Gary Robert Vibert
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January 5, 1950 - March 29, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a beloved husband, father and grand-father Gary Vibert, in the early morning hours of Sunday March 29, 2020 at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre; but are comforted to know that he is reunited with his daughter Kimberley.
Gary, the third son of Milton and Helen (Paschuk) Vibert, was born in Fort William on January 5, 1950. He was raised and educated along with the rest of the Vibert crew by the good folk of Rosslyn Village and cut his teeth under the watchful eye of his father at the Brickyard. Gary was the Owner of Rossdale Renovations Limited for over 45 years, working till shortly before his death. He started Rossdale with his older brother Dave and was a proud and longstanding member of the Construction Association of Thunder Bay. Gary loved the thrill of winning a tender. He enjoyed going to see the guys at the job-site and could always put his trust in longtime foreman Al Esposti. Gary “Coop” had a passion for playing, watching and coaching hockey. He proudly wore jerseys for the Rosslyn Dynamiters, the Kakabeka Hotel Marauders, Arthur Street and spent his senior hockey years with the Sunday morning hockey crew. He was a devoted hockey coach with the NorWest Minor Hockey Association for many years, and took great enjoyment in helping players develop their skills. Dad was a life long golfer. He won The Styffe Open in 1980 and was a force on the local golf circuit for many years with Pro/Am partner Murray Wing.
Gary was the backbone of his family and together with his wife Sandy, they raised 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Their home had an open door policy. The house was often full with grandchildren, family, friends, fur babies and members of the Rosslyn Community, where Gary grew up and raised his family. His heart broke in two after loosing his daughter Kimberley, who died of a brain tumour in 2013. His children and grandchildren were his greatest reward in life. He rarely missed a hockey game, dance recital or school play. He loved to be at the house crammed on the couch surrounded by, and with arms full of grandkids and Kimberley’s golden retriever Sam at his feet. Gary’s favourite place to be was the family camp at Arrow Lake. He loved to tinker around, chop down brush, have a cup of tea on the deck and watch the boats go by. Grandpa delighted in watching the grandkids jump off the dock, have a sauna or catch a bass. On his 60th birthday, a cold day in January, Gary cut a hole in the ice and took the polar bear plunge into the chilling water with his kids. Family trips to the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and visiting the girls at school were highlights for Gary. In 2019, Gary and Sandy took their 19-member family on one last family trip together, to the Caribbean on a Disney Cruise. It was the trip of a lifetime. Dad was there for every milestone first cars (and first car accidents), setting up university apartments, weddings, first home inspections and the arrival of grandchildren. He was one of a kind and we are blessed that he was ours.
He will be forever missed by his loving wife Sandy, son John (Marisa) Vibert, daughters Karen Papineau, Michelle (Nick) Kolobutin, Natalie Vibert (Stephen Massaro) and 9 grandchildren, Aidan and Nathan Vibert, Mitchell and Hailey Papineau, Knox, Simon and Briar Kolobutin, Grace and June Massaro, and of course his devoted dog Sam.
He is predeceased by his daughter Kimberley, son-in-law Shane Papineau, brothers David and James Vibert and parents Milton and Helen Vibert.
We send Dad off with admiration and thanks, for a life of generosity and all the memories he gave to us. Remember Gary at the top of a hockey rink watching the game or sitting at the end of his dock with a fishing rod in hand.
Due to COVID-19, a Celebration of Gary’s life will take place at a later date. Details will be announced once arrangements are made. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Northern Cancer Fund are appreciated. https://www.healthsciencesfoundation.ca/northern-cancer-fund
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore Street at James.