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"RON" 2007 Obituary


RONAN  RONDEAU  RONSON 

RONAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-27 published
Backbone of Saint Michael's Choir School groomed 'young gentlemen'
For more than 60 years, 'the guardian of the school's character' served in many capacities but mostly she taught the students liturgical music and religion, as well as their ABCs
By Ron CSILLAG, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Toronto -- Kathleen (Kay) MANN could have easily become a Roman Catholic nun, but chose instead to teach. The decision proved almost moot; she viewed her job as a religious calling. Besides, teaching was no mere whim - she did it for an astonishing 65 years at the same school.
"My work is equivalent to that of an apostolate," she reflected in 1987. "It gives me great joy. I love my work and my faith."
Ms. MANN combined those as can few who do not take religious vows. She was a fixture at Toronto's famed Saint Michael's Choir School as a firm but much-loved teacher, administrator and conductor, and maintained a spotless attendance record since the school's founding in 1937 - missing only one day, when she fractured her elbow playing softball, her other passion.
Over six decades, thousands of boys learned liturgical music and religion, as well as their ABCs, from Ms. MANN, who served the school in virtually every capacity and taught every one of its administrative and choir directors.
"I was her boss for 24 years, but she was always my teacher," remembered Harry HODSON, a pupil of Ms. MANN's in the early 1950s who went on to become the school's principal and director. "She was a guardian of the school's character."
Proper and punctilious, with a straight back and earnest smile, Ms. MANN (Miss MANN to her students) was a gentle and inspiring instructor, and kept her boys on the straight and narrow. "She was not a softie by any means," Mr. HODSON said. "She wanted the very best from her boys but was probably one of the fairest people you'll ever come across. She wanted to raise young gentlemen and, along the way, turn them into singers."
Several of her choirboys went on to find fame in singing, among them Michael Burgess, operatic tenor Michael Schade, jazz crooner Matt Dusk, members of the Crew-Cuts and Four Lads, and Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies.
"She didn't joke around a lot. She was pretty serious and dedicated and made us work hard," recalled Mr. Hearn, a student from Grades 3 to 11. "When I look at my self-discipline skills, she's certainly the person who had a major influence on helping them develop. She was a beautiful person."
Mr. Hearn, who still does the vocal exercises he learned from Ms. MANN, went to visit his old teacher a few years ago. "She asked how I was doing and what I was doing. I said I was in a band. She asked what it was called. When I told her, she just sort of shook her head, looked at me and said," - and here he lowers his voice for effect - " 'Oh, Kevin …' "
Mr. Dusk, with three jazz CDs under his belt, remembers Ms. MANN as "a kind of second mother to us. She taught us that singing is praying twice, that music can be fun but spiritual."
For years, she was equally dedicated to softball, and even turned down a professional contract. "I thought my teaching was more important," she told the Toronto Star in 1987. "Playing ball would have only lasted a few years."
Born into a working-class family in Toronto, Ms. MANN displayed her mettle and sense of fair play early, once challenging a neighbourhood tough to "Take off your glasses and fight."
She learned to play baseball in the schoolyard at age 12, recalled her sister, Doris McGRATH. "In those days, there wasn't much to do but go to the school playground."
She entered a local girls' league, developed a wicked pitching arm and hot bat, and never looked back. Newspaper reports of the day described her as "a sterling pitcher… speed-ball hurler&hellip one of the best."
She played for 23 years, starting at age 13 with the Nationals, going on to the Toronto Ladies, followed by corporate teams such as Peoples Credit Jewellers, Simpsons and Clayton's. She guest pitched for several world tournaments in Detroit and was offered a contract to play in the women's big leagues in Chicago. She declined.
The softball-and-music combination led to decades of "perfect-pitch" puns.
Meantime, Toronto's Cathedral Schola Cantorum, founded in 1926 to train boys for Saint Michael's Cathedral's choir, added elementary grades in 1937 and was rechristened Saint Michael's Choir School. A 19-year-old Ms. MANN began as an assistant to founder Monsignor John Edward RONAN. She is remembered as the last of the school's co-founders.
Armed with a teaching certificate from the Toronto Normal School, she started instructing traditional academic subjects, as well as Gregorian chant, sight singing, choral music and voice. The life of a chorister was hard, Mr. HODSON recalled. It started in Grade 3, went to Grade 13, "and for nine of those, from Grade 5 on, you were singing every Sunday of the school year at the cathedral."
Although stern, Ms. MANN had a way of easing tension. She would hold up small cards facing the choir that said, "No smoking," or "chicken lips." Darren Dais, a former student and now a Dominican priest, recalled that she installed two rear-view mirrors on her piano, which faced away from the class, to keep an eye on trouble-makers. The jingle of the huge ring of keys she carried alerted the more rambunctious singers to settle down before her arrival.
Her interest in Gregorian chant led to additional studies in New York, the Catholic University of America in Washington, and Boys Town in Nebraska. She also held a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, through an affiliation with the choir school.
She was awarded two papal medals, the Bene Merenti in 1964, and the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice ("For Church and Pope") in 1987, on the school's 50th anniversary. She was inducted into the Order of Ontario in 1997.
Ms. MANN was at the school seven days a week, usually arriving straight from 7: 30 a.m. mass at the cathedral next door. Weekends were spent on paperwork. For a time, she pinch-hit as the secretary at night. She taught at the summer school until the mid-1960s. And she taught singing to nurses at Saint Michael's Hospital and the Catholic Youth Organization's glee club.
Despite plenty of opportunities, she never married. Her students were "her boys" and she unabashedly mothered them. "Children nowadays need somebody to be firm, consistent and loving," she told the Star.
From 1967 until her first "retirement" in 1984, Ms. MANN was the school's vice-principal. In 1984, the school persuaded the archdiocese of Toronto to retain her as an "adviser in sacred music," a position she held for almost 15 years. And from 1985 on, she conducted the elementary and junior boys' choirs. She was 85 when she finally stopped working.
After slipping into a deep sleep on her final day of life, she waved her hands in the air for a few minutes. At first puzzled, her family realized that she was conducting. Then she crossed herself, folded her hands on her chest, and died.
At her packed funeral service, several men approached the family to say, "Kay is the reason I'm a gentleman."
Kathleen Mary MANN was born in Toronto on August 31, 1919. She died of cancer in Toronto on December 8, 2007. She was 88. She was predeceased by her brothers Leo and Raymond KILLORAN. She leaves her sister, Doris McGRATH.

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RONDEAU o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-01-05 published
HYSLOP, John Edward Allan
At the Southampton Care Centre, Southampton on Wednesday January 3, 2007. Beloved husband for 56 years of Louisa HYSLOP (née PATTERSON) of Southampton. Dear father of Suzanne and her husband James PRITCHARD of Kingston, Carol RONDEAU of London, Brian and his wife Jeanne of Collingwood and Bruce and his wife Sandra of Toronto. Proud grandfather of Lance, Joy, Laura, Andrew, Jennifer, Michael, Lynn, Allan and Bennett. Fondly remembered by his many Friends from Probus, the Church and the Community. Ed HYSLOP of Southampton in his 92nd year. Ed was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War 2 and a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Southampton Branch #155. Predeceased by his parents David and Grace HYSLOP of Hamilton, by his sisters, Margaret and Dorothy SCHWENGER, by his brother, Thomas and by his first wife, Elinor SIMPSON. At Ed's request there will be no visitation. Cremation. A Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Ed HYSLOP will be conducted at the Southampton United Church, Southampton, on Friday January 12, 2007 at 2 p.m. Reverend Keith REYNOLDS will officiate. A Time of Fellowship and Sharing will follow at the Church. Private Interment of Ashes, Southampton Cemetery. Expressions of Remembrance to the Chantry Seniors Centre or to the Southampton United Church. Arrangements entrusted to the Eagleson Funeral Home, Southampton. Condolences may be forwarded to the Family through www.eaglesonfuneralhome.com.
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RONDEAU o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-01-06 published
HYSLOP, John Edward Allan
At the Southampton Care Centre, Southampton on Wednesday January 3, 2007. Ed HYSLOP of Southampton in his 92nd year. Beloved husband for 56 years of Louisa HYSLOP (née PATTERSON) of Southampton. Dear father of Suzanne and her husband James PRITCHARD of Kingston, Carol RONDEAU of London, Brian and his wife Jeanne of Collingwood and Bruce and his wife Sandra of Toronto. Proud grandfather of Lance, Joy, Laura, Andrew, Jennifer, Michael, Lynn, Allan and Bennett. Fondly remembered by his many Friends from Probus, the Church and the Community. Ed was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War 2 and a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Southampton Branch #155. Predeceased by his parents David and Grace HYSLOP of Hamilton, by his sisters, Margaret and Dorothy SCHWENGER, by his brother, Thomas and by his first wife, Elinor SIMPSON. At Ed's request there will be no visitation. Cremation. A Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Ed HYSLOP will be conducted at the Southampton United Church, Southampton, on Friday January 12, 2007 at 2 p.m. Reverend Keith REYNOLDS will officiate. A Time of Fellowship and Sharing will follow at the Church. Private Interment of Ashes, Southampton Cemetery. Expressions of Remembrance to the Chantry Seniors Centre or to the Southampton United Church. Arrangements entrusted to the Eagleson Funeral Home, Southampton. Condolences may be forwarded to the family through www.eaglesonfuneralhome.com.

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RONSON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-10 published
RONSON, Hilde
On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at her residence. Hilde RONSON beloved wife of Lou. Loving mother of Jeremy, and Rhonda. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West (three lights west of Dufferin), for service on Wednesday, October 10th at 1: 00 p.m. Interment B'nai Brith section of Pardes Shalom Cemetery. Shiva 65 Spring Garden Avenue, #2311. Memorial donations may be made to the Hilde RONSON Memorial Fund c/o the Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324 or
www.benjamins.ca

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