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Walter Gretzky, the ultimate Canadian hockey dad who taught and nurtured the Great One, has died. He was 82. The father of Wayne Gretzky became a name himself, a constant in Wayne’s world. As Wayne’s star ascended, Walter remained a blue-collar symbol of a devoted hockey parent in a country filled with them.

The 5th annual Minor Olympics Hockey Tournament in Hespeler, Ont. Brantford's Wayne Gretzky is congratulated by his father Walter Gretzky, in the dressing room in 1971.

Dennis Robinson/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky and his son Wayne are shown in 1984.

/The Canadian Press

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Walter Gretzky is photographed at his home in Brantford, Ont. in 2007. The backyard rink where his son Wayne learned the game has now been replaced with a pool.

Kevin Van Paassen

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Patti Riley places flowers at Walter Gretzky's home in Brantford, Ont., following the news of his death, Friday, March 5, 2021.

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

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Hockey sticks, cards, and flowers are seen affixed to Walter Gretzky's reserved parking spot at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont..

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

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Walter Gretzky and his wife Phyllis, parents of Wayne Gretzky, are shown in 1984.

Dave Buston/The Canadian Press

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Wayne Gretzky (right) shares a laugh with Gordie Howe (second from left) as Maurice (Rocket) Richard (left) and Walter Gretzky look on at the NHL awards ceremony in Montreal, June 7, 1983.

Bill Grimshaw/The Canadian Press

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Walter Gretzky is honoured during the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers NHL game at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on April 6, 2016.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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Wayne Gretzky (centre) poses with the Stanley Cup with father Walter and brother Glen after the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup in Edmonton, May 19, 1984.

Charlie Palmer/The Canadian Press

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Walter Gretzky, Canada's best-known hockey dad, receives the Order of Ontario for his work with the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and the CNIB, from Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman at a ceremony at Queen's Park in Toronto on February 5, 2003.

Donald Weber/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky signs autographes during the filming of Waking Up Wally, in Edmonton on Tuesday, February 01, 2005. John Ulan/The Globe and Mail

John Ulan/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky, Wayne's dad, is the unofficial ambassador at Gretzky's Restaurant, greeting everyone in the place when he's there, including these visitors from Australia.

Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky autographs the jersey of Christopher Palumbo, 10, of Woodbridge, Ont., at the 38th annual Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament in Brantford, Ont., Dec. 28, 2007.

Colin Everett/The Canadian Press

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Walter Gretzky is photographed outside the Legislature at Queens Park on March 6 2012. Coincidentally, Gretzky was visiting the Speaker whom he knows from Brantford, Ont. while a bill was being introduced in the Legislature to help with students suffering from concussions.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky is photographed at his home in Brantford, Ont. Nov.15/2007. The backyard rink where his son Wayne learned the game has now been replaced with a pool. Mr. Gretzky is holding a painting of the rink.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

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Walter Gretzky waves to a cast of extras during the filming of Waking Up Wally, in Edmonton on February 01, 2005.

John Ulan/The Globe and Mail

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