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"KAS" 2003 Obituary


KASH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-23 published
Mary Elizabeth STARR
By Elizabeth STARR, Michael STARR and Laurie STARR Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - Page A22
Musician, teacher, mother, mother-in-law, sister, granny. Born March 4, 1920, in Toronto. Died August 3 in Toronto, of a brain hemorrhage, aged 83.
Mary STARR lived a full life teaching the cello to generations of students and enjoying a close relationship with her family.
Growing up in Toronto, Mary received her licentiate in cello in 1947 from the then-Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory) -- the highest possible diploma, and a rather uncommon achievement at the time for cellists. As a member of the Conservatory orchestra, she remembered seeing "a young kid" who played a piano concerto with the orchestra. The "young kid" was Glenn GOULD. Through the 1940s and 1950s she travelled extensively throughout Ontario playing chamber music with various Canadian musicians who were to become well known: Victor FELDBRILL, Eugene KASH, Stuart HAMILTON, Steven STARYK, and John COVEART among them.
After her future husband Frank (a singer) went to England, he managed to entice Mary over in 1951 by sending her programs of the concerts that were happening in London. There Mary worked, practised, played, went to concerts, and got married in 1952.
After returning to Canada (and two children later), Mary's teaching career was well under way. Through her career she taught with the Metropolitan Toronto School Board as an itinerant cello teacher, privately with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and in the Seneca College Suzuki program. She taught three-year-olds, school-aged children, high-school students, university students and even a few of the parents of her students. After years of doing four to six schools per day walking up three flights of stairs (it always seemed to be three flights of stairs) with a cello and music, she left to concentrate on private teaching. Although a number of her students went on to become professional cellists, Mary remained a tireless advocate of the fundamental value of musical education to developing and informing the enjoyment of the art of music throughout one's life; this was more important to her than becoming a professional musician.
Whether at music camp where she was a faculty member for many years, or her regular Monday night quartet sessions where we will always appreciate the warm vibrations and wonderful harmonies that crept through our house, the opportunity to play chamber music, just for fun, was one of the great pleasures for Mary throughout her life.
With the death of Frank in 1969, Mary had to work hard to support the family to cover all the "needs" and most of the "wants." She did this admirably.
The last six years of Mary's life, after moving into an apartment in her son and daughter-in-law's house, were surely among her best. There she had security with independence, community with privacy, and a granddaughter who lived just downstairs. She would sit ensconced in her big green chair, content to let life swirl around her as she read, needle-pointed, embroidered, or knitted.
Nothing thrilled Mary more than when 11-year-old Laurie and a few of her Friends took up cello last year. So began private teaching all over again -- not something she expected at the age of 82, but this was much more fun!.
Mary was Mary right to the end. After making an impressive recovery from a broken hip and arm suffered through an encounter with a revolving door, she was soon to be discharged from the rehabilitation hospital. She was in good spirits, had her sense of humour, and craved her "big green chair." She worked hard for that goal that unfortunately was not to be.
Elizabeth and Michael are Mary's children; Laurie is Mary's granddaughter.

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KASPERSION o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-11 published
SEGAL, Murray
Eckler Partners Ltd. mourns the passing of its esteemed partner, Murray SEGAL, who died on September 1, 2003 after a brief battle with cancer. A prominent actuary, Murray joined Eckler Partners 44 years ago. In addition to his professional consulting activity Murray served on the Board of Directors and as the firm's Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary for the past many years. The loss of our treasured colleague and friend is immeasurable.
Murray headed up Eckler Partners' Actuarial Evidence practice and was considered by many to be Canada's leading practitioner in the field. He played a key role in numerous landmark cases and was greatly respected by his peers, including fellow actuaries, economists, lawyers and judges.
Murray was known for his love of his family, his community and his profession. Murray's commitment and dedication to the betterment of the actuarial profession was unfailing. Throughout his career he served tirelessly on advisory committees and professional organizations.
Murray's integrity and intelligence were matched only by his humility, good humour and generosity. He was a great (and usually anonymous) contributor to community charities, and passionately lobbied for causes near to his and his family's heart. He will be remembered always by his colleagues for his frequent and spontaneous acts of kindness and for the respect he extended to one and all.
Murray will be missed immensely, both personally and professionally, by so many. We extend heartfelt condolences to his wife Marlene and his three sons, Gerald, Ernest and Moshe, and their families.
In honour and memory of Murray SEGAL, Eckler Partners Ltd. is establishing a Murray Segal Memorial Award in Actuarial Science at the University of Manitoba, Murray's alma mater. Donations are welcome, and may be made through David BROWN at Eckler Partners (telephone: (416) 696-3016 or email:, or through Diana KASPERSION, at the Department of Private Funding, 179 Continuing Education Complex, 406 University Crescent, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2. Donations should be made payable to the University of Manitoba.
Page B2

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KASTA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-11 published
HERGERT, Raymond Henry
Died peacefully in Toronto, on Sunday, November 2, 2003 in his 93rd year. Raymond was the only child of the late L. K. HERGERT and Emily Victoria THOM. He graduated from Upper Canada College and joined his father in business at Hunts Limited. He retired as Vice-President of Canadian Food Products. Raymond and his loving wife, Janet WINNIFRED, enjoyed happy years of retirement at Lake Nipissing. He leaves his treasured daughters, Sally WHITE/WHYTE and Wendy KASTA, and his dear son-in-law, Peter WHITE/WHYTE. His beloved grandchildren, Paul and Tim KASTA, David WHITE/WHYTE and his wife Mary Jane YULE, Nancy WHITE/WHYTE and her husband Mark BADALI, and Steven WHITE/WHYTE, share wonderful memories of Poppa. He was the adored great-grandfather of Amanda WARD, Thomas WHITE/WHYTE, Alex and John Henry BADALI, and Matthew and Carly WHITE/WHYTE. A private family service was held with interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. If desired, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

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KASYN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-17 published
The duke of hernia surgery
Working at the Shouldice Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, he claimed never to have seen two hernias alike and perfected a technique that reduced hospital stays
By Bill GLADSTONE Special to The Globe and Mail Thursday, April 17, 2003 - Page R9
Nicholas OBNEY, who performed more than 32,000 hernia operations during his long career at the renowned Shouldice Hospital in Toronto and Thornhill, Ontario, once told a television interviewer that he had never encountered two hernias the same.
Dr. OBNEY joined the Shouldice Hospital in 1946 and was its chief surgeon between 1965 and his official retirement in 1988. He continued working for several years thereafter "because his heart was here -- it was his whole life," said hospital spokesperson Daryl URQUHART. "He was so dedicated to his patients that he couldn't stop coming in."
The celebrated herniologist, who died in Thornhill, Ontario, at the age of 84, was on call all the time. He read every patient history before assigning them to his team of surgeons.
At his busiest, he averaged five or six hernia operations a day, six days a week, and usually performed the hospital's most difficult cases himself. He is credited with perpetuating and improving upon the pioneering medical techniques devised by his mentor, hospital founder Dr. E. Earle SHOULDICE, who died in 1965.
A hernia is a protrusion or displacement of an intestine or other internal organ through the muscular lining of the cavity in which it is located. Surgeons have referred to the Shouldice method, which uses natural tissues to strengthen the lining, as "the gold standard by which all other hernia repairs should be measured."
The original Shouldice Hospital was located in downtown Toronto but expanded northward in the 1950s into a white colonial-style mansion acquired from the estate of former Globe and Mail publisher George McCullough. The downtown facility was eventually closed and the Thornhill property later expanded into an 89-bed facility with six operating rooms, in which about 7,500 procedures are performed each year.
Until American insurance rules changed in the 1980s, nearly half of the hospital's patients came from the United States, including as a 1982 profile of Dr. OBNEY in People magazine noted -- several entertainment celebrities and even a state governor.
A photo accompanying the People article showed Dr. OBNEY helping a patient step down from the operating table. As the article noted, most patients receive only a local anesthetic and walk away from the operating room on their own steam.
As opposed to the treatment they might receive in a general hospital, patients at Shouldice are encouraged to become active almost immediately after surgery. (A second photo in the People spread showed Dr. OBNEY golfing with six bathrobed patients on the hospital's putting grounds.) Shouldice officials assert that most patients recover much more quickly than those who have hernia repairs elsewhere, and are usually discharged within two or three days.
According to senior surgeon Dr. Michael ALEXANDER, Dr. OBNEY taught him to abandon the practice of inserting a nasal-gastric tube into patients, which "used to be standard procedure for every patient having such an operation.
"He said, 'Don't put one of those tubes down, wait for the patients to declare themselves to see if they have a problem with nausea and vomiting.' And out of 300 patients, we never put a tube down. In fact, when that tube is put down, there's a much higher chance of lung complications."
The proven success of such pioneering methods has attracted scores of visiting doctors to the hospital from all over the world, Dr. ALEXANDER said.
Dr. OBNEY "did so many operations, he used to get a feel for the patient, which can only happen when you do thousands. He had a strong intuitive sense -- he had it by pure experience. I can't think of a case where he was wrong."
Few surgeons could ever hope to match Dr. OBNEY's record of 32,000 hernia operations, Dr. ALEXANDER said. "Can you imagine that many people? You'd have to fill up Maple Leaf Gardens, empty it out and fill it up again."
Born as an only child in the Ukrainian village of Ronaseowka in 1918, Nicholas's parents brought him to Canada when he was 9, and settled in Toronto's west end. As soon as he learned English, he began to excel in school -- Charles Fraser Public School, then Parkdale Collegiate. His father, a machinist, borrowed $300 to pay for his tuition to the University of Toronto medical school, from which Nicholas graduated in 1942.
Interning at Toronto General Hospital, he entered the Royal Canadian Medical Corp, where he encountered one of his former university instructors -- E. Earle SHOULDICE -- acting as an army surgical consultant attempting to reduce the number of men rejected for military service because of hernia conditions. Dr. OBNEY assisted in that effort, and in 1946 joined the newly established Shouldice Hospital at the corner of Church and Charles streets in Toronto.
"He started working with Dr. SHOULDICE as an understudy and Dr. SHOULDICE showed him his method," said his daughter, Dr. Jeannette FROST. " Then together they improved on the technique."
According to family and colleagues, Dr. OBNEY disliked travelling, especially by air, and attended relatively few of the many medical conferences at which he was asked to speak. He once went to a conference in Los Angeles by train, and came straight home when it ended a few days later. Another time, persuaded to speak in Australia, he agreed to fly there but not to stay even one day more than necessary before returning home.
He enjoyed spending time on the family's 25-acre "hobby farm" in what is now the Beaver Creek industrial area of Thornhill. When the land was expropriated about 20 years ago, he and his wife felled all of the property's 16 trees: The family still has no shortage of firewood. Aside from being extremely economical, he was known for his plain tastes in food and his perfectionism. His hobbies included military history and classical music.
He was highly organized and "ran the hospital like clockwork," according to retired supervisory nurse Brenda OWENS, who was also his cousin.
"He was always so approachable, he seemed like a volume of knowledge, he did his work quickly and accurately, and he expected the same type of behaviour from his staff."
In 1998, the American Hernia Society awarded Dr. OBNEY with a plaque that cited him as "an unselfish master surgeon" known for "his generosity with knowledge and encouragement to visiting surgeons."
Nicholas OBNEY died on February 15. He leaves his wife of 59 years, the former Stephanie KASYN; and his daughter Jeannette.

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