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Marty passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at the age of 73. He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 19, 1950, and moved to Canada in the fall of 1960. He is survived by his wife of 34 years Peggy, daughter Amanda (Dean), son Brendan (Abigail), grandchildren Elliott and Adelynn, his sister Kathleen (Chris), and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Patrick and Patricia.
Marty moved with his parents and sister to Canada in the fall of 1960, moving to Edmonton, AB, where he played hockey, participated in and led scouts, duck hunted with his dad, and attended the University of Alberta, graduating with a Phys. Ed degree, in 1972.
In the early 70’s, he made his way to Jasper, to try his hand at skiing and enjoying the mountain life, starting as a waiter in the Atha-B Hotel. From that moment, he got ‘hooked on Jasper.’ He started his career at Marmot Basin in ’74 with pro-patrol, moving up to lift supervisor and finishing as Mountain Manager. He would spend 20 years giving his heart to the mountain and Jasper; shown through his participation in various parts of the community, including his time as a volunteer firefighter. As a result of his dedication to Marmot, he was rewarded with a run named after him called “Handlon’s Hollow;” a favored run to this day. Marmot was his first love, the mountain, the people, the town of Jasper.
His first love led to his next love - meeting his wife Peggy through Marmot Basin. They began their life together, as their family grew, first with their daughter and then with their son. At the conclusion of his Marmot adventure, Marty and his family moved to Hinton, AB, in 1993. Hinton quickly became home, and here raising their children they found their chosen family in the many friends they made over their years there. He was active in the community, coaching his kids in various sports, participating in Ducks Unlimited, and as a part of the local Catholic church community. Marty was a man of many talents, taking on many jobs and roles from facilitating courses to working in insurance, installing security systems, and finally leading operations at Blue Lake Adventure Lodge. In all of his various roles, he is fondly remembered for his generous disposition, kind smile, and big heart.
In 2007, his love for skiing took him and his family from Hinton to Grande Prairie, AB, where he took on the role of Operations Manager of Nitehawk Ski Area, one more chance to share his joy of mountain adventures. His last move brought him and Peggy, to Calgary in 2015, closer to his children and their families. Here he slowed into retirement by working as a school bus driver for kids with special needs. This is a job he was proud of and enjoyed the years he was able to do it.
He finally retired at the age of 68 and spent his time with his wife, enjoying being a dad and grandpa and participating in all of the activities of his family. Marty loved the title of dad and especially Grandpa, and was always involved in Amanda and Brendan’s activities, as kids, and into adulthood, cheering on and supporting them in every endeavor. He continued to spend hours in arenas watching ringette and hockey and loved seeing Elliott and Adelynn find their joy in the same activities. He was so proud of his family and loved telling everyone about all the things they were doing.
He will forever be remembered as someone who was loyal, generous, encouraging, welcoming and so very kind. We are blessed to be his family, and we will carry his love and his spirit with us always and do our best to share the best of him with all those we encounter.
Marty’s Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, November 24, 2023, at Sacred Heart Parish (1307 14 St SW, Calgary AB), at 3:30 p.m., with a viewing before at 2:30 p.m. A live-stream will be available for those who would like to join from afar and can be viewed here.