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"COH" 2003 Obituary


COHEN 

COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-19 published
BABITS, George Joseph B.A.Sc., C.A.
It is with profound sadness that the family announces the passing of a beloved husband, father and grandfather. In his 68th year, George died peacefully on April 15, 2003, surrounded by his loving family, following a courageous and inspiring 3-year battle with kidney cancer. Having overcome an initial 4-month prognosis, he never gave up the fight.
George will live forever in the hearts of his beloved wife and soul mate of 42 years, Katherine, his devoted sons George (Wendy), Thomas (Trisha) and Christopher (Jennifer). His grandchildren Monica, George Matthew, Paul and John will all miss their dear ''Papa.'' The family regrets that he will miss the births of his twin grandchildren due in less than two weeks. Also mourned by his brother Pal, sister Anna and many nephews and nieces in Hungary, as well as his many Friends in Canada and around the world. George was predeceased by his parents and his brother Laszlo.
Born in Debrecen, Hungary, George was a champion weightlifter in his youth, winning numerous regional and national titles. While attending the University of Sopron, he left for Canada as a refugee during the 1956 Revolution. He completed his degree in geological engineering at the University of Toronto, and went on to become a Chartered Accountant. George began his career at the accounting firm Ernst and Ernst, followed by more than 27 years at Imperial Oil Ltd., where he had the opportunity to combine his scientific knowledge with his financial acumen. After retiring from Imperial in 1991, he continued to work in his own accounting practice until his death. Throughout his life, he generously volunteered for numerous organizations, including many in the Canadian-Hungarian community. His sense of charity seemed to know no bounds. He always gave of his time, energy, knowledge and expertise, freely to those in need.
George's greatest passion was his family and his legacy will live on, because it was as a husband and father that he had his greatest success. His love and devotion to his family was boundless, and he has left his children with a great appreciation for the importance of family, education and respect for others. He was the greatest role model that his sons could have possibly asked for, and he will forever be in their hearts. Father we love you.
Many thanks to the fine medical professionals who helped George in his battle and treated him with exceptional care and respect: Doctors BUKOWSKI and COHEN of the Cleveland Clinic, Doctors TSIHLIAS and Waddel of the University Health Network, Doctors KUGLER and STRAUSS of Gottingen, Germany and their pioneering vaccine therapy program, and Doctors BJARNASON and SMITH and the team at the Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre.
The family will receive Friends at the R.S. Kane Funeral Home (6150 Yonge Street, at Goulding, south of Steeles), on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 from 7: 30-9:00 p.m. The funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2003, at 11: 00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church (432 Sheppard Ave. E.). Donations to the Sunnybrook Foundation Fund #9182 To Support Kidney Cancer Research (In Memory of George J. Babits) c/o Dr. Georg Bjarnason, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, would be appreciated. Messages of Condolence may be placed at www.rskane.ca.
''Szivunkben Orokke elni fogsz!''

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-12 published
Three cheers for a funny fellow
Like his hapless Canadian hero, he often found himself in hilarious situations
By Carol COOPER Special to The Globe and Mail Thursday, June 12, 2003 - Page R9
Once in the middle of an interview at the Toronto airport, writer Donald JACK left to fetch a document from his car. Notorious for a sense of direction so poor he found it difficult to navigate through a city park, let alone the airport's massive parking lot, Mr. JACK took so long to find his vehicle that by the time he returned the interviewers had gone.
Like Bartholomew Bandy, the hapless hero of The Bandy Papers, Mr. JACK's eight-volume comic-novel series describing an Ottawa Valley boy's adventures during both world wars and between, the author often found himself in hilarious situations, made the more so by his telling.
A three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Mr. JACK died last week at his home in England. He was Listeners were reduced to tears of laughter by his tales of construction disasters while having a villa built in Spain; a house sale falling through on closing day; and an aging bright yellow car named Buttercup, whose sun roof shattered soon after it was searched for drugs at the Spanish-French border, showering Mr. JACK with glass, insects and rust.
Once, while being toured with his daughter around the offices of his publisher, McClelland and Stewart, Mr. JACK entered the boardroom and shouted with surprise. There on the carpet lay a large amount of dog excrement left by an employee's pet. In his Bandy-like way, the writer very nearly stepped into it.
"If you could choose one author out of the entire world who during a visit to his publisher would stumble across this, it would be Donald JACK," said Douglas GIBSON, president and publisher of McClelland and Stewart, who knew the writer for more than 30 years.
"Things would go wrong for Don, very seldom caused by himself," said Munroe SCOTT, a close friend of more than 45 years. "He would narrate all this stuff either in person or in a letter and make it all hilarious, because he always saw, in retrospect at any rate, the funny side of things. You'd be doubled up with laughter."
Despite Mr. JACK's incident-prone nature, it would be a mistake to see Mr. JACK as a buffoon, said Mr. SCOTT, also a writer. "He was enormously well read, erudite and could handle the language with aplomb at many levels. He could make me feel like a Philistine."
Said author Austin CLARKE, who was Mr. JACK's neighbour for five years during the 1960s. "He was a quiet, reserved, retiring kind of man. You would never have known he was a writer."
Mr. JACK's Leacock medals came for three volumes of The Bandy Papers: Three Cheers for Me, in 1963, That's Me in the Middle, in 1974 and Me Bandy, You Cissie, in 1980. Published between 1963 and 1996, they still enjoy a loyal following, including a Web site which draws mail from around the world. Six of the eight volumes were recently reissued by McClelland and Stewart.
Drawn from Mr. JACK's fascination with the First World War, the rural people he met in the Ottawa Valley and his time in the Royal Air Force, The Bandy Papers feature the blundering Bartholomew Wolfe Bandy, who in the first volume, Three Cheers for Me, inadvertently becomes a hero, despite capturing his own colonel by mistake.
Ensuing volumes follow Mr. Bandy's adventures through to the Second World War. Although devastatingly funny, they also describe war's horrors and the realities of the home front, and lampoon war's leaders.
Mr. Bandy encounters and influences historical figures, such as then British minister of defence Winston Churchill, and generously offers him use of the altered Bandy phrase "blood, sweat, toil and tears."
While best known for The Bandy Papers, Mr. JACK wrote countless documentary film scripts, stage, television and radio plays, as well as two non-fiction books: the history of a Toronto radio station, Sinc, Betty and the Morning Man, and another about medicine in Canada, Rogues, Rebels and Geniuses.
His third play, The Canvas Barricade, won first prize in the Stratford Shakespearean Playwriting Competition in 1960. Produced in 1961, it was the first, and remains the only, original Canadian play performed on the main stage of the Stratford Festival.
Mr. JACK, however, did not see much of its opening. He left the auditorium for the lobby. "During the performance, we'd be aware of a crack of light from a door opening slightly and a white face would stare through, then vanish for a while, before another door would open a crack, and the same apparition would fleetingly appear," Mr. Scott said.
Born on December 6, 1924 in Radcliffe, Lancashire, England, Donald Lamont JACK was one of four children of a British doctor and a nurse from Prince Edward Island. After attending Bury Grammar School in Lancashire and Marr College in Scotland, he gained enough qualifications to attend London University.
While stationed in Germany with the Royal Air Force in the last year of the Second World War, Mr. JACK attempted short-story writing, but thought he lacked talent. After his mother asked him, "Isn't it about time you left home?" Mr. JACK immigrated to Canada in 1951.
Interspersed with jobs as a member of a surveying crew in Alberta and a bank teller in Toronto, Mr. JACK studied at the Canadian Theatre School in Toronto run by Sterndale BENNETT. There he wrote two plays, one of which drew praise from theatre critic Nathan COHEN and a job offer from a film Company. Mr. COHEN later wrote Mr. Scott, decrying Canadian theatre's "shameful treatment" of Mr. JACK, which largely ignored him.
A theatrical background enhanced Mr. JACK's writing, according to Mr. Gibson. "His dialogue was terrific and his scene-setting was excellent."
After leaving the school, with the encouragement of his wife, Nancy, whom he married in 1952, Mr. JACK worked in the script department of Crawley Films in Ottawa. Two years later in 1955, the company's head, Budge CRAWLEY, let him go because he thought Mr. JACK would never make a good writer.
A dry first year of freelancing followed, until in 1957 Mr. JACK sold the play version of his novelette Breakthrough, published in Maclean's, to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television. It became the first Canadian television play to be simultaneously telecast to the United States.
He never looked back. By 1972, A Collection of Canadian Plays, Vol. 1, which included Exit Muttering by Mr. JACK, noted he had written 40 television plays, 35 documentary film scripts, several radio plays and four stage plays. The works included Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Armed Forces training films for the National Film Board and often demanded a great deal of research.
Mr. JACK wrote with military discipline, beginning at 9 a.m., taking tea at 11 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., tea again at 3 p.m. and finishing at 5 p.m. "All my life, I swear, that routine never altered," said one of his daughters, Lulu HILTON.
Persisting in writing drafts in pen and ink long before adopting the typewriter and, much later, a word processor, Mr. JACK often developed storylines while walking. A 1959 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation press release explains Mr. JACK's dedication: "My self-discipline is to keep reminding myself of how lucky I am to be able to be the only thing I ever really wanted to be -- a writer."
During the early 1980s, Mr. JACK and his wife returned to England to be near their daughters who had emigrated there, and their grandchildren. Mr. JACK missed Canada's open spaces and its classless society, and visited often.
At the time of his death, he was working on the ninth volume of The Bandy Papers. He died on or about June 2 of a massive stroke at his home in Telford, Shropshire, England. He leaves his two daughters, Maren and Lulu, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild, a brother and a sister. His wife Nancy died in 1991.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-11 published
GUTMAN, Adam (George Adams)
In Montreal on Sunday, August 10, 2003. Beloved husband of the late Ida Baron GUTMAN. Father of Betty, and Dr. Jimmy GUTMAN. Father-in-law of Susan SCHAFER and Greg KUDRAY. Brother-in-law of Albert BARON and Sylvia GUTMAN. Grandfather of Evan and Bianca. Uncle of Debby, Judy and Stephen MERLMELSTEIN, Fran PARKER and Shelly COHEN. Admired by thousands. Died gently in the presence of his family. Leaves behind a legacy of art, music and poetry. An accomplished and charitable mentor for the entire community regardless of colour, race or creed. Our greatest thanks to the loving and caring staff of Manoir Pierrefonds. Funeral Service from Paperman and sons, 3888 Jean Talon W., Montreal on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 10: 45 a.m. Burial at the Rodomer Society Section, Mount Pleasant Cemetery Duvernay. Shiva at his son's home. Donations may be made to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in memory of Adam GUTMAN. (514-842-3402.)

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-29 published
COHEN, Sheila
In loving memory of Sheila, who died nine years ago, on 3 Cheshvan 5755, but whose compassion and generosity and kindness and sense of fun light our lives to this day. At the rising of the sun and at its going down, we remember her -- Bob, Ellen, Norton, Vicki and Molly.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-15 published
GENSER, Bonnie
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Bonnie GENSER, who died on Sunday, November 29th, 2003. She died peacefully, without pain, with her family by her side. She was predeceased by her husband Harold GENSER who died in 1980, and her siblings Rebecca JAUVOISH, Lottie BECKMAN, Bessie MELEMADE, David LEVIN, Rosie LEVIN, Esther POLLOCK and Harry LEVIN. She leaves to grieve her death and celebrate her life, three daughters, Naomi COHEN (Jared SABLE,) Toronto, Barbara BUTLER, Winnipeg, Susan STARR (Don STARR), Toronto, London, six grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren. In addition to her immediate family, she is remembered by her sisters-in-law Esther Genser KAPLAN, Myrna LEVIN, Beverley LEVIN and Marion Vaisley GENSER, and many nieces and nephews.
Bonnie served in a leadership capacity in various areas of the community; president of the Bride's group, National Council of Jewish Women, president of Lillian Frieman Chapter of Hadassah, founder of the Shaarey Zedek Girl Guides, and later as a commissioner of the Manitoba Girl Guides. During her many visits to Israel she served as a volunteer in areas of agriculture, education, archaelogy, and social services.
She lived life to the fullest, and will be remembered for her dynamic personality, wit, charm, generosity, and infectious smile which made everyone feel special.
We wish to thank Vangie, Claire, Amy, and Ruth for their loving care.
Pallbearers were her grand_sons Scott COHEN, Paul RAYBURN, Josh BUTLER, Sheldon POTTER, granddaughters Hally and Misha STARR, and nephews Michael and Daniel LEVIN. Honorary pallbearers were Don STARR, Jared SABLE, Perry RAYBURN, and Mayer LAWEE.
Rabbi Allan GREEN officiated and her granddaughter Leanne POTTER spoke on behalf of the family. Donations in Bonnie's memory may be made to The Bonnie Genser Fund in the Women's Endowment Fund of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, C-400-123 Doncaster Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3N 2B2, (204) 477-7525 or www.jewishfoundation.org or the charity of your choice.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-24 published
'The lovable rogue' who made and lost fortunes
One of Canada's most successful real-estate salesmen threw famous parties, especially during the 1980s boom, when he brokered property deals worth more than $10-billion
By James McCREADY, Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - Page R9
Toronto -- His Friends called him a lovable rogue. His enemies left out the lovable. Eddy COGAN was a love-him or hate-him kind of guy, a brash real-estate salesman, maybe the most successful real-estate salesmen of his era in Canada. He sold more than $10-billion of real estate in the 1980s, by far his most successful decade.
When Eddy COGAN died in late October, people remembered two things about him straightaway: He was the one who brokered the huge Greymac apartment deal. And he was also the greatest party-giver of the 1980s in Toronto, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a three-day bash, when he would take over the entire Windsor Arms Hotel -- rooms, restaurants and bars -- and open them to his Friends.
Mr. COGAN brokered a deal in 1982 to sell 10,931 apartment units belonging to Cadillac Fairview to a group led by Leonard ROSENBERG of Greymac Trust. The sale was worth $320-million but Mr. COGAN found out a couple of hours later that Mr. ROSENBERG and his partners had flipped the buildings, selling them for $500-million to what turned out to be a fictitious Saudi Arabian consortium. Mr. ROSENBERG eventually went to jail, but Mr. COGAN was clean since he didn't have any part in the illegal flip.
Edwin Aubrey COGAN was born on October 5, 1934. His father had fled Ukraine after the Russian Revolution. It was a sound decision, since Stalin starved the Ukrainian peasants in the 1930s and Hitler's death squads killed almost all the Jews in Kiev during the Nazi occupation.
Eddy's father was a professional boxer and waiter who changed his name from COHEN to COGAN to get work at Toronto's Park Plaza Hotel, which didn't hire Jews in the 1930s. Eddy went to Palmerston Public School but wasn't much of a student and dropped out of school in Grade 9. At 15, he went west and worked in the woods in British Columbia.
A few years of manual labour had him thinking about a change, and he returned to school and qualified as a land surveyor. After many years working surveying properties, he decided to move into real estate. In the 1950s, when Mr. COGAN started doing property deals, most of the action was in what is called "assembling" land, which means buying up huge tracts of land, not just in the country but also in the city.
Mr. COGAN would do things such as go door-to-door asking people if they wanted to sell their houses or buildings. He was working for developers such as Cadillac Fairview, which in turn would put up a strip of high-rise apartment buildings once the land had been assembled. Probably more than any town planner, Mr. COGAN changed the face of Toronto from the 1950s to the 1980s.
"After rent control came in, in 1975, there was less demand for buildings," says Larry COGAN, who worked with his father for more than 20 years. "It was the main reason Cadillac Fairview decided to sell off those properties."
It was that deal that made Eddy COGAN rich and allowed him to launch the famous parties of the 1980s. The parties ended with the real-estate crash of 1989-90. Mr. COGAN had invested in a 6,000-acre property called the "jail lands" just north of the city. It was an old prison farm that was to be turned into a residential development. When the property boom went bust, so did Mr. COGAN. It was the end of one big fortune and the start of a decade spent rebuilding his wealth. In the 1990s, perhaps his most successful transaction involved Terminal 3 at Toronto's Pearson Airport.
Mr. COGAN was a slender man with a wiry build and movie-star good looks. Women found him attractive, and his Friends said that women were his weakness. He enjoyed spending time in Los Angeles and New York in the company of models and actresses -- some famous, some not.
"When he saw an opportunity to be with a high-profile, beautiful woman, he would approach it like a real-estate project," his son Larry said. "He would network and use all his skills to close the deal."
Like many people who work on deals for a living, Eddy COGAN had an unconventional business day, in particular in the latter part of his career. He loathed gadgets. He didn't like cellphones or computers and never had an e-mail address of his own. Rather than offices, he preferred to meet in restaurants, though he was a light eater and didn't drink much. After the Windsor Arms and its restaurants closed, he switched to Prego, a restaurant in Yorkville.
Mr. COGAN lived his work. He was always working on a deal, micromanaging it to make sure the project came off.
"He was a big thinker. He was very fit and he liked to walk and think," said Diane FRANCIS, the journalist who became a close friend after doing a few stories on him in the mid-1980s. "The last big deal he was working on was in Niagara Falls, New York."
When he first looked at Niagara Falls, the town on the Ontario side was a success, with a casino and a diversified tourist trade. Niagara Falls, New York was a dump, with an empty centre, shuttered factories and a neighbourhood that was a household name for environmental catastrophe, Love Canal. Mr. COGAN spent the better part of a decade trying to develop the New York side into a place as successful as the Ontario side. At the time of his death, a casino had opened on the New York side and he was closer to putting his dream together.
He lived in downtown Toronto in a huge penthouse in the Colonnade on Bloor Street, a rental apartment with a small swimming pool inside the unit. Mr. COGAN was a generous man, always willing to help his Friends. Once, when promoters were trying to put together a race between American and Canadian superstar sprinters, Mr. COGAN helped bankroll it. It lost money.
Mr. COGAN married once and divorced. He leaves his six children.

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