Walter Gretzky, Brantford community leader, passes away


Photo by Christina Manocchio

Laurier mourns the loss of Walter Gretzky, notable Brantford community leader, who passed away on Mar. 4, 2021. 

Walter was a father of five, including hockey star Wayne Gretzky. Born in Canning, Ontario, a local township, he and his wife, Phyllis, raised their five children in Brantford, Ontario. 

“Admired by Canadians from coast to coast, Mr. Gretzky was a linchpin of the Brantford community, offering countless hours to volunteer and charitable efforts,” Wilfrid Laurier University said in a statement

“Known as Canada’s Hockey Dad as the father of National Hockey League player Wayne Gretzky, Mr. Gretzky was perhaps better known for the example of kindness and giving back he set for all Canadians.”

Gretzky was recognized for helping many local, provincial and national charities throughout his life and was a national spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

He also received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Laurier in 2014.

Laurier’s flags will fly at half-mast across both campuses in honour of Gretzky.

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