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Gary Lawrence Oivanen
December 19, 1934 - August 7, 2013
Oivanen, Gary Lawrence – 79, Petty Officer 2nd class. Born on December 19th, 1934 in North Bay, Ontario. Passed away on August 7th, 2013 in the VG Site of the QEII. His battle with lung and bone cancer was short. Predeceased by his mother Rose Rebecca Brigginshaw (North Bay, Ontario) and his father Jack Kaulco “Karl”Oivanen, (Rauma, Finland). He is survived by his son John and Daughter Susan (Steve Angus). He has a sister Barbara “Susie” Dorrington, Queensland, Australia and her children Mark, Lisa and Gary. His long time friend, Gloria Lavoie and her sons, Rick (Amy), Louis (Lisa),Tony and Johnny. He joined the navy at 16 and had to get his parent’s permission. He did his basic training in Cornwallis and spent a few weeks at Debert. Gary served on the HMCS Magnificent and Bonaventure. At the age of 35 he was considered an old man working on the flight deck. Shearwater was his next stop with the DND fire department. On a call he fell of the fire truck and spent the next year rehabilitating. With his sea legs repaired he served on the HMCS St. Laurent, HMCS Iroquois and the HMCS Fraser, working with the helicopters as a fire fighter. He spent 25 years in the navy and then retired. His retirement lasted one day. He went on to work at DND fire department for 17 years, becoming a Platoon Chief and an instructor at the DND fire school in Purcell’s Cove. He taught many young men to drive those fire trucks and stop on a dime. He had to retire from this at age 55 because of surgery. Gary spent many hours fishing with his son when they were younger. He loved to be outdoors. His favorite meal until the end was still fish and chips. As he got older he learned to use a computer and would spend hours with programs of simulated air flights. He and his son learned to play games on the xbox and spent many hours together with this entertainment. With his daughter he spent many Sundays at flea markets looking for rare books and buying movies. Clint Eastwood was his favourite actor and he collected all his movies. He loved detective stories. He loved to read, he would pick one author at a time and read all of their books. Books on Admiral Nelson were his favorite sea stories. He spent many hours, especially in the winter reading his adventures. Gary was a great story teller. He would spend hours telling you stories of his own sea adventures. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Atlantic Funeral Home, 6552 Bayers Road. In keeping with his wishes, a private graveside service will be held at a later date. There can’t be enough good words said about the Palliative Care unit at the VG. Everyone took such good care of Dad. Special thanks to you all. You made it much easier for both our dad and ourselves to cope with his illness. Donations in memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. Online condolences may be made by visiting the Halifax Location at www.atlanticfuneralhomes.com