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"KOV" 2003 Obituary


KOVACH  KOVEN 

KOVACH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-21 published
FOGARTY, James Patrick ''Pat'' September 9, 1920 Consort, Alberta - November 16, 2003 Victoria, British Columbia
Died peacefully at Sandringham Hospital after a long struggle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He was predeceased by eldest son, John (1953 - 1973) and by siblings, Arthur, Margaret Dulsrud HOWELL and Edna KOVACH. Pat is survived by his wife, Helen, sons Richard and David and daughter Claire and two sisters, Florence MURRAY (Edmonton) and Joyce SPENCER (Lethbridge) and by nieces and nephews and their families. In 1940, Pat joined the Royal Canadian Air Force becoming an aero-engine mechanic and later a flight engineer seconded to the Royal Air Force Transport Command. After World War 2, received his M.S.W. from University of British Columbia. He worked at various social agencies in Vancouver before becoming a director in the Saskatchewan Dept. of Welfare until 1966. He completed his career in the federal Department of the Environment. A memorial service will be held at 2: 00 p.m. Wednesday, November 26 at St. Aidan's United Church Victoria, British Columbia. Memorial Society of Vancouver Island.

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KOVEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-15 published
Jonathan Earl KOVEN
By Mara KOVEN Monday, September 15, 2003 - Page A18
Husband, father, son, brother, project manager, logician. Born August 15, 1963, in Toronto. Died September 23, 2002, in Toronto of a cardiac arrhythmia, age 39.
Had Jonathan, my husband, been born 15 years earlier, he may not have lived past his seventh birthday, much less get married, earn an Ivey M.B.A., and have two children.
Jonathan was born with a congenital defect, Tetrology of Fallot, which includes four malformations of the heart. As a one-year-old, he had a shunt put in his shoulder to help his poor blood circulation, as evidenced by "blue lips." In 1972, at age seven, he moved into Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children for a month. His parents, two immigrants from South Africa, commuted to Sick Kids from Bramalea, near Toronto, each day to check on their middle child as they juggled jobs and the care of their other two children. Doctors had advised them to have another child after Jonathan was diagnosed... "just in case he dies."
But he survived to become an Ontario Scholar, graduating with an honours degree in Combinatorics and Optimization (a branch of mathematics) from the University of Waterloo, and then to work at Sunoco, SunLife and Aim Trimark.
His life blended logic and creativity. He jotted down his life's ambitions, grouped into one-, three-, five-and 10-year plans, and achieved his dream of riding a unicycle, starting to play guitar, having children, and buying a house. One unfulfilled dream was to build a cedar-strip canoe.
He was always prompt for meetings, dates, and insisted the family sit for daily breakfast as a way to ground us all. A playful father, he would surprise his children by dedicating a Saturday morning to making a four-foot giraffe from chicken wire, a juice can and newspaper, to be decorated by the children. One summer afternoon two years ago, as hail and rain were pelting down, Jonathan encouraged us to put on bathing suits and join him in running around the mulberry tree in the front yard. Our toddler, Maya, went out, giggling, into the hail, while the rest of us shook our heads in disbelief.
Heart patients like Jonathan are at a 1-per-cent risk level for sudden fatal arrhythmia (rapid heartbeat). Jonathan suddenly died from an arrhythmia a month after turning 39, and weeks after celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary. It was a Monday night, just hours before he was to take his parents to a flight home to Israel.
"I'm feeling dizzy," he interrupted himself as he placed his hands to his forehead. We were curled up on our couch, catching up on the day's events with a cup of tea.
Our two children never woke that night as two teams of paramedics worked amid flashing lights, making several attempts at shocking Jonathan's heart back into a normal rhythm. Our daughter, Maya, now aged 4, says "Goodbye mommy" at bedtime, just in case: If one parent can die in the night, without saying goodbye, couldn't the other one, too?
We remember Jonathan as a man who was full of life and gratitude, who'd hold doors for elderly or disabled, and would endlessly kiss and hug his children. Our son, Noah, has inherited his father's love of reading.
Once, before starting a major project at Aim Trimark, he e-mailed committee members asking them for the name of their favourite chocolate bar, and when colleagues entered the meeting room they found their choice on the table. A close friend described Jonathan as "a normal guy, who just did things in an way that was extraordinary."
What did Jonathan know, that his funeral drew more than 1,000 people last September? That our lives are gifts, and it is up to us to live them fully, with honesty and love for others and ourselves.
Mara KOVEN is Jonathan KOVEN's wife.

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