Announcement: Passing of Ron Southern

Ron SouthernIt is with great sadness that ATCO Ltd. announces the passing on January 21, 2016 of its Founder, Ronald D. Southern. As the founder of the company and its controlling share owner, Mr. Southern was closely identified with ATCO by industry participants, the investment community and the company’s share owners. Mr. Southern was 85 years old. He is survived by his wife Margaret Southern and his daughters Nancy Southern and Linda Southern-Heathcott.

Mr. Southern controlled ATCO through his ownership of substantially all of the voting shares in Sentgraf Enterprises Ltd., a private company owned by the Southern family. Sentgraf owns substantially all of the Class II Voting Shares of ATCO. ATCO has been advised that under Mr. Southern’s will, control of Sentgraf will remain with the Southern family.

Nancy Southern will continue as ATCO’s Chair and as its President and Chief Executive Officer, positions she has held since 2012 and 2003 respectively.

As Founder of ATCO Group, Mr. Southern played a pivotal and visionary role in every major development in the evolution and growth of the company. He was instrumental in leading ATCO Group from its very modest beginnings in 1947 through its initial public offering, its acquisition and repatriation of Canadian Utilities, to its vast present day global operations in Utilities, Energy, Structures and Logistics. Under Mr. Southern’s leadership the company expanded its presence and operations well beyond its Alberta base to over 100 countries of the world. Each of these achievements was executed with a long term focus and with fiscal prudence. Mr. Southern’s wisdom, passion, resolve and vision will be greatly missed by the people and customers of ATCO; the lessons he instilled, however, will continue to guide the company as will his own definition of “Excellence”.


“Going far beyond the call of duty.
Doing more than others expect.
This is what excellence is all about.

It comes from striving for and maintaining the highest standards,
looking after the smallest detail and going the extra mile.

Excellence means caring.
It means making a special effort to do more.”

– R.D. Southern

Spruce Meadows: In Memory of Ronald D. Southern

It is with great sadness that Spruce Meadows announces the passing on January 21, 2016 of its
Founder and Co-Chairman, Ronald D. Southern.

In April of 1975 the Southern family officially opened Spruce Meadows. Over the last 40 years, Spruce Meadows, as a result of the leadership and vision of Ron Southern, has become an iconic sports venue and is today recognized as the leading venue in the world for international show jumping.

The Founder’s simple recipe of “Good Friendship, Good Commerce and Good Sport” has provided valuable guidance and a wonderful platform for Spruce Meadows through the decades. So too has his genuine lifelong commitment to excellence, which he brought to everything in his life.


Social Media Tributes

It’s with a heavy heart that I learned of the passing of Ron Southern, a true Calgary visionary, who helped shape the city. – Joe Ceci, MLA

My condolences to Ron Southern’s family on his passing. He was an important figure in #yyc & will be sorely missed. – Premier Rachel Notley

RIP Ron Southern. A brilliant entrepreneur, a great Canadian and a good friend. condolences to Marg, Nancy & Linda. – Jason Kenney, MP

So sorry to learn of Ron Southern’s passing. A great Albertan. A great Canadian. Prayers & thoughts to Marg & loved ones. – Rick McIver, MLA

Saddened to hear of the passing of Ron Southern, a Canadian icon. Tremendous service to Calgary, Alberta & Canada. – Deepak Obhrai, MP

Laureen and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ron Southern, a great Calgarian & friend. Our condolences to his family. – Stephen Harper, MP

Sad to hear about the passing of Ron Southern. He gave so much to our city and province. A true community builder. He will be missed. – Greg Clark, MLA, The Alberta Party leader

My condolences to Marg and the rest of the Southern family on the passing of Ron Southern. He will definitely be missed. – Bill Gray, Calgary Stampede President

I am very sad to learn of Ron Southern’s passing.

Beyond his career as a prominent businessman, Ron was a true community builder.

It is because of Ron’s vision for Spruce Meadows more than 40 years ago that we as Calgarians are lucky enough to enjoy this iconic venue. And Spruce is only one example of the extraordinary work of Ron and his family.

Their legacy is felt here every day and we will remember Ron with deep gratitude.

– Mayor Naheed Nenshi