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"MAP" 2007 Obituary


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MAPP o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-06-21 published
VAISLER, beloved wife travelled the globe
By Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Thurs., June 21, 2007
Sydney VAISLER didn't play favourites.
"It didn't matter whether you were a wealthy businessman or someone who just went in for a new outfit once a year, he always gave you his best," said VAISLER's eldest son, Barry.
The man who would become known as a dedicated family man and a well-known member of London's business community, started his company -- VAISLER's -- in 1938, opening his first store on Dundas street.
He died Tuesday, after battling several strokes. He was 91 and is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sari, three children and seven grandchildren.
VAISLER was the son of a poor tailor from Romania. He grew up in Saskatoon and moved around in his youth, with his family finally settling in London.
Although he made a name for himself with his four Southwestern Ontario clothing stores for 55 years -- with stores in Hamilton, Brantford, and two in London -- VAISLER had always dreamed of becoming a doctor.
Before he went into the clothing business, VAISLER completed one year at University of Western Ontario for pre-med studies. But he had to drop out after the first year because his family couldn't afford the tuition.
"He was a man who liked to be his own boss, but he always encouraged us to pursue medicine," Barry VAISLER said.
Barry VAISLER and a few of Sydney VAISLER's grandchildren have gone on to study medicine.
VAISLER's wife remembers VAISLER as a bright and ambitious man, who was well read and loved to travel. The couple travelled extensively to Europe, Africa and Asia.
They met in 1946 while VAISLER was in Montreal visiting Friends on a business trip.
When he returned to London, VAISLER phoned Sari and asked her on a date.
Two years later, the couple married. They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary last November.
"We were very blessed to be together for so long. We went all over the world together. And we loved it," she said.
In addition to being an avid traveller who "loved staying in hotels and dressing up," Barry said his father loved to socialize with family and Friends.
"Growing up, we always had a lot of gatherings."
As well as being a dedicated father and grandfather, VAISLER contributed to his Jewish community. He was president of the B'nai Israel Synagogue and a founding member of Or Shalom Synagogue.
"People in our community looked up to him and they were encouraged to make a better life for themselves, and start up their own businesses," said Fanny GOOSE, operator of J Goose Family Clothing in London.
"He was always giving back to the community… he would always chat with his customers. He really helped to build London businesses."
VAISLER continued to go to the office to oversee operations into his 80s, but had to stop after he fell ill.
The downtown VAISLER's store was the last of his businesses to close, in 1991.
VAISLER's funeral is today at 2: 30 p.m. at Or Shalom Synagogue, 534 Huron Street, London.
Donations in his memory can be made to Or Shalom Synagogue.

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MAPP o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-07-01 published
Tiny, feisty woman big on independence
By Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Sun., July 1, 2007
When Amy Elizabeth GRIEVE was born, doctors said she wouldn't make it to her first birthday because of a "funny heart."
GRIEVE proved them all wrong.
Born in 1906 in Tyendinaga Township near Belleville, she lived through the sinking of the Titanic, two World Wars, the Great Depression and Canada's Centennial.
GRIEVE died on June 20 at the Dearness Home. She was 101.
Her family believes GRIEVE's secret to her agility -- she walked nearly five kilometres a day in her 80s -- and long life was in her diet.
GRIEVE didn't smoke or eat junk food and rarely drank alcohol. Fruits and vegetables were the mainstays of her diet. On special occasions, she would allow herself a small glass of rye and ginger ale.
"That was her one treat for herself. She always made sure to eat three good meals every day and was very active mentally and physically," said her daughter Sharon ZEISNER.
Standing four-foot-11, GRIEVE may have been small in stature, but she was larger than life, relatives say.
GRIEVE was known for her gourmet cooking, a hobby she thoroughly enjoyed. Up until she was in her 80s, she cooked a roast for herself every Sunday and froze the leftovers.
"She was bright, vivacious and fiercely independent. She was just a wonderful woman and a joy to be around," said her daughter Shirleyan ENGLISH.
GRIEVE trained in North Bay to become a teacher and went on to work at schools in northern Ontario.
One of the schools was in Tomiko, a railway stop on the line between North Bay and Cobalt.
Elliott GRIEVE, who worked as a telegrapher at the train station, immediately became enamoured with the "feisty" and self-sufficient new teacher in town.
"My dad was only five-(foot)-three so they were perfect for each other. He spotted her right away," ZEISNER said. "When my mom stepped off of the train, (one of his co-workers) said to my dad, 'That's the woman for you.' "
The couple married in 1934.
ENGLISH remembers living in a house filled with love and her parents "making suggestions instead of arguing."
In 1956, GRIEVE's husband died and she was left to figure out how to support her three young daughters and make ends meet on her teacher's salary.
To make additional income, GRIEVE invested in real estate, buying and selling small properties for profit.
"In that day, not a lot of women were investing in real estate," ENGLISH said. "She was very clever. She would sell the houses and sometimes rent them out. She could calculate monthly mortgage payments in her head."
Even as she aged, family said GRIEVE was "sharp as a tack," remembering family birthdays, phone numbers of her children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
In 1991, GRIEVE moved from her home in Haliburton County to London to be closer to her three daughters.
ENGLISH said the opinionated family scion would frequently give seasoned advice on family academic pursuits, careers and relationships.
"She was very astute and a really strong woman and led by example," ENGLISH said.
"She showed us we could be ourselves and be independent women, in or out of a marriage. We could do whatever we wanted to do in life."

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MAPP o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-07-30 published
Quarry tragedy claims teen
A fall at a Beachville quarry claims a budding photojournalist, 19, while another man is killed by a train at Richmond Row.
By Jennifer O'BRIEN, and Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Mon., July 30, An Oxford County teen about to embark on his dream of a career in photojournalism was one of three men killed in a tragedy-filled weekend in the London area.
Michael STOOP, 19, of Salford, near Ingersoll, was killed about 2 a.m. yesterday when he slipped on loose rocks while hanging out at a quarry in Beachville with five Friends, Oxford County Ontario Provincial Police said.
"It's hard to accept… it's such a loss for us," said STOOP's aunt, Ellen ESSELTINE. "He was a clever and bright kid and a well-liked kid… he was just awesome."
The Ingersoll Collegiate grad, who played on his school's football team, was going to attend Loyalist College in Belleville starting next month to study in its prestigious photojournalism program.
His family just helped him buy a new camera for school.
Police said that after slipping, STOOP fell down the rock embankment at the quarry. He was pronounced dead there.
"He fell about (three metres). It's a very unfortunate thing," said Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mark Foster. "I don't think we've had a quarry death around the area in a long time."
Elsewhere in the region, police investigated the deaths of two other men in separate tragedies: A 23-year-old man who was hit by a train in London near Richmond Row -- less than an hour after STOOP's death -- and a 27-year-old who drowned while boating with Friends in Chatham-Kent.
In the train tragedy, London police said alcohol may have been involved in the death of the 23-year-old man who was killed while crossing the tracks, located near a popular strip of bars.
Police didn't name the man, but said he's not from here.
The incident happened just after 2: 30 a.m. yesterday, at the rail tracks at St. George Street near Piccadilly Street, just north of Richmond Row.
Police don't suspect foul play in the man's death, said Const. Darrin BROWN.
"There is nothing suspicious about it."
BROWN said police didn't know where the man had been before trying to cross the tracks, but police had spoken to a couple of witnesses: who had "dealt with him."
At Mitchell's Bay yesterday, rescue workers continued to search for the body of a 29-year-old Chatham-Kent man who went missing on Lake St. Clair Saturday evening.
The man was out with four others in a small boat off Mitchell's Bay marina, said Chatham-Kent Ontario Provincial Police.
He was in the water about 6 p.m. when his Friends realized he couldn't get back to them.
As they tried to help him get back to the leisure boat -- which was about six kilometres from the marina -- the man slipped under the water, police said.
He is presumed dead, said Chatham-Kent Ontario Provincial Police Const. Aaron McPHAIL.
Members of the Chatham-Kent Fire Department, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police were searching a one-kilometre-square radius for the body of the man while an Ontario Provincial Police helicopter buzzed overhead.
"This is a recovery mission," McPHAIL said.
Police did not identify the man or the passengers.

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MAPP o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-08-10 published
Keen student drowns in waves
By Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Fri., August 10, 2007
The mother of a Michigan girl who drowned off Grand Bend on Wednesday remembered her daughter yesterday as an avid tennis player and ambitious student who loved ballet and Irish dancing.
And a Grand Bend-area resident described the desperate attempts to save her that ultimately failed.
Jule Marie KOVAR, 14, drowned Wednesday night when high waves pushed her into an area off the Lake Huron resort, not patrolled by lifeguards, that police called "highly dangerous."
"She was like the sunshine… always happy and dancing. She was gorgeous," Anna KOVAR said of her daughter.
The girl, from Fort Gratiot, Michigan., had been in Grand Bend visiting family and Friends for a day of shopping and fun, including swimming.
"She had been planning this trip for some time," her mother said, noting her daughter was excited to be in Grand Bend for the first time where she visited a longtime friend from Sarnia.
Jule Marie was swimming off the south end of the Bend's public beach, about 7: 20 p.m. with a friend, also 14, in metre-high waves, Ontario Provincial Police said.
The friend's mother called them back ashore, police said.
The friend made it back, but strong waves pushed Jule Marie north of the pier where the water was "extremely treacherous," police said.
The area, not patrolled by lifeguards, is known for high winds that cause large waves and a dangerous undertow.
A Beachville male, 17, whom police said was a friend of Jule Marie, tried to save her but was overcome by the waves and had to be pulled out. The teen, whose name was not released, was treated at hospital.
The Sarnia friend's mother also went into the water to try to save Jule Marie but couldn't.
Police and volunteers searched the water and found Jule Marie's body about 40 minutes later south of the Grand Bend pier.
Brian DALE, a Grand Bend-area resident, helped initiate a search about 25 minutes after Jule Marie slipped under.
He said he rounded up off-duty lifeguards -- who had finished their shifts at 5 p.m. -- from the other end of the beach to help in the search.
"No one seemed to be doing anything or knew what was going on when we got there… so I ran to the lifeguarding house and got them to bring out equipment.
"I cleared water from her throat… by the time we found her it was obvious it was too late," DALE said of efforts to revive the girl with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
At the south end of the beach, the area where Jule Marie drowned, there's no publicly accessible water safety equipment. There are signs posted at entrances and on the beach warning swimmers the south end is not patrolled by lifeguards.
On Wednesday, there were red flags on the beach warning of treacherous water conditions. It isn't known if Jule Marie and her friend were aware of the flags.
John BYRNE, chief municipal administrative officer for Lambton Shores, said he'll raise the issue of beach security at council's next meeting, in early September. "It is an unsupervised beach and we ask people to use their discretion when they swim there.
"We always try to monitor the area, but it is dangerous there&hellip we will try to determine whether we can implement better safety measures."

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MAPP o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-08-13 published
Young dad among 5 dead
Kevin GONCALVES might have survived the afternoon of road carnage had he been wearing a seatbelt.
By Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Mon., August 13, 2007
At 22, Kevin GONCALVES of Arkona was well on his way -- he had a job, a baby and a BMW he'd saved up to buy.
All that vanished Saturday, in one of four crashes on Southwestern Ontario roads that left five people dead.
Had he worn his seatbelt, GONCALVES might have survived his crash, police said.
"He was a good father and he loved his daughter very much," Larissa VAN LIESHOUT, the mother of GONCALVES' four-month-old daughter, Rozlynn, said yesterday.
GONCALVES died when the BMW he was driving crashed about 2: 30 p.m. on Melbourne Road in Adelaide Metcalfe, west of London.
GONCALVES lost control while passing on a curve and crossed into the opposite lane, striking a pickup truck, police said.
An unidentified passenger in the BMW, also 22, wasn't wearing a seatbelt, either, police said, and was flown to to a London hospital. The passenger remained in critical condition.
The pickup driver, Alyse MALLET of Melbourne, 19, who wore her seatbelt, was treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
In Strathroy, GONCALVES' Friends were still recovering from the loss.
"He was really outgoing. Everyone liked him. He would always help out a friend if they needed it. That's what he would always do for me," said Steve WRAITH, who met GONCALVES in Grade 9 when both attended Strathroy District Collegiate Institute.
Along with GONCALVES, WRAITH and his girlfriend had also welcomed a newborn girl only a few months earlier.
GONCALVES worked as a shipper and receiver with egg distributor Greyridge Foods. He told Friends he was trying to save up for a condominium of his own.
WRAITH said the couples gave each other baby advice as both pregnancies developed and were excited about the births, a first for all of them.
"It was a busy time for all of us," he said.
Across the London region, other fatal crashes Saturday occurred near London, where an elderly woman died; in Huron County, where a driver plunged to his death off a bridge; and in Chatham-Kent, where two motorcycle drivers were killed in a head-on crash.
- Near Wheatley, the two motorcycle drivers died in the collision about 2: 30 p.m. that followed what police described as an attempt by one to evade an officer -- stopped on Zion Road and out of his patrol car -- trying to motion him to pull over for not wearing a safety helmet. Police said a motorcycle, driven by 21-year-old Harley PALMER of Wheatley, bypassed the officer through a field and emerged on Talbot Trail where the bike collided with another driven by Daniel McCALLUM, 26, of Dearborn, Michigan., killing both. Other motorcyclists travelling with McCALLUM were able to avoid the collision.
Ontario's police watchdog agency, the Special Investigations Unit, was notified, but is not investigating since the officer wasn't pursuing the motorcycle bike driver, police said. The Special Investigations Unit probes police actions that lead to serious injuries or death.
- In Huron County, a 31-year-old man from West Perth, in Perth County, whose name wasn't released, died after the vehicle he was driving went off a bridge at 3: 30 p.m. near Dublin.
- In Middlesex County, just outside London, a two-car collision about 2: 30 a.m. at Nairn Road and Oxbow Drive sent three people to hospital, including Marie Mae LUNHAM, 73, of Forest, who later died of her injuries. Andrew CLASSEN, 23, of London, is charged with failing to yield to traffic.
A Deadly Saturday
- 2: 30 p.m., Kevin GONCALVES, 22, of Arkona, dies in car-truck collision in Adelaide Metcalfe. - 2: 30 p.m., Harley PALMER, 21, of Wheatley and Daniel McCALLUM, 26, of Michigan, die in Wheatley-area crash of two motorcycles. - 2: 30 p.m., two car-collision near London sends three to hospital. Marie Mae LUNHAM, 73, of Forest, later dies of her injuries.
- 3: 30 p.m., Unidentified Perth County man, 31, dies after vehicle goes off Huron County bridge.

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