Life will take place on West Point Grey Community Centre (Aberthau) 4397 W 2nd Ave beginning with a bike ride departing from Aberthau 3:30 and returning at 4:30pm followed by a reception from 4:30pm – 6:30pm.