Gary Alan was born on Thursday, October 5th, 1950 in Oshawa to parents Alan and Frances (Krasinski) Tutin. He was the eldest of three boys, and later welcomed younger brothers Wayne (1952) and Darryl (1965). The Tutin family resided in Oshawa where the boys were educated and active in St. George’s Anglican Church. In time, Gary became an Altar boy as well as a Queen’s Scout. From a young age, Gary was passionate about sports, excelling at them. He enjoyed hockey, baseball and football, even sticking around an extra year in high school to continue playing. Although he loved hockey, he was passionate about baseball. He played on many Oshawa Legion Minor Baseball teams through the years, including the Junior Legionnaires. Gary was known for his cannon of an arm behind the plate and for his ability to handle the bat, winning the Leaside Junior Batting Title. Gary continued to play ball well into his 40’s and in his prime, he was scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following high school, Gary enrolled in the Business Engineering program at Durham College. It was here in a crowded cafeteria that the “hot” hockey guy caught the attention of the “cute” volleyball girl. He soon approached her and joined up with some friends on an evening out. That night, instead of being with friends in the Pub, Barbara Ruth Sproule and Gary spent their evening together, talking on the 401 overpass. Barb knew then that she was going to marry this beloved man. The young couple fulfilled their intentions and were wed on August 16th, 1975.
Upon graduation, Gary was the only one in his class to become employed in the hospital industry. The opportunity came in London, at University Hospital where he was a “Time and Motion” Specialist. Gary’s job was to pay attention to all the tasks around the hospital and look for efficiency gains. To say Gary excelled at this job would be an understatement, he had definitely found his niche. Gary was an ideas man and was always looking to save the hospital money. He was well-respected within his field by all as he would always do the job himself first, and then look for ways to complete the same task more productively. In time he created a universal equation to determine calculations pertaining to time-motion efficiencies. Over the years, Gary had several conceptions and innovations, some of which were published and reported on in the media.
In 1977, Gary and Barbara moved north to Sudbury where he took a job at the Memorial Hospital in Management Engineering. During his three years there he consolidated the services of three hospitals and helped create better community healthcare expertise. In 1980, Gary and the family relocated to Owen Sound as he had accepted a new challenge at the Owen Sound General and Marine Hospital. They were planning a new hospital and Gary played an important role in the new construction. In time he became the Director of Material Management overseeing responsibilities for several departments within the Grey-Bruce Region’s seven sites. He thrived on the challenge of taking on interdepartmental issues to create a more positive and effective work team. He enjoyed working in a team environment with Amos Atton and other department heads as they addressed the efficiency challenges presented by struggling services to thriving departments in the end. Gary developed many special friendships within the GBHS family. Roland Greene-Thompson, Maureen Solecki, Linda Mueller, Lori Girdler, and Al MacLean, to name just a few, shared many laughs and stories over the years. Gary was without a doubt a people person. Gary retired from the Health Care Industry in 2015 after 41 years of service having never taken a single sick day. To say he was dedicated would be an understatement. It was during this time that Gary joined the Masonic Lodge becoming a Freemason. In time, he became a Past Master of the Lodge and a member of the Rameses Shriners.
Gary became a proud father in 1979, with the arrival of Melissa Ruth and their family was made complete with Matthew Alan William’s birth in 1983. Gary cherished his beautiful family and would do anything to provide and support them. Not only was he a husband and a father but he truly had three best friends. As the kids grew, Gary encouraged them at every opportunity to excel and he participated whenever he could in their endeavours. When they became involved with sports, Gary was the first to offer his assistance coaching. It didn’t matter if it was Matthew’s involvement in baseball or hockey or Melissa’s success in a new sport for him, Lacrosse, he was always there. He was their number one fan!! When Matt grew, he and Gary took up umpiring baseball together. The duo worked countless games and tournaments together over the next seven years and Matt loved the additional opportunity to learn and spend time with his Dad. When not playing, coaching, or officiating sports, Gary was watching them. It didn’t matter if it was baseball, hockey, football, NASCAR or even WWE, if sports were televised Gary was watching them. Gary would enthusiastically discuss stats, players, team dynamics and all around sports knowledge with Melissa, Matthew and his brother Darryl. Hockey Night in Canada was a staple in the Tutin household. From a young age Gary loved watching Eddie Shack and Bobby Orr. Over the years there were countless trips to Toronto to take in games. In the 80’s Gary and the kids took a liking to the New Jersey Devils and the future Hall of Famer, Martin Brodeur. Gary and Matthew began collecting memorabilia and Brodeur hockey cards, amassing a collection of 4,500. He and his friend Malcom Long, travelled twice yearly to Toronto to attend the Sports Memorabilia Show whereby he consistently added to his card collection. He and Matt also enjoyed several road trips to Newark to watch their beloved Devils on home ice.
Sports provided many positive and timeless experiences for the Tutin family. Melissa recalled her Dad always cheering her on at her Lacrosse games and the memorable opportunities they had to attending Blue Jay games together. In Matt’s case he recalled when he was playing goal for Chatsworth. The game had just tied with Orono in a hard fought playoff game. Matt was down as the team failed to capture the win, however, Gary re-affirmed to Matt that he played a great game, gave him a big hug and told him how proud he was of his son. When the kids got older and both entered their respective Police Forces, Gary couldn’t have been prouder of their accomplishments. In 2016, Melissa became a Golden Helmet Precision Motorcycle Team Member for the OPP and Gary proudly wore his prized Team Member hat everywhere he went. Other unforgettable family events included bonfires, movie nights with pizza, shopping and “The Claw” to name a few.
Although travel was not a big part of Gary’s life, the family travelled to Cuba in 2011 for Matt and Tabitha’s wedding. Gary was Matt’s best man, something both men were extremely proud of. One of the most impressive moments of this trip was during the reception, when Gary and Barbara took to the dance floor to Kenny Loggins’ Footloose. This was THEIR song and they knew ALL the moves! Their performance cleared the dance floor and there were calls for an encore. Their visit to Cuba encouraged more trips to this beautiful island with their grandkids where they enjoyed the area around Holguin. When it came to music, KISS, Three Dog Night, and ZZTop were Gary’s go-to bands, and he loudly enjoyed these artists while heading out on road trips with the kids. Gary was known to love his coffee, Pepsi, cheeseburgers, jam filled desserts and of course bologna sandwiches. He often joked that in retirement he and Matt would open a sandwich shack named “Any Way You Want It Baloney Shack”. Gary was also an animal lover. At home he enjoyed his four-legged companions, Scooter (2013) and Chipper. Gary’s commitment to animals didn’t end there as he was also a Board member and past President of the Grey Bruce Animal Shelter.
In recent years, Gary was blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Jack and Isabella (Izzy). He absolutely adored them, spoiling them at every opportunity. Papa was never without gum and always said “Yes” to popsicles, no matter the day or time. The three of them also shared their own special handshake, and Papa was always present in their lives. Gary was a kind, thoughtful man whose main goal was to provide for his family. He always made sure that everyone had what they needed but never wanted accolades. He was logical, and a little bit particular (ask Barb and the kids the pranks they played on Gary throughout the years), but he was a true family man, and will ALWAYS be remembered by his family for these great qualities.
Sadly in 2018, Gary was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. He met this challenge like a Warrior, with dignity and determination, making the best of each day. In 2019, Gary and Barbara moved to Chesley to be closer to family. Gary’s family was his world and he was theirs, and he passed away surrounded by them with all of their love on Thursday September 2nd, 2021 in his 71st year.
Beloved husband of Barbara (Sproule). Devoted and loving father of Melissa Tutin (Sean Brown) of Guelph and Matt Tutin (Tabitha Barfoot) of Chesley. Cherished Papa of Jack and Isabella. Gary will be dearly missed by his brother Darryl (Holly) of Mississauga, sister-in-law Colleen Tutin of Oshawa, and the entire Sproule family. He was predeceased by his brother Wayne and his parents Alan and Frances (Krasinski) Tutin.
In following Gary’s wishes, private family services were held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to a local minor sports organization or animal shelter would be appreciated by his family. Gary loved sports and animals, and what better tribute to him than by helping those in need.