Born March 26, 1956 in White Rock, BC, Gary was Allen and Doris Reid’s second of five kids. His family settled in Invermere where he grew up loving the outdoors, fishing, hunting and camping. He also loved sports and played basketball where his 6’ 6” frame was a definite asset. After high school, Gary went on to follow in his Dad’s footsteps working at his dream job with B.C. Hydro.
Soon after, on Christmas Eve 1976, he was hit by a drunk driver and required months of hospitalization and rehabilitation in both Calgary and Vancouver. He fell in love with wheelchair sports, and for over a decade, competed nationally and internationally in a variety of sports. He played several years with the wheelchair basketball team, the Vancouver Cable Cars, a team that boasted elite athlete alumni, such as Terry Fox and Rick Hansen. He often joked he was the only member of the team who didn’t get a school named after him. He also helped develop disabled sport and coached a women’s team to a national championship. He was honoured to be inducted into two sports hall of fame for his accomplishments in wheelchair sports, though he often joked he was a legend only in his own mind.
In 1988, Gary married Shari. Moving to Cranbrook, they had their daughter, Alysha in 1991, and son, Brennan in 1993. The next couple decades were full of family life, kid’s sports, practices, games and recitals. Gary was at every event proudly cheering them on and being an awesome Dad and husband.
During the last few years, Gary’s health continued to decline. After fighting serious lung infections for years, he died peacefully on Sunday, July 28, 2019 at Foothills Hospital in Calgary on his own terms with his family by his side.
Gary lived both simply and larger than life at the same time. Smart, kind, irreverent, fair, silly, disability rights advocate, Parrot Head, Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, craft beer enjoyer, wristwatch and funky socks collector, he was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed.
At Gary’s request, his family will have a back yard Margaritaville sending off party for him, on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Cranbrook. Please join us by texting or calling Brennan at 204-996-1593 for the address. Children welcome.
In memory of Gary, we would be honoured if you would like to make a donation to Rick Hansen Foundation
To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Gary, please visit www.choicememorial.com.