People of SFU

Remembering Ralph Gregory Stacey, alumnus and former member of SFU's Board of Governors

January 11, 2021

The family of Greg Stacey is deeply saddened by his quiet and unexpected passing.

Greg was born in Vancouver to Ralph and Margaret Stacey: from his adventurous father, he acquired kindness, a love of the sea and penchant for good stories, and from his mother he inherited a love of art, music and gardening. Greg arrived in Nelson in 1981 to become Chief Crown Counsel with his wife Margaret and small children. The family built a house on the beach at Willow Point, and enjoyed the North Shore community for 23 years, before becoming Nelson residents for the last fifteen years.

His family has been touched by the wide response to his death.  It is no surprise that Greg’s personal reach was formidable, from the management of the Nelson Rotary Club youth exchange for nineteen years, chairmanship of the Nelson United Church Board and Kootenay Lake Hospital Board, service on the boards of the Nelson and District Credit Union, Simon Fraser University, the Legal Services Society, Kootenay representative to the Canadian Bar Association, and a director with Health Labour Relations as well as supervising lawyer for the Nelson Advocacy Centre.  As a lawyer in Kamloops, Cranbrook and Nelson for 42 years, he worked for the Legal Services Society and Crown Counsel BC, and then launched a Nelson family practice in 1984 until retirement in 2017.  These historical facts do not show the mentorship, generosity and ethical behaviour that Greg practiced and championed throughout his career. As many people have put it, he was a gentlemanly lawyer.  

The lawyer in Greg was only a part of who he was; he was fatherly to so many young people, welcoming and mentoring youth from all over the world, the country and the community, many of whom he retained in friendship. Greg was an artist, a writer, an art collector, a chef, a musicologist, a movie and theatre lover, a lifelong student of history, philosophy, law and literature well after achieving degrees from Carleton, Simon Fraser and UBC, and he was arguably the biggest patron of the Nelson library. He loved boats (preferably with sails), gardening, landscaping, and constructing rock walls. In recent years, Greg wanted to travel and explore the major cities of Europe, which he did, from Glasgow to Jerusalem, and many places in between.  This past year he enjoyed the company of some like-minded local gentlemen philosophers who have gathered virtually.

The most important thing in Greg’s life was his large and lively family, of whom he was very proud.  He is deeply missed by Margaret and their children:  Eleanor (Thomas Buffonge), Anne (Steve Meszaros), Robert (Angela Meilleur), Elizabeth (Nathan Affolter).  Greg took great joy in his grandchildren:  Christina, Edward, Alex, Theo, Charlotte, Violet and newest little girl Phoebe.  He also loved his weekly gatherings onscreen with sister Sharlene, and brothers Frank and Roy and their families.

The family thanks Drs. Malpass and Mieske and the first responders of Nelson for their kindness and attention.

A celebration of Greg’s life will be held at Nelson United Church when the world opens up again.   

A wish of Greg’s was a scholarship legacy for a promising student, with mentorship or apprenticeship attached. The family will draft the vehicle for the Greg Stacey Legacy in the coming year.