A former Red Deer city administrator known for his kindness, and helping develop Waskasoo Park in the 1980s, died last week after a short illness.
Lloyd McMurdo, 90, was parks superintendent from 1967 to 1987. Before moving to Red Deer in 1956, he trained as a surveyor and worked for Alberta Transportation.
Historian Michael Dawe said his friend and former colleague always liked parks and horticulture.
“He worked his way up to be parks superintendent and did a lot of impressive work,” said Dawe.
“He was one of the key people when the Waskasoo Park project was developed. I think a lot of people would agree it’s one of the outstanding, if not the outstanding, asset for the city of Red Deer, and Lloyd had a large hand in that development.”
He said McMurdo was also one of the most respected managers with whom he worked.
“He was really, really good with staff. He had a good sense of humour. He made people feel at ease and inspired a lot of loyalty with staff because of his integrity and the way he dealt with people.
“Red Deer has lost a really fine resident, a man who left a strong legacy for our community,” Dawe said.
Rick Assinger, a friend and former colleague, said McMurdo was a dear friend to many people, including his staff.
“He always used to say, ‘I couldn’t have done it without good help,’ that he had good people working with him. That unassuming way of him, that’s what endeared him so much to his employees, and people really wanted to work hard for him.”
McMurdo wrote three books: We Went to the Bush, published in 1995; The Yesterday Horse, in 2004; and The Seneca Root, in 2006.
We Went to the Bush was based on McMurdo’s experiences when he was 13 years old and lived in the bush in northern Alberta with his father, where they hunted, fished and trapped for a year.
Assinger said McMurdo had a knack for storytelling, and also used humour in his tales.
A memorial service for McMurdo will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m., at St. Leonard’s on The Hill, 4241 44th St.
McMurdo’s wife Mae died in 2012.