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"RAH" 2003 Obituary


RAHIMI  RAHNASTO 

RAHIMI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-02 published
Architect had a passion for museums
He won Governor-General's Award for a high-rise called 'a superior project' and helped to put the Royal Ontario Museum on the map
By Allison LAWLOR Friday, May 2, 2003 - Page R11
For Toronto architect Henry SEARS, working in museum-exhibit planning and design proved to be the perfect fit. What better place for a man interested in the world to delve into the fine details of everything from fossils to Meissen china?
"He had an inquiring mind, "said Doreen SEARS, his wife of 51 years. "[Museums] fed his natural curiosity in the most wonderful way."
Mr. SEARS, who died on March 19 at the age of 73, began his museum work in the mid-1970s at the Royal Ontario Museum when he was hired to be part of a task force to plan future expansion of the Toronto institution.
"Our job was to reimagine the Royal Ontario Museum, "said Louis LEVINE, director of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. At the time, Mr. LEVINE was a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum and part of the task force.
"He was the one who made us think. He wouldn't take fuzzy answers from us, "Mr. LEVINE said.
Mr. SEARS relished his job. Mr. LEVINE recalled how his good friend would show up at meetings unable to contain his enthusiasm. With the excitement of a young child, he would describe to the group, many of whom were academic archeologists, what he had learned on his travels through the museum.
"He was hungry for information. He wanted to know how things work, "said his son Joel SEARS.
The task force produced an influential publication called Communicating With the Museum Visitor in 1976, which became a textbook for museum work, said Dan RAHIMI, director of collections management at the Royal Ontario Museum. The publication put the museum on the world map as being a leader in museum theory, Mr. RAHIMI added.
In subsequent years, Mr. SEARS continued to work with the Royal Ontario Museum on various projects ranging from designing travelling exhibits to gallery space. "He was so sensitive to the content. He would always ask what is this gallery about? What stories do they tell?" Mr. RAHIMI said.
Aside from the Royal Ontario Museum, Mr. SEARS worked with several other museums across Canada, the United States and Europe. In recent years, he and his firm Sears and Russell were working with the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin in the planning for a new permanent gallery. Mr. SEARS also worked with the Nova Scotia Museum, the Peabody Museum at Yale University and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, among others.
"I don't think he ever had the sense that he would ever retire," said Jeff WEATHERSTON, an architect at Sears and Russell. "He just loved the work here."
Henry SEARS was born in Toronto on October 30, 1929. After graduating from Harbord Collegiate Institute in downtown Toronto, he went on to study architecture at the University of Toronto, from which he graduated in 1954. While at university he met a young woman named Doreen on a blind date. The couple married on July 1, 1951, and later had two sons.
After graduating from university, the young couple headed to Europe where they spent six months travelling before heading home. Back in Toronto, Mr. SEARS went to work for a variety of architectural firms before heading out on his own. In the late 1950s he and a partner Jeff KLEIN started the firm Klein and Sears. They worked on several housing projects in the city, including the Alexandra Park Co-operative. Built in the 1960s, the large public-housing project was one of the city's earliest such schemes.
A fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Mr. SEARS received a Governor-General's Award for residential design in 1985. The award was for Cadillac Fairview Corp.'s Bay-Charles Towers, a mixed-use project designed by Mr. SEARS.
"A superior project, "the jury selecting the winners said at the time. According to the jury, the Toronto project shows that "the basic high-rise type provides opportunities for richness of expression hitherto rarely explored."
In 1984, Mr. SEARS created a new firm called Sears and Russell that was dedicated solely to museum work. Over the years, he acted as a mentor to several young architects who came to work for him and others who worked with him in the museum field.
Outside of work, Mr. SEARS loved to travel, and spent time at the family's country place near Meaford, north of Toronto, and on a sailboat on Lake Ontario. An avid sailor, Mr. SEARS continued to race even last year. "He was endlessly energetic and enthusiastic," Joel SEARS said.
Mr. SEARS, who died following a battle with cancer, leaves his wife, Doreen, and sons Alan and Joel.
"He was an optimist to the last minute, "Mr. LEVINE said. "He added beauty to the world."

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RAHNASTO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-21 published
FREEMAN, Willard Arthur, 1922-2003
Arthur, dear husband of Margaret, died June 18, 2003. He was the loved and respected father of James, Donald and Peter and grandfather of Jamie, John, Jeffery, Jennifer, Dustin, Wyatt and Skyler. He is survived by his sisters-in-law Lorna FREEMAN, Helen LOVE and Alison FLYNN (Michael). Uncle Art will be missed, especially at the cottage, by his nieces and nephews, Wendy and Paul Sherwood, Malcolm and Elizabeth GRAHAM, David and Judy LOVE, Barbara LOVE, Jane and Tim ELLIOT/ELLIOTT, Joe FLYNN and their children. Grandpa will also be remembered by Jane MacCabe FREEMAN, mother of Jamie, John, Jeffery and Jennifer and Laila RAHNASTO, mother of Dustin, Wyatt and Skyler. Cremation has taken place. A service will be held at Central Presbyterian Church (Charlton and Caroline, Hamilton, Ontario) on Monday, June 30th at 11 a.m. A reception will be held in the Guild Room of the Church following the service. Flowers gratefully declined.

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RAHNASTO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-24 published
FREEMAN, Willard Arthur, 1922-2003
Arthur, dear husband of Margaret, died June 18, 2003. He was the loved and respected father of James, Donald and Peter and grandfather of Jamie, John, Jeffery, Jennifer, Dustin, Wyatt and Skyler. He is survived by his sisters-in-law Lorna FREEMAN, Helen LOVE and Alison FLYNN (Michael). Uncle Art will be missed, especially at the cottage, by his nieces and nephews, Wendy and Paul SHERWOOD, Malcolm and Elizabeth GRAHAM, David and Judy LOVE, Barbara LOVE, Jane and Tim ELLIOT/ELLIOTT, Joe FLYNN and their children. Grandpa will also be remembered by Jane MacCabe FREEMAN, mother of Jamie, John, Jeffery and Jennifer and Laila RAHNASTO, mother of Dustin, Wyatt and Skyler. Cremation has taken place. A service will be held at Central Presbyterian Church (Charlton and Caroline, Hamilton, Ontario) on Monday, June 30th at 11 a.m. A reception will be held in the Guild Room of the Church following the service. Flowers gratefully declined.

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