(Edward) Brian Gee passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness at St. Michael’s Palliative Care Unit in Lethbridge, AB on November 10, 2022, at the age of 70 years. Born in Edmonton he was the son of the late Gilbert Gee & Sylvia (nee Charlesworth).
During Brian’s childhood he would accompany his parents to Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff staying in the beautiful historic railway hotels of the Canadian Rockies. His father being the President of the Chartered Accountants Association of Alberta was responsible for planning the annual conventions in these iconic locations.
Those memories above all else would define the man Brian was to become. Throughout his life, Brian loved the history of train travel, good food in beautiful settings, tailored clothing, quality tea and tobacco, good scotch, and expensive cars. He was well read preferring non-fiction and enjoyed stimulating conversations rather than idle chit-chat.
The love he had for his dogs over the years was as great as the love he had for his family. Brian had a soft spot for babies the odd time he was in their presence. Always polite, always the gentleman but always true in expressing his opinions however contrary they may be to those around him.
Brian attended Garneau Elementary and Strathcona High School where he made many friends. These friendships remained ongoing, and he valued them immensely.
His life during his twenties was in Edmonton. Studying music at Grant McEwen College, Brian became a drummer and a lover of Jazz. His natural talent and disposition enabled him to make lifelong friends within the music industry. He had the privilege to play with friends and fellow musicians he would miss after relocating to Southern Alberta.
Brian met his wife Kathy in 1983, with Brian living in Edmonton and Kathy in Toronto they continued a long-distance relationship. Until 1987 when Brian moved to Toronto, he enrolled in Watch Making at the George Brown College and graduated in 1989.
In August of that year Kathy and Brian married, moved to Edmonton, and lived in Brian’s childhood home. The mountains were now only a 3 ½ hour drive away. Over the next 17 years Brian and Kathy were primarily self-employed. Their heritage home near the University of Alberta became the Garneau Bed and Breakfast. Also, their baking business called “A Couple of Tarts” operated for 6 years and was located at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market.
In 1994 a beautiful infant daughter named Lauren Kathleen was born prematurely but was unable to live. The unbearable sadness was to remain until the birth of a healthy son named Theodore Edward in 1997.
Brian and Kathy’s dream to live in the mountains was influenced by their son reaching school age. Although, friends and family would be missed they felt it was time to relocate and build a home and a life in the Crowsnest Pass Area. A parcel of land had been purchased in 1995. The 42 acres overlooked the Livingstone range, being the front range of the Canadian Rockies. Breathtaking and beautiful it was to be Brian’s and his family’s home for the remainder of his life. During these 19 years, Brian’s son attended Livingstone school in Lundbreck. Kathy and Brian purchased The Cinnamon Bear Bakery and Café in 2004. During the next 14 years, Brian and Kathy worked together to build a business that they loved and were proud of, a business that enabled them to meet and become friends with countless people not only locally but from all over the province and country.
Brian not only was equally responsible for the success of The Cinnamon Bear, but he also took on the responsibility of becoming the primary caregiver for his son while Kathy’s role involved early mornings and often long days. This involvement in Theo’s life established an incredible bond between them that will always remain.
The community of Willow Valley where Brian and his family lived was a warm and welcoming one. During Brian’s extended illness the care and concern shown to his family will never be forgotten.
Those left to mourn his passing is his wife Kathy of 33 years and son Theodore (Maddison) of Lethbridge, AB, sister Penny Kostiuk (Joseph) and nephew Peter (Simone) of Edmonton, AB, Brian’s extended family on his wife’s side; Elaine Kingston (late David) of Whitehorse, YT, and those in Ontario; Phyllis Aubertin (Andy), Garry Martineau (late Susan), Marilyn Nelles (Joe), Marlene Paquette (Stan), Cheryl Frenette (late Chuck) and Cindy Aube (Joss), as well as many dear nieces, nephews and friends.
Cremation has been entrusted to Evergreen Cremations Services.
A Celebration of Brian’s life will be announced in the New Year and will be held in the Spring.
Donations to the Humane Society are welcome. Lucy the family dog loved Brian unconditionally as all dogs do and will miss him as much as his family and friends.