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"KEE" 2003 Obituary


KEELEY  KEENAN  KEENBERG  KEEPING 

KEELEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-31 published
KEELEY, Joyce Kathleen Phillips (née PHILLIPS)
Died peacefully at noon on December 30 at Sunnybrook Hospital. ''Joycie Girl'' was the beloved wife of Gerry KEELEY, mother of Kate and Doug, and 'gaga' of Ollie, Sam and Matti. She was the daughter of Kathleen NESBITT and Heber PHILLIPS, and sister of Bobbie and John. We will all remember Joyce as the girl who never missed an important putt or a good party, and brought joy and Friendship to everyone she met. She was an amazing mom and grandmother. A memorial service will be held at Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Ave. W. (2 stoplights West of Yonge St.) in Toronto at 1 p.m. Monday, January 5th. A reception will follow immediately at the Badminton and Racquet Club at 25 St Clair Ave. West.

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KEENAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-23 published
A remarkable life, and a friend to all
By Eric DUHATSCHEK Monday, June 23, 2003 - Page S1
Nashville -- Roger NEILSON's legacy in hockey will endure because he coached 1,000 games among eight National Hockey League teams, because he was an innovator and because he served as a mentor and a tutor to others during a Hall of Fame career.
But the contributions of NEILSON, who died Saturday in Peterborough, Ontario, at 69 after a lengthy battle with cancer, contain a vibrancy matched by few others because of the countless Friendships he developed during his lifetime.
The proof of that came in June of last year when a dozen of his closest Friends organized a tribute to NEILSON. It was held in Toronto, a day before the National Hockey League awards dinner, to make it easier for people to attend, which they did. More than 1,300 people were there.
NEILSON was responsible for helping several players and coaches get to the National Hockey League, including Bob GAINEY, Craig RAMSAY and Colin CAMPBELL, players on the Peterborough Petes junior team that NEILSON coached in the 1970s.
Among those who benefited from NEILSON's guidance was Florida Panthers coach Mike KEENAN. Scotty BAUMAN/BOWMAN, the Hall of Fame coach, recalled Saturday how NEILSON talked him into hiring KEENAN, who had also coached the Petes, into running the Buffalo Sabres' minor-league affiliate in Rochester, New York in the early 1980s.
"Roger didn't have any enemies," KEENAN said. "He lived his life in a principled way. He had a great deal of respect for people and found goodness in all of them. He was very unique and all of us were blessed to know him.
"I'm saddened by his passing, but to me, this is a life to be celebrated, a life that was so influential to many of us."
NEILSON had an endless fascination with the rulebook that forced the powers in whatever league he happened to be coaching in to revise and clarify each loophole he probed. For a penalty shot, he would put a defenceman in the crease instead of a goaltender, instructing the defenceman to rush the shooter as soon as the latter crossed the blueline, to hurry him into a mistake.
Once, when his team was already two players short with less than two minutes remaining in the game, NEILSON kept sending players over the boards, getting penalties for delaying the game. The strategy worked, taking time off the clock and upsetting the other team's flow. At that stage of the game, it didn't matter how many penalties NEILSON's team was taking. If a coach tried that tactic today, the opposition would be awarded a penalty shot.
NEILSON, whose last job was as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators, coached his 1,000th National Hockey League game on the final night of the 2001-02 regular season, temporarily filling in for Senators head coach Jacques MARTIN. NEILSON was involved with a dozen National Hockey League teams in a series of different capacities, including his eight different turns as a head coach. In 1982, he took the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup final, his one and only appearance in the championship series as a coach. The Canucks were swept by the New York Islanders.
It was during that playoff run that NEILSON placed a white towel on the end of a stick, a mock surrender to the on-ice officials.
In 1999, NEILSON was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer, and needed a bone marrow transplant. He also developed skin cancer, the result of a lifetime of being outdoors, in the sun, usually in raggedy old shorts and T-shirts, with a well-worn baseball cap perched on his head.
"He put in an incredible, inspiring fight with an insidious disease," said KEENAN, who added that NEILSON kept in constant contact with his mother Thelma, after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"They found strength in each other. That's the type of individual Roger was. He'd reach out and touch somebody who needed help. He was deathly in pain the last few times we spoke, but he would not let it influence his life."
The high regard for NEILSON was clear during the tribute for him last year. Former coach and Hockey Night in Canada analyst Harry NEALE, who worked with NEILSON in Vancouver, was the master of ceremonies. But he was so overcome by emotion so many times that he let his good friend Roger steal the show.
NEILSON's self-deprecating sense of humor surfaced when he scanned the crowd and suggested that everyone he'd ever said hello to in his lifetime had turned up for the event. He quipped that at $125 a ticket, it must be an National Hockey League production. What other organization would set the price so outrageously high?
NEILSON's health was deteriorating this spring, but he managed to accompany the Senators on the road for their second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Senators pushed the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the New Jersey Devils, to seven games in the Eastern Conference final before being eliminated.
NEILSON's speech to the team before Game 6, with the Senators trailing 3-1 in the series, was cited by the players and the coaching staff as the inspiration for their comeback against the Devils.
"The only sad part is we weren't able to win a Stanley Cup for him this year," Martin said.
With his health failing, NEILSON asked BAUMAN/BOWMAN to be the keynote speaker at his annual coaching clinic in Windsor earlier this month.
"I talked to him only a week ago," BAUMAN/BOWMAN said. "I said, 'The coaches in the National Hockey League are getting blamed a lot for the [defensive] style that teams are playing.' I said, 'You should blame Roger NEILSON because he's the one training all these coaches.'
"Roger was a special person. The people that follow hockey know what he went through. I truly think he battled it right to the end and it was hockey that probably kept Roger going." eduhatschek@globeandmail.ca
Remembering Roger NEILSON
"The coaches in the National Hockey League have been getting blamed a lot for the style of game the teams are playing. I said, 'You should blame Roger NEILSON because he's training all these coaches.' "He battled right to the end. Hockey and life for Roger were intertwined. That probably kept him going to the end. He never got married. He was married to hockey."
Scott BAUMAN/BOWMAN
"All the awards he won this year tell you about his hockey career's innovativeness and what kind of person he is. Some people are going to remember Roger for nothing to do with hockey just because of what a humanitarian he is. He put up an unbelievable battle. From when he found out how sick he was, if had happened to most people, they would have had their demise many months ago. He fought hard."
Jim GREGORY
"I know I haven't met a person who could equal Roger's passion for hockey. The honours bestowed on him in the past year, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada, did not come by accident. He has done so much for so many kids and I will always remember that legacy."
Harry NEALE
"He's an individual we can all be inspired by, by his ability to deal with some difficult situations in his own life. He has such a high level of respect for human beings. "He was fortunate in way he lived his life. It was impacted by his faith and his religion. He observed those principles on a daily basis, things most of us have a hard time dealing with. He saw the goodness in everyone else."
Mike KEENAN
"He did a lot of work at the grassroots level with his hockey camps, coaches' clinics, his baseball teams, his summer programs. He wasn't really in it for himself very much. "It's a word you use too often to make it special but in his case he was unique, he really was."
Bob GAINEY
"Hockey has lost a great mind, a great spirit, a great friend. The National Hockey League family mourns his loss but celebrates his legacy -- the generations of players he counselled, the coaches he moulded, the changes his imagination inspired and the millions of fans he entertained."
Gary BETTMAN
Life and times
Born: June 16, 1934, in Toronto.
Education: Roger NEILSON graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton with a degree in physical education.
Nickname: Captain Video because he was the first to analyze game videos to pick apart opponents' weaknesses.
Coaching career: NEILSON coached hockey teams for 50 years. He was a National Hockey League coach for Toronto, Buffalo, Vancouver, Los Angeles, the New York Rangers, Florida, Philadelphia and Ottawa. The Senators let him coach a game on April 13, 2002, so he could reach 1,000 for his career. He was an National Hockey League assistant in Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis and Ottawa.
Major Honours: Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders category last year. Invested into the Order of Canada in May.
Tributes: ESPN Classic Canada will air a 24-hour tribute to NEILSON beginning today at 6 p.m. eastern daylight time. The programming will include a profile, footage from the famous white towel game during the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs and his 1,000th game behind the bench.
Funeral: Services for NEILSON will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday at North View Pentecostal Church in Peterborough, Ontario (705-748-4573). The church is at the corner of Fairbairn Street and Tower Hill Road.

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KEENBERG o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-27 published
Mary KEENBERG
By Jonina WOOD Monday, January 27, 2003, Page A16
Wife, mother, grandmother. Born July 4, 1913, on a train passing through Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay). Died September 26, 2002, in Winnipeg, of natural causes, aged 89.
I first met Mary KEENBERG in 1999 at the Manitoba Club in Winnipeg. With its Edwardian oak-panelled walls, deep chairs and old-world ambience, it was the perfect setting for Mary. She half-rose from her fireside chair to greet me -- a tiny, elegant, perfectly coiffed woman who smiled a warm welcome. Sweet-hearted yet somewhat imperious, she was a master of the quick quip. "We're the long and short of it," she once pointed out to a crowd, getting a huge laugh as I stood a full foot taller than she. But the meeting at the Manitoba Club had a deeper significance.
Mary was born on a train. Her parents, newly arrived from the shtetls of Russia, were on their way to a whistle stop in Saskatchewan called Mikado. They were part of the waves of immigrants inspired by Prime Minister Wilfrid LAURIER's international appeal to come settle Canada.
So they did. Mary's father, Maurice Max BURTNICK, opened a general store. To a brood that already included Tony, Sasha and Mary were added Louis, Polly, Harry and Allan. The sudden departure of Mary's mother left Mary to care for her younger siblings. This she did with a fierce and protective love that would come to be one of her defining character traits.
Mary was younger than most when she graduated from Grade 12 with the highest grades in all Saskatchewan. She taught Grades 1 to 12 in a one-room country schoolhouse near Canora, Saskatchewan, biding her time until she was 18 and could enter nursing at the General Hospital in Winnipeg. Once again, she graduated with the highest marks in her class.
With little money and the tough, physical demands of nursing, life cannot have been easy for her and it was during this time that she lost her much-beloved sister Polly in a fire back home, a tragedy which created a lifelong wound in Mary's heart.
Meanwhile, on a happier note, there was a young, Jewish doctor in the small Manitoban town of Baldur named Abe KEENBERG. Dr. KEENBERG was very busy (and also perhaps a tad lonely, the story goes), so one day he called his younger brother Lou who lived in Winnipeg. "Lou," he said, "I need a wife. Do you know any nice Jewish nurses?"
Lou soon invited Abe to meet Mary. It was a match. In 1938, they were married at the Royal Alex in Winnipeg. They formed a loving and effective team, first taking up residence in Glenboro, Manitoba, and then in 1945 moving to Winnipeg with their new son. Here, Mary took on what would become her life's passion: the fledgling state of Israel.
With her own children, she was equally zealous. If Patty or Ron came home with an A, Mary wanted to know what happened to the "plus." If ever they were taunted as Jews, they were to fight back. In the KEENBERG home, there was honour in a bloodied nose won fighting against racial slurs of any kind.
Tiny, but with the constitution of an ox, Mary was awhirl with her work, her children, her travels with Abe, and her Friends. When Abe died in 1987, she bravely carried on although devastated by his passing. She filled her time with work, bridge (she was an ace), and she was a friend to her grandchildren -- Megan, Kathryn and Adam.
But she was often lonely. She missed her Abe and was anxious to join him. This determined woman, who had fought her way from poor beginnings to membership in the Manitoba Club, was weary toward the end. Yet she was ever ladylike, ever gracious, ever the warrior.
Jonina WOOD is Mary's daughter-in-law

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KEEPING o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-25 published
'Death has never fazed me'
Joyful teenager taught children and parents how to live with cancer
By Michael VALPY Saturday, January 25, 2003, Page F11
Cory MAESTRELLO didn't just have cancer, he was a philosopher of cancer. This week he left life celebrated, something he would have considered appropriate for every young person inflicted with his disease.
He was a month short of his 18th birthday. He believed cancer was a gift that had enriched his life.
He died remembered for his infectious enthusiasm, his joy, his grin, his insights into living with a terminal illness, the love he showed to other sufferers, his toughness and his inclination to do impromptu Riverdance imitations in hospital elevators.
On Tuesday afternoon, lying in a hospital bed in Sudbury, Ontario, with pneumonia, he told his father Art: "I'm going to beat this." He was dead a few hours later.
His Sudbury high school, St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, cancelled exams, declared a "Cory Day" and allowed its students to go home.
The lead singer of a student band in which he had once played composed a song for him. Students from high schools across the city turned up to sign a Cory poster in St. Benedict's chapel.
CJOH-Television, the Canadian Television Network outlet in Ottawa, broadcast a 3½-minute tribute to him on its 6 o'clock news, part of a documentary-in-the-making of his life that now will never be completed. The station's vice-president of news and public affairs, Max KEEPING, was to attend Cory's funeral mass today.
Many members of the Ottawa Senators hockey team planned to attend a memorial service for him at Ottawa's Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Parents of other children with cancer being treated at the hospital were devastated by the news that he had died, said palliative care nurse Marilyn CASSIDY. " There have been so many families calling."
Cory had befriended and counselled them. He had taught them, parents and children, how to live with cancer and the process of dying.
Interviewed last November for a Globe and Mail Focus article on how to live life at the edge of death, he said: "Death has never fazed me. The only thing that's fazed me is not getting the chance to live this life . . . and I've lived more in two years [with cancer] than most people will live in their entire life, and I appreciate that."
Cory MAESTRELLO, the son of a retired mine worker, revelled in living for his last two years.
"I feel there's a path out there for me," he said. "Be it by God or whatever the higher power is, I always feel there's a path set out for me."
He visited with dying children in the hospital, even after doctors told him that he himself was beyond treatment. He spoke at dead children's memorial services.
He approached Mr. KEEPING last year and asked if he could appear on CJOH's annual fundraising telethon for the hospital. Mr. KEEPING agreed.
Cory was on air for an hour, talking about what it was like to have cancer and showing photographs of Serge, his closest friend at the hospital, who had died. Mr. KEEPING called his presence "compelling."
Cory said excitedly afterward: "Working on the telethon was a blast. The words that I said helped people. It's given me the tools to help people. I don't care if I die tomorrow."
He talked to his Globe and Mail interviewer about the joy he felt with life. "Your very best day is probably my worst day," he said.
He talked about the importance of each day. "I always let everyone know I love them," he said, "just in case I don't get the chance to. I've got to say everything that I need to say today. I may not be here tomorrow to say it."
Said Ms. CASSIDY: " You sometimes found yourself asking if he was too good to be true. He was the real thing, big-time. He was a very special kid" -- a hero to other youngsters with cancer, she said, who faced his own adversity with inner strength and inner ability.
Cory and Max KEEPING became Friends after the CJOH telethon. The station executive took him to Senators' games and introduced him to the players. People introduced to Cory rarely, if ever, forgot him.
He had a delightful, buzzy energy, with an intelligence that measured off the Richter scale, said Nic BATTIGELLI, one of Cory's St. Benedict teachers who gave a eulogy for him at his funeral.
He was charming, and attractive to girls -- frequently girls older than himself. Mr. BATTIGELLI recalled him taking a beautiful Grade 13 student to an event while he was still in Grade 9.
Mr. KEEPING recalled taking Cory to a party for his 30th anniversary as a television broadcaster just before Christmas (Cory was living at the children's hospital's Ronald McDonald House; he went home to Sudbury at Christmas and never returned).
At 2 a.m., Mr. KEEPING suggested to Cory that it was maybe time to to leave. Cory replied that there were still two people at the party, and as long as someone was partying, he wanted to party.
Mr. KEEPING said: "I feel so good that even in six months this kid could teach me how important today is . . . that what's important is what you do with today. He turned on a light and, I know I shouldn't say this, but the light's gone out. It's sad for me. But how enriched I've been -- and I said that on air."
Mr. BATTIGELLI and Cory had developed a bond even before the boy was diagnosed with cancer. Cory wanted to become a teacher, and told Mr. BATTIGELLI shortly after he met him: "You're the teacher I want to be."
Mr. BATTIGELLI said Cory, as a 14-year-old Grade 9 student, asked to join an anti-violence peer-meditation program the teacher ran at the school, and later asked to accompany Mr. BATTIGELLI on a similar conflict resolution project he had started in a nearby first nations community. He said Cory was superb at it.
"He just was a kid who was not a kid," Mr. BATTIGELLI said. "I think God has truly picked up an angel. God sends us signposts. I think he will be my guardian angel for the rest of my teaching career."
St. Benedict principal Teresa STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, when she cancelled exams this week, said: "This is a time for Cory."

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