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"POE" 2006 Obituary


POEI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-03 published
Walter Massey TOVELL, 89: Fascinated by museums
By Astrid POEI, Staff Reporter
Walter Massey TOVELL believed in studying the history of the world around him, and how it was created, in order to understand today's world.
It was a passion he followed throughout his life, Friends and family say.
"He was always interested in the environment and historical questions. It was his life," said his brother, Vincent TOVELL, 83, who retired as a history and nature show producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "He was a lifelong teacher and educator -- those are very important words and they are absolutely correct."
TOVELL, a scion of Canada's Massey family, a former director of the Royal Ontario Museum and a geologist, died Friday at the Avalon Retirement Centre in Orangeville. He was 89.
"One of the reasons that he was so interested in the Royal Ontario Museum is it's not just a science museum, a humanities museum, human history museum, archeology and all those things," his brother said.
"He was very supportive of all of them, which made him a natural director when there had been all kinds of problems in change and growth."
TOVELL was the eldest grand_son of Susan DENTON and Walter MASSEY, who purchased 80 hectares of land and built a farm called Dentonia Park, near what is today Victoria Park and Danforth Aves. After attending Upper Canada College and the University of Toronto, he received his doctorate in geology from the California Institute of Technology in the 1940s and served as a professor at U of T, where buildings bearing his family's name, such as Massey College and Hart House (named after his great-grandfather, Hart MASSEY,) still stand.
In 1973, TOVELL was appointed director of the Royal Ontario Museum, after trustees had dismissed his predecessor for "launching the Royal Ontario Museum in strange futuristic directions," the Toronto Star reported at the time. Despite pushing for expansion during his three-year tenure, Friends said he never got used to the recent changes at Canada's largest museum.
"Walter was not fond of the new design and that would be an understatement," said his friend and executor of his estate, Wayne TOWNSEND. "He felt that the front entrance should always be pointed towards the university because the university is a place of learning and he didn't like the idea that the new entrance pointed towards Bloor St. because it made it a little more commercial. He always felt that the museum should be a place of learning, as opposed to a tourist attraction."
TOVELL retired in 1975 and kept up an active pace, venturing out on oil expeditions and geological tours to such places as Iceland. Fittingly for TOVELL, who was forever learning, he eventually settled in a renovated schoolhouse in Orangeville, where he helped establish the Dufferin County Museum and Archives. It helps ensure the museum continues to thrive independent of government funding, Townsend said.
"Certainly in Dufferin Country, it was always neat for us to recognize the fact that he was well-known through the country, but at home he was always relaxed, never wore a tie, he always looked like he had just come off the farm," said TOWNSEND, who is also the museum's curator and director.
During his time in Dufferin County, TOVELL penned a guide to the Niagara Escarpment, set up a trail near the Island Lake conservation area and was one of the founding members of the Kortright Centre for Conservation, TOWNSEND said. He was also a member of a number of naturalist groups and pushed many environmental causes.
"He felt near the end of his life that you become secure by being involved in your small community than the big communities of the world," said his long-time friend. "It's much easier. It always starts at home."
TOVELL leaves brothers Vincent and Freeman, children Mariane Muir and Denton, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on January 14, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Dods and McNair Funeral Home in Orangeville; a service will be held January 15 at 2 p.m. at the Historic Church at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, Highway 89 and Airport Rd.

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POEI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-30 published
2 motorcyclists die in icy plunge
Survivor drifts on Lake Simcoe ice
Officials warn about unsafe conditions
By Robin MacLENNAN, Special To The Star With files from Astrid POEI
Innisfil, Ontario -- An Innisfil man spent four terrifying hours drifting on Lake Simcoe's treacherous ice overnight yesterday after the two Friends he was with plunged through a pressure crack on their motorcycles and drowned.
The 22-year-old survivor struggled to light candles and use a flashlight and keep in touch with police using the cellphone he'd brought along in an emergency survival pack, but rescuers said it was nip and tuck.
"Phone reception in the area wasn't that good and he didn't know exactly where he was," South Simcoe Police Sgt. Brian MILLER said, speaking of the challenge facing rescuers in locating the man.
"It was dark and difficult."
Police said they were not sure if the survivor, a passenger on one of the bikes, managed to jump off as it hit the metre-wide pressure crack in the ice at about 4 a.m. He might have climbed out of the water.
The drivers -- Brian DWYER, 22, of Innisfil and Randal HILTS, 22, of Bradford -- went down with their bikes and drowned in the deep water between Snake Island and Fox Island. Their bodies were later recovered by York Regional Police divers.
Police and fire officials have cautioned residents to stay off the ice on area lakes and rivers, especially with the region's recent cycles of thaws and freezes.
"You have to be aware of the conditions that exist and the thickness of the ice and if you're not familiar, don't go out," York Regional Police Insp. Norn MILES cautioned. "Unfortunately, we've had a lot of these incidents over the years and they're tragic for everyone."
Police said the survivor, who was travelling with a survivor kit and cellphone wrapped in plastic inside his backpack, attempted to gain some warmth by lighting candles while waiting for rescue workers. He was found by Innisfil firefighters at about 7: 45 a.m. and transported to shore in an airboat. He was treated at noon at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie for hypothermia, abrasions and bruises, and police said "he'll be perfectly Okay." The identity of the survivor has not been released.
Emergency crews searched the lake near Innisfil unsuccessfully for about four hours, struggling to locate the man on the lake's frozen expanses.
Police said the men left an Innisfil home at about 3 a.m., eventually venturing out across the ice after "joy-riding" along the shoreline.
"The surviving witness was uncertain where they went out onto the ice because they had been riding up and down the shore area for quite a while," said York Regional Insp. Rod RAMAGE.
The three, who RAMAGE said were riding motocross motorcycles without headlights, "were doing the typical things that 22-year-old boys do when they get out on their motorcycles in an area where they don't have to worry about other vehicles.
"They were all over hill and dale, probably doing doughnuts and popping wheelies along the way," RAMAGE said. "It is my understanding they were doing their motocross activities in around the shore, on and off the ice in the shallow area, for about an hour before they decided to head across the lake."
The trio of Friends was riding tandem across thin ice between Fox Island and Snake Island when their vehicles went into open water, police said.
They were "going for a drive around the area there, and had no specific plan to go anywhere."
Onlookers gathered at the shore off Innisfil Beach Park, straining to watch rescue efforts happening near the middle of the lake.
"It's too bad, you hate to see it," said Bill ANDREWS. " Probably young guys doing something foolish."
Police said alcohol might have been a factor in the drownings.
Ice conditions in the area are described as unsafe because of recent warm temperatures and rain.
A steady downpour drenched rescuers and those who watched from shore yesterday as water pooled on the lake, turning ice into slush.
"I wouldn't go out there for anything right now," ANDREWS said, shaking his head. "Just look at the conditions."

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POELL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-10 published
Passed away, surrounded by the love of her family, on Saturday, January 7, 2006. Beloved wife of Martin, her soulmate and caregiver. Cherished mother of Melinda (Shane). Dearest daughter of Hedwig POELL. Predeceased by her father Karl. Loved daughter-in-law of Laura and Elmer CAMPBELL. Dear sister of John and his children Cliff and Monika. Melitta will be sadly missed by her many Friends and relatives both here at home and in Austria. Friends will be received at the Jerrett Funeral Home - North York Chapel, 6191 Yonge Street (2 lights south of Steeles) on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday at 10: 00 a.m. from St. Gabriel's Church, 650 Sheppard Avenue East.

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POELZER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-03-27 published
O'DONOVAN, Diarmuid
In his 91st year, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 25, 2006, at Houses of Providence, Toronto. Beloved father of Cathy and Marv HAVERY, Kilian and Loretta O'DONOVAN, Diarmuid and Kathy O'DONOVAN, Con and Sue O'DONOVAN, Neave and Ted GREIG, Emir and Jim POELZER, Mora and Marc OUELLETTE, and Grainne THORSBY and the late Jim THORSBY, and his two stepsons, Rick and Gary JOHNSON. Cherished by 32 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, his niece Pauline O'DONOVAN and many other nieces and nephews. Diarmuid was born in Cork, Ireland and emigrated to Toronto from Dublin in 1954. He was predeceased by his first wife Rosaleen (née CREANER,) his second wife Lidy JOHNSON, his daughter Roisin and brother Donal. He is survived by his brother Don and sister Peggy in Dublin. His loving presence, his wit and gentle humour, will be sadly missed by all his family and Friends. Friends may call on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the R.S. Kane Funeral Home (6150 Yonge Street, at Goulding, south of Steeles). Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church (39 Green Lane, Thornhill) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 11 o'clock. Interment to follow at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. Donations to Providence Healthcare Foundation, 3276 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M1L 1W1 or St. Bernard's Residence, 685 Finch Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M2R 1P2 will be appreciated. Condolences

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