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Cormac (James Thomas) McGettigan
- September 17, 2017
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Cormac (James Thomas) McGettigan passed away Sunday, September 17th at the age of 51 with his wife, Becky (Scharfstein) and his mother at his side. He is survived by his wife, Becky, son Sean, mother Claire, sister Kate Day (Bob), brother John (Leanne), and nephew and niece, Seamus and Grace. Cormac’s aunts, uncles and cousins from across Canada and in Ireland also mourn his death.
Cormac was born a fighter, so premature that he was baptized at birth by his Uncle Danny, not expected to live. He spent his first years of life in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, and especially enjoyed when his sister, Kate, would dress him up as a girl and plop him in his jolly jumper. He later got his own back, colluding in dressing up younger brother John as a ‘much prettier’ girl. Cormac and his family moved to Saskatoon in 1971 and Cormac’s Murphy Crescent childhood was filled with couch-cushion forts, fried bologna and Alpha-getti lunches, along with tag with the Moroz’s on the street, and Hockey Night in Canada on the weekends.
At 16 Cormac’s world changed when he developed a rare blood disorder. Thanks to the high quality medical team, including Dr. Padmanabh and many others, he overcame this illness. After two years of sickness and supervision he craved independence and registered to attend Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland to study music, where he met life long friends, drank pints and occasionally played the flute.
From Belfast to London where Cormac worked for Steinway Pianos and enjoyed all the culture, concerts and plays that London could provide. After Steinway he was part of one of the first IT start-ups, and lived the good life. It’s also where he became a wine snob. Cormac was only allowed to pick the wine for family dinners if his Dad was picking up the tab.
Moving back to Saskatoon Cormac faced another life-threatening illness. His liver was failing, and a transplant was necessary to save his life. Cormac never met the family who so unselfishly and generously saw through their own grief to save his life that day in June, 2000, but he loved them for it.
Recovery with his new liver meant that Cormac could open McGettigan’s on Tenth in Saskatoon. So many friends and family elbowed up to that bar, enjoyed a jar, argued, listened to music and felt at home.
The wanderlust in Cormac hit him again, and Turnberry, Scotland was his next destination. There Cormac was able to practice his sommelier skills, and travel all around Europe.
His next stop – and the best stop of his life – was at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton where he met the love of his life, Becky. Becky and Cormac clicked the moment they met. They were devoted to each other. Together they created the little miracle that is wee Sean, a perfect blend of the two of them. Cormac had real happiness and felt real love in the years before his death. That happiness and love will live on in Sean.
Cormac received the fateful cancer diagnosis three years ago. This was to be his most difficult battle, a battle he ultimately lost. His courage, strength and dignity in fighting this fight inspired all who knew him. Please remember Cormac in this way: as a loving husband, father, son, brother and uncle he would want you to speak to your loved ones about organ donation. And don’t waste a minute of life complaining. Be brave. Travel. Find love. Live life.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Angels Anonymous Connection, an organization very near and dear to Cormac’s heart. ( #74 3311 58th St. Edmonton AB T6L 6X3 www.angelsanonymous.org)
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Philip Neri Parish on the corner of Taylor Street and Munroe Avenue at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 24th, 2017.