BASACCO o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-04-03 published
BASACCO, Syl
Who passed away April 3, 2003. You are always in our mind, No matter what we do. All the time within our hearts, There are thoughts of you. Always remembered and missed by your friend Guy RICCARDI

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BASACCO o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-24 published
REALI, Giovanni
Passed away unexpectedly on June 22, 2008 at London Health Sciences Centre - University Hospital, Giovanni REALI at the age of 67. Dearly beloved husband of Antonia for nearly 41 years. Devoted and deeply loved father of Anna Maria; and Sandro (Lucia). Dear brother of Arduino (the late Rosa) REALI of London, Giuseppe (Giuseppina) and Franco (Lucia) of Italy; and the late Pasquale, Rocco and Maria. Remembered by his niece Maria Louisa (Jason) and nephew Salvatore (Monica) and families. Brother-in-law to Angela BASACCO (Mario,) Agnesina D'AMICO (Santi) and Tony (Elena) and their families. Visitors will be received at the John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street at King Street on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 o'clock. The Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, 345 Lyle Street at York Street on Thursday morning June 26, 2008 at 10: 00 o'clock. Entombment in Holy Family Mausoleum at Saint Peter's Cemetery. Prayers Wednesday evening at 8: 15 p.m. If desired, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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BASARABA o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-03-25 published
HUGHES, Rose (née BASARABA)
Peacefully at Newbury Hospital on Saturday, March 22, 2008, Rose (née BASARABA) HUGHES of London, in her 88th year. Predeceased by her husband Walter Allen (1996). Beloved mother of Evelyn LIZOTTE of Calgary, Alberta, Murray (Diane) of Windsor, Carol (Lloyd) LYON of Glencoe, Robert (Mollie) of London and Connie COSE of Glencoe. Loving grandmother of 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Survived by a sister Joyce (Melvin) GOODGAMES of Odessa, Texas. Predeceased by 2 brothers and 5 sisters. Friends will be received at Evans Funeral Home, 648 Hamilton Road (1 block East of Egerton) on Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 1 p.m. Interment Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Friends who wish may make memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Online condolences can be expressed at www.evansfh.ca. A tree will be planted as a living memorial to Rose Hughes.

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BASCO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-01-08 published
SNOOK, William Samuel (1922-2008)
William S. SNOOK passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 3, 2008, in Savannah, Georgia, after a short illness at the age of 85. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1922 to Joseph and Eleanor (HUTCHINSON/HUTCHISON) SNOOK, and spent his formative years in Halifax and the Musquodoboit Valley. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Juene (MARSHALL) SNOOK; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Amy (BASCO) SNOOK of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario daughter, Suzanne M. JENSEN of Copetown, Ontario; and four adoring grandchildren, Kirsten and Taylor JENSEN, and Jonathon and Emily SNOOK. He was pre-deceased by a daughter, Nancy Anne. He is well-remembered by an extended network of family in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada and by Friends across North America, the Caribbean and the world. Bill and Juene made their home on a scenic golf course at the Landings on Skidaway Island for the past 20 years after a nomadic, but faithful 43-year business career with the Royal Bank of Canada took them from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada, as well as to Trinidad and New York City. Starting from a humble position as a branch clerk in Nova Scotia, Bill, in succession, managed the Bank's main branch in Montreal, its Caribbean branch network, all of its South American and Caribbean operations, and a significant portion of the Bank's business in Ontario. He retired in 1983 as a Senior Vice President responsible for Royal Bank of Canada's operations in the United States to consult to various companies, travel extensively with Juene, manage his investments, and sharpen his golf game. Bill also served in the Canadian Air Force as a Flying Officer in the Second World War and was a member of the Masonic Lodge - Montreal Chapter. A simple memorial service was held on Monday, January 7, 2008 at Fox and Weeks Hodgson Chapel in Savannah. The family will establish a website at www.billsnook.com in the next few days and welcomes visits and personal comments and stories. The family requests that remembrances be made to the Landings Library and the American and Canadian Cancer Societies in lieu of flowers.

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BASE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-17 published
Journalist roared through life 'like a movie star with charisma'
Globe-trotting reporter, who for three decades rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, lived a life that was the antithesis of his United Church, strait-laced Toronto upbringing
By Brian VALLEE, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S12
Toronto -- Paul KING was a swashbuckling Canadian journalist, author, artist and consummate raconteur who roared through life with an unquenchable curiosity and joy of the moment.
"He was like a movie star - brimming with charisma; trailing cigarette smoke as he lunged ever forward; talking out of the corner of his mouth in a raspy commanding drawl - right out of a 1930s newspaper movie," said Ron BASE, his long-time friend, fellow author and screenwriter. "He was unique, wonderful, irreplaceable and a helluva fine writer."
The life he led was the antithesis of the strait-laced religious family (his father was a United Church minister) in which he was brought up. After graduating from Toronto's Central Tech high school, his first job was as a window dresser at Simpson's department store. Soon bored, he went with a couple of Friends to Miami and then to Nassau in the Bahamas where in 1955 he began working as a lifeguard at the British Colonial Hotel. It was his "softest job ever."
Most guests simply basked in the sun. Very few swam. Only one guest concerned him - a water skier who went out only when there were monstrous breakers which he attacked like a halfback. "It's fantastic exercise," he told Mr. KING with broad grin.
"He's mad," complained Mr. KING to another guest, who laughed.
"No, he's not," the guest said, "he's Britain's top race-car driver, Sterling Moss."
One morning, Mr. KING was on lifeguard duty when his boss told him the beach had been privately reserved by honeymooners, actress Debbie Reynolds and crooner Eddie Fisher. "Debbie was sunning on a lounge chair and some guy was combing Eddie's hair," Mr. KING said. "I dozed off until I heard Debbie screaming hysterically. She was pointing frantically at Eddie, arms flailing, a few yards out in the water. I reached him in seconds. He panicked, pushed me down and kicked my ear. I was gulping water, so I grabbed him by the groin and squeezed. Then I felt the sandy bottom and dragged him out. They left later that day without a word of thanks."
Mr. KING returned to Toronto and began studying journalism at Ryerson Polytechnic, now a university. In the summer of 1958, he worked as an intern at The Vancouver Sun. His high-school sweetheart, Ivi RIIVES, followed him there and they were married before he returned to Ryerson and graduated with honours in 1959.
The Vancouver paper had liked what it saw and hired him as its entertainment editor and columnist. In his new job, he was enjoying the first half hour of the musical Oklahoma at Stanley Park's Theatre Under the Stars when a noticeably bald man sat down beside him and started humming along. When he began to sing the words, Mr. KING complained.
"Oh God, I'm sorry," the man murmured.
"I finally snapped when I heard 'Poooor Jud is daid,' coming both from the stage and the seat beside me," Mr. KING would write years later.
"Would you please shut up," he hissed.
After that, the man remained silent until the end of the performance. "I apologize," he said putting on his cap.
Mr. KING stared at him. He knew the voice and, with the cap on, he knew the face. He'd been sitting beside Bing Crosby without a toupee.
"I feel like I just told Fred Astaire to get off a dance floor," he offered by way of an apology. Mr. Crosby whooped with glee.
Perhaps his biggest scoop for The Sun was the death of Errol Flynn. The famed Hollywood actor had arrived in Vancouver in October of 1959 to sell his yacht to a local stock promoter. Mr. KING met them at a nightclub known for its ties to the mob. Mr. Flynn, then 50 and notorious for three statutory rape trials, was with his 16-year-old girlfriend. "Booze had bloated his once-handsome face, but the radiant smile remained," Mr. KING wrote.
When the actor said he felt ill, Mr. KING steered him through a side exit and into an alley. "He gagged up his booze and then groaned, 'Christ mate, I'm getting old.' "
They parted ways and agreed to meet the next day. Later, the stock promoter called to say they had stopped somewhere for a nightcap and that he should rejoin them. He dutifully arrived only to see an ambulance. Mr. Flynn was dead, felled by heart and liver disease.
In 1960, Paul and Ivi KING decided to leave Canada for Japan. "We just went," Ms. KING said. "We didn't have jobs. We wanted to see Japan before it changed too much." They would stay for almost four years. Mr. KING worked, simultaneously, as a film critic and columnist for the Mainichi Daily News; chief English-language copywriter for an advertising agency; and as co-producer of a popular television show.
Tall, charming and Hollywood-handsome, Mr. KING often attracted women. He and Ms. KING were soon having marital problems and she left Japan to work in Hong Kong. Mr. KING followed soon after. It was there in Kowloon's bars and nightclubs that he would meet and drink many nights away with a cast of characters that included crooks, cops, musicians, exotic dancers and actors such as William Holden, Albert Finney and Peter O'Toole.
"I stayed in Hong Kong and worked there and Paul went on to Switzerland where we had Friends," Ms. KING said. "He was going there to write but, of course, he did not publish a book. He had more fun than anything else."
It was 1964, and he found himself reporting from the set of the movie Doctor Zhivago on the outskirts of Madrid. It was there under a full moon in a deserted massive plaza created for the movie that he interviewed Alec Guinness. Dressed in a commissar's uniform and fur hat, the actor had been enjoying the solitude and seemed unhappy with the intrusion.
"Why aren't you starring in movies any more?"
"What?" a startled Mr. Guinness asked.
Mr. KING told him how he had loved the old British comedies in which the actor had starred, citing The Ladykillers, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Man in the White Suit. Since then, he said, Mr. Guinness had played superb character roles in Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage to India, Lawrence of Arabia and then Zhivago, but they weren't starring roles.
Mr. Guinness laughed when he realized the later movies were all directed by David Lean. "He gave me my first big role in Great Expectations and I've taken every part he's offered ever since. It's all his fault."
After that, the actor chatted happily for the next hour.
The next day a frazzled publicist cornered Mr. KING and told him he had been banned from the set for telling Mr. Guinness that he was no longer a star. Attending a party a day or two later, Mr. KING fled to the balcony when Mr. Lean entered the apartment. He found Mr. Guinness on the balcony admiring the moon.
"Beautiful isn't it," he said.
"I'm not speaking to you," Mr. KING said. "You twisted my words."
Mr. Guinness chuckled. "Yes I did. I wanted to get David's goat."
"Well you succeeded. He banned me from the set."
"Oh my, my. We must do something about that."
Taking him by the arm, Mr. Guinness led him back to the party. Mr. Lean glowered at them. "David," Mr. Guinness said, "I have a confession."
Hearing what had actually been said, Mr. Lean agreed to allow Mr. KING back on the set provided he stay out of his line of sight.
By 1965, Mr. KING was in London where he worked for a time for the Daily Mail. There was a reconciliation of sorts with his wife and she followed him to Rome when he took a job with a talent agency. "It ended up being a lot of night life," she said. "So I left him there."
His job was to look after movie stars such as Clint Eastwood, Eva Marie Saint, James Garner, Yves Montand and Rita Hayworth. "There are a lot of stories about Clint Eastwood that I can probably never tell," he once said.
For his part, he was romantically involved with Ms. Hayworth who was in Rome filming The Rover with Anthony Quinn.
The actor lived in a villa an hour outside Rome and when he invited Ms. Hayworth to a party, she asked Mr. KING to go along. When they arrived, Mr. Quinn, dressed in a red sweatsuit and sneakers, met them at the door. The other guests included eight dapper lawyers and businessmen and their wives or girlfriends. "This is bizarre," Ms. Hayworth whispered.
Mr. KING said it got really weird when Mr. Quinn clapped his hands and ordered everyone inside to play bingo around an enormous dining table. Each guest had to give the host $20 in lira for a bingo card and corn markers. "We played bingo for 60 excruciating minutes," Mr. KING said. "Only Quinn enjoyed himself - barking out numbers and handing cash to winners."
When one of the guests finally had enough, the host looked crestfallen. "You don't like bingo?"
That was enough for Ms. Hayworth. "Oh, for God's sake, Tony," she said throwing her cache of corn across the table. "This is stupid."
Mr. Quinn's wife rushed in smiling and said dinner was ready. "Superb tenderloin was served," Mr. KING said. "During dessert, Quinn circled the table with a wicker basket filled with semi-precious stones. Each guest chose one. It was a lovely gesture. I carried mine in my pocket for years."
As they left the villa, Ms. Hayworth kissed her co-star on the cheek. "I'll give you a tip, old buddy," she said. "Next time, play Parcheesi."
In 1967, Mr. KING returned to Canada and worked on the television series Under Attack with Pierre Burton.
The following year, he worked for a time as an entertainment writer for The Globe and Mail and then became a feature writer for the magazine The Canadian where he was to stay for seven years. His and Ms. KING's only child, Michelle, was born in 1971. However, the couple separated for good in 1974, but remained Friends.
In 1975, he became a reporter and columnist for the Toronto Star and remained there for a decade.
In the late seventies, he met Barbara FULTON who would be his lover and companion for the next 30 years. "I loved his zest for life and living in the moment," she said. "He had an amazing wit and sense of humour. We laughed and laughed and it never went away."
In 1985, they packed up and moved to a small Spanish mountain village. They were gone for more than a year. He had time for watercolour painting and together they wrote magazine and newspaper travel stories to survive. "It was idyllic," she said. "Absolutely fabulous."
They would later travel extensively through Mexico, writing articles as they went. Later, after returning to Toronto, Mr. KING wrote several books for Key Porter, including Cottage Country (1991) and Mountains of America (1992). He also was ghost writer for two autobiographies by Ed Mirvish of Honest Ed's department store.
In 1995, he had a brush with cancer. A carcinoid tumour was removed from his small bowel and doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto discovered it had spread to his liver.
He thought it was a death sentence, but he underwent treatment and continued to travel. Each summer, he escaped to the cottage. "We both loved it," Ms. FULTON said. "Paul called it his oasis and last summer was just blissful."
He knew a lot about pain, but on Sunday, May 4, it was excruciatingly different. They had been eating a quiet dinner in their Toronto apartment when he began to choke and cough. "A bully has moved in," he announced through gritted teeth.
When first diagnosed with cancer in 1995, Mr. KING went to a doctor for advice about how to die. Afterward, he and Ms. FULTON met a friend for a drink in a bar. She was drying her tears he was stoic. "The doctor said to forget chemo," he said. "All it does is give you a couple of extra months of sheer misery. Instead, he said to travel where you want to travel; do the things you want to do; see the people you want to see; and when the pain is too much, take morphine until you're done. And that's what I'm going to do."
And so he did.
He was dead five days after being admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital.
Paul KING was born on December 14, 1935, on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. He died of cancer in Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital on May 9, 2008. He was 72. He is survived by his companion, Barbara Fulton; brother, John; and daughter Michelle. He also leaves his former wife, Ivi KING, and granddaughters Finnoula, Sinead and Bronach.

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BASEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-01 published
WARSH, Tanya
Peacefully after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Tanya WARSH, beloved wife of Marvin. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Bonnie and Michael FULLER of New York, Judy HUROWITZ, Steven HUROWITZ and Diane OSAK, Beverley BASEN, Douglas, and Robert. Dear sister and sister-in-law of Lionel and Suzanne RUBINOFF, Ronald and Dorothy RUBINOFF, Beverly and Marvin ZARNETT, and the late Rita RITCHIE. Devoted grandmother of Noah, Sofia, Leilah, Sasha, Matthew, Lisa, Samara, Julia, Jennifer, Alexandra, Matthew, and Carolyn. At Holy Blossom Temple, 1950 Bathurst Street (south of Eglinton) for service on Friday, May 2nd, 2008 at 10: 30 a.m. Interment Holy Blossom Memorial Park. Shiva 21 Hawthorn Avenue, Sunday from 12: 00 then daily from 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Tanya Warsh Memorial Fund for Research in Renal Cell Carcinoma at Sunnybrook Hospital c/o the Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324, or www.benjamins.ca. To her family and Friends she was devoted, inspirational, beautiful, and a pillar of strength, who will be deeply missed.

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BASER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-25 published
Ordinary day, extraordinary tragedy
Couple killed on Highway 400 remembered as truck drivers await next court date
By Susan KRASHINSKY, Page A12
It was the kind of day that shouldn't have been remarkable at all, much less tragic.
On a cloudy Saturday, Don LOURIE got into his car. His wife, Elsie, was in the passenger's seat. The Scarborough couple set off along Highway 400 on a pleasure trip to Rama, Ontario
Meanwhile, Gurmail Singh BRAICH and Ali BASER steered their dump trucks onto the same highway - another afternoon on the job.
Before the end of the day, the LOURIEs would be dead, Mr. BRAICH and Mr. BASER would be in custody and three families would have their lives upended.
At the funeral yesterday, Dan LOURIE remembered his parents as high-spirited, generous and full of stories.
"I will never tire of Don and Elsie's wonderful adventures," he said.
For 21 years, the LOURIEs ran Chunky Fries, a chip truck at the 400 Market. When Mr. LOURIE sold the wagon last year, he had hoped to have more free time, manager Scott SAUNDERS said.
"You could always count on Don to be a gentleman. He was a great man to know," he said.
On Saturday, a dump truck headed south on Highway 400 collided with the concrete median. The tailgate came off the truck and flew into the northbound lanes, where it crashed through the windshield of an oncoming sport utility vehicle.
Elsie LOURIE was killed instantly, and Mr. LOURIE died shortly after. They were both 75.
Mr. BRAICH, of Brampton, is charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death, while Mr. BASER, of Toronto, is charged with dangerous driving.
Defence counsel Rudi COVRE is representing both of them. He described them as hardworking family men caught in a tragic situation.
"Three families' lives have been destroyed," he said in an interview Wednesday.
Neither man had a previous criminal record.
Mr. BRAICH was released Tuesday on $100,000 bail. Mr. BASER was granted bail on Wednesday, at $30,000.
Their bail conditions forbid them to drive or even have keys to a motor vehicle, Crown counsel Harold DALE said in an interview.
Standing outside the courthouse in Newmarket on Wednesday, Mr. BASER's teenage son said the truck-driving job was the best work his father had found since coming to Canada from Turkey about a decade ago.
"He's the only one working in the family," said 16-year-old Ali. "What are we going to do now?"
He stubbed out his cigarette and excused himself. "I got to go get my dad," he said.
Mr. BRAICH and Mr. BASER will return to court in May.

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BASHAM o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-07-07 published
PICKELL, Alda Pearl (née UNDERHILL)
It is with heartfelt sorrow that the family announces the passing of Alda Pearl (UNDERHILL) PICKELL of Vienna, in her 88th year at the Tillsonburg Hospital on Saturday, July 5, 2008 with her daughters and families at her bedside. Born in Houghton on March 29, 1921. Beloved wife of the late William (Charles) PICKELL (1966,) Daughter of the late Robert (Jesse) and Lorinda (Grace) (TOMLIN) UNDERHILL. Dear Mother to 8 daughters; Marlene (Don) TILLOTSON of Vienna, Shirley GRAHAM of Port Burwell, Lorraine YPMA (Arko) of London, Marion (Ken) SCRIPNICK of Sarnia, Gloria (Gord) TILTON of Tillsonburg, Linda (Harry) WILSON of London, Cheryl (Mike) SITTS of Mount Brydges, Marie (Wayne) BASHAM of Texas. Loving grandmother to 19 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great-grandchildren, 5 step-grandchildren and 5 step-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by 2 grand_sons Kenneth TILLOTSON and Paul DAKIN, father Jesse, mother Grace, 7 brothers Percy, Austin, Don, Glenn, Floyd, Clayton, Bordon and a sister Violet. The family will receive Friends, family, and neighbours at Ostrander's Funeral Home, 43 Bidwell St. Tillsonburg on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service for Alda will be held in Ostrander's Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 1 p.m. Pastor Bill FINCH of North Broadway Baptist Church officiating. Interment St. Luke's Cemetery, Vienna, Ontario. At the family's request memorial donations (payable by cheque) may be made to North Broadway Baptist Church, any children's charity, or charity of ones choice would be appreciated. Personal condolences may be made at www.ostrandersfuneralhome.com

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BASKETT o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-07-07 published
BANCROFT, Roy
At Alexandra Hospital, Ingersoll on Saturday, July 5, 2008, Roy BANCROFT, of Ingersoll, in his 87th year. Husband of the late Ella (HERMAN) BANCROFT (1994.) Dear father of Elsie and her husband John LOUNSBURY of Ingersoll, Donald and his wife Ruth of Dorchester, Linda NANCEKIVELL of Ingersoll, Charles and his wife Martha of Springford and Barbara and her husband Donald LINDSAY of Bayfield. Also survived by 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Dear brother of Doris COUSINS of Woodstock, Lillian and her husband Jim HACKERT of Salford, Joe BANCROFT and his wife Betty of Ingersoll, Betty and her husband Ken FISHER of Ingersoll and Frieda WESTON of Ingersoll. Predeceased by one brother Ewart BANCROFT and two sisters Edna BASKETT and Bernice CLARK. Friends will be received at the McBeath-Dynes Funeral Home, 246 Thames St. S., Ingersoll Tuesday 2: 30-4:30 and 7-9 p.m. where service will be held on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 1: 30 p.m. Rev. John LAMBSHEAD officiating. Interment Ingersoll Rural Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation or Alexandra Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.

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BASKEY o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-18 published
BELL, Hélène Mary
Passed away peacefully at London Health Sciences Center - University Hospital on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Hélène Mary BELL at the age of 86. Cherished mother of Carolyn BASKEY; and Wayne and his wife Shirley BELL. Loving grandma of Janice and Robert BASKEY and Sandy and Chris BELL. Dear sister of Penny BRAIN, Robert PEIRCE, Catherine HESKETH and the late Frank PEIRCE. She will be sadly missed by her many nieces, nephews and extended family. Visitors will be received at the John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street at King Street, London on Thursday from 2-4 and 7-9 o'clock. Funeral Mass at Saint Michael's Church, 515 Cheapside Street at Maitland Street on Friday morning June 20, 2008 at 11 o'clock. Cremation to follow. Prayers Thursday evening at 7 o'clock.

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BASKIN o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-02-26 published
BASKIN, Joan (BRANDON)
It is with great sadness that the family of Joan (BRANDON) BASKIN announce her passed at Valleyview Home, Saint Thomas on Monday, February 25th, 2008, in her 85th year. Beloved wife of the late William BASKIN (July 2007) and sons Ronald (Sandra) St. George, Basil (Darlene) Saint Thomas, Philip (Linda) London, David (Lori) Aurora. Loving grandmother of Shawn, Darcy (Melissa), Shannon, Shona, Ashley, Gregory, Kelly, Ryan and Abbey and Zachary Smith. Great-grandmother to Madison and Connor. Visitation will be held at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin Street, Saint Thomas on Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. The funeral service to celebrate Joan's life will be held at St. Hilda's-St. Luke's Anglican Church on Thursday at 11: 00 a.m. Interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery, London. Donations may be made to St. Hilda's-St. Luke's Anglican Church or the V.O.N.

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BASKIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2008-03-12 published
BASKIN, Linda
Suddenly with family by her side on Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie. Linda is survived by her husband Richard RYDZIK, and her loving son Jason. She will be missed by her brother David MILLER and his wife Lorraine, loving mother Alma, nieces, nephews and their families. Predeceased by her father George MILLER. Friends will be received at the Dixon-Garland Funeral Home, 166 Main Street North (Markham Rd.), Markham on Thursday at 11 a.m., reception to follow service. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Royal Victoria Hospital would be appreciated. Online condolences www.dixongarland.com

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BASMAJIAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-20 published
BASMAJIAN, Doctor John V., O.C., O.Ont., M.D., F.A.C.A., (F.R.C.P.C,) F.S.B.M., F.A.C.R.M., F.A.B.M.R.
(21 June 1921-18 March 2008)
A proud Canadian, a much-decorated pioneer in medical research, an enthusiastic teacher and mentor, a prolific author, and above all, a loving husband, father and grandfather, John V. BASMAJIAN led a life of integrity and boundless energy, passing away in his 87th year after a brief illness. He was dearly loved by his wife of 60 years, Dora (LUCAS,) his children Haig (Lynn,) Nancy (Mark PHILLIPS,) and Sally (Kevin CONWAY,) and his grandchildren Matthew and Colin BASMAJIAN and Jocelyn and Peter CONWAY. Born in Constantinople to Armenian parents (Myran and Miriam), John grew up in Brantford, Ontario. He received his M.D. with honours at the University of Toronto in 1945, rising to the rank of professor in the Faculty of Medicine in 1956. A member of the Department of Neurology of the Hospital for Sick Children, Doctor BASMAJIAN spent 1953 on leave in London, England pursuing his medical research on electromyography. From 1957 to 1969, he was head of the Department of Anatomy at Queen's University, Kingston. From 1969 to 1977, he was Director of the Emory University Regional Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Returning to Canada in 1977, he became Professor of Medicine and Anatomy at McMaster University and Director of the Rehabilitation Centre, Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals. In retirement, Doctor BASMAJIAN continued to travel widely, including a mission with Project Hope to aid earthquake victims in Armenia.
The recipient of many major honours, Doctor BASMAJIAN was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995. The citation states: "He greatly influenced generations of physicians-in-training, invented several widely-used medical devices, and developed scientific techniques. Notable among his many accomplishments was his pioneering work in electromyography, which had a significant impact on the development of biofeedback techniques, used for rehabilitation following injury to the central nervous system."
Dr. BASMAJIAN published books on medical science in several languages and was the author of more than 400 scientific articles. He was Series Editor of the 22-volume Rehabilitation Medicine Library and presented lectures at more than 100 universities throughout the world. He served as President of the Biofeedback Society of America, President and Co-Founder of the International Society of Electromyographic Kinesiology, and President of the American Association of Anatomists.
John took a keen interest in public services. He was a member of the Kingston Board of Education, Chairman of the Board of Governors of St. Lawrence College of Applied Arts and Technology, and a member of the Board of Gerontology Research Council of Ontario. Devoted to his family, he sat through countless piano recitals, built skating rinks for his children, and took profound pleasure in his beloved grandchildren.
His family extends thanks to We Care and the staff at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital who cared for him during his last few weeks. Cremation will take place, followed by a private family gathering. A celebration of John's life will be held later this spring. Those wishing to make a donation in John's memory are asked to consider the Kidney Foundation of Canada or Alzheimer's Society of Canada.

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BASMAJIAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-21 published
Leader in rehabilitative medicine pioneered the use of biofeedback
Brilliant student who went directly from high school to medical school developed breakthroughs in artificial limbs, trained more than 1,000 doctors and wrote or edited in excess of 60 books
By Ron CSILLAG, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S10
Your body is not only a temple but a veritable fount of information. It is continuously feeding you vital data on how to make the best of what you've got. Getting stiff because you've been watching television for hours? That's a message. Sidelined by an unexpected head or backache? Another bulletin. Problem is, many of us are tone-deaf to our own biological feedback.
The truncated term of biofeedback was coined in 1969 in Santa Monica, California., and Doctor John BASMAJIAN became among its most enthusiastic proponents. It may have acquired a New Age vibe, but Doctor BASMAJIAN felt it was scientifically rock-solid, for here was a technique of using equipment, usually electronic, to reveal internal physiological events in the form of visual and audible signals. Patients hooked up the contraptions could then be taught how to manage these involuntary events by manipulating the displayed signals.
Biofeedback has been found to be a very effective therapeutic tool for the treatment of many stress-related disorders, including cardio-vascular diseases. In fact, it was Doctor BASMAJIAN's guess that half of all problems seen by family doctors were behavioural in origin, and that more standard but invasive treatments involving surgery or drugs could be drastically reduced if people only listened to their bodies.
Some back pain, for example, "is just a tension headache that has slipped down." When muscles knot, it's "nature's way of splinting a muscle," he told the New York Times. "When a muscle knots or goes into spasm, it is protected by becoming immobilized and forcing its owner to rest. Rest is how the body recovers from injuries." A renowned anatomist and leader in the field of rehabilitative medicine, Doctor BASMAJIAN called himself the "putative father" of electromyography, the study of electrical discharge from muscles, and later, biofeedback.
"I started working on muscle in the days of polio and, afterward, when it was licked, people asked me why I continued," he told the Hamilton Spectator upon being named to the Order of Canada in 1995. "I was able to discover some things which became important later on."
Indeed, his research paved the way for developments in rehabilitative medicine, specifically, how muscle could be trained to recover from damage. His work also led to early breakthroughs in artificial limbs. Along the way, he invented several medical devices and procedures, including electrodes used to measure electrical impulses in muscle fibre.
He probably could have become wealthy from his inventions alone, but he didn't patent anything "because the money didn't interest me, and it took so long to get something patented when it could actually be in use if you just published a paper and made people aware of it."
Recalled as a tireless and passionate man who displayed an almost evangelical zeal for his work, Doctor BASMAJIAN ended his career as professor of medicine and anatomy at McMaster University and director of Hamilton's Chedoke Rehabilitation Centre. His professional output was matched by few: He authored or edited some 400 scientific papers and 60 books which sold more than a million copies.
The best-known volume, Muscles Alive, was the first collection of studies that used technology to study muscle behaviour during voluntary activity, and was said to have sparked the imaginations of countless students and health practitioners.
He embraced technology as few physicians of his age did. Recalled Dr. Carlo DeLuca of Boston University, who worked with Doctor BASMAJIAN as a graduate student in 1968, "within minutes of our encounter he asked me questions on how one could increase the input impedance of amplifiers indwelling electromyographic signals. I had never before heard such words from the mouth of a medical doctor. He insisted that we be passionate about our work. For John, science was a love affair."
He was born in Constantinople -- modern-day Istanbul -- to Armenian parents who had both lost spouses in the genocide of 1915-1918, which claimed up to 1.5 million of their countrymen. His father, Mihran, was just 15 when Turkish militiamen opened fire on a forced-labour battalion. The boy was unscathed and lay still among the dead until a vicious blow to his head from a scimitar knocked him unconscious and left a lifelong scar.
Bribery was the sole way out, and in 1922, Mihran, his wife Mary and their year-old infant Varoujan left on a French visa that was likely forged and cost a fortune. They landed in Marseilles and from there went to Ellis Island, the New York entry point for new arrivals to the United Sates. The clan discovered that Canada had a program that admitted immigrants as farmers' indentured servants, so in March, 1923, Mihran and Mary settled in Brantford, Ontario, where they broke their backs on a dirt farm for a year.
Their doted-upon only child, whose name had been anglicized to John, excelled at school, particularly in writing and literature. He was accepted straight from high school into medical school at the University of Toronto, where, owing to the Second World War, the six-year program was condensed by 18 months.
In 1943, he volunteered in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, ending up as a captain. All 119 members of the graduating class of 1945, in which Doctor BASMAJIAN placed second, were in uniform and became the medical officers who examined and discharged thousands of returning Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen.
He aimed for a residency in surgery but instead was hired by his professor, the famed John GRANT, head of the anatomy department, to teach gross anatomy at U of T's medical school for a year. He went on to residencies at two Toronto hospitals but further progress was cut short in the summer of 1948 by some ominous health news of his own.
A routine X-ray revealed a lung wracked by pleurisy. The suspected cause was the tuberculosis to which he'd been exposed by servicemen he had examined. In those days, the only treatment was complete bed rest in a sanatorium. He checked into one in Weston, Ontario, but continued to sink. His own doctor feared the worst.
It was only after treatment with the then-experimental antibiotic streptomycin that he bounced back. But medical authorities decided he was too weakened to perform surgery.
"They thought it would be too strenuous for him," recalled Doctor Harold Kalant, a former classmate of Doctor BASMAJIAN's. " They certainly misjudged his ability to go into surgery because he had so much fire in him, he easily could have done it. His dexterity was remarkable." For one thing, he was able to draw with both hands simultaneously, which was a great hit in the classroom, where he would sketch diagrams with one hand and label them with the other.
Back on the job at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. BASMAJIAN began working with polio patients and electromyographic (EMG) equipment that had been developed by Canadian Army neurologists during the war. "Even though polio was soon to become rare because of new vaccines, I expanded my work with the EMG and it became my scientific obsession," he wrote in his 1992 memoirs, I.O.U.
He went on to work with stroke victims, amputees and spinal-cord patients, and never stopped experimenting in biomechanics and kinesiology. Once, he wired the fingers of his two daughters as they played piano to find out more about small-muscle use. Trumpet and trombone players sought him out to improve their embouchure - the use of facial muscles and the shaping of lips to the mouthpiece.
Teaching, though, was his strength. He continued as an anatomy professor at University of Toronto until 1957, moved to Queen's University in Kingston until 1969 (where he won a slogan-writing contest during Canada's centennial), then to Emory University in Atlanta, where he received cross-postings in anatomy, rehabilitative medicine and psychiatry. He and his family settled in Hamilton in 1977.
In between were speaking tours and visiting professorships around the world, including one in 1963 to the Soviet Union that resulted in questioning by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the leadership of a slew of medical and scientific societies.
His son Haig, a surgeon in Cobourg, Ontario, believes his father trained more than 1,000 Canadian doctors.
He was an avid believer in behavioural medicine - the "third great clinical revolution in a century" - which he said consisted of two parts: Biofeedback and self-regulation.
His work ethic was legendary. His family recalled that he could read journals and check the proofs of his latest book while his children played and the television was on. On several occasions, he would raise his head and ask, "What are we watching?"
As for his own family's health, "we were not coddled," said his daughter, Sally BASMAJIAN. "My Dad believed that positive thought could cure almost anything. Our sick days were few and far between."
In late 1989, Doctor BASMAJIAN spent two months in Armenia for Project Hope after an earthquake that claimed some 50,000 lives in the region. He estimated there were 100,000 survivors, including many children, with severely impairing injures, about half of whom would continue to have significant handicaps.
He had an "obsessive passion" for two things: His family and science. "I've loved it," he once said, "and the most satisfying part is knowing that by teaching, I have been able to pass knowledge on and help thousands of people."
John Varoujan BASMAJIAN was born in Constantinople (Istanbul) on June 21, 1921 and died in Burlington, Ontario, on March 18, 2008, of natural causes. He was 86. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Dora (Lucas), children Haig, Nancy and Sally, and four grandchildren.

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BASQUE o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-13 published
GIBSON, Leonard Wayne
Suddenly and unexpectedly in Terrace British Columbia (formerly of London, Ontario) Chief Warrant Officer Leonard Wayne GIBSON, 12th Field Ambulance, passed away Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at the age of 54 years. Survived by his partner of 19 years Linda Marie BASQUE, his children by a previous marriage Jason and Lisa GIBSON of London, parents Leonard and Patricia GIBSON, brothers Jim (Lynette) and Bill, his sister Lynn CORNETT, nieces and nephews, all of London. Funeral arrangements incomplete at this time.

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BASQUE o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-19 published
GIBSON, Leonard Wayne
Chief Warrant Officer Leonard Wayne GIBSON, 12th Field Ambulance, from Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (formerly of London, Ontario) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in Terrace, British Columbia on Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at the age of 54 years. Wayne is survived by his loving spouse Linda BASQUE of 19 years, his son Jason and daughter Lisa and their mother Dianna WHEELER, his parents Leonard and Patricia, his brothers Jim (Lynette) and Bill, his sister Lynn, his niece and nephews, and his dog Holly. Visitation will be held at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road N. on Friday from 2: 00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 where the service will be conducted on Saturday, June 21 at 10: 00 a.m. Interment Woodland Cemetery. Reception to follow at the Royal Canadian Legion, Duchess of Kent, Branch #263, 499 Hill Street, London. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Wayne are asked to consider the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Online condolences accepted at condolences@westviewfuneralchapel.com

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BASRUR o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-03 published
BASRUR was calm face during severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis
By Helen BRANSWELL, The Canadian Press, Tues., June 3, 2008
Toronto -- Doctor Sheela BASRUR, a public health figure whose skilful leadership and communications expertise helped guide Canada through Toronto's severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis in 2003, died yesterday after a 17-month battle with a rare form of cancer.
BASRUR, 51, had stepped down as Ontario's chief medical officer of health in December 2006 when she learned she was suffering from leiomyosarcoma, a diagnosis for which the prognosis was poor.
Many of her Friends, colleagues and admirers fought back tears as they paid tribute to a diminutive woman with a big brain, a big heart and a quick smile.
"It was obviously at one level expected and inevitable, given what she was dealing with. But it's too soon, too young and a huge loss, not just to public health but far much more in the country," Doctor David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, said from Halifax.
Born in 1956, BASRUR was raised in a professional family.
Her father is a radiation oncologist at the Kitchener hospital where BASRUR died. Her mother is a professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.
Divorced, she had one child -- a daughter, Simone KOVES, who is now 17.
A private funeral will be held, according to family spokesperson Sujit CHOUDRY. A public memorial to mark BASRUR's life and professional contribution will follow.
But some of that recognition started to flow before her death. In April, at a ceremony BASRUR was well enough to attend, the provincial government announced it would name Ontario's new arms-length public health agency the Sheela Basrur Centre.
People for whom she worked and who worked for and with her described a woman able to quickly grasp the big picture, a leader who easily marshalled and motivated troops, and a person whose keen sense of humour was ever at the ready.
"She was one of those people who can take the information and understand the implications of it and be able to convey that to people in a way they understand," said Doctor Bonnie HENRY, a friend who also served as an associate medical officer of health in Toronto.

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BASRUR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-03 published
BASRUR, Doctor Sheela
Dr. Sheela BASRUR passed away peacefully on June 2, 2008 at 1: 16 p.m. at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, Kitchener, Ontario with close family members at her side. Doctor BASRUR is survived by her daughter Simone, her mother Parvathi (Pari), her father Vasanth, her sister Jyothi, her nieces Natasha and Nina, by Simone's father Peter KOVES and by Friends, colleagues and admirers across Ontario, Canada and beyond. Doctor BASRUR died as she had lived: with honesty and courage. Her fight with leiomyosarcoma was a fight she shared with the world upon stepping down from her position as Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario on December 6, 2006 to undergo treatment for this rare form of Cancer. Her willingness to speak openly of her personal challenge served as an inspiration to so many others whose lives are affected by cancer. On April 10th, 2008, Dr, BASRUR was awarded Ontario's highest honour, The Order of Ontario, at a special ceremony held at her bedside and presided over by the Honourable Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley. This was followed very shortly after with what would be one of her final public appearances, with Premier Dalton McGuinty and Deputy Premier George Smitherman, where they and addressed the Annual Conference of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Her speech delivered from the heart received a standing ovation from over 6000 nurses from all parts of healthcare and public health. This honour was the crowning achievement in a career and a life led to the full. Lived with passion, humour, commitment and a desire to change the world in which we live for the better. She achieved international recognition for her calm and unflinching handling of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis while serving as Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. Sheela BASRUR was, however, so much more than 'the severe acute respiratory syndrome lady' as a child in a supermarket had once called her. Doctor BASRUR was a devoted mother who cared deeply for her daughter and her family and would be passionate about protecting time to attend concerts with Simone even whilst facing a gruelling workload and multiple competing demands. Born in Toronto, Canada on October 17, 1956 to parents Vasanth and Pari, young graduate students from Karnataka and Kerala in South India, Dr. BASRUR began her education at the University of Western Ontario where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1979, and went on to receive her degree in Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1982. Doctor BASRUR was exposed to the extreme realities of the social factors shaping health while in India and Nepal in 1983. She was inspired by the need to work upstream on the factors behind poor health in populations. Doctor BASRUR returned from India and Nepal to Canada, and with her experience of rural health projects in Maharastra state in India, completed a Master of Health Sciences in Community Medicine in 1987, from the University of Toronto. She then went on to be appointed Medical Officer of Health at the East York Health Unit. In 1998, Doctor BASRUR became the first Medical Officer of Health for the newly merged City of Toronto. In this post, Doctor BASRUR championed a range of progressive moves by the City including the implementing DineSafe, a new restaurant inspection system, taking aggressive moves to curb smoking in restaurants, pioneering work on pesticide control - all the time attempting to ensure that information and services were available and targeted to an increasingly ethnically diverse population. In 2004, Dr BASRUR was appointed the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the first in the history of the province to be appointed by the Legislative Assembly. In her time as Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister for Public Health, Dr. BASRUR exemplified the resolve required to speak the truth. Her work on Tobacco control included the groundbreaking Smokefree Ontario legislation passed in 2006, the establishment of Ontario's first ever arms-length Agency for Health Protection and Promotion established in 2007, a 2005 report to the Legislature that honestly and frankly told of the challenges and work required to rebuild the Ontario public health system. As Chief Medical Officer of Health Doctor BASRUR also released a major report on childhood obesity sparking attention and action on the increasing health threat it posed. All of these achievements and many more earned Sheela the Amethyst Award, the highest award granted to a member of the Ontario Public Service. All these awards and honours, bestowed on Doctor BASRUR, can never fully capture the person she was. She was awarded honourary Doctorate degrees from Ryerson University and York University, and a similar event was planned by the University of Toronto this month. Sheela BASRUR is mourned by her daughter, her family and Friends, her colleagues. Ontario and Canada have lost a brave and gracious leader. The family is holding a private ceremony in the days to follow. A public celebration of Sheela's life will be arranged in ensuing weeks. Sheela had requested the donations be sent, in lieu of flowers, to the Grand River Hospital Foundation, 835 King St. W, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 1G3. Ph: 519-749-4205. Fax: 519-749-4354. Online giving: www.grhf.org. Donations should be marking 'inpatient oncology equipment'. Condolences may be forwarded to the family through the Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo Ontario, N2J 1P7, 519-745-8445 or www.erbgood.com

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BASRUR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-03 published
Sheela BASRUR, 51: Physician
At the height of the 2003 crisis that stunned Toronto and caused the rest of the world to stay away from Canada's largest city, she worked three weeks straight. At one point, she said it was like 'ripping a bandage off one wound to stop the bleeding on another'
By Gloria GALLOWAY, Page S8
Ottawa -- Toronto's hotels were half empty, people on the streets were wearing medical facemasks, the city's Chinatowns were ghost towns, and there was one reassuring voice pleading for calm.
Sheela BASRUR was Toronto's medical officer of health when severe acute respiratory syndrome arrived in her city, stealing in from Hong Kong and unleashing its deadly force on a population taken fully by surprise.
Suddenly, the diminutive doctor was thrust onto the national stage. The world's health community turned a concerned eye on Toronto. Reporters from across the country were calling to demand answers about the deadly and previously unknown threat.
Amid the chaos, she became a trusted general in the fight against the disease.
In the beginning, Doctor BASRUR and her team were working in a knowledge vacuum. "What kind of control measures, what kind of investigation might be needed? How many contacts might there be?" she once said describing the questions that arose in the early days of the crisis. "We had no idea that we might be facing hundreds of contacts even in the first weekend and 23,000 by the end of it."
With the first deaths, the apprehensions of the entire city - and, to some extent, the rest of Canada - came to rest on her five-foot frame. It was a weight she shouldered with remarkable competence.
Sheela BASRUR had always wanted to be a doctor.
She was born in Toronto to Vasnath BASRUR and his wife, Parvathi, who had arrived from India as graduate students during the 1950s. Vasnath was an oncologist; Parvathi was a veterinary geneticist who managed to obtain her degrees despite growing up in a poor family of 10 children.
When the BASRURs moved to Guelph, an hour's drive west of Toronto, they were conscious of being what seemed to be the only visible minority family in the community. When Parvathi BASRUR breezed by in her sari, people on the street would stop and stare.
The young Sheela penned poems and essays for sheer amusement. She was also a skilled flautist and told the Toronto Star, in one of the many profiles that paper wrote about her over the years, that her artistic nature led her parents to believe she would one day be a writer or a musician.
But the biological subject matter of the BASRURs' dinner banter led her in a different direction. After high school, she obtained a science degree at the University of Western Ontario in London and then headed to the University of Toronto to study medicine.
The newly graduated Doctor BASRUR returned to Guelph, where she practised as a family doctor for a year. But adventure called and, in 1985, she headed on a trip around the world.
It was in Nepal, and then in her parents' homeland of India, that she decided to pursue a career in public health. She told a reporter that visits to hospitals and clinics in those countries convinced her of the importance of community medicine. In one village, she encountered a woman with tuberculosis who could not afford the full treatment for the disease but whose husband needed her to be well enough to return to work on the family farm.
When she returned home, Doctor BASRUR sought her masters degree in health science as a specialist in community medicine. Her first forays into public health were adventures. She was, for instance, the chief investigator of a massive recall of shellfish along the Eastern seaboard.
Then she returned to Toronto and first became the medical officer of health in East York, the smallest of the city's suburbs. Starting in 1998, she was made head of a huge department that formed when all of the suburbs amalgamated.
In her private life, she enjoyed classic rock 'n roll, especially The Who. She tried her best to be a vegetarian but was not always successful. She did yoga every day before the sun came up. And she was a needlepoint fanatic. "I just find it very therapeutic," she once said.
An early marriage did not last. However, out of that she gained a daughter, Simone, who was the love of her life and her companion through her final difficult years.
Dr. BASRUR's early days at the Toronto Board of Health were spent supervising the merger of the various boards and handling ordinary local issues - children's food programs, smog alerts, and the first posting of the results of restaurant inspections.
And then, in March, 2003, came severe acute respiratory syndrome which was eventually determined to be a disease caused by the coronavirus. A genus of animal virus named for their crown-like appearance under a microscope, they are among the leading causes of the common cold. Until the onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome, they had been known to cause severe diseases only in animals.
However, by April 2003, several labs had uncovered evidence of a new coronavirus that had infected at least some patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome. By then it had struck more than 2,600 people and killed 103 worldwide.
Suddenly, people were dying in Toronto. It was a disaster that had to be contained.
Like many of those on the front line, Doctor BASRUR worked three weeks straight after the first cases were discovered. As severe acute respiratory syndrome spread through the city, she and her team charted its course, trying to build firewalls between the infected and those who were sitting vulnerable in its path.
At times, just when they thought they had stemmed its spread in one direction, the disease would pop up somewhere else through an unanticipated line of transmission. Mass groups of students and factory workers were quarantined. People were told they could not go to the funerals of loved ones. Health workers were dying along with their severe acute respiratory syndrome patients.
At one point, she described the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome as "ripping a bandage off one wound to stop the bleeding on another."
Dr. BASRUR and others were also puzzled as to why 40 per cent of severe acute respiratory syndrome patients failed to demonstrate evidence of being infected with the new coronavirus. What's more, other people who did carry the virus did not have severe acute respiratory syndrome, or severe acute respiratory syndrome symptoms. Also troubling was the fact that the coronavirus carried only four to 10 genes and were infamous for mutating with every replication and for swapping genes with other viruses.
All things considered, it is not surprising that misjudgments did occur. It took nearly a week for the members of a 500-person religious community to be sent into quarantine after being exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome because health officials did not realized the contacts had been made. Asked about the delay, Doctor BASRUR said: "It's a fair question… hindsight is absolutely my best friend."
There was the odd humorous moment, like the Abbott and Costello routine she played with Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman. As the elected head of Canada's largest city, he was experiencing his first encounters with such organizations as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control near Washington.
Upset by a press conference about a travel advisory that had been imposed because of severe acute respiratory syndrome, he railed against the warnings that had been announced by "this Centres for Disease Control group, whoever they are."
"WHO," whispered Doctor BASRUR.
"Who?" he shouted.
"That's right, WHO," said the doctor trying to control her laughter.
But, as 44 people lost their fight to the disease, there were many frustrating and difficult weeks. And through it all, Doctor BASRUR - the face of calm and reason - became one of the acknowledged heroes.
A female co-worker remembers bumping into her one day during the crisis as she emerged from a washroom. The co-worker told Dr. BASRUR that she looked wonderful and the doctor responded by saying she felt tired.
"And I said, 'Sheela, you're great. The whole city loves you and is counting on you. And this morning on the radio I heard the host of the morning show say that he knew it was okay to go out because the little doctor with the glasses said it was.'"
Dr. BASRUR laughed and hugged the woman in delight and went off to try save more lives.
Several years later, the co-worker e-mailed Doctor BASRUR and asked if she remembered the incident. "And she said 'yes, but I believe he said the cute little famous doctor with the glasses."
Those who worked with her during that time say it was a huge privilege to be part of her team. Bonnie HENRY, who was Toronto's associate medical officer of health, said Doctor BASRUR's great strength was her ability to communicate.
Months after the crisis, the two doctors were walking through an airport together "and people would come up to her in the airport and say 'I feel like I know you,' said Doctor HENRY. " She was always very gracious. She was really touched by the fact that people responded to the way that she was able to communicate things."
Dr. BASRUR's tireless efforts during severe acute respiratory syndrome made her the first choice of the Ontario government when it went looking for a new Chief Medical Officer of Health in January, 2004. Her mandate was to revamp the way health programs were delivered in the province and to do whatever possible to prevent another severe acute respiratory syndrome. She took on such big jobs as instituting a rigorous anti-smoking policy and a provincewide healthy-eating program.
Then, in November, 2006, a pain in her lower back that she had been feeling for some time became excruciating. It was caused by a tumour on her spinal cord.
Concerned that she could become a paraplegic, her surgeons removed it immediately. But the prognosis was still not good. She had hemangiopericytoma, a rare vascular cancer that started in her uterus and spread throughout her body.
All at once, the doctor had become a patient. Even so, the disease did not incapacitate her. A week after stepping down from the job of Ontario's top doctor, she returned to the provincial parliament to see the introduction of legislation establishing a new public-health agency - an agency she helped create and one that has been named after her.
The months after the diagnosis were like a gift wrapped in barbed wire, she said. "It's like being given the most beautiful bouquet of roses you can imagine being placed in your arms and thinking 'whoa, they've got thorns on them.' "
Dr. BASRUR said she preferred to focus on the "rose petals," like the fact that, after a lifetime of hard work, she had been able to devote time to her daughter, now 17.
In April, she was awarded the Order of Ontario in her hospital bed by Lieutenant-Governor David ONLEY. The next day, she rallied and attended a fête organized in her honour by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty told the crowd they must not been fooled by her size. "She's tough when she needs to be - a regular Mighty Mouse."
Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman said later that he could not agree more. During severe acute respiratory syndrome, "she was the one that lifted us on her shoulders, even though she wasn't that tall. For a little person, she proved to be awfully mighty."
In difficult times, he said, it's particularly important that clinicians communicate in a way that is accurate, concise and understandable. "Not everyone has that gift."
In the end, Friends say Doctor BASRUR was accepting of the fact that she would die at 51. "If I can help more people have a great life," she once said, "then I'll have a great life."
Sheela BASRUR was born in Toronto on October, 17, 1956. She died June 2, 2008, of hemangiopericytoma, a rare vascular cancer, at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre in Kitchener, Ontario She is survived by her daughter, Simone KOVES, and by her parents, Vasnath and Parvathi BASRUR.

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BASRUR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-03 published
Doctor who battled severe acute respiratory syndrome loses fight with cancer
By Peter CHENEY, Page A1
Toronto -- Sheela BASRUR was just five feet tall, with a build so slight that it seemed like a strong breeze might carry her away. But by the time she died of cancer yesterday at the age of 51, she had helped forge a new conception of who a hero could be.
"Don't be fooled by her size," Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said recently. "She's tough when she needs to be - a regular Mighty Mouse."
There was an irony to Doctor BASRUR's death: She was a doctor who had become one of the best-known public-health officials in Canada, only to have her own life cut short by disease.
"We are saddened by this loss," Mr. McGuinty said yesterday. "She was a remarkable woman."
Dr. BASRUR's date with history came in 2003, when Canada's biggest city was hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus.
As Toronto's chief medical officer of health, she found herself on the front line of a terrifying public-health battle. The world watched as she led the fight against a mysterious ailment that would eventually take 44 lives; some feared it would turn into a far-reaching plague that could kill untold numbers.
As the crisis grew, Doctor BASRUR emerged as an unlikely Churchill figure, using her exceptional communication skills to fight the forces of hysteria and reassure the public, even as the death toll mounted.
"Her grace in the face of tremendous pressure will never be forgotten," Ontario Conservative Party Leader John Tory said yesterday after Dr. BASRUR's death was announced. "She earned the respect and admiration of all Ontarians… for the extraordinary leadership she displayed."
Dr. BASRUR died early yesterday afternoon at the Grand River Regional Centre, in Kitchener, Ontario Her death was the final act in a long-running medical drama that began in November of 2006, when she went in for an examination after a pain in her lower back turned excruciating. The pain, it turned out, was caused by a tumour on her spine. Although it was quickly removed, that was not the end of Doctor BASRUR's problems - she was diagnosed with hemangiopericytoma, a rare vascular cancer that spread throughout her body.
Through her illness, Doctor BASRUR displayed the toughness and clear-eyed optimism that had served her so well during the severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis. Asked about the cancer that would end her life, Doctor BASRUR once compared it to being handed a bouquet of thorny roses - "a gift wrapped in barbed wire" - and said she chose to focus on the petals.
"We have ultimately, entirely and only ourselves the ability to choose where we want to shine our light," she said. "I choose to shine mine on those that are the gifts and the joys and the rose petals in my life, and when I do that, I see gifts in abundance."
Toronto Mayor David Miller heaped praise on Doctor BASRUR for her leadership through the severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis. "We have lost an extraordinary Torontonian, a woman whose incredible wisdom and boundless compassion helped guide our city through some of its most difficult periods in recent history."
Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman said Doctor BASRUR had emerged as a natural leader. "She was the one that lifted us up on her shoulders even though she wasn't that tall," he said. "For a little person she proved to be awfully mighty."

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BASRUR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-05 published
When panic struck, Sheela BASRUR came to the rescue
By Pemma MUZUMDAR, Page S9
Pemma MUZUMDAR of Toronto writes about Doctor Sheela BASRUR, whose obituary appeared Tuesday.
My first impression of her must have been in 1998. It was the year she was appointed as the first medical officer of health for the newly amalgamated city of Toronto. I was in high school, and I came across her picture while browsing through a Toronto Life magazine. There she was, in full colour, spread over two pages: a woman I could look like (I thought) in a few years. Why did her physical appearance capture me so? I was presented with a clear depiction of a driven, accomplished woman, but what made the greatest impression on my 17-year-old mind was the fact that Doctor BASRUR was a) a woman; b) brown; c) small (my height, in fact); d) articulate (also talkative, something that was evident even in print).
Clearly, I identified with the woman and, in doing so, I realized that this was rare. It was not often that I picked up a magazine or turned on the television and saw anybody I could remotely identify with.
As I read about her role within the province, my eyes were opened to the importance of recognizing career opportunities within public health. Amazingly, Doctor BASRUR was able to discern the need for a more defined public-health infrastructure even before crises like severe acute respiratory syndrome confirmed its necessity.
A few years later, I had completed my own undergraduate studies in population health, all the while following her in the media: I listened on the news as she provided much needed direction in the face of severe acute respiratory syndrome; I noticed when she spearheaded anti-smoking and pesticide campaigns; I cheered when she changed the face of public-health infrastructure in Ontario, and most recently, when a new building for the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion was named after her.
The most memorable thing, though, occurred in 2006 when I was involved in the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Everyone was all a flutter about Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and singer Alicia Keys coming to town. Of course, they were great - both Bills had great handshakes and Alicia was, unquestionably, lovely - but the person I really had to pinch myself while meeting was Doctor BASRUR. She moderated a panel discussion on Women and AIDS, and afterward I participated in a question-and-answer session.
When I was called to the microphone, I asked about how each of the doctors (one each from China, India, and Russia, and all male) were planning to incorporate health-promotion and prevention strategies against a disease that so disproportionately affected women. The doctors feigned confusion, almost offended that I would even think of asking such a thing.
I began to panic, and worried that I had asked the most ridiculous question. After all, each of the doctors had already presented their epidemiological data, their research and respective plans of action. Given that the main topic was essentially the question I was asking, how dare I interrogate them? Was I suggesting that they had not provided the audience with useful answers?
Thankfully, Doctor BASRUR came to my rescue. She thanked me for the question and echoed what I was thinking. She pointed out that each of the doctors had neglected to discuss prevention as it related to Women and AIDS in their respective countries. She rephrased my question, allowed for no further avoidance or false offence and pressed each panel member for some sort of statement or commitment for further action. It was clear they were not prepared. The answers they provided, though far from satisfactory, at least revealed that their thinking was problematic.
Afterward, I spoke with Doctor BASRUR. In fact, we talked several times, and it was she who gave me the final push to pursue a masters degree in public health and to focus my efforts on effective communication and prevention strategies.
When I learned on Tuesday morning that she had died, I felt compelled to note my memories of the first "career woman" with whom I had really identified - initially for her five-foot stature and brown face, but ultimately for her vision for public health within Ontario. While the province at large remembers the vast scale of changes she brought about, I will remember how she encouraged me, and pointed me in the right direction.
In memory of Doctor BASRUR, I will make time to speak to young Canadians about their career choices, especially those who may identify with me - ethnically or otherwise. I can't pretend to have all of the answers, but if I can help someone to ask the right questions, as Doctor BASRUR did for me, that may be enough.

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