Photo of Gene Zwozdesky

Gene Zwozdesky was elected as MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek in 1993 and served as Speaker of the House from 2012 to 2015. Over the course of his career he filled a multitude of roles, including Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness, Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Minister of Education and Minister of Community Development. He was also the Associate Minister of Health and Wellness and Associate Minister of Capital Planning.

He accomplished much during his time in the public service, but also was a supporter of the arts, a talented musician and a proud Ukrainian dancer.

Zwozdesky was deeply proud of his Ukrainian heritage and made lasting contributions to Alberta's Ukrainian community.

Before becoming an MLA, Zwozdesky worked as a teacher, administrator, professional musician and business owner. He was also Executive Director of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Foundation and of the Alberta Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Commission, as well as Music Director for the Shumka Dancers and Cheremosh Dancers.

As Speaker of the House, Zwozdesky was known for his calm demeanour and kindness. He was a true public servant.

Following his time in office, Zwozdesky was deeply involved with the Alberta Association of former MLAs.

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Julian Savaryn January 18, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
?????? ???`???! May God grant him peace and a place where all the just repose. Prayers for the family, and our deepest condolences.
Ksenia Maryniak January 17, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
In working with Gene on the program for the Sviato 25 celebration in Churchill Square (August 2016), we both discovered to our surprise and delight that we were kindred spirits in the editing department (a certain nerdy way of working with text and visual formatting). Absolutely an honour to have been able to assist such a multi-talented man on that and several subsequent projects. I will miss him and always remember his astuteness, vitality, devotion, and generosity. Our loss is heartbreaking, but his legacy is incredibly broad and deep. Memory eternal!
Roma Martiuk January 17, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Gene was such a great man, he touched the hearts of many people by his good deeds. He has left you an enormous legacy. Should be so proud to call him your own!!!
Anna Worobetz January 16, 2019
Calgary Alberta
Thank you Gene for being a beacon in our lives.
Darcia Moskaluk-Rutkay January 16, 2019
Toronto Ontario
Eugene was an amazing role model for all CYMKivtsi and members of the USRL family. Our condolences to his family. It was my extreme pleasure to work with him briefly his past summer at our Sobor.
Carol Wickstrom January 16, 2019
Camrose Alberta
My deepest sympathy on the passing of Mr.Zwozdesky!
Jason January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
While Gene was speaker I always pointed out his green house to my wife going around the circle for some reason. A man for the people by the people. RIP Gene. Hope the perogies are good in heaven.
robert m. ligertwood January 16, 2019
edmonton Alberta
I was one of over 200,000 working single fathers back in the 80's/90's in Canada. most with 2 or more children, and in my case one of three with special needs. Most of these fathers victims of deadbeat partners. this with "nowhere" to go for any support/guidance of any kind. There would be late night support meetings once in a while. This because we all worked for a living. Mostly fathers that were kept from their children. This encouraged at times by individuals that today sit as judges in Alberta courts. Gene Zwozdesky was always there. What a great privilege to have lived in the same time as this "Great Human Being". To his Family I will extend on behalf of all single fathers in this country our condolences and sincere thanks to his Family for sharing such inspiring "Human Being". "thankyou Gene"
Shawn Bennett January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Rest in peace Rt. Honorable Sir.
Pat Chornoluk Sywenky January 16, 2019
Ardrossan Alberta
On behalf of the Chornoluk family, I would like to express our condolences to the Zwozdesky family on the loss of Gene. Please accept our sympathy,
Ashraf January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
As a Musician he was very kind in heart and he may be rest in peace.
Janne Switzer January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
My deepest condolences to the beloved family of this honourable statesman. Mr. Zwozdesky appeared to me to be a rare gem in the world of politics; a man of integrity and real class worthy of respect. He will be greatly missed.
Dwane Kunitz January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Good-Bye to a great man.
Klaus Maier January 16, 2019
Edmonton AB
My deepest sympathy to the family of Gene Zwozdesky. He was surely a great person who will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Gloria and Courtney Keller January 16, 2019
Sangudo Alberta
We are saddened by loss of Gene Zwosdesky-who grew up in our little town of Sangudo. We send consolation to the Zwosdesky Family- Gene was a special person with gifts of admiration to all who know him.
Janice Fleming January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Gene was a class act and suited his role as a statesman, politician. He had the ability to reach out to people, make them feel at ease, care about their issues and make a difference. He was instrumental in playing a key role in the Ukrainian community, so vibrant and passionate of his heritage. Very diplomatic in his role as Speaker of the House. I had the pleasure of working in the legislature while he was an MLA and Minister. I offer my deepest condolences to Christine, his children, grandchildren and family upon his loss. He made a mark in Alberta and will never be forgotten.
Lynda Shurko January 16, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
My condolences to Gene's family. I knew Gene when he was a teacher at Victoria Composite High School. I then knew him when he was Speaker at the Legislative Assembly where I presently work. Gene you did great, rest in peace.
Ukrainian Orthodox Men's Club/TYC January 15, 2019
Regina Saskatchewan
Dear Family and Colleagues of Eugene: Our Regina Branch of UOMA/TYC extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to family, friends and colleagues on the untimely passing of Eugene. His personal impact and reach encompassed scores of people in politics, culture and community. Above all, he demonstrated genuine concern and respect with each and every individual and group that he interacted with. In our Ukrainian men's circle he will be remembered as a true "Son of the Soil" with a particular affection and effort for his Ukrainian community. Vichnya Pamiat - Memory Eternal! Wayne Hydeman, President/Gerald Luciuk, Secretary and Club Members of Regina Branch UOMA/TYC
Deanna Hebert January 15, 2019
Calgary Alberta
Many years ago during the Ukrainian Centennial celebration in Edmonton, Mr. Zwozdesky hired me (from out of nowhere) to oversee some of the costuming for the opening and reprieve dance numbers. I've never forgotten that as extremely busy as he was,a few days later I received a phone message thanking me for my (very small) contribution to the event. It was a Classy gesture that meant a lot to a young contractor, and I had followed his career ever since. Mr. Zwozdesky was a Class Act throughout and Albertan's have been the beneficiaries of his gentlemanly service to our community. My sincerest condolences to his family.
peter dmyterko January 15, 2019
nampa Alberta
Sincere condolences to the family of Gene Zwozdesky. My memory goes back to when his parents had a little grocery store in their farmhouse near Franko Hall Sask, My parents would send me to pick up essentials 2 miles from our farm.
NORMA JEAN OLIVIER January 15, 2019
Edmonton AB
My sincere condolences to the family...my heart is broken... heartbreaking to lose such a gem of a man!...I will remember his kind heart...I will remember the music...oh the music!
Jim and Hope Fortune January 15, 2019
Kelowna B.C.
Dear Christine and Family We are so saddened by the loss of your beloved Gene. We met "Gene The Machine" and his "Lads" at Kokanee Springs Golf Resort some 25 years ago, where they came to play in their one week "Rocky Mountain Golf Classic". They always entertained the locals at the Golf Club on Thursday, prior to their departure on Friday. Gene was such a leader, friendly to everyone and so witty and funny, always a gentleman. Gene is now playing his mandolin and singing with the Angels. God Bless.
Rajammal Ram January 15, 2019
101 Falconer court,Edmonton Alberta
On behalf of Canadian Kerala Cultural Association and myself, please accept our deepest condolences.We as a community as well as myself will remember Mr.Gene Zwodesky as a friend of our community.My family will never forget him as a lover of music and dances. He was my chief guest for a charity program for operation eye sight universal, organized under my dance school-Kala Nilayam in 1988.I will cherish his encouraging letter. Our prayers with his dear wife Christine and family.May his soul rest in peace. With prayer sincerely Rajammal Ram
Kennedy Jenson January 15, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
I am so heartbroken that we have lost such a magnificent man! I was so fortunate to have worked with Gene on a number of musical projects, and he taught me a lot about the industry along the way. Being at Gene and Christine's house concerts were always a special treat too. Gene was so 'positive' all the time and so full of energy. It was incredible. My deepest sympathies go out to his family! With Love Kennedy
Jack and Mary O’Neill January 13, 2019
St. Albert Alberta
Dear Christine and family, please accept our condolences on the passing of Gene. When he was Deputy Minister Jack worked with Gene and when I was MLA I worked alongside Gene. Such was a privilege for both of us. Thank you for sharing him with us personally and with all Albertans. Sincerely, Mary
Julius E. Yankowsky, Former MLA January 13, 2019
Edmonton, Alberta
I was honored to call Gene a dear friend, colleague and Ukrainian compatriot. In a world of conflict, politics-gone-mad, upheaval and nonsense, Gene Zwozdesky — the magical Wizard of Zwoz — will be long remembered and infinitely missed for his upstanding character: a gentleman, kind and warmly welcoming, genuinely funny and sincere, profound common sense, and (in the words of another colleague) "so generous with his time for everyone yet asking nothing in return; he always wanted to see the best come out of every event, every situation, and for every person". Ultimately, Gene created a successful guidance template for all politicians to emulate. He was uncommonly blessed with a rare charm and diplomacy making him the people’s choice for his constituents, colleagues and friends alike. His positive impression made an unequivocal difference for all Albertans and Canadians — a most noble legacy, if ever there was one. Gene will be wholeheartedly missed and always remembered. My sincerest condolences to Christine and his family. Rest peacefully, my friend.
Rosemarri and David Klamn January 12, 2019
Lethbridge Alberta
Our deepest sympathy to your whole family for the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. Gene was a man of great wisdom, skills, and kindness. His greatest accomplishments were his family and friends, and the work he did for his church, community, and Alberta. You were at his side Christine, as was his family and we are so sorry for your loss.
Raymond (Roman) Beley January 12, 2019
Toronto Ontario
I first met Gene on February 25, 2017 when he and John Pichlyk, Shumka’s Artistic Director, came to Cleveland to visit the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus ahead of our joint concerts in Toronto, Windsor and Edmonton. After our rehearsal, our conductor and artistic council met with John and Gene to brainstorm the opening and finale of our joint production. We had an excellent meeting and solidified some ideas to stage these numbers. Gene wrote an incredible vocal score for the closing Hopak and we came up with a plan to present it effectively. I had the pleasure of doing some work in the recording studio with Gene ahead of our performances. As we worked we were able to share some stories about our music and television broadcast experiences. It was as though I was commiserating with a friend I’d had for decades. A line of text from Gene’s Shumka Hopak: “??? ?? ??? ?o??, ?o????? ?o ?i???” I’m truly saddened by Gene’s untimely passing. My deepest sympathies to the Zwozdesky family and his many friends and colleagues. ????? ???? ???’???!
Joe Hak January 11, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
The Lord called on Gene and Gene responded! His soul is hovering over his bearving family and saddened friend! Many are the characteristics which crystallize when Gene's name is said! More so, many are the virtues which adorned Gene's life! Of all the values Gene possessed an displaced is Humility! No position, no responsibility, no public recognition pulled Gene to the levels of conceit and vanity! Each of us is born for a mission. Gene fulfilled his and moved onto his new life. God Bless Your Soul Gene! Heart felt condolences to his wonderful family an friends.
Byron and Janis Tarchuk January 11, 2019
Banff Alberta
Christine and family. It was with great sadness that we learned of Gene’s passing. Please accept our condolences and deepest sympathies. We are so incredibly sorry for your loss and truly hope and pray fond memories help you through this difficult time. Gene was such a great man - talented and dedicated - and he will be sorely missed.
Albert Klapstein January 11, 2019
Leduc Alberta
Sorry to hear of your loss. I've always had a lot of respect and admiration for Gene and appreciated his friendship over the years.
Gary Dickson January 11, 2019
Big Rideau Lake Ontario
I was a colleague of Gene's in the Liberal Caucus from the time of his election in 1993 until he left to join the Conservative Caucus. He had a warm and engaging personality. He had a passionate commitment to his Ukranian heritage and was very proud of his extensive work with the Shumka dance company. I enjoyed working with him while we were colleagues. I wish his family every strength in dealing with his loss.
Ernest N. Skakun January 11, 2019
Edmonton AB
Dear Christine and Family On behalf of the members of the Order of St. Andrew, Edmonton Chapter, I offer our sympathies and condolences and on the passing of your husband Gene, a father, grandfather, relative, and a dear friend and Pobratyme (a brother) to all of us in the Order. Gene was inducted into the Order in 1996 and for his exceptional meritorious service to the Order, to St. Andrew’s College, and to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, and for his outstanding contributions to enhance the prestige of the Ukrainian Community, he was elevated to the Fourth Degree in 2012. Together, we shared his friendship, love, trust, loyalty, dedication, and enthusiasm. To you Christine and your family, thank you for sharing Gene with us. We will miss him. May the memory of our dear Pobratyme Gene be forever eternal! ?????? ???’???! ??? ??? ?????a?! Ernest N. Skakun, President – Order of St. Andrew, Edmonton Chapter
DENIS & ROSE DUCHARME January 11, 2019
BONNYVILLE Alberta
CHRISTINE and FAMILY Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these most difficult times. Gene was a great man and public servant which I had the privilege of serving with for 11 years. May he rest in peace. Denis & Rose Ducharme
Paul Hinman January 10, 2019
Welling AB
My sincere condolences to all of you at the lost of a special individual who had a love of life and desire to serve his community. So sorry for your loss and wish you the very best and pray that you will be able to find peace in love Jesus has for each and every one us and that he has gone before to prepare a place for us in his Fathers Kingdom.Kindest regards,
Angele Dobie January 10, 2019
Fort McMurray Alberta
My deepest and sincerest sympathies to the Zwozdesky family. Mr. Zwozdesky was truly a man of integrity and honour; his selfless service to the people of Alberta will be remembered for a very long time. Mr. Zwozdesky will be greatly missed.
Sonya Lyttle January 10, 2019
Calgary Alberta
My deepest heartfelt condolences to all family and friends for the loss of our wonderful Gene Zwozdesky! I have so much gratitude and respect for you Gene. Thank you for your generous service that helped so many. Thank you for teaching me to play the flute and also for getting me to play cymbols to Oh Canada at our events. It was so much fun! Thank you for all of the super fun musicals and lits througout high school. Thank you for sharing your talents with everyone. Thank you for your guidance and encouragement. Thank you most of all for your kindness and friendship! You are dearly loved and missed. Heaven is surely overflowing with music and dance and you doing the Shumpka with the angels! See you across the rainbow Bridge dear friend.
Harriet Bevan (formerly Sholter) from Nipawin, Sk January 10, 2019
BEAUMONT AB
A great man, that will be truly missed. God Bless
Josie Vantour January 10, 2019
Regina Saskatchewan
My condolences to the Zwozdesky family. I attended many functions with Gene while I lived in Alberta. Thanks to his dedication to bettering life in Alberta and Canada as well as his encouragement for our involvement in society, many of us were able to better contribute in our own way. A great role model and humanitarian! He will be missed.
Jerry Doyle January 10, 2019
95 14th line rd. Wolfe Island Ontario Ontario
Condolences to Genes family --a very proffessional and artistc supporter Jerry and Carolyn Doyle
Annie McKitrick, MLA January 10, 2019
Sherwood Park Alberta
I only knew Gene briefly when he was the Speaker and sworn the 2015 elected MLAs as MLAs. I remember him as a kind involved gentleman. He will be missed. When the current Speaker mentions his name and the ruling he had in his role as Speaker, I will think of Gene and his influence in Alberta.
Denise Woollard January 10, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
My sincere condolences on the passing of Gene Zwozdesky to all his family and friends. Gene was a kind, generous, and thoughtful person and we all mourn his passing. We were fortunate to have known him, Denise Woollard and staff
Chris Nielsen MLA Edm-Decore January 10, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Our deepest condolences on the passing of Gene. He made our first day as MLA's a very welcoming and memorable experience. I will miss the warm reception he always gave anytime we would come together. Thank you for the memories! Chris Nielsen & Staff
Zaeem Ahmed January 10, 2019
EDMONTON Alberta
My deepest condolences to the family of Mr Zwozdesky.
George VanderBurg January 10, 2019
Whitecourt Alberta
Liz and I have fond memories of our 14 years serving Albertans alongside Gene and Christine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Gene will be missed by us both. George and Liz VanderBurg
Alberta Dance Alliance January 10, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
The Alberta Dance Alliance wishes to acknowledge the myriad contributions of the late Gene Zwozdesky to dance in Alberta, primarily in Ukrainian Dance, including Shumka, and with ripple effects throughout the larger dance community. You will be missed.
Patricia & Peter Elzinga January 10, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Our heartfelt sympathy to Gene's entire family. Gene truly was one of a kind, a great and compassionate person whom I was proud to call a Brother and Colleague. Patricia & Peter
Rick Strankman MLA Drum-Stett January 10, 2019
Altario Alberta
I certainly can attest to Mr Zwosdeskys parliamentary demeanor! One day, as a newly elected parliamentarian he allowed me to proceed in question period wearing a tuxedo. It’s recorded for posterity on Hansard and has became one of the Chamber highlights of my time there!
Stan Kushner January 10, 2019
Calgary Alberta
My sincerest sympathies go out to Christine and her family. We have lost a great and wonderful man.
Edmonton Buddhist Research - Golden Age Manor January 10, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. Please accept our most sincere condolences. Gene was amazing person and was a pillar of support to our community. He will be greatly missed. Edmonton Buddhist Research Institute & Golden Age Manor
Muhammad Rasheed January 9, 2019
Calgary Ab Alberta
Gene Z was great human being very friendly to multicultural comunity he helped us to build Pakistan community’s Centre. May God bless his soul. He will be remembered for his good deeds M.Rasheed
Marusia Wenger January 9, 2019
Montreal Quebec
I was introduced to Mr. Zwozdesky by his mother, Anna, at the Ukrainian Cultural Village when I was Eastern President of the UWAC and was impressed by his warm greeting. My sympathy goes to his dear mother and to his wife, children and grandchildren and to all close to him. His loss will be felt by many. ????? ???? ???'???!
Donald. Goletz January 9, 2019
Sidney Manitoba
My Condolences to the family and friends at this sad time. May he Rest In Peace.
Ira Drohobycky January 9, 2019
Toronto Ontario
It is with complete disbelief and shock that I learn about the passing of Hon. Eugene Zwozdesky! I extend my heartfelt and profound condolences to the Zwozdesky family. I knew Eugene many many years ago as a colleague. He was incredibly brilliant as a musician and conductor! He demonstrated a tremendous love for Canada, for Ukraine and love for life. He had a unique positive energy that made everyone he met create an instant friendship. He knew how to get things done which made him an awesome role model and leader. May God provide his family with much comfort during this difficult time! May the celebration of his life continue to live in the hearts of his family, friends and acquaintances. May He Rest In Eternal Peace. Truly, Ira Drohobycky
Julan & Barbara Koziak January 9, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Thank you for all that you have accomplished. Alberta blessed that you hsve served us so well. May your memory be eternal and may you rest with God.
Ukrainian Canadian Congress National January 9, 2019
Ottawa Ontario
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Mr. Zwozdesky. He was a true leader and trail blazer for our community. Mr. Zwozdesky’s accomplishments are a source of great pride for the Ukrainian Canadian community. The example he set through his commitment to public service and to Ukrainian Canadian causes lives on in the many lives he impacted so positively. Mr. Zwozdesky will be remembered forever for his sense of humour, generosity of spirit and enthusiasm.
Terry D. Carlyle January 9, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Condolences to the Zwozdesky family on the passing of patriarch Gene Zwozdesky. I had met Gene many years ago at a Premiers Dinner here in Edmonton, found him to be a very humble, honorable, and true gentleman, with great insights into politics and the like. We chatted for some time and I was impressed by his passions for “all things Alberta” and for all Albertan, regardless of their political leanings. I also noted how proud he was of his Ukrainian heritage. Having lived in Vegreville for part of my high school education in the mid 60s, we chatted about culture, heritage and some “common acquaintances in the community. I was always impressed by his efforts as Speaker of the Legislature, and his handling of politics. He will be sorely missed by ALL Albertan. God rest his soul. Peace be with your family at this time.
Jasmine Kahlon January 9, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
I have had the honour of seeing Mr. Zwozdesky a few times and his humility and warmth always touched my heart. I remember my first interaction with him took place in the first week of my arrival in Canada. I was waiting on a particularly cold day at the bus stop outside my workplace when he stopped to introduce himself. He asked me about what brought me to Canada and my vision for my future. He said some very encouraging, welcoming and kind words to me that day and left me with his business card. After he left, I was completely floored when I peeked at the card and it turned out that he was an MLA.....! There couldn't have been a better introduction to the greatness of Canada, than this, where a politician sees himself as a true public servant and thinks nothing of being nice to strange people at a bus stop!
venus Biggar January 9, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Sorry to hear of your passing Gene. I'll always remember our political chats. Condolences to the Zwozdesky family.
Don Sucha January 9, 2019
Calgary Alberta
He did his job with grace, professionalism , and love for the people of Alberta.
Monique Myroon January 8, 2019
Edmonton AB
Heart-felt condolences to the Zwozdesky family. I remember Mr. Zwozdeesky's kind, soft spoken words at my father's funeral. Memory eternal
Bonnie Knowlton Winn January 8, 2019
Spruce Grove Alberta
The ‘Hopak’ in the heavens must be AMAZING about now! My sincere condolences to the Zwozdesky family; hugs to all my long-time ago friends from Shumka who danced with the Arts Ballet Company, and made music with ‘The Shantels’ at the Hide-A-Way/Caravan hotel...love is forever...
Thomas Pullukatt January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
I worked with you in the early years of political life as a liberal mla.l admire his honesty and hard work. I deeply miss him. Let his soul rest in peace.
Dr. Roman Petryshyn January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
In addition to being a staunch Canadian and Albertan, it followed naturally for Minister Zwozdesky to be a proud Ukrainian Canadian. He was known across Canada for his knowledge and involvement in issues of multiculturalism and cultural heritage provincially, as well as foreign policy issues internationally. His door was always open and many foreign VIP dignitaries and ambassadors came to him knowing that he understood key and complex issues in trade,immigration, education and health,while also respecting their languages and cultures. Issues in Canada-Ukraine and Eastern European relations were particularly important to him and he established the Advisory Council on Alberta Ukraine Relations (ACAUR) that led to Premier Klein visiting Alberta business and social development projects in Ukraine to raise Alberta's flag globally. As the former Director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre at MacEwan University I was proud to have Premier Klein and Minister Zwozdesky visit Kyiv and speak at the graduation ceremony of Ukrainian adult learners studying a joint Business management degree offered by MacEwan University and the International Institute of Business. Gene Zwozdesky was an exceptional human being who worked for the betterment of his community,province and country with talent, passion and respect for people.Along with general public, Metis, First Nations and many ethnocultural communities sensed that he had a genuine interest and involvement with their issues. I along with thousands of Albertans thank Gene for his public service and express heartfelt thanks to his family for sharing his time and life with us . Dr. Roman Petryshyn
Donna Wagner née Bardak January 8, 2019
Grande Prairie Alberta
I am deeply sorry to have heard about Mr Zwozdesky. He was such a wonderful spokesperson for us Ukrainians and all he did for the 100 years of Orthodox in Canada was remarkable. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Zwozdesky through St Johns Institute and my father, Ron Bardak. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Memory Eternal
Steve Gosse January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
On behalf of the Uptown Folk Club in Edmonton, we want to send our deepest condolences to Gene's family. Gene was an active supporter of our organization, and collaborated with us on several musical productions. The Uptown was just one of the nearly 30 groups with whom Gene shared his volunteer talents. We were also associated with him in the Edmonton/Nashville Sister Cities Project, and with the noon hour country music gatherings held at the Lounge at the Nova. It was quite an honor to have Gene play mandolin with a few of us singer/songwriters. [He is a great musician and composer in his own right!]. And finally, I personally was very fortunate to be a staff member in Gene's Alberta Community Development department, where he was the most effective Cabinet Minister with whom I ever worked. Gene will be sadly missed in our Edmonton music community, but he now moves on to the "angel band", a gig for which he was always destined.
Kids Kottage January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Gene Zwozdesky. We will never forget how quick he was to step forward and lend us a helping hand at one of our fundraisers, where a miscommunication left us without an auctioneer. He didn't even hesitate, just stepped up with a generous offer to help. He was always such a kind, warm and generous person and we won't ever forget how far he went out of his way to help everyone around him. We'll miss you, Mr. Zwozdesky, and our thoughts are with your family.
Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA) January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
The ASCA Board of Directors extends sincere sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Gene Zwozdesky. ASCA greatly appreciated the value Mr. Zwozdesky, as Minister of Education, placed on parent engagement in education, the role of school councils, and the support he provided in launching the Alberta School Council Resource Manual in 2006. His positive influence on countless people in many areas of life in Alberta will be felt for years to come.
Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Society January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Gene Zwozdesky was a gracious friend of the Polish community in Alberta and shared his wisdom, time, and talents whenever possible. Although he took his role as a servant of all Albertans very seriously, he had a sense of humour that brought people together. He will be greatly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Zwozdesky's family during this sad time. May he rest in peace.
Ryan January 8, 2019
Sherwood Park Alberta
I got to interact with Gene when I worked at the Legislature. I once got to help him move his office, he had some amazing things from all over the world, each with a story he could share usually about the people he had met. He was a genuinely wonderful human being with a great sense of humor. He lived the idea of public service. A great loss for his family and the community he served with such pride. RIP
Janice Miller January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
With much sympathy to Gene’s extended family. I knew him from years on campaign trail. He was always so easy to speak with and such good humour. Have seen him playing just for fun at a venue and singing in his native language. He left us much too soon. The life he lived inspired me and many others. He will be sorely missed in every corner of the world. Prayers and thoughts to the family. RIP with many fond memories!
AH January 8, 2019
Toronto Ontario
I worked for the government of alberta for many years and had the pleasure of interacting with Gene on a number of occasions. He was a statesman yet an everyman. His contribution to Alberta, Edmonton, and Millwoods will be felt and seen far into the future.
Mackenzie Grisdale January 8, 2019
Hamilton ON
I know that Gene was loved so dearly because even when his sister Iris taught me in junior high school twenty years ago, she often talked about "brother Gene" and the funny, lovely things he would do for his family and the Ukrainian community. I have always remembered the way she talked about him whenever I heard about anything he was doing in the political arena. May we all hope to be spoken of that way behind the scenes. Rest in peace. Sincere condolences to his family.
Léo Piquette January 8, 2019
Plamondon Alberta
We are all richer for having known you, your smile, your thoughtfulness, your love of all people, your love of multiculturalism! Merci mon ami et adieu! Mes sympathies à Christine et votre famille et amis!
Gloria McFarlane January 8, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Had the pleasure of meeting Mr Zowozdesky when he was health minister- what a wonderful man who also cared deeply about Albertans. He’ll be missed!
Tanveer Taj January 7, 2019
Airdrie Alberta
Though I never had opportunity to met him, but he was a true public servant. Please accept our condolences.
Norman Weatherly January 7, 2019
Edmonton AB
Gene was a man who gravitated towards people and in turn, they gravitated towards him. Gene was truly a man of the people and for the people, the politicians who can hang their hats on that are few and far between. My condolences go out to his family.
Carson January 7, 2019
Fort Vermilion Alberta
Thank You For Your Service To Our Province Mr.Speaker May You Rest in Peace
Kimberly Nishikaze January 7, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
I was fortunate to have worked closely for many years with Speaker Zwozdesky’s office, particularly his EA Bev Alenius. He as a true gentleman in every sense of the word. His community involvement was legendary. His smile and caring for others, infectious. He will be missed. My condolences to Christine and family. As well as the many Albertans who mourn this loss.
Shirley Caputo January 7, 2019
Hinton Alberta
I am so sorry to learn of the passing of former MLA and Speaker of the House, Gene Zwozdesky and may I offer to his Family and Friends my deepest condolences. May he Rest In Peace.
Shirley Douglas January 7, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
My sincere condolences to Gene’s family as they move through this time of sorrow and grief. I had the pleasure and honour to work at Alberta Education when Minister Zwozdesky was our leader. There are many, many things I could relate but the most significant for me was Minister Zwozdesky signing off on the new (st that time!) Social Stufies K-12 Program of Studies. Not only did he approve of the program, he actually read it thoroughly, made helpful comments and suggestions, and spoke at the launch of the program in English, French, Ukrainian and Cree! What a remarkable man.
Heather and Ken McTavish January 7, 2019
Fort Assiniboine Alberta
Our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family. Gene was a genuine person. He worked hard for our province. May he Rest In Peace.
Debbie Bensib January 7, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
Thank you for all your contributions to this province. You truly cared about Alberta and did your job with integrity and honesty. You made a difference and left a great legacy.
Michael Gretton January 7, 2019
Calgary Alberta
I am so sorry to learn of the passing of former MLA and Speaker of the House, Gene Zwozdesky. Gene was a real gentleman. He was very kind and had a heart of gold. He was a passionate champion for public education, international languages, multiculturalism, arts and culture, music and dance. Through his excellent example, Gene lived the vision that Alberta is a welcoming place for people from all walks of life to live and pursue their dreams, together in respectful and harmonious community and society. Gene will be dearly missed, but his rich legacy lives on. My heartfelt condolences to his family,colleagues and friends.
Patrick January 7, 2019
Edmonton Alberta
I was an employee of Community Development when Gene was Minister at that time. I only had a few direct interactions with Gene, but they were memorable. One day, my phone rang, and I recognized the number as the Minister's Office. I never received calls from the Minister's Office. I answered and the voice on the other end said, "Hi, this is Gene Zwozdesky. I know that I'm probably breaking a bunch of rules, but I don't care. I'm going to directly ask the guy who wrote the briefing note to get the answer. That's why we have people put their names on these documents." I was manager of an area, but he called me directly rather than a few levels above me to get the answer he wanted. I was glad that he had faith in public servants and that I had the answer for him! The other interaction I recall was in an alley. Yes, by chance him and I were driving down an alley in opposite directions on a snowy winter day. I noticed a vehicle stuck up against a fence. The driver was trying to get out. I hopped out of my car and noticed another person walking towards me from the other direction; it was Gene. Him and I pushed the vehicle out of the snow and the driver was on their way. As I walked back to my car, I waved at him and said, "Thank you, Minister". He replied, "Helping Albertans, anyway I can." RIP Gene.