After a lengthy battle with cancer, Gerry Buccini passed away at the age of 75 at Sturgeon General Hospital in St. Albert.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of over 50 years, Anne; his daughter Andrea; his son Tony; son-in-law Rob; his grandchildren Claire, Sam and Grace and a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was predeceased by his parents Fred and Lida, and his brother Chris.
Born in Calgary, Alberta; raised in Trail, B.C. He was, as a young man, an athlete who excelled at baseball and who occasionally played hooky to sneak in a round of golf with his buddies on the local course. He was also a solid student with a keen interest in education. He discovered a love for music early on, and was soon one of the youngest clarinet players in Trail’s Maple Leaf Band.
Always a planner, organizer and leader, Gerry brought his many interests and skills with him to St. Albert, where he began a career in education with St. Albert Public Schools. He co-founded the St. Albert Community Band, which recently passed its 50th anniversary date. Once he and Anne had begun a family, Gerry stepped up to coach in the minor baseball association, giving freely of his Little League training and love of sport.
Gerry was also instrumental in the continued success of the SchoolReach program in Alberta; he actively promoted the quiz-based skills contest and remained a contributor to the program for decades.
He served as an officer and Grand Knight of the St. Albert Knights of Columbus Council 4742 until his health made attendance difficult.
In addition to these extracurricular activities, Gerry was an enthusiastic educator and administrator, serving at Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Lorne Akins and William D. Cuts schools during his 35-year teaching career. He was as popular with the students as he was with staff and parents, who all claimed he was “one of the best English teachers ever.”
His contributions did not go unnoticed: Gerry was honoured by the St. Albert Community Recognition Program - his name is now inscribed on the award featured at the corner of Perron Street and Sir Winston Churchill Avenue.
This honour followed on the heels of a touching gesture by then-mayor Nolan Crouse, who presented Gerry with a golden Key to the City at the community band’s May 2010 concert.
While he enjoyed the recognition, Gerry’s true joy was his family. His deep and abiding caring for Anne, his steadfast support of his children, and his delight in cheering on his grandkids were the true centre of this man’s world. He didn’t just sing That’s Amore - he lived it. Gerry, your lawn chair and frosty glass of Stella are waiting for you beside the lake…
A Prayer service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at St. Albert Funeral Home, 9 Muir Drive, St. Albert. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022 at St. Albert Catholic Church, 7 St. Vital Avenue, St. Albert, AB. Interment to be held at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in Gerry’s name to the St. Albert Community Band, who will be establishing an educational scholarship in his name.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the many caregivers at the Cross Cancer Centre, and particular thanks to the compassionate staff at Sturgeon General Hospital’s ICU Ward 29.