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"THI" 2007 Obituary


THIBAULT  THIBEAULT  THIBERT  THIBODEAU  THIEL  THIERS  THIESEN  THIESSEN  THIGPEN  THISTLE 

THIBAULT o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2007-01-17 published
William Delanore CRONK
Del CRONK, a resident of Billings Township, died at home on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at the age of 61 years.
He was born in Kagawong, son of the late John and Laurinda (ORR) CRONK. He drove truck most of his life, with imperial Oil for over 20 years, and for commercial Transport, Day Transport and lastly Manitoulin Transport. Del loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and golfing. He will be sadly missed, but many memories will be cherished. Del is survived by dearest friend Ethel BOWERMAN of Mindemoya, brothers Mark of Billings Township , Ross (Marilyn WYERS) of Billings Township , Charles (Chris RACEY) of Gore Bay and sisters Laura MULVILLE (Ron THORNTON) of Gravenhurst, Gladys BELAND (Clifford) of Sudbury, Peggy THIBAULT (Earl DAHL) of Sudbury and Mary Ellen THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON (Ron) of Sault + Sainte Marie. Predeceased by brothers Thomas and Billy. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Friends called at the Culgin Funeral Home Tuesday. The funeral service will be conducted in the William G. Turner Chapel on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 11.00 am with Reverend Mary Jo ECKERT TRACY officiating. Cremation to follow. In remembrance, donations to the Cancer Society would be appreciated.

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THIBEAULT o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-06-04 published
KEAVENEY, Cora Ruby
Peacefully in Meaford on Saturday June 2, 2007. Cora KEAVENEY of Thornbury and formerly of Mississauga, loved wife of the late John Edward KEAVENEY, at the age of 89. Beloved mother of Mary (Marvin) THIBEAULT of Tottenham; Carol (late Ronald) STEVENSON of Thornbury; Dale (Shirley) KEAVENEY of Meaford; Jim (Liz) KEAVENEY of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba; and Stephen (Donna) KEAVENEY of Clarksburg. Predeceased by a son Kerry in infancy (1956) and a son John KEAVENEY (1994) of Mississauga. Sadly missed Nana of fourteen and Great-Grandmother “G.G.” of nine. Dear sister of George (Jenny) MITCHELL of Bright's Grove; Yvonne BANDIERA of Port Elgin; and Norman (Cathy) MITCHELL of Wasaga Beach. Predeceased by three brothers and four sisters. Fondly remembered by several nieces and nephews and their families. Family will receive Friends at the Ferguson Funeral Home, The Valley Chapel, 20 Alice Street East in Thornbury on Monday from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 p.m. where Vigil Prayers will be recited at 8: 30 in the evening. Thence to Skinner and Middlebrook Funeral Home, 128 Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga, where Friends will be received on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga on Wednesday June 6, 2007 at 10: 30 a.m. with interment and committal services to follow at Saint Mary's Cemetery, Port Credit. As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation, Meaford General Hospital Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.

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THIBERT o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-06 published
THIBERT, Eugene F.
77 years, of Tilbury, at University Hospital, London on Thursday, January 4, 2007. Beloved husband of Cordelia "Toby" (née BELAIR.) Loving father of Annette and husband Brian CURTIS. Dearest grandfather of Marie GAUDREAU and spouse Ian KELLY, Ben CURTIS and wife Julie, Jason CURTIS, and great-grandfather of Zachery KELLY, and Cameron and Ryan CURTIS. Predeceased by parents Anthony THIBERT (1977) and Marie (CHARRON) THIBERT (1972.) Dearest brother of the late Margaret CHEVALIER (1989) (Mid-1991,) the late George THIBERT (2003) (Cecile,) Alfred (Edna) THIBERT, the late Leo THIBERT (2001) (Marcella,) Theresa WATSON (Dave-1979,) James (Marcella) THIBERT, all of Tilbury, Marie LEVESQUE of McGregor (Andre-2001.) Dear brother-in-law of Orise TELLIER, the late Agatha CHOUINARD (2005,) Velina SHEEHAN, Jeanne THIBERT, Louise BROSSEAU, Carmelle GAGE. Eugene was owner and operator of Thibert's Abattoir in Tilbury from 1961 until 1983, and was Fire Chief of Tilbury from 1959 to 1992. Eugene was a member of Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Ontario Fire Chiefs Association, and Ontario Retirees, and was past president of Kent County Association of Fire Chiefs, and Essex County Association of Fire Chiefs. He was a member of Tilbury Knights of Columbus Third and Fourth Degree. Visitation at Reaume Funeral Home, 6 Canal St. W., Tilbury Saturday from 7-9 p.m., Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Parish prayers 3 p.m. Sunday. Third and Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus prayers 8: 30 p.m. Sunday. Funeral service from the funeral home Monday, January 8, 2007 at 10 a.m., then to St. Francis Xavier Church, Tilbury for Mass at 10: 30 a.m. Interment at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Donations to Saint_Joseph's-Regional Mental Health Care London or Alzheimer Society appreciated.

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THIBODEAU o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-13 published
THIBODEAU, John Thomas
Passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness at Parkwood Hospital on Friday, January 12, 2007, Mr. John Thomas THIBODEAU of London in his 86th year. Beloved husband of Madeleine (MIDGE) THIBODEAU. Loving father of Marie and her husband Gerard BONDY of Pointe Aux Roches, Ontario and son John Jr. THIBODEAU of London. Dear Papa to Jennifer Webb, Kristina and Sylvie BONDY. Survived by his brother Leo THIBODEAU and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his siblings, Agatha, Leonard, Hilary, Neil, Elizabeth and Helen. John was a Veteran of World War 2 serving with the Royal Canadian Army (Artillery) and a long time member of the Optimist Club. The family will receive relatives and Friends at Memorial Funeral Home, 1559 Fanshawe Park Rd. E., (east of Highbury) from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Monday. The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Andrew The Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 1 Fallons Lane, London on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 at 11 a.m. Cremation to follow. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Saint_Joseph's Health Care Foundation -- Veterans Care and comfort Fund.

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THIEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-29 published
DEVITT, Joan (née MURRANT)
Peacefully at the McCall Centre for Continuing Care, Toronto, on Thursday, September 27, 2007 in her 85th year. Beloved wife of Michael (Mike). Loving mother of Ann and Brian. She was a proud and devoted Nana to Martin, Marissa and Samantha THIEL. Cherished mother-in-law to Christina CREELMAN and Harald THIEL. Predeceased by her sister, Dorothy. Sister-in-law to Alex SWAINSON and loving aunt to Jill (SWAINSON) and Margaret (CULL.) Her gentle smile and quiet strength will be sadly missed, but her loving spirit will be forever cherished by her family and Friends. The family would like to express their deep gratitude to the staff of the McCall Centre for their outstanding care, support, and attention for both Joan and Mike. Visitation will be held at the Turner and Porter, Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke (Dundas and Burnhamthorpe), on Wednesday, October 3rd from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A service will be held at the Butler Chapel on Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 11 a.m. If desired, donations to the Alzheimer's Society would be appreciated by the family.

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THIERS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-20 published
CAMPBELL, William James " Jim"
Born November 20, 1949 in Shelburne, Ontario, died on September 17 while cycling into Maynooth. Survived by his loving wife Julie THIERS, mother Ivadell CAMPBELL, mother-in-law Lorraine THIERS, loving sisters Joan WILSON (Arnold,) Colleen KAVANAUGH, Nancy WELTZ, Darlene BRICKER (Cliff,) sister-in-law Sheila CAMPBELL, father-in-law Don THIERS, brother-in-law Jamie THIERS (Nubia,) sister-in-law Jennifer WHEELDON (Carl), Aunt Shirley BAZIUK, cousin Lana CHAMPION (Mark) and all of the extended families. Jim was a born philosopher, and his passion for knowledge, contemplative nature and genial laugh will be missed by many Friends in Toronto and Bancroft. He is also mourned by his City Of Toronto colleagues. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the York River Reading Festival, a literacy project close to Jim's heart. Friends may call at the Dods and McNair Funeral Home, 21 First Street, Orangeville (519-941-1392) on Friday, September 21, 2007 from 6-9 p.m. Funeral Service will be held in the chapel on Saturday at 1 p.m. Condolences may be sent via www.dodsand mcnair.com. There will be a memorial service in Toronto at a later date.

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THIESEN o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-13 published
SCHMELTZ, Gordon Eugene " Gene"
At his residence on Friday, January 12, 2007. "Gene" Gordon Eugene SCHMELTZ of Terrace Lodge, Aylmer in his 83rd year. Dear father of Larry SCHMELTZ and wife Linda of Aylmer, Linda HANEY and husband Wayne of Aylmer, Carol ARCHER and husband Chuck of Richmond and Gale ROBERTS and husband Don of Eden. Good friend of Eva Mildred "Millie" COWAN. Loving grandfather of Wendy RIVAIT, Mike SCHMELTZ, Terri HANEY, Clint and Jodi ARCHER, Ryan and Nicole ROBERTS. Great-grandfather of Robin and Trevor RIVAIT, Megan SCHMELTZ, Tasha COUTURE, Kaylee ROBERTS, Brett HANEY. Predeceased by his wife Treva (WARD) JOHNSON (1981,) a brother Norman SCHMELTZ, a sister Myrtle SCHMELTZ and a great-grand_son Draydon ARCHER- THIESEN (2003). Born in Aldborough Township on November 4, 1924 son of the late Frederick and Betsy (WHIGHTMAN) SCHMELTZ. Friends may call at the H.A. Kebbel Funeral Home, Aylmer on Sunday 2-5 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Monday, January 15, 2007 at 3: 00 p.m. Interment, Straffordville Cemetery. Rev. Norman JONES, officiating. Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated. Condolences at kebbelfuneralhome.com

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THIESSEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-02 published
GRAHAM, Gary T., M.B.A., C.M.A.
In loving memory of Gary T. GRAHAM, who passed away July 29, 2007. Beloved father, brother, uncle and friend. We will remember you forever in our hearts and thoughts. Gary leaves behind his son Raoul GRAHAM (Marianne,) sister Lois CUDA (John,) niece Jenny THIESSEN (Brian,) niece Cindy WRIGHT (Clay,) and the Rojas-Pizarro-Ruiz family.
A remembrance ceremony will be held at the Murray E. Newbigging Funeral Home, on Friday, August 3 at 11 a.m., 733 Mt. Pleasant Road.

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THIESSEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-12 published
THIESSEN, Albert Wilhelm
Passed away peacefully in Kelowna, British Columbia on October 4th, 2007 at the age of 84. Predeceased by his wife of 61 years Kay and survived by his loving children Eric, Catherine, Carla and Paul (Genelle,) brother to Louise WIEBE and Marie ALLPORT and brother-in-law to Suzanne KOPE and Jake REIMER. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren Brad, Kate, Molly and their father David ALLGOOD, Carrie, Kevin, Jessica and Pauline. Born in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, Al served in World War 2 and after attending the U of S and graduating from University of British Columbia; he was successful in building careers as both an educator and administrator. After retiring as the National Director of Water and Safety Services for the Red Cross, he continued his active involvement in church and community services. Al's life achievements resulted in numerous awards and recognitions among them the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. A Memorial will be held @ 12 p.m. November 10th, 2007 at First Mennonite Church, 1305 Gordon Drive, Kelowna, British Columbia. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Mennonite Central Committee.

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THIGPEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-26 published
'Man with four hands' was one of the greatest piano players of all time
Canadian whose flying fingers mesmerized audiences around the world - from small clubs in 1950s Montreal to the lights of Carnegie Hall - was a lyrical stylist and a mentor to many
By Nicholas JENNINGS, Special to The Globe and Mail with reports from Canadian Press and staff, Page S9
Toronto -- Few pianists swung as hard or played as fast and with as many grace notes as Oscar PETERSON. The classically trained musician could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie, bebop and beyond. He led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, DIzzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong - the latter called him "the man with four hands" - recorded more than 200 albums and wrote such memorable works as Hymn to Freedom and the Canadiana Suite. "A virtuoso without peer," concluded his biographer, Gene Lees, in The Will to Swing.
"The piano is like an extension of his own physical being," composer and clarinetist Phil NIMMONS, who helped create Canadiana Suite, said in 1975 of his long-time friend. "I'm amazed at the speed of his creativity. I am not talking about mere technical capabilities, although his are awesome. I'm speaking of the times when you find him under optimum conditions of creativity. His mind can move as quickly as his fingers and that is what is so astounding."
The story of Oscar PETERSON's rise from immigrant poverty to world fame is one of popular music's great inspirational tales. Born in Montreal's Saint-Henri district, he was the fourth of five children of a Canadian Pacific Railway porter and his wife who came to Canada from the Virgin Islands. His father, Daniel, a self-taught amateur musician and a strict disciplinarian, insisted that his children develop musical skills. Oscar began on piano and trumpet, but dropped the latter after a bout with tuberculosis when he was 7.
By 14, he was studying with Paul de Marky, a renowned Hungarian-born classical pianist who piqued his interest in jazz, particularly works by pianist Art Tatum. Mr. PETERSON always credited his sister Daisy, a noted piano teacher in Montreal who also taught such Canadian musicians as Oliver Jones and Joe Sealy, with being an important teacher and influence on his career. Soon, he was winning competitions. But his father never let it go to his head. He played his son Tatum's renowned recording of Tiger Rag that caused the young musician to quit piano for two months.
Mr. PETERSON always said it was his father who instilled in him an unwavering will to succeed. When he dropped out of high school to play in the Johnny Holmes Orchestra, becoming its only black member, a displeased Daniel PETERSON gave him some stern advice. "He told me, 'If you're going to go out there and be a piano player, don't just be another one. Be the best.' "
The 17-year-old took the words to heart. Within a few years, he was leading his own trio at Montreal's Alberta Lounge, where he developed his distinctive style and attracted some illustrious onlookers, including Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald. Then, on one fateful night, American jazz impresario Norman Granz heard Mr. PETERSON at the club and was so impressed that he invited him to play at New York's Carnegie Hall.
Mr. PETERSON's appearance on Mr. Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic program in 1949 was a watershed event. Mr. PETERSON didn't have a work visa, so Mr. Granz decided to introduce him as a surprise guest on a bill that included Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. Although the young pianist was terrified, Mr. Granz assured him it would be worth it. "He told me, 'You'll know if you have what it takes, and if you do what you do and they love it, then you know you've made it,' Mr. PETERSON later recalled.
Performing with bassist Ray BROWN, who would become a long-time sideman, Mr. PETERSON brought the house down with such songs as Fine and Dandy and Tenderly. The 24-year-old "stopped the concert dead cold in its tracks," according to Down Beat magazine, which added that the pianist displayed "a flashy right hand, a load of bop and a good sense of harmonic development." Mr. PETERSON's course - with Mr. Granz as his manager - was set.
Over the next 50 years, Mr. PETERSON played in a variety of trios, including those with Mr. BROWN and guitarist Herb Ellis (1953-1958,) Mr. BROWN and drummer Ed THIGPEN (1959-1964,) bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham (mid-60s) and guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels Pedersen (late 1960s). During this time, he recorded such memorable albums as 1956's Stratford Festival recording, 1958's On the Town, recorded at Toronto's Town Tavern, and 1962's Night Train, which included a number of Duke Ellington pieces as well as Mr. PETERSON's own Hymn to Freedom. Then, in 1964, he produced his best-known work, Canadiana Suite, with each of the album's tracks inspired by a different region of the country. Mr. PETERSON called the project "my musical portrait of the Canada I love," and it was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1965.
By 1979, his career had arrived at a point where he was in steady demand and his life had developed a certain stability. He built a recording studio in his house and set aside enough time most mornings to "ring out some different pieces of equipment and get myself together," he told The Globe and Mail. "I'll maybe come up with something I would want to get started writing."
The studio was irresistible, he said. Later in the day, usually after attending a business meetings elsewhere in the house, he liked to return to the keyboard "to work on some writing, or maybe rehearse a little music."
By all accounts, Mr. PETERSON led two lives - one on the road and one at home. "I work probably six solid weeks then take off a month or two. My work is like that. If I tour, it is usually three or four weeks and when it's over it's done."
When he wasn't away, Mr. PETERSON seldom liked to leave the house. But the constant touring remained a trial before he brought order to his life. "It can be very harried during touring, but we try to control that now. I have to know where I'm going one way or another. I feel that if I have to go on the road I'm not going to stay the Young Women's Christian Association, and I'm not going to eat at the Big Burger. If I go to France, for instance, I eat at the best possible restaurants and stay in the best hotel. I like the finer things in life and I think I deserve what I can afford. I don't thing there's anything wrong with shooting for the best. It's unfortunate that a few more of us don't think that way."
The travelling took its toll on many of Mr. PETERSON's sidemen, who gave up work with the master because personal or health reasons. Some fell victim to the bottle or drugs. Mr. PETERSON, who always avoided such things, kept going, and performed solo frequently in the 1970s. But he paid his own price for touring, which kept him from his wives and children. "How destructive was [the road] for me?" he once asked a CBS reporter. "Almost four divorces - that's how destructive it can be."
Mr. PETERSON recounted in his 2002 autobiography, A Jazz Odyssey, how his breakup with third wife, Charlotte, separated him from their son, Joel, for whom he wrote the tune He Has Gone. "They now live somewhere in Eastern Canada," he wrote. "This had been a dreadful loss." He seemed to find happiness in his fourth marriage to Kelly GREEN, with whom he had a daughter, Céline, in 1991, when he was 66. He credited them with helping him to find a balance between family and music.
"When you first start out, you're impatient, uptight," he once said. "Everything has to be done right now, it doesn't matter what you might like it to be." Later, he said he became a little more sensible about all of life's elements. "You realize that some of the things that you want to do require a depth that you won't have until you're more mature. Even then, there are things that you still can't get together."
Mr. PETERSON possessed a boyish sense of humour and was renowned for his love of laughter. He was also a notorious practical joker. His mischievous side was something that came through in two documentaries: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's The Life and Times of Oscar PETERSON and the National Film Board's In the Key of Oscar, which was produced by his niece, former basketball star and Canadian Olympian Sylvia SWEENEY. The latter film recounted some of the early incidents of racism that Mr. PETERSON encountered in his career and featured his emotional journey back to Montreal for the first reunion of the extended PETERSON family, including grandchildren who had previously only ever seen him on television.
Beyond his career and family, Mr. PETERSON pursued his twin hobbies of photography and fly fishing, which he undertook at a summer home in Ontario's Haliburton Highlands. It was also at the cottage that he followed an interest in the heavens. "I'm an amateur astronomer, when I have time, which is usually in the summer at our cottage," he once told The Globe.
He also involved himself in the academic side of music. In 1960, he opened the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto with Mr. BROWN, Mr. THIGPEN and Mr. NIMMONS. Mr. PETERSON's students included Skip Beckwith, Brian BROWNe, Wray Downes and Bill King. Although his touring commitments forced the school to close in 1964, Mr. PETERSON returned to teaching at Toronto's York University in 1986, when he was appointed as adjunct professor of music in jazz studies. He remained involved with the university afterward, serving as its chancellor from 1991 to 1994.
A two-date reunion in 1990 with his most famous trio, featuring Ray BROWN and Herb Ellis (also featuring drummer Bobby Durham) at New York's Blue Note: club resulted in four separate album releases. Critics hailed Mr. PETERSON's playing from this legendary engagement, citing his emotional depth and softer playing style. Three years later, while performing again at the Blue Note, Mr. PETERSON suffered a stroke, something he only realized after returning to Toronto to receive the Glenn Gould Prize. The stroke weakened his left hand and sidelined him for two years, during which time he fell into a depression. But he credited Friends such as bassist Dave Young for encouraging him to return to performance, which he did with the help of intensive physiotherapy. In 1999, he returned to Carnegie Hall with guitarist Ulf Wakenius, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew. His left hand could no longer "conjure the rumbling musical earthquakes of old," wrote The New York Times, but his right hand's inventive, fluid work alone prompted several standing ovations.
Two years earlier at the Grammys, he had been given a Lifetime Achievement Award. In all, he won eight Grammys and, in 2005, Canada Post marked his contributions to music with a 50-cent stamp.
A lyrical stylist who has been described as one of the greatest piano layers of all time, Mr. PETERSON inspired countless musicians. Duke Ellington called him "a man who's blessed with great talent, has acquired tremendous skill and executes it with unlimited authority." Ella Fitzgerald said of him, "to me, he's like a brother and a friend, and one of the greatest you'll ever meet."
Diana Krall, who celebrated Mr. PETERSON's 80th birthday with him in 2005 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, recalled how he invited her down to his basement studio. "He said, 'Hey, Dee, come down and check out the box,' which meant his 10-foot Boesendorfer [piano]," Ms. Krall recalled. "The only problem was then you have to play for him. So I played some Nat Cole tunes and we sang some duets. The fact that I got a chance to sit and talk with him, and laugh with him and his family, is pretty great. It stays with you." Added Ms. Krall: "If I ever feel like I'm needing a boost, I listen to Oscar."
His personal studio represented a dream that was a long time coming, Mr. PETERSON said in 1979. "Years ago, I always wanted this studio, but there was no way I could because I was out playing all the time. But now, with the new studio and the chance to do some composing, it's much easier. I can pursue the love of my life, and yet it's my profession."
Oscar Emmanuel PETERSON was born in Montreal on August 15, 1925. He died of kidney failure at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, on December 23, 2007. He was 82. He leaves his wife, Kelly, and six children from different marriages: Lynn, Gay, Oscar Jr., Norman, Joel and Celine.

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THISTLE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-09 published
First to show and last to go, he was king of the course at Angus Glen
head groundskeeper at the site of the 2007 Canadian Open believed the maintenance of a golf course was about three things: drainage, drainage and drainage -- that and hard work
By Lorne RUBENSTEIN, Page S8
Ernie AMSLER loved the outdoors and could take apart and repair any machine, anywhere. He couldn't have found a more suitable job than looking after golf courses, where it's crucial to understand grass and machinery. He spent his days, and many of his nights, tending to both with abiding care.
Where Mr. AMSLER grew grass, golf courses and golfers always benefited. The Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario, which hosted the Canadian Open on its North course last month, was no exception. As director of agronomy, he was responsible for the care and maintenance of the North and the South course, which was the site of the 2002 Canadian Open.
In 1991, he was right there for the formidable task of turning a former horse farm into Angus Glen. Every year, golfers play 90,000 rounds at the club's two courses, which became popular during Mr. AMSLER's tenure for daily-fee play and corporate tournaments. He and his staff kept the courses up and running and in immaculate condition even while golfers were playing, which he managed by staggering the maintenance work so that scarcely a stroke was disturbed. Mr. AMSLER was on the property most days by 4 a.m., three hours before he expected his staff to arrive. He was the first to show up and usually the last to leave.
Mr. AMSLER loved nothing better than to get up on a bulldozer or some other piece of machinery to do the hard work of construction and grunt work that a good course demands. Course maintenance is all about three things: drainage, drainage and drainage. Whenever it rained, Mr. AMSLER had to restrain himself from immediately getting on a machine and digging a ditch. When the South course needed a couple of new teeing areas before the 2002 Canadian Open, he built them himself. Just before this year's Canadian Open, he realized that a large hill on the North course's 18th hole made a cart path there dangerous. He fired up the bulldozer, scraped off the hill and laid down asphalt. Presto, he had made a hazardous area safe. Over the years, his willingness and ability to do the hard work saved the club hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ernie AMSLER grew up in Schoenenwerd, a small town halfway between Zurich and Basel in northwestern Switzerland. One of his first jobs as a youngster was helping to deliver groceries by truck. He had been fascinated by cars since an early age, and soon became an expert at repairing them. He was particularly taken by Volkswagens. His interest in cars broadened after he came to Canada in 1966, and eventually he was buying and restoring such automobiles as Mini Coopers and Mercedes.
Mr. AMSLER first lived in the Toronto area with his sister Erika, who had preceded him to Canada. He'd enjoyed skiing in Switzerland and soon took to Canada's vast spaces and the idea of making an impression on the landscape. His first job was in landscaping, where he learned to wield the heavy machinery that became the instruments of his craftsmanship. He subsequently worked at various golf clubs in southern and south-central Ontario, including Windmills Golf Club, Port Carling Golf Club, the Mandarin Golf and Country Club in Markham, and, finally, Angus Glen.
"He could do anything with machinery," said Gordon STOLLERY, the owner of Angus Glen. "It didn't matter if it was a bulldozer, a back hoe or an aerator -- he knew how to work it. Ernie was also a true gentleman, by which I mean a gentle man."
Notwithstanding his courtly manner, Mr. AMSLER was as demanding of his staff as he was of himself. Angus Glen employees knew he monitored them to make sure they carried out his orders. At the same time, he was willing to admit when he made a mistake. A stickler for keeping the equipment in top shape, he took particular care that his staff cleaned the machinery at the end of each working day. It was important, for example, to make sure that gaskets were dry; otherwise, a fire might start.
So it was that one day Mr. AMSLER, in his take-charge way, used one of the bigger machines to cut the high fescue bordering the fairways. At the end of the day, he parked the machine in a back barn and, somehow, a fire broke out. Mr. AMSLER had neglected to do the proper cleaning. He told his staff, "You see, this is what can happen when we don't do the proper cleaning."
Another time, Mr. AMSLER was on a machine called a Bobcat when it hit a gas line. Everybody in the vicinity withdrew, fearing for their safety. He calmly fixed the line, and was soon asking where everyone had gone.
As much as Mr. AMSLER expected to be in charge of everything on the course, it wasn't always possible to exert the same kind of control off the course. In December of 1999, his son Daniel, who was born with cerebral palsy that affected one side of his body, was in a serious car accident. He was driving on Highway 403 when a ladder fell from a transport truck ahead of him. He swerved to avoid the truck and his car flipped twice. Daniel's right leg was mangled, and he spent the next 2½ weeks in a Mississauga hospital. Mr. AMSLER visited his son every day.
Meanwhile, he continued to put in long days and evenings at Angus Glen. With Chip, his border collie, on the seat beside him, Mr. AMSLER made his rounds driving a golf cart as if at a speedway.
Five weeks before this year's Canadian Open, Mr. AMSLER became ill and was admitted to hospital where he was visited, among others, by Kevin THISTLE, president of Angus Glen. After undergoing some tests, Mr. AMSLER was discharged, but he wasn't expected back at work. Inevitably, he showed up at the club. Mr. THISTLE asked him what he was doing there, and got the expected shrug, as if Mr. AMSLER were saying, "This is where I belong." It was clear, however, that he was ill and Mr. THISTLE later insisted that he go home. "I almost had to issue a restraining order."
Even so, Mr. AMSLER did manage to prepare some fields for a temporary pavilion needed for the Canadian Open, and rode a bulldozer for three days in 38-degree heat.
Before long, he was readmitted to hospital, unhappy to be away as the Canadian Open drew near. Nor did he like being away from a new facility he was building for Mr. STOLLERY in nearby Goodwood. Yet, in a way, he never did leave his work. From his hospital bed, he placed orders for sand for the new golf course.
"Ernie loved being outside," Mr. THISTLE said. "That's where he most wanted to be. You'd see him at night, driving around the property, and in the morning, he'd meet the same guys for coffee before he'd come to the club. I lived right beside his office when I first came to Angus Glen. He'd come in at four in the morning and honk his horn to wake me up."
The 2007 Open went on without Mr. AMSLER, although much of the credit for its success went to him. At the end of every tournament, the Professional Golfers' Association Tour issues a report on the host course. In advance of the tournament, Professional Golfers' Association Tour agronomist Jon Scott evaluated the work done at Angus Glen's North course to prepare for the Canadian Open and gave credit to "one of the greatest grass growers I've met in the business, head superintendent Ernie AMSLER."
Ernst AMSLER was born December 4, 1940, in Schoenenwerd, Switzerland. He died of complications from a liver-related condition at Southlake Hospital in Newmarket, Ontario, on July 24, 2007. He was 66. He is survived by his wife, Pia, and by his sons Daniel and Roland from an earlier marriage to Therese LEDREW, with whom he remained a close friend. He also leaves his sisters Erika and Erna, and his brother Kurt.

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THISTLE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-10 published
AMSLER, Ernie
I would like to thank family, Friends and neighbours for the caring thoughts and memories during this difficult time of my husband's passing, and to express my deep appreciation for all those whose affections and concerns have comforted me in this time. Thank you to all those who sent cards, flowers, prayers and donations to The Canadian Liver Foundation in Ernie's memory. I would especially like to thank Gordon STOLLERY for his generosity and support, Kevin THISTLE and all the people at Angus Glen for all their kindness, caring and thoughtfulness and giving Ernie such a beautiful funeral service and tribute to his career at Angus Glen, and Don McINTYRE, without whom I could never have gotten through these difficult times. There are angels among us, and God bless each and every one of you.
Thank You - Pia AMSLER

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