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Mike's Mattress owner Mike Calnan dies at 52

 Mike CalnanMike Calnan

RED DEER, Alberta — Mike Calnan, an independent furniture retailer for more than 20 years and an owner of Mike's Mattress here, died April 11 at age 52.

Michael Shaun "Mike" Calnan was born in Toronto and began his sales career as an insurance agent and broker prior to joining Campbell's Furniture in 1991.

He was the first employee hired by Eric and Richard Buchfink when they launched Mattress Mattress in Red Deer in 1994.

"Over the past 20 years, Mike has been a significant contributor to the mattress retail landscape here in Alberta and was well known in the Canadian industry," said his friend Richard Buchfink, president of the Edmonton-based Mattress & Sleep Co. "He is going to be missed by many of us who shared his love of the mattress business."

Buchfink praised Calnan in both his professional and personal life.

"He did a fine job of establishing Mattress Mattress in the community of Red Deer in the first year, and he perennially led all salespeople in total sales volumes," he said. "In some months he'd regularly beat other store sales in our small chain. Mike and I would challenge each other to be our best every day. We'd talk about all of our failures as well as our success on the sales floor, and far more importantly, in life."

Prior to joining the industry, Calnan studied to become an ordained minister - an experience Buchfunk believes colored his thinking for the rest of his life.

"When he was troubled or knew his friends or family were troubled either by tragedy, event, or circumstance he followed his faith. Mike was a tremendous source of inspiration and hope to all he encountered throughout his life."

Calnan was also a sports fan - especially the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League.

In 1998, Mattress Mattress took over another Red Deer mattress retailer called Mattress Bad Boys and assigned Calnan to be store manager. The store was renamed Mike's Mattress a few years later and moved to its current location in the North Hill district of Red Deer.

Mike Calnan and his daughter, Melanie, bought controlling interest in the store from Eric Buchfink, president of Mattress Mattress, three years ago. Eric, brother of Richard, remains a silent partner in the business which will continue to operate under Melanie's leadership.

Calnan is survived by his mother, his daughter, a son, a brother, a sister and two grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at the Word of Life Centre in Red Deer at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20. More information is on the Parkland Funeral Home website at www.parklandfuneralhome.com.

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