Garry was born on January 30, 1943 in Lethbridge, Alberta to Violet and Matthew Nelson. In 1946, he moved to Whitehorse, Yukon where he held a variety of jobs until he retired at age 76, including corrections officer, bowling pin stacker, security guard, pool hall manager and owner of Nelson’s Hardware.
Garry was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Leroy and Rayner. Garry Nelson is survived by his wife, Cristina; daughters, Vida (Trevor) and Vina; and brother, Lawrence.
Garry’s daughters idolized him for many reasons, but his calmness, contentness, selflessness, and trust in the goodness of all living things stand out as attributes that should be celebrated.
Garry believed that everyone and everything had value. He had a tendency to hoard old merchandise from Nelson’s Hardware – but that is because he was holding onto memories from the past. Aside from material objects, Garry treated all animals and people with the utmost respect. He never hesitated to give a stranger on main street a crisp bill or let anyone who asked, borrow anything from his tool collection. He ran his business off good will mentality, often accepting IOUs from customers. Garry never assumed anybody was bad or had bad intentions. Instead, he saw the good in everyone. This applied to animals and insects too. He built shelters for stray cats, spent a summer nursing his pet bumble bee back to health, and always remembered to order a side of 80 cents worth of bacon from Tim Hortons for his dogs. In fact, he did a better job at feeding mice in the basement than he did eliminating them.
Garry’s daughters never saw him stressed, mad or bored. He was calm, collected and believed in the power of meditation. It was difficult to disappoint him and he never refused a request for help or complained about it. Whether it be 6 a.m. figure skating practice, a 2 a.m. call for a ride home from the bar, or a trip to deliver lunch to his family’s work – he never hesitated and always showed up. He was the best husband and father who always put his family first.