The Gary J. Surette Memorial Association
The Gary J. Surette Memorial Association is a non-profit organization, formed in memory of Gary J. Surette by friends and family. The association seeks to raise funds to help ease the burden being felt by local cancer patients and their families.
President – Kevin R. Surette
Vice-President – Melissa Collier
Secretary – Lisa Surette
Treasurer – Steve Jacquard
- Glenn Bourque
- Denice Corporon
- Jonathan LeBlanc
- Shelley LeBlanc
- Allan Surette
- Marilyn Surette
Gary was a resident of Yarmouth. Having grown up in Sluice Point, he graduated from Ste Anne-du-Ruisseau High School in 1980. He attended Burridge Vocational, where he trained in marine electronics. It was while he was attending Burridge that he met Denice, with whom he built his life over the next 33 years.
Through his employment with Marine Atlantic, Gary upgraded his education to become a marine engineer. He was employed by Marine Atlantic and Bay Ferries on the MV Bluenose, and later worked for Bay Ferries aboard The Cat, Princess of Acadia, and Fundy Rose.
An avid hockey fan, Gary was active in coaching minor hockey from the mid-1990s to 2011. He and Brian “Sumo” Comeau coached kids at the Pee Wee A level (11-12 yrs), Bantam A and AA levels (13-14 yrs) and Midget A, AA, and B levels (15-17 yrs), and were joined by Allan Surette at the Bantam AAA level.
The Boston Bruins was Gary’s favorite team, and Bobby Orr the greatest player. It was the ultimate thrill for Gary to have spoken with him on his last birthday, thanks to his very dear friend, Shelley.
Gary loved to laugh, and was known by many of his friends as a bit of a prankster. Kind-hearted, loving, devoted were also words used to describe Gary’s gentle nature. He loved going on road trips on his motorcycle with Scott and the gang. He was also known as Mr. Fix-it by his family, tinkering with anything that was broken; if there were parts left over after he was done, well you didn’t really need them anyway.
In May, 2015 Gary suffered a seizure as a result of a tumor on his brain. The tumor was removed, and several tests concluded that it had formed as a result of melanoma – skin cancer – spreading to his brain. Gary underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments; however, the tumor returned, and was removed in November. On December 21st, 2015 Gary passed away.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a malignant tumour that starts in melanocytes. Melanocytes are a type of cell that make melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin and eyes their colour.
Malignant means that it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
Gilles Boudreau and Friends
Gilles Boudreau and Friends Cancer Help Fund financially assists Yarmouth County residents who are travelling outside the Yarmouth County area.
Telephone: (902) 740-0286
Lodge That Gives (Sobey Cancer Support Centre)
The Sobey Cancer Support Centre is a place of reflection, support, and empowerment for cancer patients. The Centre includes The Dr. Susan K. Roberts Lodge That Gives, The Programming and Wellness Area and the offices of the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The Sobey Cancer Support Centre is Nova Scotia’s most comprehensive cancer support facility, offering not only lodging and meals but also programs and services to meet the needs of people living with cancer and their companions.
The Dr. Susan K. Roberts Lodge That Gives is comprised of two floors of accommodations in addition to the main floor. The Lodge can welcome up to 62 guests per night and includes shared laundry and linen rooms, and a TV/sitting area, a full-service kitchen, beautiful deck area and comfortable sitting rooms.
The Programming and Wellness Area includes Reiki/massage, yoga, exercise room, space for reading or meditation, and a multi-purpose room for games and meetings.