The Big Guy
Gary Albert Tipping
  • 75 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 10, 1938
  • Place of birth:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Date of passing: Mar 1, 2014
Heaven just got a bit rowdier and down here just got a bit more dull.

It is with much sadness we share the news that our beloved Gary Tipping, after so many successful toe-to-toe matches with the Grim Reaper, finally let the other guy win. But in a typical Tipper move, he made sure to go out in his own unique way and, rather than passing away in boring fashion at home, made his final exit in Thailand.  

Whether he was falling off of high steel, felling trees onto himself, crashing through brick walls (or crashing a party and meeting his future wife), tripping down staircases, pulling out another bottle of rum or coming back from the dead yelling 'I'm not ready yet!', Tipper always made an entrance and always left his mark. He was never afraid to speak his mind and, after the initial shock of meeting him wore off, this hilarious, one-of-a-kind man was loved and cherished by so many. He lived a bigger and wilder life than most and, despite the fact that he was content with the full life he'd created, he was still making more wild plans up to the end. "How about Ecuador next winter, Geri? And maybe we could fit in a week in Cuba when we get back home from Thailand and Singapore."

He will be eternally missed by his wife Geraldine, kids and grandkids - Brad, Gail, Jenna and Evan, Christene, Koca, Alex and Jamie, Lindsay, Lolito and yet-to-be-met Jelly-Bean, sisters - Cleo and Shirley as well as so many nieces, nephews, inlaws and 'outlaws'. And of course his friends, all you characters who populated his countless stories and made his life so colourful and rich.  

After one of his 'hospital scares', he told us how in the darkest moment he didn't think of all the material things life had given him, he instead focused on all the people he loved, his friends and family, all of us and all of you, and in those thoughts he found total happiness and peace. So know, we were all there with him giving him comfort as he passed, just as a little bit of Tipper will always travel along with all of us who knew and loved him.  

Never to do things in a simple way...and to ensure he gets in one final trip...Tipper will sneak in a couple more adventures before we get him home. You can imagine the stories he would tell about the Buddhist ceremony that will be held in his honour before he gets to leave Thailand. At his request, we won't be having a funeral, instead we'll be having a big Gary Tipping party in Ontario in a few weeks time when we can get all the Tippings gathered in one place. We will update the details as we figure them out. Please get in touch with Lindsay at LDTIPPING@GMAIL.COM or 647-895-4610 in the meantime for updates on the arrangements or if you want to get a message to Geri as she travels with the Big Guy and brings him home...and finally manages to get him to settle in one place!

We know how much our irreplaceable, unforgettable, never-to-be-duplicated Tipper meant to all of you, so please share your memories, love and stories (oh the stories!!) with us.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Geraldine Tipping on 10th November 2016

"I sure wish you were here with me in Yuma today and we would have a wonderful birthday celebration for you.  Love you and miss you, Geri."

This tribute was added by Geraldine Tipping on 1st March 2016

"We are still telling lots of "Tipper" stories, using your funny expressions, and missing you every day! Love you forever, Geri"

This tribute was added by Richard Parkinson on 11th November 2015

"Tipper. So many great memories. Stories. Parties. Holidays. Your huge smile and warm heart missed by all. Restaurant visits where you always thought you weren't allowed in " No Tipping Allowed". I didn't get to all the places you lived in but gave it a great effort. Miss you my friend. Peace with you forever."

This tribute was added by Lindsay Tipping-Labañino on 10th November 2015

"I miss you so much today dad. I wish I could call and wish you a happy birthday and tell you about everything going on in my life."

This tribute was added by Rita Shearon on 10th November 2015

"I have many memories, we had good times, Brian and I had a lot of loughs. Gary was a kind Man, he is missed. Thinking of you.  Rita"

This tribute was added by Janet and Larry Clark on 1st March 2015

"Our thoughts and prayers are with your family on this sad day, the one year anniversary.  Miss you, Gary."

This tribute was added by Geraldine Tipping on 1st March 2015

"It's hard to believe that a year has gone by.  We sure all miss you lots, Gar.  We had a nice memorial service here at Sundance Park in Yuma the other day and you were remembered by many old friends followed by another party in your honour at our place where we toasted you and told some Tipper stories."

This tribute was added by erwin zicker on 12th November 2014

"I cannot tell you how much I miss the big guy. His stories and life experiences still occupy our thoughts and stories. Their are so many good memories it is hard to pick a favorite. Our trips to Hawaii certainly stand out, are often repeated and I am certain have been somewhat embelished over the years."

This tribute was added by Janet and Larry Clark on 11th November 2014

"Sure wish we all could have celebrated your birthday with you yesterday.  Miss you and all your antics, Gar.   Until we meet again, love from Janet and Larry."

This tribute was added by Geraldine Tipping on 10th November 2014

"I wish you were here with me in Yuma, Gar, to celebrate your 76th birthday.  I am missing you lots and so are lots of good old friends here.
Love ya, big guy!"

This tribute was added by Karin Sipko on 21st March 2014

"The Tipper was legend. Favorite story: he convinced Bill Evans' sentimental dad at a graduation celebration dinner at The best hotel in Edmonton to hide some souvenir wine glasses under his jacket and take them to the bathroom to be retrieved later. As Dad left he notified the waiter about the stolen glasses. Not minutes later Joe tried to run over Gary in the hotel parking lot while we all roared with laughter. He did have nine lives and now on to the next... Geri and all, you are always welcome in my house."

This tribute was added by Birty Williams on 20th March 2014

"I remember Gary when he worked at the Welland office and I used to go down from Brantford to see what he was doing differently. It was always a pleasant visit.  Bubbly laughs and much humour--never a harsh word.  I often think about since I retired and was surprised to get this notice of his passing.  Condolescences to Geri and family."

This tribute was added by Don West on 17th March 2014

"Geri, Christene, Lindsay and families,

We were very much saddened by the news of Gary's passing and will miss him. We were lucky that Gary kept his ties to Timmins and the Porcupine Health Unit for so long (might have been some sort of record for Gary). We will miss his smile, his laugh and his amazing stories, whereby we traveled the world.

I sent out the following message to our staff here at the Health Unit, on March 5th, after learning the sad news:

"I very much regret to inform you that Gary Tipping has passed away.

Dr. Tipping has had a long tenure with the Porcupine Health Unit, serving as the Dental Director; and as our Dental Consultant, up to December 31, 2013. Gary will be remembered for his dedicated service to the Porcupine Health Unit over many years, all the while focusing on our clients first. Gary was renowned for his sense of humour, and his ability to tell stories that kept us enthralled and made us laugh. We will miss him.

I have extended our condolences to his family.

Don.

Donald W West BMath, CPA, CA
Chief Administrative Officer
Porcupine Health Unit"

Our thoughts are with you.

Don and Pearl West."

This tribute was added by peter cooney on 16th March 2014

"Geri and family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. This was a prince of a guy.
I remember a dental assistant telling me in Winnipeg she was worried as she did not want Gary to change. A bunch of them had gone for lunch. Gary's doc was at him about his weight, so he told the waiter to bring his burger and fries but from now on - no gravy on the fries. There are so many stories but none can be put in writing. We will all miss him.
Peter & Iris Cooney."

This tribute was added by Maureen Casali on 13th March 2014

"sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks reading all the lovely tributes. Many of my happiest memories from my childhood were spent with you and your family at the cottage, farm and Franklinville.  You will be greatly missed Uncle Gary. xox"

This tribute was added by Rita Shearon on 13th March 2014

"My deepest sympathy to you Geri and your family. Gary was a good friend of Brian and the life of the party. I will always remember him
My thoughts and.prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by lino ciccone on 12th March 2014

"Thank you Gary! I've worked in public health with you for many years but you're the one that gave me the push and the confidence that I needed to open up my Dance School. Thanks to you this experience was part of my life for 12 years and I enjoyed every minute of it. Micheline Geoffroy (Porcupine Health Unit Dental Services)"

This tribute was added by Greg Cox on 12th March 2014

"Good bye Gary.
To know you well was to see past the surface and see a man who was generous, gentle and honest. You lived a full life and I am glad my sister Geraldine had a husband who took care of her well and shared so many life interests together.
Also glad that you departed "with your boots on", as they say. Instead of declining in a home for the elderly you left while travelling around Asia. Good for you!
Hope you are doing well even now, minus the aches and pains that were getting you down near the end.
Thanks brother-in-law.
-Greg Cox"

This tribute was added by Patti Arguin on 11th March 2014

"Sorry to hear about Gary's passing.  We have many good memories.  Fishing in the Pacific, Golfing in Arizona and many phone calls from all over the world.  One summer he worked on our farm at Tuxford, Sask.  That made him decide farming wasn't for him.  Cousins-Cal & Audrey Barry"

This tribute was added by Gene Bodnar on 11th March 2014

"Dear Geri and family,  We are saddened to hear of the passing of Gary.  Gary was my (Gene) classmate in the Class of '69.  He was a fine fellow and hard to match.  We thank you for the tribute that you have shared with us.  We pray for peace and consolation for you and your family as well as for the soul of Gary.  Please accept this blessing:
"May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace"
                                                                Numbers 6:24-26
Sincerely,
Gene and Sylvia Bodnar"

This tribute was added by fran cook on 10th March 2014

"Dear Geri and family.
Thank you so much for sharing Lindsay's family tribute to Gary.
We were so sorry to hear of Gary's sudden "exit" from our world.
We are also sorry that we didn't have the opportunity to get to know him as we have you. Our loss, for sure!
We look forward to your return to Canada and hope that we will have an opportunity to meet the rest of the Family.
Love and prayers. Fran and Rob"

This tribute was added by erwin zicker on 9th March 2014

"We are going to dearly miss a great friend. So many memories. Gary was always so willing to share his life with his friends and allowed us to see so much of the world through his eyes and stories. I am going to miss the late night calls that always began with "Tipper calling". I would always respond "where are you". His response was always "dangerously close". When he did come by we could never go to bed early as he said he was afraid of the dark, and he would never put the cork back in the bottle of wine or the cap on the scotch or rum.
Geri, Christine, Lindsay and families we are with you at this time and always. We will stay in touch.
Erwin and Elva"

This tribute was added by Sue Plummer on 9th March 2014

"Great memories of Tipper with his extended family the Vockeroth's here at Nellie Lake. When I hear the name Tipper I see the brightest smile, the kindest face and one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Will miss all those dinners and get togethers . RIP my friend. This song is a great tribute for a great man.xo"

This tribute was added by Angela Frame on 8th March 2014

"To Geri and family, so sorry to hear of Gary's passing. As someone else said  anmd we totally agree he was truly one of life's characters never a dull moment with Tipper around.  We will never forget either of you beautiful people. Our hearts and thoughts are with you all at this very sad time.  Take care, Glenn and Angie Frame"

This tribute was added by De Brug on 8th March 2014

"Gerri, Our sincerest sympathy to you and your family in your loss.
We have often thought of Tipper and yourself the past few years.
Tipper was truly one of Life's Great Characters and will be missed by many. One favorite quote of his was "I didn't come here to Loose"."

This tribute was added by Alison Grittner on 7th March 2014

"Oh my dear friends .... We are all so sorry to hear of Gary's death.  I am in Calgary visiting Ali so she has told me of your wonderful tribute to Gar.  Well worded and what else can one add except for good memories of times spent together. Kelly can remember golfing with Gary and witnessing that competitive streak when Tipper missed a stroke.  Keitha can remember Gary taking on the skating club on registration night when they weren't prepared for the crowds.  And of course his gentle gentle hands as our family dentist.  Many years ago Gary claimed he was past his "due date".  But he didn't know how much more love Geri and the kids needed;  that he had work to do; that he had many more miles to travel and a treasure load of grand babies to hug.  We have lost a great soul and we share with your grief Geri, Chris, Lindsay & Brad

With love from Keitha, Kelly, Alison and Kelsey"

This tribute was added by helen hoff on 7th March 2014

"Christene, this is truly a joyful memorial to read, and we see now where so much of your sense of humour and spirit for life comes from.  We wish we would have met your dad, but he truly will live on in his stories and the many  friends and family that loved him.  We hold you in our thoughts and prayers as you work through this time of transition in your family.  How wonderful that your boys knew him - a heritage to be continued! Helen and Paul"

This tribute was added by wayne johnston on 7th March 2014

"So many wonderful memories. we will sure miss Him.  Geri. our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Wayne and Diane"

This tribute was added by doug mckillop on 7th March 2014

"Tribute from Doug &Vicky Mckillop
Geri:so sad to hear of Tippers passing.
Will fondly remember the last time we were together in Puerta Valarta last year. .
He dam nearly took me with him the night he came off his RUM retirement evening.
Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
Doug"

This tribute was added by helen suderman on 7th March 2014

"Dear Geri and family: I am so sorry (and shocked) to hear about Gary's passing - in the past few years in getting to know Gary it was always a pleasure to hear his stories about  all the wonderful places he visited and Thailand was one he mentioned so often. My thoughts and prayers are with you Geri and family as you go through this difficult time."

This tribute was added by judy taylor on 7th March 2014

"Oh how I wish I had met him, Geri! I can see by these tributes what a delightful man, husband, father and friend he was and how much he will be missed by all.
My heart is with you, Geri and I appreciate keeping in touch over the years and hope we continue to do so. Please let me know where you are going forward, love, Judy"

This tribute was added by Christene Tipping on 7th March 2014

"Dad, thank you for being such a strong, amazing man. You've taught me so much and always made me feel like the most special person in the world. I am remembering all the good times we had. Being woken in the middle of the night to listen to your "main men" singing country tunes. Our trip to Cuba when you had to explain in the 3 words of Spanish that you knew that 11 year old girls didn't drink beer (beer being the only word you knew in multiple languages). Being your right hand "man" for so many of your projects (the only family member who could work with you without getting fired:). The time you, despite our protests, insisted on driving Lindsay and I to school in your beloved station wagon (which proceeded to go out of control and nearly crashed right through the front door of Timmins High). Stumbling and giggling down the aisle at my wedding. Your crazy collections. The endless road trips. Picnics perched on hills, on frozen lakes, and upon perfect rocks (because "that's what dreams are made of"). The many "Tipperisms" that I find myself now using "He doesn't even have an inkling and it takes 10 of those to make a clue." "I was born at night but it wasn't last night." Your stories, your songs. Most of all, how the roughest, toughest man in the world, my hero, would melt in a puddle of tears over every birthday card we made, poem we wrote, accomplishment we achieved. You promised me many years ago that you would stick around until you were 75, but that was it. You kept your promise, Dad. You've always been a man of your word. Rest well and know that you will be forever in our hearts. All my love, Chris. xoxo"

This tribute was added by pat akerlund on 7th March 2014

"Geri and family.  Al and I are so sorry for your lose, he was a wonderful person and loved family above all.  You are in our prayers and the Big Tipper will always be in our hearts. Love the Akerlunds."

This tribute was added by ken strong on 6th March 2014

"So many memories of a good friend, from Dental school in the 60's, where Gary was one of our "senior" class members, to a life time of surprise visits: leg wrestling in front of the Vancouver Hotel, fishing in the Alberni Inlet, partying at Grey Cups, the list is endless and WONDERFUL!  I will miss my friend, but when I need a smile or laugh, I will just think of "the Tipper"."

This tribute was added by Ray & Nicki Hammell on 6th March 2014

"Geri, Christene, Lindasy and families,
Your loss is only shared by hundreds and hundreds of family and friends.  He loved you all so very much, you were the light of his life.  Know our thoughts and prayers are with you all.  He will always remain "the Big Tipper" to us."

This tribute was added by Harold Kinsler on 6th March 2014

"Gary sure do miss you here in az Miss playing golf and talking with you   sure  will be missed Loved you old bud"

This tribute was added by Valerie Vassie on 6th March 2014

"From Cleo......Thank you Geri, Christine and Lindsay for the lifetime of happiness you have given my Brother.  He had a restless spirit and you were always right there giving him the love and support he needed to seek his challenges.  You must have so many wonderful memories and I hope you can put your feet up and enjoy them and continue to enjoy the enchantment of the children in your lives.  You gave "Tipper" such a loving and interesting life!"

This tribute was added by Richard Parkinson on 6th March 2014

"I have so many stories. So many tributes to my great friend. We shared so much life together. Followed Gary Geri and the girls on their many homes across the country. Always the same "Tipper". Full of life. Never allowed to go to bed early. Stay up until the sun comes out as he always said he was afraid of the dark. Needless to say the scotch wine and rum that was consumed waiting for the morning sun. Early days on vancouver island where we discovered the delectable tastes of strawberry wine. A great person loved by all. I will miss you dearly my friend. You will have a special place waiting for you beyond. One day we will meet again to continue the legacy. God be with you Gary. There will never be another Tipper."

This tribute was added by Nadine Savage on 6th March 2014

"Christene and family,
Your dad sounds like a very special man, and I'm sure he will be missed by all.  It's nice he got to be on an adventure when he passed, and that he'll have stories to tell when he reaches his destination.  Thinking of you...
Nadine"

This tribute was added by Valerie Vassie on 6th March 2014

"Uncle Boo was larger than life for John and I growing up.  He was loving, energetic, determined and some days, just plain crazy.  We knew there were high standards for all of us in the family but we always felt his strong loving spirit.  He will be missed in our family as our Mother, Cleo has always adored her "baby brother"  We send our love and our wishes for strength and happy remembrance to all of you...Geraldine, Chris and family and Lindsay and family.  We are here if we can do anything at all for you."

This tribute was added by Barb Sharpe on 6th March 2014

"Gary was always one to do things his way, right or wrong and always had a laugh and a good time . Bryan and I will remember him..Our
condolences to you and the family Gerri"

This tribute was added by Leanne Torrance on 5th March 2014

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole family. Mr Tipping was a great man. Hold your memories close and keep telling and sharing his stories. His spirit will carry on in all of you."

This tribute was added by Brad Tipping on 5th March 2014

"Was always the life of the party and will be missed by all who knew him. May he rest in Peace"

This tribute was added by Dianne Williams on 5th March 2014

"We have so many memories the best neighbours we ever had! Sharing some summer nights with T&V's ( Iced tea and Vodka) Gary introduced us to this drink and it is still our favourite summer drink. We will miss him but he left us with nothing but happy memories and is smiling down at us saying I enjoyed every minuet and  I did it my way!"

This tribute was added by Janet and Larry Clark on 5th March 2014

"We will all sure miss him.  He was one of a kind.  We do have so many happy memories of being with him, lots of fun when we were all young.  Lots of laughs also when we got older.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all."


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This memorial is administered by:

Lindsay Tipping-Labañino

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