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John Robert (Bud) McCaig (1929-2005)

John Robert (Bud) McCaig photo

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, entrepreneur and philanthropist, J.R. (Bud) McCaig, died peacefully while at his vacation home in Barbados on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at the age of 75 years.


Bud will be dearly missed by his wife M. Ann McCaig and his brother Maurice McCaig (Nicole), his three children Jeff McCaig (Marilyn); JoAnn McCaig and Melanie McCaig (Al Magee); Ann’s three children Roxanne McCaig (Mark Bartko), John McCaig (Penelope) and Jane McCaig Waller (Rich) and his 18 grandchildren. Bud was predeceased by his parents J.W. (Jack) McCaig and Stella McCaig, his sister Jeanne (McCaig) Palmer and his brother Roger McCaig. Bud will also be sadly missed by the many, many people whose lives he touched, impacted and inspired throughout his life as a friend, mentor, business associate, and community leader.


Bud was born on June 14, 1929 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the first son of Jack and Stella McCaig, a hard working couple with vision. When he turned 16, Bud joined his father at his growing truck company, Maccam Transport, and not long after that Bud had three trucks of his own. In 1961 Bud moved to Calgary with his family when Maccam acquired H.M. Trimble & Sons. Soon after that Bud began to unfold his vision to transform the company from a Saskatchewan trucking firm into a major Canadian transportation company.


When Bud’s dad retired from Maccam Transport in 1962 the three McCaig brothers formed a new holding company called Trimac and with Bud at the helm they built one of the most successful, progressive and innovative transportation companies in North America. At the heart of Bud’s success, was a set of values and principles handed down from his parents. This guided Bud’s every decision and was reflected in his deep commitment to the people who worked for Trimac, the communities in which he lived and worked and his family. Like his father, Bud was a hard working, entrepreneurial businessman who believed strongly in being an industry leader, setting an example for others and giving back to the community.


Bud also applied his values to his work as a philanthropist and volunteer. He believed that if something was worth doing it was worth doing well and he was never deterred by the personal sacrifices required to realize the dreams of the many charitable organizations he served. He envisioned Calgary leading the world in the delivery of health care services and medical research. One of his passions was research in the area of the treatment and prevention of arthritis and this led to the establishment of the McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research in 1993. In March of 2004 he helped advance that dream further when he contributed $10 million to the new Bone and Joint Institute at Foothills Hospital. Bud’s leadership in this area has gone a long way to attract some of the world’s finest researchers to Calgary.


Bud served as the Chairman of the Board of the Foothills Hospital Foundation from 1991 to 1994 and Vice Chair of the Foothills Hospital Board of Management. During that time he was a driving force behind the development and successful completion of Partners in Health, the $50 million capital campaign for health care research, equipment and services.


At the request of Alberta Premier, the Honorable Ralph Klein, Bud was appointed the Chairman of the Calgary Regional Health Authority in 1994 and took on the job of restructuring the Calgary health care system. He also helped create the Calgary Health Trust, as the fundraising arm of the new regional health care system and served as its first chairman.


Over the years, Bud was recognized for his many accomplishments. In 2004 he was one of three inaugural inductees in the Calgary Business Hall of Fame. In 2002 he received the Queen’s Jubilee Award and in 1999 he became a member of the Order of Canada. In 1998 he received his honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Calgary and the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Bud also received the Canadian Master Entrepreneur Award of the Year in Alberta and Canada in 1994.


In addition to his interests in business, health care, and medicine, Bud was also a very passionate hockey fan and was well known as one of the owners of the Calgary Flames, a role he found particularly satisfying in 2003 when the team came within one goal of winning the Stanley Cup.


While Bud enjoyed great success in all aspects of his life, he never forgot his roots and maintained a spirit of humility, kindness and integrity that endeared him to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Bud had a unique ability to unite people around a vision and to see it through to completion. His own personal example won him the respect and admiration of all who worked with him and served with him.


He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on to remind future generations of the impact that one life lived well can make.

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