Saanich man, about to be dad, remembered as ‘so eager, happy to help’

Geordie Murray packed a lot of fun and adventure into his life, says his mother. When he died last week in a hunting accident near Calgary, he left behind a huge group of people who will be forever touched by the kindness he always showed in whatever he did, said Kath Murray.

“He lived so fully and we’re just grateful we had him for 30 years.”

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Kath said her son had gone to Calgary to pick up some parts for a vehicle, met up with friends while he was there and went hunting.

Geordie suffered a gunshot wound and died, despite first-aid efforts.

He had been married for almost two years to Shauna, who is expecting a baby in July. An online fundraising page has been started on her behalf.

Kath said Geordie had challenges stemming from some serious concussions, including one in a car crash, but he worked through them.

“In some ways, he probably learned compassion more because of the brain injuries and of the subsequent mental-health issues that he had,” she said.

“And in some ways, that makes him even more special, because he was so determined to keep getting up, day after day after day.”

His strong commitment to his faith was a major part of that, Kath said.

One of five children for her and Ted, Geordie attended Keating Elementary School, Bayside Middle School and Stelly’s Secondary School. He went on to take classes at Camosun College and Okanagan College.

In school, Geordie was “blessed with teachers and principals who worked with him,” Kath said.

Fellow Stelly’s student George Ellsworth took Geordie under his wing and saw that he finished all of his carpentry assignments in high school, she said. Geordie spent a lot of time at the Ellsworth home and on one occasion was there when an early-morning fire broke out next door. That’s when his character shone through, she said.

“Geordie was in his boots and out that door so quick,” Kath said. “The house was on fire — he ran in and got somebody out and then he went back in.”

He ended up getting three people to safety, the last one after he went directly through the fire.

There was also the time he and some friends offered to tow a stuck vehicle up a snowy hill. Another vehicle would show up and they would tow it, then another, until they’d towed about 10 people.

Kath said her son was “just so eager and happy to help.”

Geordie was a Red Seal carpenter and worked in Vanderhoof for about a year before spending time working with a builder in Calgary. He moved from there to Salmon Arm and then back to Victoria to build custom homes, and started his own business, Country Way Contracting.

“His idea was that it’s kind of the old-country way, shake a hand on something and there’s some integrity there,” Kath said. “That was very important to him.”

As a hospice palliative care nurse, she said, she has had a lot of exposure to death.

“But we weren’t planning in it being Geordie.”

His funeral is being held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 701 Mann Ave.

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