Who are Walter Gretzky's kids? A look at Wayne the Great One and his siblings as Canada's Hockey Dad dies at 82

Three of Walter's four sons went on to play in the NHL, but only Wayne made it big dubbed 'The Great One' for his talent


                            Who are Walter Gretzky's kids? A look at Wayne the Great One and his siblings as Canada's Hockey Dad dies at 82
Walter Gretzky (R) with Wayne, Kieth and Brent (Getty Images, Ice Hockey fandom)
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Dubbed 'father of the Great One', Walter Gretzky died on Thursday, March 4, night at the age of 82. The Canadian ice hockey analyst and coach was battling Parkinson's disease for the last few years. His death was announced by his son and NHL star Wayne Gretzky on Twitter. Walter is well known not just for being Wayne's father and first coach, but also for his no-nonsense approach and devotion to family.

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A junior hockey player himself, Walter attempted to play in the NHL but was rejected for being "too small". His son Wayne, has gone on to achieve considerable fame, being dubbed 'The Great One' by pundits. Wayne has often credited his father for his success. Canadians and ice hockey fans around the world are mourning Walter's death.

Walter is survived by five children: Wayne, Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent. All five play a critical role in the story of 'Canada's hockey dad'. Here's a look at who they are and what they've achieved.

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Former Edmonton Oilers forward Wayne Gretzky greets fans during the closing ceremonies on April 6, 2016, at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Getty Images)

Wayne Gretzky

The eldest sibling, Wayne is an ice hockey legend who needs little introduction. Over 20 seasons in the NHL, he held 61 records, including six all-star records. He represented both the Canada national junior team and senior team, including an appearance at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Wayne began playing at the age of four, when Walter turned the backyard of their Brantford home into an ice rink. "I don't know where I'd be without him, but I know it wouldn't be in the NHL,'' Wayne said in his autobiography.

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When he retired in 1991, the NHL immediately inducted him into the Hockey Hall of Fame and retired the jersey number 99 league-wide. He also has several awards named after him, including the Wayne Gretzky International Award. The award is presented by the United States Hockey Hall of Fame to honor international individuals who have made major contributions to the growth and advancement of hockey in the United States. In 1988, he married actress Janet Jones and the couple has five children together. 

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Walter Gretzky with daughter Kim and her sons Zach and Austin (Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery via Facebook)

Other children

Walter has four other children: Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent. Both Keith and Brent also went on to play professional ice hockey. Keith played five seasons in the International Hockey League and two in the NHL before retiring in 1993. He then turned to coaching before moving into a managerial role. In 2016, he became the Assistant General Manager at Edmonton Oilers and was briefly promoted to Interim General Manager in 2019. Brent too had a brief stint as a professional hockey player, with Tampa Bay. He also played in the International Hockey League and United Hockey League before retiring in 2008. Brent now serves as a police officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. 

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Not much is known about Kim and Glen Gretzky. Kim has an Instagram account where she sporadically posts images of her family, notably her children and Walter. According to her Facebook profile, she works as a personal support worker at Stedman Community Hospice in Paris, Ontario. 

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Glen is an actor and producer who appeared in Prom Night II and produced the 2005 biopic 'Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story'. Glen also co-authored two books - 'Great' published in 2016 and 'Great Too' expected in September this year.

'Treasure of a man'

Shortly after news of Walter's passing was announced, RIP Walter began trending on social media. Thousands of ice hockey fans took to the internet to pay tribute to 'Canda's hockey dad'. One user summed up the mood by tweeting "Terribly sad to hear be of Walter Gretzky’s passing. I never knew him, yet it felt like I did."

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Others shared stories of their encounters with Walter. One user remembered, "Walter: what’s your name? Me: oh don’t worry I don’t want to waste your time Walter: No. *looks me in the eye* I’d like to know your name." Another user tweeted "I met Wayne’s parents, Walter and Phyllis, at a pizza restaurant in Buffalo, NY. We won a kids hockey tournament, went out for food and happened to meet them. They were the nicest people. Joked around, took pictures with all of us, and talked about Wayne, who just retired."

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"So sorry for your loss. I’ll never forget the time I met your dad while playing in the Brantford girls hockey tournament & your dad was walking up & down the hallway tapping girls on the shoulder pads wishing them good luck in their games. I was one of those girls. Wonderful man," another said. Another tweeted, "He was a great guy . He signed golf balls for everyone on the course during a tournament ! We had to get him out of the bushes looking for lost balls to keep our foursome moving . Always singing and laughing . Hell of a guy and a treasure of a man".

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