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Gerald Philip Gruber
February 23, 1957 ~ August 10, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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In Loving Memory of Gerald Philip Gruber
February 23, 1957 - August 10, 2023
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you.
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Gerry Gruber on August 10, 2023, at the age of
66. Gerry died peacefully at Saint Vincent Hospital in Ottawa after a courageous fight with brain
Born on February 23, 1957, Gerry grew up on a family farm near Leipzig, Saskatchewan with
his four brothers and two sisters. Life was busy on the farm where he helped out with baling,
picking rocks, seeding, milking cows, cleaning the creamer, shoveling manure and feeding the
pigs between snowball fights, family hockey games on the ice behind the house, throwing the
football around with his brothers, riding the Yamaha motorcycle and hitting fly balls from his dad.
Gerry attended high school at St. Thomas College in North Battleford, Saskatchewan where he
won the Governor General’s Academic Medal. He went on to earn a Master's degree in Applied
Social Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan. While in Saskatoon, Gerry met his best
friend, Laurie Labbe. They fell in love and were married in 1977.
One of Gerry’s first jobs after University was in the Planning Section of the Calgary Police
Services. During his time in Calgary, he and Laurie welcomed their two children, Melissa and
Zachary, into the world. In 1986, his young family moved to Ottawa so Gerry could take a job
with the Personnel Psychology Centre in the Public Service Commission of Canada. Three
years later, he started an independent management consulting company called Gruber
Associates, working in the area of Industrial Organisational Psychology.
Family was very important to Gerry. As a dad, he encouraged his daughter, son and later
granddaughter to think for themselves and reach their full potential. When his children took up
softball and baseball, he didn’t like how competitive the recreational leagues had become. And
so he coached his children’s teams every year so they could focus on having fun and building
Along with his family, he travelled to Saskatchewan almost every year to see his parents, sisters
and brothers. He found joy in being a grandpa and loved reading, singing and playing music
with his granddaughter, Delta. He was a prolific advice-giver - whether it was asked for or not.
He was always there when we needed him, seemed to know what to do in difficult situations and
took care of the people he loved.
Gerry was an avid fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Blue Jays. He enjoyed
many hours of star-gazing with his telescopes in his backyard and attended monthly meetings of
the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Ottawa chapter. He was a man of many talents. He
played sports when he was growing up including baseball, hockey, and soccer. He took voice
and piano lessons - playing many duets with his sister Pat - and taught himself to play the flute.
He started playing guitar at the age of 10 and played it for the rest of his life - at home, with his
high school choir, and while leading music at his church for Children’s Liturgy and Sunday Mass.
More recently, he joined two choirs taking on the fresh challenge of singing classical music. He
built toys, crucifixes and furniture. He finished the basements of his houses in Calgary and
Ottawa and helped build his son’s basement. He taught himself to build guitars and, in 2006, he
closed up his consulting company to become a full-time luthier. He named his guitar-building
company “Xaver Guitars'' in honour of his late grandfather who inspired Gerry with his positive
attitude to life and his woodworking abilities.
Gerry taught himself to speak German and travelled to Europe three times. On his first trip to
Bavaria, Gerry met some of his relatives by chance. They quickly became good friends and
would later describe Gerry as the loveliest and most extraordinary person they knew.
Gerry is survived by his wife, Laurie, his daughter, Melissa his son, Zachary, his granddaughter,
Delta, his son-in-law, Kayle, his parents, Frank and Johanna, siblings, Victor, Pat, Clarence,
Norman, Colette, Darrel, several nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.
We’d like to say goodbye to Gerry with a big HUG the way he always did with Delta: “Hugga
● Slay Society, https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/slay-society/
● Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, https://donate.sunnybrook.ca/gord