Alberta’s 11th premier and former CFL quarterback, Don Getty, was remembered as a “family man” and an “extraordinary Albertan” at a state funeral attended by almost 600 people to honour his life on Saturday at Edmonton’s All Saints Cathedral. Getty passed away at the age of 82 in a long-term care centre in the city last week, after battling illness for a number of years.
In her opening remarks,current Alberta Premier Rachel Notley spoke fondly of Getty and called him an “extraordinary Albertan” who “put his heart and soul” into public service. Alberta’s premier from 1986 to 1992, Getty managed the province when the price of oil plummeted the most. According to Notley, her father and Getty shared “mutual respect and “understanding,” she explained that “when my father passed away, Don and (his wife Margaret Mitchell) reached out to us. The compassion they shared with my family in that difficult time has stayed with me.” She said that “they knew that family and kindness should always transcend politics.”
Notley highlighted Getty’s “key developments,” including his role expanding MacEwan University’s downtown campus in Edmonton, his role advocating for Metis rights, the creation of Family Day, and his leadership role in giving voice to Alberta’s energy issues at a national level. She summarized that “in short, our province has lost an incredible champion, (and) a strong and compassionate leader,” adding that “on behalf of all Albertans, I extend my great sympathy, and my great respect, to Margaret and the Getty family, and to Don’s many friends across our nation.”
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