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"DES" 2003 Obituary


DES  DESCHNER  DESHAW  DESMARAIS  DESPRES 

DES o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-02 published
Died This Day -- Adam DOLLARD DES ORMEAUX, 1660
Friday, May 2, 2003 - Page R11
French soldier born in 1635; arrived in New France around 1658, during period of war with Iroquois; served as commander of Ville-Marie (new Montreal); in late April, 1660, led party of 16 other soldiers, 40 Hurons and four Algonquins on raiding party; ran into strong force of Iroquois near present-day Hawkesbury, Ontario; held out for week in abandoned fort until overrun and killed; regarded as saviour of New France for staving off Iroquois campaign to take Montreal.

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DESCHNER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-23 published
COLLINS, Joyce Amanda (formerly WHITING, née JOHNSON)
Died October 21, 2003 at St. Joseph's Villa, Dundas in her 83rd year. She was born on February 1, 1921 in Maidstone, Saskatchewan to Frank and Amanda JOHNSON, the youngest of 6 children. She is predeceased by her brothers Fred and Enos, sisters Ruth, Elma and Hilda. Joyce is also predeceased by her first husband Frank WHITING. Survived by her husband William and her sons Robert WHITING (Lan Wei), Kenneth WHITING (Jane), Douglas WHITING (Darlene) and daughters Margaret (Fraser FLETCHER,) Susan WHITING (Alan DESCHNER) and step-daughter Patti (Randy SKINNER.) Also survived by 11 grandchildren and a great-grand_son. Special thanks to Bonnie Bon for her special care and love during the past few years. Joyce was a graduate from the College of Household Sciences (1941), University of Saskatchewan and practiced as a hospital dietitian in Ottawa and Fredericton. Cremation. A Celebration of Joyce's Life will be held on Saturday, October 25 at Binkley United Church, 1570 Main Street West, Hamilton at 2 o'clock. Private inurnment White Chapel Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Joyce Collins Bursary c/o University of Saskatchewan, Sasktoon S7N 5C9.
catteleatonandchambers.ca

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DESHAW o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-30 published
Eleanor Ann Veeder SEGEL
By Rose DESHAW, Monday, June 30, 2003 - Page A18
Quaker, Raging Granny, canoeist, choral singer. Born May 29, 1933, In Rochester, New York Died February 20 in Kingston, Ontario, of cancer, aged 69.
A national women's march against poverty, called Bread and Roses, was winding its way from the West Coast and would spend a day in Kingston, Ontario, in 1996. Some older women from various city choirs had decided to form a gaggle of Raging Grannies to officially greet the marchers. "Who else would be interested?" someone asked.
"There's this Quaker who writes really good letters to the editor," an organizer said. "And she sings." I was commissioned to phone Elly SEGEL.
"I'd rather like that," a husky, musical voice agreed when I called to introduce the granny gaggle idea: scolding misbehaving politicians with random hits of raucous public verse. At that time, none of us knew much about the movement other than you wrote your own songs, most of which made fun of the governmental power-mad and their self-serving politics. When we started song writing, Elly stood for fairness. "We can't call them 'liars,'" she said. "A politician might be a misguided stinker but that doesn't mean he isn't sincere."
Born in Rochester, New York where her father was a psychiatrist, Elly was on her high-school cheerleading squad and went on to take a master's degree from Harvard, after having spent a year at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. With her husband, Stan, she emigrated to Canada with their three children and became a citizen during the 1960s. In 1974, when the Segels separated, Elly took her master's degree in social work at Carleton University and began work as a rehabilitative social worker.
In a recent granny gig on that campus, accompanied by kazoos, Elly's trained voice harmonized on the Pink Ghetto number for pay equity. "I had such a good time as a student here," she said. Good times naturally associated themselves with her.
Forced to retire at 65, Elly rented a farmhouse on the Napanee River, continuing the travelling ways that demonstrated what flat-out committed living was all about. At this point she seemed to have been spot-welded to a canoe. Not for her stale regrets of missing backpacking through Europe, scrambling up New Zealand mountains, or paddling Algonquin Park. If it was an adventure, Elly was up for it. In the late 1970's, with no sailing experience, navigational gear or radio, she helped crew a very small, leaky sailboat across one of the largest stretches of open water in the world, from Hawaii to Alaska.
She was a slightly built woman with a sense of humour the size of a large forest and a laugh like the wind in its branches. Her social work approach was as a friend sharing advice painfully scraped from the granite surface of tenacious living. Perhaps her Quaker belief in the value of silence made it possible for her to hear so clearly what you meant to say. Serving on the executive of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, and other national committees, Elly never neglected her local Thousand Islands meeting.
Diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer and given six months, she filled the following four years with Friends and music. Coughing more as the cancer advanced, Elly phoned shortly before her death to ask if it seemed fair to go on singing with the Melos choir, given her cough? Justice again. Anyone who ever sang with her knew she was needed. A nervous first-timer standing next to her at the Sing-Along-Messiah remembered Elly quietly tracing the alto part with her finger, without being asked.
Attending services in Elly's memory were gourmet cooks, actors, musicians, composers, artists, canoeists, writers, dancers, teachers, scientists, scholars, activists -- all telling stories of this comet who had streaked through our lives.
Rose "grannied" with friend Elly.

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DESHAW o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-26 published
Nicole BERUBE
By Rose DESHAW Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - Page A22
Writer, editor, photographer, French teacher. Born June 4, 1949, in Gaspé, Quebec Died June 17 in Kingston, Ontario, of cancer, age 54.
'They said I was Dead!" Nicole told me several years ago, outraged that a local paper had reported as "posthumous" her receipt of a special medal for outstanding volunteer work. This meant that she was not invited to the award ceremony. She phoned the paper after receiving several frantic messages from Friends but they declined to put in, as she phrased it, "an oopsie."
An editor herself for many years of the biweekly L'Informel, serving the French community in Kingston, Ontario, her vision for the paper grew daily. Wanting it completely professional, Nicole taught herself the most up-to-date graphics programs, acquired a scanner and digital camera, upgraded her photographic skills to artist level -- and put it all into the paper. She fought for a bigger budget that could cover an outside print run, and more pages in order to profile the work of French schoolchildren whom she saw as the future of the community.
Eighteen-hour days were common. Nicole never had enough time for all the travel, Friends, projects and writing she had planned. She co-authored, with her friend Viv EDWARDS in England, a bilingual children's book series, including the title Who Stole Granny? She promoted their work whenever there was opportunity. She also gave workshops as a teaching professional when she wasn't hard at work in the language department of the Royal Military College. The success of her young officer cadets was everything to her she was always pushing and cajoling them, inviting them over for extra sessions at her cosy little duplex that she'd decorated with posters and ornaments from her travels.
She mined popular culture for material that might make speaking the language irresistible to her students; dating behaviour, strange local customs, sports cars, food, until she became a walking encyclopedia of odd facts in French that might tempt a hitherto unresponsive cadet to try a little harder. How she suffered as they struggled. The week of their oral exams by phone was migraine time for her. "I have no other way to teach but involved," she said once.
Although usually colourfully dressed in an array of saucy T-shirts and a denim jacket that matched her big blue eyes, Nicole could dress in the manner of the Queen (minus the hat) when it was required. Living on her own as a single woman with a cat, she lavished attention on her nephew and niece, children of her younger sister and only living sibling out of four children.
She travelled back and forth on holidays to the small Quebec town of Gaspé where she had grown up, where her family had been clockmakers and jewellers for generations. Sent for her public education to the sisters at the convent, Nicole had a lonely childhood. It wasn't until enrolment at Laval University in Quebec City that she came into her own. Taking part in the student protests that followed the October Crisis, she told me once about hobbling away because she had lost a shoe as the police bore down on them. But by the time she reached Royal Military College, she had achieved the highest security clearance, no longer a radical (if indeed she had ever been) but a teacher whose first love was the young faces in her classes.
One of her delights was a cadet from Bosnia, struggling to learn both English and French at the same time. "She has a bright future," Nicole said in May, after the cadet had taken her out to dinner in gratitude for all the help and encouragement that had enabled her to successfully complete her exams. Nicole did not know that her own future was near its end. On June 10, she went into the hospital for routine tests and died unexpectedly from colon cancer seven days later.

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DESMARAIS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-14 published
Philanthropist extraordinaire
Francophone students were among the many beneficiaries of her generosity
By Randy RAY Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, July 14, 2003 - Page R7
Ottawa -- Before he died in February, 1993, millionaire Baxter RICARD urged his wife Alma to spend the couple's fortune wisely. ''Put it back into the community, " he told her. ''Spend it well.'' Mrs. RICARD did not let her husband down.
In the 10 years following the death of Mr. RICARD, who owned a chain of radio, television and cable stations in Northern Ontario, she earned a reputation as one of Canada's most generous philanthropists, highlighted by a $23-million donation in 1998 to a fellowship fund that promotes higher education to francophone students across the country.
Mrs. RICARD, who was born in Montreal on October 4, 1906, died at her home in Sudbury on June 2. She was 96.
To date, the Ottawa-based Fondation Baxter and Alma Ricard has given 81 students a total of $4.2-million to further their postsecondary education. Other beneficiaries of the couple's generosity have included colleges, hospitals, church groups and universities in Sudbury and Toronto.
''Mrs. RICARD is one of the biggest philanthropists in Canada," said Alain LANDRY, executive director of the foundation, which was formed in 1988 to distribute the RICARDs' money to various charitable causes. The fellowship fund was set up a decade later.
Mrs. RICARD, formerly Alma VÉZINA, moved to Sudbury in 1931 after responding to a job advertisement from a hardware store run by Félix RICARD, father of Baxter RICARD. She was trained as a secretary at the time.
''She took the train and arrived at 4 a.m.," says Mr. LANDRY. ''In those days, a young lady was not to be seen with a man going to a hotel, so she and Baxter went to a church where they sat until daylight, and she fell in love with him.'' She worked as an administrative assistant to the elder Mr. RICARD and eventually married Baxter, who in later years inherited his father's hardware store and ran it with the help of his wife.
In 1947, the RICARDs left the hardware business and began building a broadcasting empire in Northern Ontario, starting with two radio stations in Sudbury and growing to include numerous radio and television stations. Radio stations established by the couple included CHNO, the first bilingual radio station in Ontario, CFBR and CJMX-FM.
In 1974, when cable television started to expand, Baxter RICARD and some colleagues obtained a licence for cable distribution in northern and eastern Ontario and created Northern Cable Holdings Ltd., which served the greater Sudbury area and areas as far north as Hearst, Ontario In 1980, the company acquired two television stations to serve the same areas and gave it the name Mid-Canada Television. Mr. RICARD also had an interest in a Toronto cable-television company.
Alma RICARD was her husband's ''right-hand person" and took an active part in the broadcasting business and all other ventures he was involved in, including the city-planning committee in Sudbury, the board of directors at Sudbury General Hospital and the Central Canada Broadcasting Association. ''They were inseparable in all those activities," says Mr. LANDRY.
Like Felix RICARD, Baxter and Alma RICARD were strong believers in a Canadian mosaic that included French-speaking citizens. In an era when Ontario's francophones were not permitted to study in French, Felix RICARD didn't have the financial means to promote the francophone culture and lobby for French schooling, so he became an outspoken trustee on the local school board.
As a trustee, he was ''a defender of the rights of francophones in matters of French education... [who] made significant gains for the francophone population of that region. A school in Sudbury bears his name," says a document obtained from Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard. Baxter and Alma RICARD, on the other hand, made millions in the broadcasting industry and had the financial wherewithal to further the francophone cause, including the struggle for a quality education for French-speaking Ontarians.
''Baxter had no family and the couple had no children so they had to think of who would inherit their money," says André LACROIX of Sudbury, a lawyer, business associate and long-time friend of the RICARDs. ''Fairly early in the game they realized most of their assets should be used for charitable purposes. That's when they developed the idea of a charitable foundation.'' In its initial years after Mr. RICARD's death, the foundation donated $600,000 to Cambrian College and $1-million each to Sudbury General Hospital, the University of Sudbury, and Laurentian University, all in Sudbury, and a total of more than $4-million to the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
In the early 1990s, the RICARDs and their associates sold their radio and television stations to Baton Broadcasting and their cable distribution company to CFCF Ltd. In 1998, on the strength of money reaped from the sale, the fellowship fund was started and aimed specifically at francophone Canadians living permanently in a minority situation outside of Quebec who need money to advance their studies beyond a bachelor's degree.
Based on Baxter RICARD's idea, the fund was created jointly by businessman Paul DESMARAIS Sr., now chairman of the executive committee of management and holding company Power Corporation of Canada. Mr. DESMARAIS and Mr. LACROIX, plus Paul DESMARAIS Jr., are members of the board of directors of Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard.
It was launched with the original $23-million donation from Ms. RICARD and despite many disbursements, today sits at $25-million thanks to interest earned on the principal, says Mr. LANDRY.
Until her death, Mrs. RICARD was president of the board and until three months ago, continued to sign cheques, says Mr. LACROIX, who remembers Mrs. RICARD as a ''generous and kind person who helped people with problems.''
''Baxter's father would be proud of what Alma has accomplished since Baxter died. It is well along the way to what he had promoted for many years," says Mr. LACROIX.
In addition to donations in the millions of dollars over the years, Mrs. RICARD once helped out a person who couldn't handle her mortgage payments and was about to lose her home; she also donated to a religious group that raised money for the poor.
Mr. LACROIX remembers Mrs. RICARD as a woman who loved to have fun.
''From age 70 onward she didn't mind going on until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. She enjoyed going out at night, she loved to dance," he says. ''She was also quite religious, church attendance was sacred.'' Mrs. RICARD also loved to collect hats: ''She had hundreds of hats and they were attention-getters," says Mr. LACROIX, who knew the RICARDs for more than 30 years.
Of all the recognition she received over the years, Mrs. RICARD cherished most the Officer of the Order of Canada bestowed on her in 2000, says Mr. LACROIX. Governor-General Adrienne CLARKSON travelled to Sudbury to present the honour to Mrs. RICARD in her sick bed, at her home, in September, 2002.

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DESPRES o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-12 published
NESBITT, Robert Samuel
Born 26 April 1913, died peacefully 11 September 2003, of complications following a broken hip, in his ninety-first year. Beloved husband of Jean (née BOOTH) and loving father of Catherine (Bob LECKEY,) Shelagh (Doug WHITFIELD) and Robbie (deceased.) Proud grandfather of Bill (Shelly,) Rob and Aaron (Lynne DESPRES) WHITFIELD and of Amelia BAILEY (Mark) and Robert LECKEY (Josý NAVAS) and great-grandfather of Amy and Ashley WHITFIELD and of Corbin BAILEY. Predeceased by sisters Joyce (Clarence LOCKWOOD,) Patricia (Ben THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON) and, in childhood, Eleanor and brother George. Bob's life was marked by his dedication to his family, Friends, neigbours, church and community. The family will receive Friends at the Walas Funeral Home, 130 Main Street, Brighton on Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Service will be held from St. Paul's Anglican Church, Brighton on Monday, September 15th at 1 o'clock. Interment Mount Hope Cemetery Cemetery, Brighton. As an expression of sympathy, donations to St. Paul's Anglican Church, Belleville Hospital or The Red Cross, care of Box 96, Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0, would be appreciated by the family.

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