Jay Gatsby

Cormac (James Thomas) McGettigan

Saskatoon SK
- September 17, 2017

Scroll down the page for the Obituary, Funeral Details, and Condolence Messages.


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.

Funeral Details

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.

Condolence Messages

Niall Cook

Written October 18, 2017 from London,

Have just heard of Cormac's passing, and sending our condolences. We only knew Cormac for a short time (at that IT startup in London) but he always was – and still will be – an inspiration to many people.

Agnes Ewen

Written September 29, 2017 from KELVINGTON , SK

Dear Claire and family- the Nevin McDonald family sends their condolences. Thinking of you at this time. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal-Love leaves a memory no one can steal. May all you precious memories comfort you at this time.

Irene Knott

Written September 25, 2017 from Saskatoon, Sask.

Dear Claire and family; my deepest sympathy on your loss. Cormac was a fine man, who seemed to live life to the fullest and is surely in a better place. I attended the funeral but wasn't able to see you after. Love & prayers, Irene Knott

Darryl Caves

Written September 24, 2017 from Vancouver, BC

Cormac was a friend and a silent mentor. He mentored by example, whether is was mischief, food, debate, drink, music, culture or the art of being a gentleman. Without key moments in my life where Cormac's touch was felt, I am certain I would have gone wayward. I am blessed to have known him and sampled life with him. He will be missed by many folks but his legacy of influence through his intelligence and kindness will live on. With Love. D

Norm and Lisa Zimmer

Written September 22, 2017 from Edmonton, AB

Our condolences to Becky, Sean and the rest of the McGettigan family. God's blessing be upon all of you and may your cherished memories of Cormac carry you forward.

Phillip (Lorne) Penna

Written September 21, 2017 from North Bay, Ontario

My sincerest condolences to Cormac's Friends and Family. I knew Cormac in high school at Holy Cross. I remember when he was ill. He had such a good humour about him, He showed such good humour and courage. I don`t recall anyone ever having an unkind word to be said about him. He was a lot of fun. I am glad to have known him. The obituary is a great and inspiring read. May we all live as well as he did.

Patricia and Ron Matthews

Written September 20, 2017 from Victoria , B C

To The Mc Gettigan Family.
Our deepest condolences to you all.
Cormac touched many peoples lives and he has left many lasting memories. His long suffering is now over and you as a family have many wonderful memories to help you through this sad time. You are in our thoughts.
From The Matthews

Louise Lockie (Comfort)

Written September 20, 2017 from Colonsay , Sk

I am so sorry to hear of Cormac's passing. I have such great memories of him along with Kathryn from our childhood. Claire coming for coffee with mom and Cormac, Kathryn and I playing hide and seek and numerous other games for hours. My heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts. Love always

Paul Carroll

Written September 20, 2017 from Belleville, Ontario

Dear Mrs. McGettigan, Kate and John (and Cormac's family)-
I didn't really know Cormac that well, but I remember him very fondly. He always had a gentle quiet and dignity to him. My deepest sympathies on this grievous loss. I hope your hearts take comfort in the release involved.