Born in the fall of 1938, Walter Gretzky grew up on a farm near Brantford, Ontario in the village of Canning. Walter Gretzky, like many Canadians, became an avid hockey fan growing up in the days of the original six. Walter Gretzky became a fairly decent hockey player himself and was not the only Gretzky to capture headlines with his hockey skills. Walter Gretzky never advanced beyond the arenas of Southwestern Ontario, however, his love of the sport would be passed on to his sons, one of which, Wayne Gretzky, became very well known in hockey circles and the world of sports.
Walter Gretzky spent his working years as an employee of Bell Canada. He retired in the early nineties at a relatively young age. Shortly after Walter’s retirement tragedy struck in the form of a brain aneurysm (ruptured blood vessel). Very few people survive this affliction and the doctors had no reason to believe that Walter would be the exception. The family was gathered together for what was believed to be Walter’s last night on earth. This was the second time that he found himself in serious trouble. The first time was when a manhole cover blew up in his face leaving him deaf in one ear. Ultimately, Walter’s survival left him to deal with a long recovery which lasted about four years. The aneurysm also resulted in a permanent 20 year lapse in memory of the early 1970’s to the 1990’s.
Hockey’s most famous father, after years of intense physiotherapy, not only recovered, he has risen to become one of the most sought after individuals on the banquet lecture series. Being Wayne’s father certainly made Walter Gretzky known, however, it is Walter’s zest for life, love of sports, and appreciation of Gretzky fans that made him popular. When not traveling around North America helping charities and speaking, Walter Gretzky loves to golf in the summer, coach hockey in the winter, and spend time with his grandchildren.