On September 1, I passed on to the next great adventure. For over 25 years I lived a full life side by side with cancer experiencing all the joys of being a father, brother, son, husband, friend and grandfather.
I was born in St. John’s Newfoundland in a family of 11 kids. Though we had little, we had each other and most importantly had each other’s back. Right up until the end, my brother Dale Learning and sisters Karen Kennedy, Brenda Warren, Linda Gulliver, Dianne Ramsay and Debbie Ryan supported me with phone calls and words of love and encouragement. I was predeceased by four brothers and one sister: Keith, Paul, Brian and Wade Learning and Dianne Ramsay. I was blessed to be part of such a caring family.
My parents, John and Mary Learning truly have a special place in heaven after raising such a brood of kids!
After leaving Newfoundland I came to Calgary where I met my wife of 44 years, Sue Mallon. Together we parented two children, Justin, and Jodie Learning. I can truly say being a father was one of the biggest joys we shared together. I also got to welcome two grand daughters into the world, Teagan Corriveau and Kira Learning. I taught them snow and water skiing and spent many happy hours watching them grow. It is a great gift to be a grandpa!
Our lives were further enriched by the addition of an honorary son, daughter in law and grandchild- George and Amanda Anderson and Hayley. Their joining our family enriched all our lives.
With our grand daughters we also added their moms, Amanda Richter, and Ashley Beaver to our extended family. Each of them offers so much. There is always room for one more!
In recent years we welcomed Kayleigh Surrel, Justin’s partner, and Matthew Safruk, Jodie’s partner. Thank you to both for loving my children and making them happy.
To my Ontario family- with my marriage I gained 6 new sisters in law and 6 brothers in law. Our annual in laws golf tournament at Headwaters each year, was an event to anticipate each year. Play on!
I was a proud health care worker for forty years serving as an X-ray Technician then later as a biomedical tech finishing my career at Foothills Hospital in Calgary. I value the many friendships both personal and professional that I enjoyed in my working years.
I would have been happy to stick around a bit longer to see my children and grandchildren grow. I would have loved to continue travelling the world with my wife Sue, but such was not to be. I treasure the opportunity I had to learn about the world and its people through travel to Turkey, Easter Island, Scandinavia, Argentina, Peru, Machu Picchu, Brazil, Chile, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haida Gwaii, Mexico, Hawaii, and Fujairah. Learning about the richness of the worlds cultural tapestry gave me a broader view and appreciation of the human experience.
Many years camping and living the lake life with good friends rounded out a good life.
I leave with some sadness but mostly joy in the gift of life I enjoyed and the wonderful people I was privileged to walk alongside.
Justin, Kayleigh, Jodie, Matt, George, Amanda, Teagan, Kira and Hayley - I will be in the wind and watching out for you. Live your lives to the highest level of integrity and fullness. Be happy and share your love and joy with the world.
To my wife- till we meet again.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Highwood Lutheran Church (419 Northmount Drive NW, Calgary, AB, on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 11:00 am.