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WILLIAMSON, Gary Robert Heaven is when I'm playing music 'Round midnight on April 17, 2019, Gary passed away peacefully, in his 74th year. Deeply missed by Rose, devoted wife of 45 years, children Tai, Sue May and son-in-law Nathan. Cherished brother of Gail (Peter Barkic), Wendy (Norm Trainor), Roy (Ingé), Carol (Ian Parker), Barb Williamson-Buckley and Cathy (Robbins Wolfe). Fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbours. Gary was born in Toronto, raised in his family home on Frenchman's Bay and the home of his grandmother Doss, who gave him his first lessons on the piano. He began playing professionally in 1964 and performed throughout Asia and Hawaii from 1968 to 1972. It was on this journey that he met Rose in Tokyo, Japan. Rose and Gary married in 1973, then settled on Normandy Boulevard in 1976. There, they cultivated their garden and raised their family. Gary dedicated himself to music and had a very successful career recording, touring and performing with many jazz greats. As an educator, he spanned forty years teaching the next generation of musicians at the Banff Centre in Alberta, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Toronto and the Etobicoke Board of Education. Gary lived a storied life of adventure that brought him all over the world. He enjoyed a quiet retirement at home and spent his time doing crossword puzzles, perfecting his favourite recipes, gardening, reading and studying the works of Bill Evans, Chopin and Duke Ellington. A visitation will take place at 10 a.m. with a memorial service at 11 a.m., followed by a reception on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Road, Scarborough, Ontario. Condolences may be sent to

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Published in Toronto Star on May 15, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
June 11, 2019
I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Gary. He and I broke into the music business in the same era in the '60s, I playing weddings etc., and he subbing at the Victory Burlesque Theater on Spadina Ave. We played together a lot in the early days. He remained one of my favorite pianists with an original voice. I also remember his understated sense of humor. Gary and I also traveled to Japan together in 1968 and thence embarked on our separate odysseys.
You will be missed, brother.
Gary Morgan
June 10, 2019
My deepest condolences to Gary's family and close friends. I always enjoyed conversations with Gary, hearing him play, and on the couple of occasions that I was fortunate enough to play with him, it was very inspiring. A life well-lived; may he rest in peace.
Roy Patterson
June 7, 2019
Condolences from David Snow (and wife Judy), son of May Balmer Snow, first cousin of Velma. David recalls catching a bass off the dock at Frenchman's Bay many years ago. Also saw Gary playing with the TSO a few years ago. Best wishes to all.
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