Dec. 26, 1939 – Feb. 1, 2022
Denny passed away in Canmore, surrounded by his family. Born in Wainwright AB, Dennis Fredrick Messier was predeceased by his parents, Rosalphis Messier (1963) and Elizabeth (Smith) (1987); brother Bruce (2000); sister, Shirley Kent (2020); son-in-law Kerry Smith (2016); and his partner, wife and lifelong friend, his beloved Maureen “Muff” (2007).
Denny is survived by his precious family, son Mitchell and his sons, Jordan, Marcus and Ryan, and their mother, Lisa Exton; son Murray (Anthea) and their daughters, Michaela, Bridget and Leah; son Joby (Kim) and their children, Max and Ashley; daughter, Monique (Cameron) and her daughter, Sierra; sister, Linda McCagerty; as well as Muff’s large family of siblings, many nieces and nephews (Messier and Curran); AND his legion of loyal and trusted and much loved friends.
Denny’s early life was blessed with memorable farm experiences, outdoor activities, sports and a loving family. In September 1956 Denny arrived at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Sk.
Denny quickly forged bonds, beliefs and values that were to last him a lifetime. He became an integral part of the school as a willing student, admirer and advocate of Pere Athol Murray whose values guided Denny throughout his life.
He was proud of the fact he achieved the “white sweater with the interlocking red ND on its front” by earning the right to play on the top three sports teams, football, hockey and baseball and winning four provincial championships in football. In 1959, Denny was the recipient of the Dwyer trophy awarded to the MVP of the top hockey team exemplifying all the College’s values. It was also during these wonderful, formative and rewarding years that Den met his beloved, Muff whom he married in 1963.
After his marriage, Denny continued his education at Notre Dame and then at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he attained his Masters of Social Work. Following their return from Halifax, Denny worked for a period of time at Ranch Erlo before starting Kamp Klahane, a wilderness camp for young offenders in northern Saskatchewan.
Denny and Muff raised their family in Regina until 1983 and then returned to where it all started—Notre Dame College—as Dean of Residences and later, Director of Alumni Relations and the coach of numerous championship hockey and golf teams. Denny was instrumental in the formation of the Notre Dame Residential Hockey School which exists to this day. In 1994, Denny and Muff relocated to Canmore AB where, with the able assistance of Muff and his boys, he created and ran the Banff International Summer Hockey School for thirteen years.
Denny was a larger-than-life personality with a huge laugh that reverberated off the walls and caused all those hearing him to join in! He was affectionately “Den,” never grandpa and seldom dad, to his family. To his many friends, he was loyal, caring and giving. He always supported his children and grandchildren and encouraged them to carve their own way in life. He was very involved as a dad, husband, grandfather, mentor, coach and friend. Den had a heart as big as the ocean and was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends
Denny will be dearly missed by his family and friends, but his faith will guide him to being reunited with his wife and partner, Muff.
The family extends their warmest gratitude to Dr. Mark Hawkins, Canmore Home Care Services, and the Canmore Hospital staff for all the care and compassion that they have provide.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in his name to Rocky Mountain Adaptive in Canmore to support their efforts in making the mountains and outdoors accessible to all. https://rockymountainadaptive.com
Cremation has taken place with a plan to have a Mass and outdoor gathering in a few months when the days are warmer. Information will be shared by the family.