Week of December 11, 2000
Former top knight had common touch
Guy Beaudry valued honesty, was concerned for the poor
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Provincial Court Judge Guy Edmond Beaudry was a good family man who believed in service to the community and in standing for the right things.
Beaudry, who spent 52 years as a member of the Knights of Columbus including a year as state deputy, opposed Bill 11, the legislation allowing a larger role for private medicine in Alberta.
He believed Bill 11 would create a two-tier system which would be detrimental to the poor, says his son Denis Beaudry, a teacher in Sherwood Park.
"He was very much against the privatization of medicare," Denis recalled. "He didn't like what was going on. He was afraid of the two-tier system."
Beaudry could not have taken any other position on Bill 11 because he cared about the less fortunate, Denis said. "He was very much for the average person, the ordinary man."
Beaudry died Nov. 25 at age 76.
A devoted Catholic who attended Mass regularly at St. Joseph's Basilica, Beaudry dedicated much of his time to serving the community through the Knights of Columbus and other organizations.
"He was very dedicated to the Knights. He believed in them and he certainly gained many friends from that association," noted Ardis, his wife for 52 years.
He was also a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, an organization dedicated to raising funds for Catholic schools in Israel.
The judge believed in giving back to society and encouraged community involvement in his family. Ardis, who served as provincial president and then national president of the Catholic Women's League, said her caring husband "supported me all the way."
"I'll remember him as a good husband and a good father and certainly as a good grandfather to his (12) grandchildren," she said. "He loved to play bridge, he loved to sing and he enjoyed going to the lake. He was a good family man."
Denis remembers his father as an honest man who would refuse to fly first class because he didn't think that was the right way to spend taxpayers' money. He'd rather fly second class and mix with ordinary people.
He was honest in every way. Once while at the family cottage near Bonnyville, Denis went to town to pick up some groceries. Upon returning home, he realized the store clerk had mistakenly given him an extra $10.
"He made me go back because he said that wasn't right," recalled Denis, 50. "I said, 'Dad, it would cost me more to go back in gasoline.' But he said, 'No, we have to go back.' And so we went back and returned the money. He was that type of man. He was a very honest man."
As a judge, he was passionate and fair. "Everything he did, he did with passion," Denis said. " He was passionate as a lawyer and as a judge. He always gave 100 per cent."
Beaudry had a good sense of humour and despite his private nature, he was an excellent host at parties and enjoyed interacting with people.
"He always had an opinion about everything and sometimes very controversial," Denis recalled. "He liked to stir the pot."
He also liked to talk to people that were "in the know" and was not afraid to tell politicians what he thought. "If he didn't like something the government was doing, he would say it."
Born in St. Paul in 1924, Beaudry graduated from Edmonton's Jesuit College in 1942 and later earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Manitoba.
He earned his law degree from the University of Alberta and joined the justice department as a prosecutor in 1948. He married his wife Ardis in 1949 and they had four children.
Appointed to the bench in 1964, Beaudry was named a Queen's Counsel in 1970.
That same year his peers elected him president of the Alberta Judges' Association, a position he held until 1972, the year in which he was awarded the Donner Fellowship from the U of A faculty of law.
Beaudry joined the Knights of Columbus in 1948 and became state deputy of the organization in 1962.
"He was a joyful man who loved life and lived it to the fullest," Denis said of his father.