Gary Zorn

May 8, 1946 – October 11, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
We are deeply saddened to announce the physical passing of Gary Edward Zorn on October 11th, 2022.
Gary was born May 8, 1946 in Kimberley, British Columbia to Ed and Elsa Zorn.
Raised on a farm in Creston, BC he was no stranger to hard work even as a youngster. But there were also many good times in the outdoors fishing, hunting and exploring the mountains on horseback. These early experiences shaped his life in nature.
As a teenager, besides going to school and work on the farm, he worked in a sawmill and in the bush which allowed him to buy his first car. As a young adult he had his own logging company in Golden, where he logged in the famous Big Bend area and was well known as an exceptional faller and heavy equipment operator.
Gary was a good businessman. In the 1970’s he owned a Pacific Petroleum bulk fuel depot in Cranbrook. He began his guiding and outfitting career in 1980 in the Spillamacheen area near Golden.
He worked for a short time at Greenhills coal mine near Elkford where he was among the first hired as an equipment operator in building of the mine roads.
In 1983 Gary and Peggy were married, moved to the Cariboo in 1985, and their relationship culminated in over 40 years of outdoor adventure, guiding and outfitting in Batnuni and in their beloved Cariboo Mountains and Quesnel Lake.
They owned a resort at the junction on Quesnel Lake, built and operated a successful flyfishing business and pioneered an ecotourism empire specializing in grizzly bear viewing, with an international clientele who called him “The Bear Whisperer”.
He was literally famous for his unique and special gift with animals. Whether it be a horse, dog, or one of his beloved grizzlies, his quiet, calm, and take charge attitude steered his every encounter and interaction with nature.
Gary is highly respected in the tourism industry, not only in British Columbia, but across Canada and in the international tourism domain by tour operators and agents as well as the hundreds of clients hosted by Ecotours-BC at the Zorn’s Pyna-tee-ah Lodge in Likely.
Physically, Gary was an extremely strong man with unmatched wilderness skills, “bush sense” and very determined will. He had an undaunted inner strength and, always for the underdog, was kind, caring and generous with his time and resources, but could also be strongly assertive and no nonsense.
He was a builder and an innovator – there was no problem he couldn’t solve or anything he couldn’t repair with an inventive solution or part. He was a perfectionist in everything he did from the tiniest repair to ensuring his tourism clients got the best tour and had the best time on their excursion.
Gary was a conservationist and protector of the lands and waters. Working with Environment Ministry biologist Jack Leggett, Gary was instrumental in raising funds and initiating plans to restore and protect the large rainbow trout populations of Quesnel Lake. His hard work achieved the reinstatement of the long dormant Likely Rod and Gun Club shooting range, which now bears his name.
Gary served on a number of provincial tourism boards and advisory committees for the protection of wildlife and the lands. His true passion was the big bears, the grizzlies, and their habitat. He loved wandering the mountains with his dogs he’d trained to work with bears and wildlife whilst exploring nature’s mysteries.
Gary’s warm presence, hearty jokes, and avid storytelling will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Pre-deceased by his father Edward, mother Elsa , and daughter Michelle.
Gary will be missed dearly by those he leaves behind; Peggy, his loving wife of 40 years, his son Rod, daughter Melissa, brother Wayne (Kathryn), and grandchildren Mitchell, Jessica and Colten.
Gary was unconditionally kind, and an incredibly hardworking, honoured and respected member of his community.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Likely Chapel (in Likely, BC) Saturday, November 5th 2022 at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Likely and District Volunteer Fire & Rescue Society (PO Box 242, Likely, BC, V0L 1N0) in gratitude of their unwavering support during Gary’s battle with cancer or to the charity of your choice.


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