Gordon Stollery, an oil and gas entrepreneur who branched out into golf course and residential development, died on Monday in an accident while on vacation. He was 64.
Stollery made his business mark in the Alberta oil fields by founding and leading such companies as Morrison Petroleum Ltd. and Highpine Oil & Gas Ltd. But he was also well known in Ontario as the proprietor of Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont., and the developer of its surrounding community.
Stollery came from a prominent family that included his father Arthur, a mining entrepreneur whose interests extended to cattle, thoroughbred racehorses and golf. On farmland he purchased near the intersection of Kennedy Road and Major McKenzie Drive in the Toronto suburb of Markham, Arthur raised Black Aberdeen Angus cows and bred champion horses such as Talkin' Man, Kennedy Road and Laurie's Dancer.
On the same land, in 1992, golf-loving Arthur began building Angus Glen. But with Arthur's passing in 1994, Gordon and a sister took over the project, which eventually became one of Canada's most successful public golf facilities and staged two Canadian Opens. Angus Glen's South course held the Open in 2002, while its North layout welcomed the PGA Tour professionals in 2007.
Gordon also acquired home-builder Kylemore, which has constructed hundreds of homes surrounding the golf courses, and he expanded his golf empire with the construction of a course that's known as Goodwood, a spectacular and secluded layout in nearby Uxbridge that has never officially opened.
Sources at Angus Glen confirmed Stollery's death late Monday but could provide no further details on the accident.
He was born in New Liskeard, Ont., and studied engineering at Princeton University, where he played on the golf team and graduated in 1970, then later earned a master of science degree in geology from the University of Toronto in 1972. He is survived by his wife, Judy Lorenz, and seven daughters.
It was perhaps not surprising that he mixed his successful business activities in natural resources with golf. He grew up in Toronto playing the game and was a member at the Rosedale and York Downs clubs. He was a club champion at Rosedale four times and placed second in the 1965 Canadian Junior. He also became a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.