GRUZA, “Elmer” – With broken hearts we announce the sudden passing of Herbie Elmer Gruza at Kelowna General Hospital on August 1, 2016. Elmer is survived by his loving family: wife Sharon Nevison of 22 years, sisters Patricia Slywchuk and Laurie Breton; nephews Darren (Faith) Slywchuk, Todd Slywchuk and niece Cheryl Breton; business partner Robert (Pat) Rapley and many lifelong friends. ?Elmer was predeceased by: parents Steve and Sophie Gruza; brother and business partner Raymond (a.k.a. Moses) Gruza; nephew Parris Breton; many aunts, uncles and many lifelong friends.?Born a farm boy in Prud’homme, SK, on April 9, 1946, he spent many years working long, hard hours on the farm until he moved west with his brother in his late teens. In July of 1969, Elmer, Raymond and Robert met in Calgary and began what would later become Gruza Rapley Construction. Over the years they built houses, apartments and condos both commercial and residential throughout Alberta and British Columbia. The list of local construction jobs was a source of pride for the group that eventually became The Bikers Construction. These included the Jammery, Summerhill Winery, Meadowbrook, Quail Ridge, Water’s Edge, McCullough Station (twice!), Fernbrae Manor, Lakeshore Place, Big White, multiple projects for Culos Developments and even the race track in Vernon, just to mention a few. Over 45 years there are too many to mention and upon completion many projects featured their signature Rooster erected on the rooftop.?Elmer was a man who lived on his own terms. His saying was “There’s two ways of doing it, my way and the right way and they’re both the same.” or, “Don’t bother to fight, I’m always right”. He will be remembered by his booming voice and his distinctive laugh.?His work was his life, often working seven days a week whether it be building or moving equipment. The weather was never a factor. His heart would race at the sight of a cement truck. Nicknamed “Batman,” he and the crew were known to pour cement into the night until the pour was done. His other passions were his dogs, his horses, old western movies and old western music. He also loved old classic cars and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Elmer was a man of the road and would drive home to Saskatchewan for the weekend. Elmer loved a pig roast and held many to party with good friends.?Elmer will be missed. A celebration of life will be held in September 2016. We invite all who knew and loved him to attend and share their stories. ?Donations in Elmer’s name can be made to the S.P. C.A., local food bank or any charity to help the homeless.?Arrangements in care of Everden Rust Funeral Services (250) 860-6440. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting www.everdenrust.com


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