IAN (poem written in 1947 by his Grandmother Gemmill)
He’s such a loving little lad,
His heart is full of joy;
Mischief is mirrored in the eyes
Of this charming little boy.
Oftimes he taxes all my skill
So little do I know,
That often camouflage creeps in
To supplement the show.
For instance he enquires of me
Why rain comes down from heaven,
If four and four make only eight
Why four and three make seven.
His little brain is brimming o’er
In world of wonder free;
I pray God spares him long to live –
As yet he’s only three.
The Honourable Judge Ian Fraser Kirkpatrick, #38 of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Football Team, master of the one-liner, golf aficionado, cowboy-at-heart, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, at age 74. Ian, the eldest of Jack and Helen’s three children, grew up in Winnipeg and made his first friend in a crib with another baby who lived on the same street. They remained friends; if you were a friend of Ian’s, you were a friend for life. Ian had a unique sense of humour; it was complex, counter-intuitive and devastatingly funny. It won over Connie, his wife and love of his life. When he met her in 1966 everything changed. He was besotted. They would go on to live a life of fun, laughter and surprises. At their wedding reception, he and his wedding party wound up in the pool, tuxes and all. They moved out west, had three daughters, and as a family, they explored every rural road in Alberta. Ian’s love of nature and respect for its beauty was unmatched. He took his family to see the twilight of the prairies, glaciers, dinosaur fossils, buffalo plains, northern lights and comets. He had a formidable career and was well respected in the legal community for his fairness, empathy, and ethics. Upholding the law as a crown prosecutor in both the crime and special crimes units for over 30 years, he was awarded the distinctive title of Queen’s Counsel. The pinnacle of his career was being appointed to the Alberta Provincial Court in 2003. As a Provincial Court Judge, he had judgments upheld by the Supreme Court. Ian was an exceptional athlete. He first played football at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg. At U of T, he played on the Varsity Blues football team as an All-star player and his 1965 Vanier Cup Championship team (the very first Vanier Cup) was inducted into U of T's Hall of Fame. His passion later became golf, with the weekly foursome, "the guys", playing together at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club for 25 years. He caddied for his sister at national tournaments for over 10 years. He was also an avid curler and a pool shark. He competed in the Silver Fox curling league and the Ranchmen’s Club’s slosh league and led his teams to the finals in both, even as his dementia took hold. Ian lived for rock and roll and was exceptional on the dance floor. He was Bo Diddley’s number one fan and the two became lifelong friends. At Le Coq D’Or Tavern, Ian had the house seats, and attended all 10 of Bo’s shows, sometimes twice a day. If a person Ian knew took ill, he would be at their side with regular and loyal visits. The same was true for the elderly – in some cases, he didn’t know them well but was a good friend. So, it was especially heartbreaking to observe the separation and isolation of the long and difficult journey of dementia in his final years. Ian leaves his shining example with his wife Connie; his daughters Kelly (Sean McNeill), Josie, and Jenny (Malcolm Sangster); his brother Rob and sister Jane; cousin Jane (Dale Birdsell); niece Lori (Chris and Kelsey); Connie’s Tascona family; and the grandchildren whom he adored–Parker, Mariel, James, Tess, Vivian and Eve. He also leaves behind thousands of unfound golf balls. The family is extraordinarily thankful to his caregiver Randy, to the staff at Unit 74 in the Rockyview General Hospital and finally to the staff at Chinook Manor for their compassionate care. Memorial Service will be held at the Ranchmen’s Club (downtown Calgary, 710 - 13 Avenue SW) on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made in Ian’s name directly to True North Aid, (PO Box 37023, Kitchener, Ontario, N2A 4A7; 226-444-3385; truenorthaid.ca) – a registered charity committed to serving northern indigenous communities in Canada with practical humanitarian support. Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES. (403) 265-1199.