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"NEA" 2007 Obituary


NEAL  NEALE  NEAMAN  NEAMTAN  NEAR  NEARY  NEATHWAY  NEAVES 

NEAL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-15 published
DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, Shirley Kathleen (née BLAKEMAN)
Peacefully on Wednesday September 12, 2007 in her seventy-eighth year. Beloved wife of the late Hugh Charles DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS. Loving mother of Ellen DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS (Paul STONES) of Toronto, and Jane FARQUHARSON (Brant) and Gordon DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS (Margaret) of Ottawa. Cherished grandmother of Ian STONES, Blake, Eric and Reid FARQUHARSON, and Laura, Adam and Andrea DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS. Dear sister of Mary NEAL (Stan) and Katharyn MAULSON (Frank) of Aurora, Ontario. A celebration of Shirley's life will be held at St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, 125 MacKay Street, Ottawa at 11: 00 a.m. on Monday September 17, 2007 with a reception to follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Kidney Foundation of Canada or to the charity of your choice.

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NEALE o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-01-09 published
DUNNILL, Barbara Mae
At Errinrung Nursing and Retirement Home in Thornbury on Monday, January 8, 2007. Barbara Mae DUNNILL of Thornbury, in her 72nd year. Daughter of the late Garnet “Sandy” and Arleen (WICKENS) DUNNILL. Dear sister of Gerald DUNNILL, of Thornbury. Predeceased by a brother, Bradley DUNNILL. Fondly remembered by her many relatives and Friends. The family will receive Friends at the Ferguson Funeral Home, The Valley Chapel, Thornbury on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and on Thursday one hour prior to service. Funeral and committal services, officiated by Pastor Jim NEALE of the First Baptist Church in Thornbury will be conducted at the funeral home on Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 1: 30 p.m. Interment at Thornbury-Clarksburg Union Cemetery. As your expression of sympathy, donations to a charity of choice would be appreciated.

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NEALE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-19 published
HALLAMORE, June Ellen (née MUIR)
(December 14, 1924-September 16, 2007)
June Ellen HALLAMORE, born December 14, 1924, passed away peacefully following a short illness on September 16, 2007. June was predeceased by her husband of forty-two years, Ralph, and her brother Craig MUIR.
Friend to all whom she met and loved by those who knew her; June brought sunshine into all of our lives. June's infectious laugh touched all those who met her. She was a proud Canadian, and particularly enjoyed her involvement with the Women's Canadian Club.
She is missed by her son Brian and his wife Cathy, as well as her grandchildren, Christopher, Lindsay (Vlad GRIGORE) and Joel (Christy ROBERTSON.) As well by her five nieces, Cathy KURCEBA, Susan TOERING, Nancy GILES, Susan LEWIS, Marian WILLIAMSON and their families and by Al MATTHEWS and his family. What turned out to be the last year of June's life was made particularly happy due to her loving relationship with Joe NEALE, who shares in her loss.
A Gathering to celebrate June's life will be held at McInnis and Holloway'S, Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, Alberta) on Friday, September 21, 2007 from 2: 00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 - 14th Street N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549, www.heartandstroke.ca or to the Calgary Health Trust in support of (Rockyview General Hospital, Unit 57). 800, 11012 Macleod Trail S.E. Calgary, Alberta, T2J 6A5 Telephone: (403) 943-0615. Our sincere gratitude to her doctor for many years, Doctor Gordon Melling, and especially to the nurses and doctors on Unit 57 at the Rockyview General Hospital, whose support and kindness meant so much to us.
In living memory of June HALLAMORE, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McInnis and Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, Alberta Telephone: 1-800-661-1599.

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NEAMAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-15 published
CHOCHINOV, Morris A. "Moishe", P. Eng.
Sadly, after a brief illness, Moishe, husband of Shelley (ZAIDMAN,) passed away on Saturday, October 13 at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. Survived by his brothers Ben (Sherri), Harvey and Dave. Predeceased by his parents Alexander and Rose (NEAMAN) and his brother Jack. Funeral services will be held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, 561 Wellington Cres., on Tuesday, October 16 at 12: 00 noon with interment to follow at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery, 230 Armstrong Ave. Shiva at 54 Queenston Street, evenings 7: 30-9:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charitable organization of your choice.

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NEAMTAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-15 published
NEAMTAN, Gertrude Rhoda (née GOTLIB)
Born in Toronto March 11, 1917, died in Montreal December 14, 2007 at the age of 90. Beloved wife of the late Irving Norman NEAMTAN ('Neamie') and beloved mother of Judith (Rick GORDON) of Vancouver and Nancy (Victor LAPALME) of Montreal. Grandmother to Joshua GORDON, Louis NEAMTAN- LAPALME and Gabrielle NEAMTAN- LAPALME. Dear sister of the Honorable Lorraine GOTLIB (Chris PATERSON) and the late Dorothy Gordon BUCK of Toronto. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Gert lived a long, happy and productive life as wife, mother, friend, and dedicated social worker. Many thanks to the caregivers at Le Waldorf and her special caregiver Evina Munro for their compassionate and tender care in her last years. Funeral service from Paperman and Sons 3888 Jean Talon St. W. on Monday December 17 at 12 p.m. Donations in her memory to the Stephen Lewis Foundation www.stephenlewisfoundation.org or the charity of your choice supporting children and families would be appreciated by her family. Visitation at Ruby Foo's Monday, December 17, 2007 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

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NEAR o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2007-11-21 published
BILSBORROW, Joseph, at
Grey Gables Nursing Home, Markdale, on Monday, November 12, 2007 formerly of Flesherton in his 79th year. Dearest brother-in-law of the late Margaret BILSBORROW. He will be loved and remembered by his nephews Bruce BILSBORROW (Sue NEAR) of Markdale and Sean (Michele) BILSBORROW of Harriston. He is predeceased by his brothers Robert, Gerald, Bill, Jack, Dick, Harry, James and sisters Mary SALSBERRY and Jane STEELE. The family received Friends at the Fawcett Funeral Home Flesherton on Thursday, November 15 from 1: 00 p.m. until the time of service in the chapel at 3:00 p.m. Cremation followed by interment Flesherton Cemetery. Memorial contributions to the Grey Gables Nursing Home would be gratefully appreciated.
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NEAR o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-11-14 published
BILSBORROW, Joseph
At Grey Gables Nursing Home, Markdale on Monday, November 12, 2007 formerly of Flesherton in his 79th year. Dearest brother-in-law of the late Margaret BILSBORROW. He will be loved and remembered by his nephews Bruce BILSBORROW (Sue NEAR) of Markdale and Sean (Michele) BILSBORROW of Harriston. He is predeceased by his brothers Robert, Gerald, Bill, Jack, Dick, Harry, James, and sisters Mary SALSBERRY and Jane STEELE. The family will receive Friends at the Fawcett Funeral Home, Flesherton on Thursday, November 15 from 1: 00 p.m. until the time of service in the chapel at 3:00 p.m. Cremation followed by interment Flesherton Cemetery. Memorial contributions to the Grey Gables Nursing Home would be gratefully appreciated.

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NEARY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-12-20 published
Snowmobile crash kills boy, 15
Perry OSBORN of Monkton was killed when his snowmobile struck a transport truck.
By Donal O'CONNOR, and Claire NEARY, Sun Media, Thurs., December 20, Mitchell -- A 15-year-old high school student who died in a snowmobile crash yesterday was remembered by his schoolmates as a "wonderful" and "well-liked" person.
Perry OSBORN of R.R.#2 Monkton was killed instantly after the snowmobile he was riding collided with a transport truck north of Mitchell just before noon.
Students and staff at Mitchell District high school, where OSBORN was a Grade 10 student, learned of his death by the afternoon and were met with grief counsellors at the school.
"We're grieving the loss of a wonderful young man who was well-liked by his teachers and peers," school principal Jodie BAKER said.
"Our condolences go out to the family and Friends," said BAKER who expressed her own concern for students' safety during the Christmas holidays.
Counselling will be available at the school for the rest of the week. The school will try to maintain normalcy over the next few days prior to the Christmas break, BAKER said.
OSBORN was heading home from school when his snowmobile came off a snowmobile trail, crossed Perth Line 36 from the south and travelled into the path of the transport truck around 11: 50 a.m., Perth County Ontario Provincial Police said.
The truck was heading west on the paved road north of town near Road 162. The driver was not injured.
OSBORN wasn't the only student who rode a snowmobile to the school. Last week, an Ontario Provincial Police officer visited the school and discussed snowmobile safety.
"There are a few students who ride their snowmobiles to Mitchell high school… (and) they all register with the school," Const. Glen Childerley said.
The trails are well-groomed and maintained, he said.
Students park their snowmobiles behind the school and there's a snowmobile path right next to it, he said.
To drive a snowmobile, the driver must be at least 12 years old, have a snowmobile licence and take a safe snowmobiling course, Childerley said.
The road was closed for about four hours while police investigated.
Police don't expect to lay any charges, they said.

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NEARY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-12-23 published
Generous volunteer skimped on sleep
By Claire NEARY, Sun Media, Sun., December 23, 2007
It took Bill FARQUHAR a while to figure out how his mother Beatrice managed to pack countless hours of volunteering into her days and still maintain an impeccably organized household.
"She got about four hours' sleep every night," the Saint Thomas man said.
"Our neighbours always noticed that the lights in our house were never off and the driveway was always full of cars belonging to our Friends and family."
Beatrice Viola FARQUHAR, 89, died December 6 of complications from colon cancer at her home at Elgin Manor in Saint Thomas.
Born in Belmont, FARQUHAR was a farm girl and lifelong volunteer who loved horses, children, music, family and giving back to her community.
She played the steel guitar and loved spending time with her four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
"My mother never had a cross word for anyone," Bill FARQUHAR recalled. "Everyone liked her, and no matter how busy she was, she always had time for family."
Beatrice started training to be a nurse during the Second World War, but the war ended before she was set to leave.
She kept up her first aid skills and later worked her way up through the ranks of Saint_John Ambulance, where she taught police officers.
"She was always tying us up in slings and splints to practise," her son said.
"And her life-sized cardio-pulmonary resuscitation doll, named 'Resusci-Annie,' led to a pretty funny incident when she was stopped by a police officer who noticed the realistic-looking doll in the trunk."
Bea was active in a host of community groups, including Knox Presbyterian Church, Belmont Monta Rebekah Lodge, the Liberal Association and Mackenzie King Club, the Alzheimer Society, the Women's Missionary Society, the Willing Workers Society and Neighbourhood Watch.
She was the first woman inspector at the Somerville box factory in London.
"She was always impeccably dressed, with her hair done -- even when she was sick -- and she always did everyone's hair in the neighbourhood for free," daughter Viola McLEAN of Port Stanley said.
Bill and Viola said they'll always remember how their mother was non-judgmental and accepting of everyone.
"When we were kids we were allowed to bring anybody home," Viola said. "She was such a good listener and she loved spending time with her Tim Hortons gang of ladies in Saint Thomas."
"She was very organized and very happy. The only thing she didn't like was missing out on time with family."
FARQUHAR was predeceased by her husband Charles John FARQUHAR.

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NEARY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-12-26 published
City loses 'remarkable force'
By Patrick MALONEY and Claire NEARY, Sun Media, Wed., December 26, Beryl IVEY, the London icon whose philanthropy touched education, health care and the arts in London and beyond, has died. She was 82.
Though she and her husband of nearly 60 years, Dick, moved to Toronto about 18 months ago, her love of the place she called home since arriving for university never waned, her family says.
"She missed London enormously," her son Richard IVEY said from his Toronto home last night.
"She loved London and she loved many of the institutions, big and small, in London."
IVEY was felled by a heart attack Sunday and hospitalized in Toronto. She died there yesterday morning, three days shy of her 83rd birthday.
But on Monday -- Christmas Eve -- she was in "vintage form," her son said. "So, we all got to say hi and bye."
As news of the death spread yesterday, praise poured in for IVEY, who, along with her husband, donated an estimated $150 million and left a lasting mark on the Forest City.
"This city and province and country has lost a great Canadian," said Tony DAGNONE, former chief executive of the London Health Sciences Centre.
At the University of Western Ontario, whose prestigious business school bears the Ivey name, there's no overstating the effects of her generosity, said University of Western Ontario president Paul DAVENPORT.
"I feel an enormous admiration for all she's done for London and for Londoners," he said. "The Ivey family is the foremost benefactor of (Western). There's no doubt about that."
Far from just a financial donor, the modest, five-foot-two IVEY believed passionately in the institutions she supported, said London member of provincial parliament Deb MATTHEWS. IVEY's legacy in London, said Mayor Anne Marie DECICCO- BEST, will live on indefinitely.
A private funeral will be held in London Friday, her birthday, and a memorial at a later date. She will be buried in London.
Born Beryl NURSE in 1924 in Chatham to a Canadian army lieutenant-colonel who taught elementary school, and a former military nurse, IVEY was a celebrated track star who arrived at University of Western Ontario in 1943. It was the academic scholarship she received that would inspire her generosity years later, she said in a 2005 interview.
She graduated valedictorian from University of Western Ontario-affiliated Brescia College -- to which she would years later give $750,000 for a library expansion -- and became a teacher at Beal secondary school in London.
She married Dick IVEY, who she met in her first year at University of Western Ontario, and joined his wealthy family, co-founders of the Empire Brass Manufacturing Co., now known as Emco.
In the 1950s, the pair had four children, to whom Friends say they passed along their sense of generosity. It was Dick's father, Richard G. IVEY, who in 1947 incorporated the Ivey Foundation.
Beryl is credited with the business-like approach to philanthropy the family adopted in the 1970s.
She and Dick passed along control of the foundation to their four children in 1997.
The list of organizations the Ivey generosity helped is long and distinguished: University of Western Ontario and the London Health Sciences Centre, the Grand Theatre, Museum London, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and Parkwood Hospital.
For Beryl and Dick, travel also was a passion. Business often took them to Europe, but they also made several trips to Africa and to the remote Arctic.
They were art enthusiasts, and Beryl's love of the outdoors was referenced by Friends last night, with one calling her an "amazing gardener."
To celebrate the 55th anniversary of their mother's graduation from Western, IVEY's children created the Beryl Ivey Garden at the university, which includes plants from her own garden.
About two years ago the couple moved to Toronto to be closer to their children, effectively severing the historic family's last physical presence in London.
In June, Beryl was named to the Order of Canada. It was an honour she eagerly anticipated receiving this February, friend Bill BRADY of London said last night. While she will be remembered for her generosity, BRADY -- who called IVEY "a remarkable force" said she was anything but a cheque-writer. "She was no pushover.
"You had to make a strong case for (support); you had to prove it was worthwhile."

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NEARY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-12-30 published
Gentle priest a devoted Maple Leafs fan
By Claire NEARY, Sun Media, Sun., December 30, 2007
Rev. Clarence FITZGERALD, known and loved by many as "Father Fitz," was a quiet, gentle priest, dedicated to his profession, his parishioners -- and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Though he could make it to Toronto for only the occasional Leafs game, FITZGERALD was also a devoted Windsor Spitfires fan and season ticket holder.
For nearly 50 years, he touched the lives of many people across the Roman Catholic Diocese of London in more than a dozen parishes.
FITZGERALD died of cancer, surrounded by his family in Windsor, on December 5, at age 74.
Born in Windsor, FITZGERALD -- known to his family as Father Clare -- was the youngest of five children.
"He was a wonderful brother. My baby brother," said his eldest sister, Margaret MEYER of Brampton.
FITZGERALD always knew he wanted to be a priest and attended Saint Peter's Seminary in London.
He played and enjoyed almost all sports, especially basketball, golf and, of course, hockey.
FITZGERALD was ordained in 1959 and worked in parishes in Delhi, London, Chatham, Woodstock, Saint Marys and Windsor.
He was also the chaplain at Victoria Hospital in London early in his career.
FITZGERALD retired in 2003 but continued to perform weddings, funerals and baptisms as long as he was healthy.
"It was amazing at his funeral to see the number of people from all of the places he'd served," his friend Rev. John COSTELLO said.
"So many people talked about how he'd unknowingly touched their lives."
Above all, Friends said FITZGERALD was a great listener.
"He would never talk much about himself. It was always about the other person," said Mike RICKETTS, a longtime parishioner at St. Alphonsus in Windsor.
"And he always found time, or made time, for the people who needed him."
COSTELLO said many parishioners chose FITZGERALD for confession because he was a kind and gentle listener.
Although he was quiet and sensitive, FITZGERALD was the king of one-liners, his friend Rev. Chris QUINLAN remembered.
"And we always knew never to talk to him during the Leafs games and only to call him in between periods," QUINLAN said, laughing.
He described his friend as a "priest's priest" who loved spending time with his colleagues on the golf course.

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NEARY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-26 published
WOODS, Thomas Peter (1929-2007)
Peter passed away peacefully on the morning of Christmas Eve, at 921 Millwood Retirement Home, Toronto, after a determined struggle with cancer and complications from a stroke he suffered twelve years ago. Born in Liverpool, England of Irish parents Owen WOODS and Annie WOODS (née LAWLESS,) he moved to Ireland at the age of 12 to Louth Village, County Louth, Ireland. Predeceased by his wife Brenda ALLAN. Survived by his sisters Brigid McKEOWN (husband Kevin,) Phyllis NEARY (husband Don, deceased;) brother Owen (deceased) and his wife Kitty; nieces and nephews Kevin (deceased), Marie, Patricia and Ann; Pauline, Susan, Don and Christopher; Eugene, Eamon, Donal, Ciaran, Paul and Fiona. He will be missed by his Friends, Tom Daly, Jeffrey Garbert, Al Gardner and Michael Cahill. Peter was an accomplished athlete as a young man in Ireland, where he played Gaelic football for County Louth. He was also an avid reader of literature and poetry, and dedicated many years of his retirement to exploring mathematical problems. Special thanks to the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at 921 Millwood, where Peter spent the last six years of his life. Your kindness and dedication was much appreciated by Peter and those who cared for him. The family will receive Friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home - A.W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East), from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, December 27th. Funeral Mass to be held in St. Anselm Church, Millwood Road at Macnaughton Road, on Friday, December 28th at 12 noon. If desired, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, 20 Holly Street, Suite 101, Toronto M4S 3B1. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.

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NEARY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-26 published
Benefactor Beryl IVEY dead at 82
By Patrick MALONEY and Claire NEARY, The Canadian Press, Page A7
Toronto -- Beryl IVEY, an iconic philanthropist who for decades supported education, health care and the arts across Ontario and beyond, died yesterday at 82.
Ms. IVEY suffered a heart attack Sunday and was hospitalized in Toronto.
She died there yesterday morning, three days shy of her 83rd birthday.
Ms. IVEY's son Richard said that his mother was in "vintage form" right up until her death.
As news of the death slowly spread, praise poured in for Ms. IVEY, who, along with her husband, donated an estimated $150-million to various causes through the Ivey Foundation.
"This city and province and country has lost a great Canadian," said Tony DAGNONE, former chief executive of the London Health Sciences Centre.
At the University of Western Ontario, whose business school now bears the Ivey name, the effects of her generosity cannot be overstated, University of Western Ontario president Paul DAVENPORT said. A private funeral will take place in London on Friday and a memorial will be held at a later date.
Born Beryl NURSE in 1924 in Chatham, Ontario, she was a celebrated track star when she arrived at University of Western Ontario in 1943. She married Dick IVEY, whom she met two months into her first year at University of Western Ontario.
Dick's father, Richard G. IVEY, incorporated the Ivey Foundation in 1947. Beryl, however, is credited with the businesslike approach to philanthropy the family adopted in the 1970s.
In June, she was named to the Order of Canada.
Her friend Bill Brady - who called Ms. IVEY "a remarkable force" - said she was "no pushover" when it came to cash.
"You had to make a strong case for [financial support]. You had to prove it was worthwhile. I can't think of another philanthropic family who did the kind of research they did."

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NEATHWAY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-06 published
MITCHELL, Sonja (née BRUGGMAN)
At Bluewater Health -- Norman Site, Sarnia on Thursday, January 4, 2007. Sonja MITCHELL (née BRUGGMAN,) 73 years, of Oil Springs. Loving wife of Jim MITCHELL. Beloved mother to Paul and Joanne MITCHELL and their children Jacob and Andie of Courtright, Judy and Fred NEATHWAY and their daughter Nikki of Sarnia, and Tom MITCHELL and his children Andrew and Courtney of Corunna. Dear sister of James and Diane KELLS and Ernest and Margo KELLS all of Sault Ste. Marie. Dear sister-in-law of Wilbert and Shirley MITCHELL of Oil Springs, Lillian HOSKIN of Sarnia, Marie DEKEYSER and Don YOUNG of Sarnia, Betty and Earl JOHNSON of Petrolia, Reta McLEAN of Wallaceburg, Donna and Cliff OLIVER of Brigden, and Doris and Ed STOREY of Thamesville. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. Sonja had a great love for her family and was an avid square dancer (37 years), loved camping and spending the winter in Arizona. Visitors will be received on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Needham-Jay Funeral Home, Petrolia where the funeral service will be held on Monday, January 8, 2006 at 11: 00 a.m. Rev. Mark PERRY officiating. Interment in Oil Springs Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made by cheque to the Canadian Diabetes Association or the charity or your choice. Memories and condolences may be sent on-line at www.needhamjay.com.

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NEAVES o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-11-26 published
Four widows die in crash
Friends who rarely missed a church event, they were heading home from a church supper before the collision.
By Jane SIMS and Kate DALEY, Special To Sun Media, Mon., November 26, Four women died as a result of a head-on crash involving a minivan and a car on Keil Drive near McNaughton Avenue in Chatham Saturday. (Sarah FRALEIGH, Chatham Daily News)
They were four pillars of a Chatham Anglican church, heading home from a church supper when tragedy struck.
Yesterday, the congregation at Holy Trinity Anglican Church was mourning the loss of four good Friends who rarely missed a church service or event.
The four women died Saturday night after their car was struck head-on in Chatham by a minivan that crossed the centre line on a small curve of Keil Drive near McNaughton Avenue.
Police yesterday hadn't identified the women, but others confirmed they are Jean RIPLEY, 86, Marion DAWSON and sisters Bernice PHILLIPS, 83, and Verna NEAVES, 82, all of Chatham.
Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, police said.
The van's 47-year-old male driver, also of Chatham, was taken to hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries.
Police hadn't identified him.
The four women were trapped in the car and had to be cut from the wreckage. Three died at the scene and a fourth while being taken to hospital.
All four women were widows and devoted members of the church for decades.
"They were delightful people to be around," said church Deacon Elaine WILCOX. "We just loved them.
"It's a very profound loss because they were always present. It was their continual presence that will be missed."
WILCOX said the church "really was their community. That was their life."
The church is in the midst of helping to plan four funerals. Yesterday's service was an emotional one, WILCOX said.
"It will be difficult for us to be able to come to grips with it," she said.
The women had just left an annual roast beef dinner at the church and were believed to be on their way home.
The two sisters lived in the nearby Trillium Village apartments, RIPLEY at the nearby Residence on the Thames retirement community.
RIPLEY's son is Bob RIPLEY, senior minister at London's Metropolitan United Church and a weekly Free Press religion columnist.
"She died doing something she loved and that was being with people," he said.
He said his mother was a life-long member of the church, and she and his father were married there in 1941.
She always sat in pew No. 19.
RIPLEY was a pioneer in early childhood education in Chatham and began the Fun With Friends program. She headed it for 28 years.
"You couldn't go anywhere with my mom in Chatham without someone speaking to her," her son said.
All four women were involved in the Anglican Church Women and at various times were deeply involved with "the Pie Ladies," a group that made meat pies once a month at the church for sale.
All four women often lunched together after church.
"The biggest shock of all was because people had talked to them that night," said Tom GORDON, the church treasurer.
The suggestion alcohol might have been a cause has made the shock sickening.
"That makes it even worse doesn't it?" GORDON said. "Such a waste."
If alcohol was a factor, it's a "sobering message," said Janine CARR, co-president of the Chatham chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"It's very sad, very tragic and very sobering because it's four ladies," she said.
Only 20 minutes before the crash, she said, she was riding on a Santa Claus parade float with 15 children for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada through the intersection where the crash occurred.
WILCOX said church members are leaning on each other and their faith to get through the tragedy.
"We'll get through this week and support each other."

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NEAVES o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-26 published
4 elderly women killed after church supper
By Matt HARTLEY, Page A1
Every Monday night Verna NEAVES and her sister, Beatrice PHILLIPS, would gather with a group of retirees in a small kitchen in the back of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Chatham, Ontario, to make pies. Around town, the group was known as the "pie ladies," and their delicious beef and turkey pies were so popular people often waited months for their orders to be filled. Mrs. NEAVES was particularly adept at rolling the crusts for the pies, which the group would freeze and then sell to raise money for their church.
On Saturday night both sisters and a pair of Friends were killed in a head-on collision while driving home from a roast-beef supper at the church. Police say the driver of the minivan that crossed over into their lane and caused the wreckage may have been drinking, and the families of the pair of great-grandmothers are furious.
Mrs. NEAVES, 82, and Mrs. PHILLIPS, 83, together left behind four children, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Mrs. NEAVES's daughter-in-law, Bonnie, said she and her husband, Larry, were at their son's house in London when they heard the terrible news shortly after midnight yesterday.
"We're still in shock, it really hasn't registered yet," she said yesterday evening. "It just hasn't sunk in."
When she found out that the man driving the 1993 Mercury Villager which crashed into the car her mother-in-law was travelling in may have been drinking, she was angry.
"Because he's alive, and four elderly women are dead."
The crash trapped all four women inside the vehicle, each one having to be cut from the twisted metal of the 2003 Ford Focus, Chatham-Kent police said.
The four Friends were driving on a two-lane road in the town of Chatham, located about 80 kilometres east of Windsor, around 6: 40 p.m. Saturday, when the minivan crossed the centre line and slammed into their car, killing three of the women on impact.
The fourth woman died en route to hospital.
"Alcohol was a factor," Chatham-Kent police Staff Sergeant Brian BISKEY said.
The driver of the minivan, a 47-year-old Chatham man, was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries, according to police.
Keil Drive north of Grand Avenue West in Chatham was closed for more than four hours while officers cleared the crash site.
Police did not release the names of any of the women and an investigation is ongoing. No charges have been laid.
Mrs. NEAVES was a devoted family woman who was always helping out at bake sales and charity auctions, her daughter-in-law said.
"She liked to know what was going on with everybody in the family," Ms. NEAVES said.
Margaret KELLY was married to Mrs. NEAVES's and Mrs. PHILLIPS's only brother, Bruce, and had known the two sisters for more than 60 years.
Although they hadn't spoken as often since the death of her husband, Ms. KELLY said she still exchanged birthday and Christmas cards with both of them.
She said the area where the crash happened was "roughly 500 feet" from where her sisters-in-law lived.
"It's terrible," she said.
A funeral for both sisters is scheduled for Wednesday in Chatham.

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