Walter Gretzky, Father of NHL Legend Wayne Gretzky, Dies at 82

Share with us

HANS DERYK/Associated PressWalter Gretzky, the father of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, died at the age of 82 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease as well as other health issues, the family announced. Wayne Gretzky @WayneGretzkyhttps://t.co/WoOI3Zlm6MIn a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday evening, Wayne Gretzky said his father was “truly the Great One and the…

Walter Gretzky, Father of NHL Legend Wayne Gretzky, Dies at 82
Share with us

Walter Gretzky, father of Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky, yells encouragement from the stands at the start of the  Salt Lake City Winter Olympics hockey game between Canada and Germany in Provo, Utah, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2srcsrc2. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

HANS DERYK/Associated Press

Walter Gretzky, the father of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, died at the age of 82 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease as well as other health issues, the family announced. 

Wayne Gretzky @WayneGretzky

https://t.co/WoOI3Zlm6M

In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday evening, Wayne Gretzky said his father was “truly the Great One and the proudest Canadian we know” and called him the reason he fell in love with hockey. Tributes from across the sport poured in for both Walter and the Gretzky family as news of Walter’s death spread Thursday. 

Edmonton Oilers @EdmontonOilers

RIP to the greatest hockey dad of all time. 🧡💙 https://t.co/oVEArAH4s4

New York Rangers @NYRangers

https://t.co/yAUwLo8a7F

Gretzky has long credited the rink his father built in their backyard, and his quizzes on the ins-and-outs of the game, as the reason for his success in the sport. 

A first-generation Canadian born to Belarusian immigrants in 1938, Walter Gretzky played youth hockey but never made a professional career of it. Instead, he raised the greatest player the sport has ever seen, teaching Wayne how to skate from age three and on. 

“He taught me the basics of life as far as schooling, as far as how I treated people,” Wayne said in a 1996 interview with CBC-TV. “I don’t think there’s any question in my mind  I wouldn’t be playing professional hockey if it wasn’t for him.”

Walter coached two more of his children, Brent and Keith, through their amateur careers before both were drafted to the NHL. 

He continued to coach minor league teams around Brantford, Canada, while getting further involved in philanthropic endeavors. After working to establish the Wayne and Walter Gretzky Scholarship Foundation, as well as raising money for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind among other charitable efforts, Walter was named to the Order of Canada in 2017, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a Canadian citizen. 

He’s survived by his five children and numerous grandchildren. 

Walter’s wife, Phyllis Hockin, died of lung cancer in 2005. 

Read More

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *