Stewart McIntosh, P.Eng.


Stewart McIntosh, P.Eng., an APEGGA director who loved life and his Scottish heritage, was laid to rest on Jan. 24 — suitingly, the eve of Robbie Burns Day. After a seven-month battle with cancer, the disease claimed Mr. McIntosh on Jan. 17 at the age of 79.

Friends and family remembered the Glasgow-born Mr. McIntosh as an active and witty man who balanced work, sport, family and play with boundless energy. He loved his profession so much he spent 17 years in a second career helping govern it, as a vigorous and fair manager in the regulatory function of APEGGA. A few months before his death, Mr. McIntosh retired from his position as Director, Special Projects.

He was awarded the 2005 L.C. Charlesworth Professional Service Summit Award in an early ceremony, Dec. 9. Summit Awards are not normally announced until the actual gala in April.

“To say you know Stewart is to say, I have a friend,” APEGGA Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., said during the funeral service. “From the moment Anne and I came to Alberta, he took us under his wing.”

Mr. McIntosh's professional life at APEGGA commanded respect — even from the professionals he investigated. He treated every case fairly, objectively and thoroughly, and believed in professionalism, ethics and fair play, said Mr. Windsor.

The respect carried over to the staff and management at APEGGA, where his enthusiasm was infectious. Signs at a retirement party for Mr. McIntosh repeated his trademark saying, Thank God It's Monday.

“As I go around the office now I see some of those signs tacked onto the sides of computer screens. I think that says a lot about the respect and admiration staff have for him,” said Mr. Windsor.

Son-in-law Bob Mitchell told the story of a young immigrant who arrived in Halifax — to discover how large Canada is by travelling across it to Calgary. He arrived during Stampede and marveled at the number of cowboy hats in his new home.

Back home in Scotland, Stewart McIntosh was a born entertainer. He was the child always willing to tell a story or sing a song around the table. “Some things never change,” said Mr. Mitchell. A lifelong love of sports also began in Scotland, which Mr. McIntosh once toured from hostel to hostel on his bicycle.

Playing the bagpipes and celebrating all things Scottish continued through his life. Mr. McIntosh played the pipes at family birthday parties, often with children — and sometimes adults — banging pots and pans behind him.

One of his favourite expressions was, “There are two types of people: those who are Scottish and those who wish they were.”

His good humour was matched by dedicated service, within and beyond Mr. McIntosh's profession. He was a founding charter member of the Al Shamal Shriners and a member of the Al Shamal Pipe Band. He served on the University of Alberta Senate and the Edmonton Development Appeal Board, and was chairman of Alberta College.

A mechanical engineering graduate in Scotland, he began his Canadian career in B.C. In late 1948 he joined Imperial Oil in Calgary, and by the time he retired in 1987 he was president of Northern and Central Gas, now known as Norcen Energy.

But his volunteer work with APEGGA had earned him such a reputation he was recruited to work for the Association in 1987 — to help out for, supposedly, about six months. He didn't leave until 2004.
APEGGA President Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., said during a retirement function last year: “Stewart has been a much-appreciated and greatly influential mentor, guide and example of professionalism and exemplary ethical behaviour.” She was “dragooned” into volunteering by Mr. McIntosh 15 years ago. “My life hasn't been the same since,” said Ms. Van Gastel.

Said Mr. Mitchell: “He leaves a legacy of love and friendship, of a good work ethic, of expecting only the best. And we will do our best to keep that legacy alive. Take care.”

Duncan Stewart McIntosh was predeceased by his first wife, Viola, on June 6, 1997. He is survived by his wife, Alberta; three daughters and sons-in-law, Heather and John Walker of Edmonton, Deborah and Bob Mitchell of Edmonton, and Pamela and Wayne Anderson of Spruce Grove; and five grandchildren, Jennifer, Cameron, Graeme, Kristin and Scott.