Yukoners mourn loss of Gerry Thick

·2 min read
Gerry Thick was inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 as a builder. He served 29 years on the international committee of the Arctic Winter Games. (CBC - image credit)
Gerry Thick was inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 as a builder. He served 29 years on the international committee of the Arctic Winter Games. (CBC - image credit)

A man heavily involved in Yukon amateur sports for more than 30 years is being remembered as a straight shooter who worked extremely hard and cared passionately for his community.

Gerry Thick died last week at the age of 77.

Thick was manager of Northland Beverages for 46 years and served two terms as a Whitehorse city councillor but he's best known for his involvement in Yukon sports, especially softball, and his long association with the Arctic Winter Games (AWG).

Thick served on the AWG's international committee for 29 years, including 19 as its president, from 1995 to 2014.

"He was a multifaceted, really interesting individual," said George Arcand, who was friends with Thick for more than 50 years.

"I wish [everybody] could understand the depths of the man," he said.

"When he was on council, you saw one guy, when he was on the ball field, you saw another guy. And when we were sitting there BS'ing each other, I saw another guy."

'He did it for the right reasons'

Moira Lassen, operations coordinator with the Arctic Winter Games, said she first met Thick in 1995 when he bought five boxes of chocolate almonds from her daughter who was fundraising for her weightlifting club.

She said Thick was always willing to support youth.

"He always did it for the right reasons, for the kids to participate, for inclusivity, for volunteering," she said. "He really wanted people to be involved."

Arcand said Thick always thought sports could help kids in life.

"Sports is life," said Arcand. "You have to learn how to get along with people like you do in business, and it helps you in family. You know, it teaches you a lot, even if you don't realize it at the time."

Arcand said Thick was always involved in sports, first as a player, then as a coach and builder.

In fact, he was inducted in the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 as a builder.

He was instrumental in getting the Pepsi Softball Complex built.

Both Lassen and Arcand said the complex is one of Thick's biggest legacies.

Arctic Winter Games

Thick got involved with the international committee of the Arctic Winter Games in 1985 when the games were only for adults.

It shifted to a youth-only games later, a move that Thick fully supported as a board member.

"He innately understood the benefits and he wanted the North to feel, northern kids in particular, to feel this good event that what sport can do for children," said Lassen.

"He just looked out for all kids and all sport. It didn't have to be Arctic associated or softball associated, which he's mostly known for, but he just thought that every child should have an opportunity to participate in sport.

"I am grateful for having known him."

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