Dr. Sylvester Petryk 1942-2013 Syl passed away peacefully at his home in Senneville, Quebec, on June 15 from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig's) and Frontotemporal Dementia. He was 71.
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He was born in Atmore AB, 6th of 7 children, to Anton and Mary Petryk. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Alberta, his Masters at the University of Waterloo, and his Doctorate at Colorado State University, where he met his beloved wife Darla.
Syl taught fluid mechanics at the University of Florida, and then moved to Montreal in 1975 to work as an engineer, modeling river ice flows to protect Quebec's hydroelectric projects from the impact of its rugged climate, which he loved.
Syl nurtured a lifelong passion for the stock market. He excelled at identifying small entrepreneurial companies and delighted in watching them succeed. He founded the Montreal Fundamental Investment Club and was a member of Senneville's 2M Investment Club. Through his investment acumen he created abundance, prosperity and opportunity which he generously shared with his immediate and extended family.
For Syl, family was the most important thing of all. He took great delight in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He loved talking about growing up on the farm in northern Alberta. He was also passionate about running, tennis, biking, skiing and exploring the outdoors. He enjoyed falling and bucking trees throughout Senneville and took pride in heating his home with his handiwork. Syl lived up to his favorite saying: "Leave the earth in better shape than when you came". The greatest gifts Syl shared were an open heart and an endlessly curious mind.
Sylvester is survived by Darla, his wife of 44 years, his son Adam (Michèle), daughters Andrea (Cormac), Tanya (John) and grandchildren John, Cathryn, Nathan, Bridie, Dylan, Caleb and one more grandchild expected this summer. He is also survived by his siblings Anne, John, Russell, Mike, Harry, and Nancy.
Profound thanks go to Kathy and Gerry Brydon, Cathy Varsanyi, Marc-David Andrade, NOVA and the CLSC for help and support, which allowed Darla to care for him at home through the final months of his illness.
A Memorial Open House for Sylvester will be held at Senneville Community Centre, 3:00-5:30 on Wed June 19. In lieu of flowers, well wishers are invited to make donations to NOVA West Island or The Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Published in The Gazette from June 18 to June 19, 2013