George McAlister Hunter

August 28, 1930November 8, 2022
Obituary of George McAlister Hunter
"Heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly." George McAlister Hunter had a zest for life and hoped to live forever so he could continue to see the world, follow the beautiful game, dance, and play the markets. Sadly, Covid took him from us at age 92 on November 8th, 2022. George was born in Dundee, Scotland, the only child of George and Lily Hunter, on August 28, 1930. After attending the Morgan Academy, where he excelled in both academics and sports, George was conscripted into the National Service, and trained for three years with the Royal Air-force. He then went on to study Earth Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1956 with a BSc. in geology. With degree in hand, he boarded a ship to Canada and headed west to Calgary where he began his career in the booming oil industry as a petroleum geologist. It was in Calgary where he met the lovely Sheila Mary Munro at a dance at Wesley United Church. She was serving punch when George sidled up and asked “what’s a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this?” Sheila was completely smitten with this tall, dark and witty Scotsman, and the two were married less than a year later in Regina, Saskatchewan on May 24,1958. They went on to have four children, who kept Sheila very busy. George preferred the soccer field to the playground. Not only did he play for the English Premier League and the Calgary Callies, he also coached and became a national FIFA referee for Soccer Canada. Every four years, from 1966 to 2010, George donned his backpack and headed off overseas to nurture his passion at the World Cup. George was happiest when he was “on the head of the road.” He took his family on wonderful summer holidays, and his innate curiosity about new places has ignited the travel bug in all of us. He and Sheila loved to entertain. There were dinner clubs, bridge clubs and the theatre group, and at the end of the evening when the clean up was done, you could always find George in his study listening to his favourite jazz. Every year, when the weather turned, George who never liked the bitter Calgary winters, would gather a group of life-long pals with Sheila and travel to warmer climes. Our father was an eloquent orator and was often invited to speak at weddings and anniversaries. George would light up the room with his charm and humour, but he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and loved a good debate - no topics were taboo. He had high expectations, especially for his children. He believed that education was the key to independence and freedom, and he cheered us on at university and throughout our careers. He was immensely proud of our achievements, and we will miss his galant refrain to “never give up!” George is survived by Sheila, his loving wife of 64 years, and his four children, Leslie (Jeff Stein), Laura (Richard Perry), Doug (Christine Schuh), and Ross (Allison Foord). He will be fondly remembered by his six grandchildren: Ian, James and Georgia Perry, Calum Stein, and Dylan and Aiden Hunter. A celebration of George’s life will be held later in the spring, 2023. George loved animals, so we ask that donations be made to the Calgary Humane Society or The Calgary Health Foundation, Rockyview Hospital.

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