Born in Windsor, Ontario to Adam and Olive Neely, Gerry lived a long life filled with loving relationships with family and friends, tremendous accomplishments in his chosen profession and community service, a curiosity about the world around him, and the gift of a sense of humour that resonated with everyone he met. And throughout, he was a gentle man and a gentleman.

After a childhood spent in the Walkerville area of Windsor, he completed a Bachelor of Arts – Honours Economics & Political Science at the University of Western Ontario in 1951. He joined the Toronto brokerage office of A.E. Ames & Co later that year, and was then transferred to the Victoria office in 1952. A few months later, in April 1953, he met the love of his life Patricia (on a blind date) and after a brief return to Toronto, started at UBC Law in the fall of 1954. Gerry and Pat were the first “marrieds” in the class and celebrated 66 years of marriage in February this year.

Gerry was the first articling student at one of Victoria’s oldest firms Pearlman & Lindholm. Following his call to the Bar in 1958, he established a solicitor’s practice with a focus on commercial and residential real estate, and wills, estates & trusts. He became a partner in 1965, changed to associate counsel circa 1999 and retired from practice in 2005. A life in the law with one firm is rare indeed and Gerry was the epitome of one who serves others with loyalty to them and their interests.

It was his work with the British Columbia Real Estate Association and the Victoria Real Estate Board where his people and professional skills shone. In 1999, Gerry was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the British Columbia Real Estate Association in recognition of his counsel and service to the industry. In the same year, he was named as an Honorary Member of the Victoria Real Estate Board in recognition of 25 years of service as Board solicitor. In 2006, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of Legally Speaking described as “one of the most trusted publications for real estate professionals in BC”. Gerry summarized in excess of five hundred cases in a manner that translated legal jargon into entertaining reading, turning risk avoidance into a welcome task.

He was a member and officer of the Victoria Bar Association and a member, officer and speaker for the Victoria Estate Planning Council. In 2007, the Victoria Bar Association acknowledged his lifetime accomplishments with the Contribution to the Law award.

Gerry was engaged in his community and, together with Pat, served many organizations including the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children, Downtown Victoria Business Association, Probus Club of Royal Oak and the Victoria Symphony Society.  He was a Life Member of the Union Club of British Columbia, and he and Pat were active members of the Camosun Gyro Club for over 55 years, a cherished fellowship of friends and fun that brought great joy to them.

Gerry and Pat enjoyed vacations in Hawaii and hiking in the Rockies at Lake O’Hara (long into their 80’s), several trips to Europe, and relaxing times in the Gulf Islands at the family cottage.

Family was cherished by Gerry. With their daughter Sara’s arrival, the three began a life that would be woven together over the decades with those of other family members, including many nieces and nephews, and later Sara’s husband Ken (d. 2008) and his family.

Always welcoming, Gerry and Pat loved to entertain. Gerry was interested in the lives of others and took great pleasure in hearing their stories. When the three of us traveled together and where there was any shopping involved, Gerry could be found checking out the interesting sights and the food fair. We would find him chatting with people, reading the local newspaper or happily whistling.

Gerry is dearly missed by his loving wife Patricia and their daughter Sara, his brother Stewart, nieces and nephews, and many friends. Pat and Sara extend their gratitude to the staff at Sunrise Senior Living Victoria for their exceptional care of Gerry in the last two months.

A Celebration of Gerry’s life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please support the Victoria Symphony Society which has brought the joy of music to our family for decades.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

www.mccallgardens.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Judith Stuart

    Dear Pat and Sara

    How fortunate we are when we meet a very fine gentleman and we are left with enduring memories of his presence. My condolences to you both.

  • Guy Crozier

    Dear Patricia, Sara and Stewart,
    My deepest condolences for Gerry’s passing. As a young Realtor in the early 90’s Gerry’s Legally Speaking articles we a must read for my business practice. He brought a professionalism to our industry that can’t be appreciated enough. Over the years I have enjoyed visiting with him at every Christmas lunch and Past President’s dinner. As a proud Honorary Member of our Board, he never missed them and his stories and insight will be dearly missed.
    Blessings.

  • Melissa Krieger

    Hi Pat and Sara,
    I was sorry to read of Gerry’s passing in the newspaper. I enjoyed our years together in the Union Club gym. Gerry was always kind and cheerful to me. He will be missed.
    Lots of love,
    Melissa Krieger

  • MARK LINDHOLM

    Dear Pat, Sarah and Neely family:
    I am very sorry to hear of Gerry’s passing. He was a big influence in my professional life, a great mentor and a helpful tutor. His sense of humor and unfailing gentlemanliness made him a a special man professionally and in private life. I will remember him fondly.

    For myself particularly and for the Lindholm family generally, I want to extend to you our sorrow
    and our best wishes for you at this time.

    Mark Lindholm

  • Dorothy Robertson

    Dear Pat and Sara, Loving thoughts are with you at this time.
    when we moved into this house in 1964, someone remarked that one doesn’t often see the couple’s lawyer helping to move bedroom furniture! He was obviously first a friend, secondarily a lawyer.
    May you both be upheld and blessed!
    Sincerely,
    Dorothy Robertson.

  • Barbara Newton

    Condolences to you and your family. Take comfort in the thought of his long and loving life well lived.

  • Mary Anne Marchildon

    Sara, We were so sorry to hear of your Father’s passing. We are thinking of you and your Mom now and sending our best from all of us at Glenlyon Norfolk School.
    Sincerely, Chad & Mary Anne

  • Maury Van Vliet

    My deepest sympathy Pat. I was proud of Gerry as an outstanding representative of a legal practitioner and legal colleague. Such a gentleman but such a wicked sense of humour when at ease with his friends at Gyro. He will not be forgotten. Bless you as you struggle to carry on.
    Your Gyro friends are standing by to await your call in time of need.

  • Rob McLaren

    I am thankful to have had Gerry as a friend over the past 30 years. My father and he also had a friendship going back to high school times. Even though I work for Pat and Gerry, I always considered our relationship more akin to family and friend. I will miss seeing him on Wednesday afternoons during coffee breaks, but I will cherish the memories of his warm smile and sense of humour.

  • Diana Holmes

    Dear Pat and Sara, we are so sorry to read of Gerry’s recent passing. He was such a great friend to my dad, Pip Holmes, and I loved visiting with you at Catherine and Dad’s parties. What fun they truly were. Gerry’s sense of humour was legendary. I was always delighted when Gerry came through the door at Pemberton Holmes to see and advise Dad, or go out to lunch with him.
    The Victoria legal scene just won’t be the same without him.
    He was such a well rounded, gracious and kind person.
    Warm hugs, Di Holmes and Lary Hansen, Nanaimo

  • Steve Adams

    Sara and Pat, I am very sorry for your loss. I very much enjoyed Gerry’s visits to our office. Please accept our condolences.

  • Deedrie Ballard

    Sara, what a wonderful tribute to your Dad in the paper this morning. You captured every aspect of the Man he was. His twinkling smile, his brilliant contributions to our community, and his exceptional Love for you and Pat, will live in my mind always… Hugs to you both…Deedrie

  • Barbara Armstrong

    Dear Sara, thank you for sharing your journey with your parents. It speaks volumes to the exemplary woman you are. Your Dad’s greatest legacy is his daughter. My thoughts are with you and those most important to you.

  • Fritz Schulze

    So sorry to read about this Sara. My condolences.

  • Marg Rose

    A ready smile, a lively twinkle, a dashing figure in his Downton Abby dress up for a cocktail party and a perfect partner for Pat and loving father for you, Sara. What a tribute this was to read and revel in a life well lived—for him and and for the community who was fortunate to count him among the leaders here. May you reflect on your decades of happy memories and cherish those times forever. Xoxoxo Marg

  • Bev Highton

    Dear Pat and Sara,
    Pam and I were saddened to learn of Gerry’s passing. He was and always will be remembered as a true gentleman.
    Over many years I always looked forward to interesting discussions on legal real estate matters in his capacity as the Victoria Real Estate Boards solicitor or his writings in Legally Speaking.
    Gerry always presented his opinion with great knowledge, understanding and wit.
    He will be missed and remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

  • Richard Chadwick

    Gerry was very friendly and always said hi. Everyone I work with always had good things to say about Gerry. God Bless You will be missed

  • Norrie Froman

    Condolences to Pat, Sara, Stewart and family.
    Victoria has lost a rare, honourable man. A man for whom I worked as legal assistant for many years. Always my mentor, we had many lively enjoyable conversations about law and other subjects. I considered him a friend.
    His obituary describes him well. He will be remembered.

  • Ken Henderson

    Patricia and Sara. What a wonderful life and fitting tribute to a
    truly exceptional man. When I think of Gerry a smile crosses my face and great memories flood my mind. The dry wit and humour and the self effacing delivery of his observations hard to beat. Very best wishes to the family. Ken Henderson

  • Laurie Pederson

    Well written my dear Sara..Ned and I along with the girls send all our love and best wishes during this sad time. Gerry was such a love..his cute smile, dimples and always ready for fun and of course “drinkie Pooh time” ahh so many many fond memories of my childhood growing on the Gyro weekend circuit. And of course could we ever pass up a fish hatchery..to this day I look when driving and think of Gerry.
    I have so many memories as others do as well..we will share them when we can all be together without Masks..and toast to our special friend who will remain in our hearts forever. By The Light of the Silvery Moon! Love Laurie and Ned Pederson

  • David Corey, CEO, Victoria Real Estate Board

    On behalf of the Members, Directors and staff of the Victoria Real Estate Board, our deepest condolences to your family. Gerry was a valued member of the real estate community and we share in your loss.

  • Leslie and Syl LeFebvre

    Our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. Hold on to all those wonderful memories and know that Gerry will always walk by you. Condolences and hugs.

  • Neil Rawnsley

    My condolences to Pat and Sara on the passing of a truly exceptional man whose compassion, humour, community involvement and expertise in his profession will be truly missed. As an advisor to my parents for many years and through his association with the VREB I have treasured his advice and enjoyed his friendship and his incredible sense of humour. His legacy will live on.

  • Kamran Rad

    My sincere condolences goes to Pat and Sara. I met the Neely family about 14 years ago and ever since Gerry was a client, friend and a mentor to me with many pleasant memories to remember. indeed he was an exceptional man and I feel very fortunate to know him for all these years.
    Although he won’t be with us physically; however, his legacy will be around forever.
    May the Universe bless his soul.

  • Abby Day

    Such sad news but what a wonderful, rich and generous life. And how vividly I recall him from so many years ago at Norfolk. My condolences to Pat, Sara and wider family.

  • Jane Morley

    How beautifully this summary of Jerry and his life captures his spirit. I am one of the people that Gerry touched with his intelligence, joy, affection and humour. My sympathies and best wishes go out to you, Pat and Sarah. I know you must be missing him terribly, but what a gift to have such a husband and father. Jane

  • Lori Elder

    Sara, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.

    What an incredible legacy he has left – a life well lived! You must be so proud of the wonderful father, and man he was, and the positive impact he had on so many.

    Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. May your memories fill your heart, and bring solace. Sincerely, Lori Elder

  • Rory Grewar

    We are all diminished when a man of honour passes from our midst. Deepest condolences Patricia and Sara. Gerry’s wit, humour and genuine kindness will be greatly missed.

  • Erin Kuhns

    My deepest condolences to you and your family, Sara. Thinking of you!

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