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"COH" 2008 Obituary


COHAN  COHEN  COHL 

COHAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-14 published
GILFILLAN, Calder " Gil" Goetz
Peacefully on Wednesday June 11, 2008 at the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa at the age of 92. Beloved husband of the late Mary Allan Lindsay CRAIG. Predeceased by his parents W.G. GILFILLAN and Ella A. GOETZ and by his brother William (Bill) all of Uxbridge, nieces Kathryn LOUCKS (GILFILLAN) and Dorothy WATSON (CRAIG.) He is survived by his sister-in-law Elda GILFILLAN of Uxbridge and his nieces Jane MOSER (Elmar) of Stouffville, Barbara TOMASO (Steven) of Toronto, Heather EVELYN (Sean) of Stouffville and Mary's nephews David O. CRAIG (Helen) of Toronto, Alan PINEL of Atlanta, Georgia and niece Hélène COHAN (Stan) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and their families. Former employee of Dominion Bureau of Statistics (Statscan) in Toronto and Ottawa, retiring in 1972. Following retirement Calder and Mary spent many winters in Bradenton, Florida and summers in Ottawa with their many Friends as well as traveling extensively. For the past three years, Calder has been a resident of Central Park Lodge in Ottawa and we appreciate the care he received.
Friends may call at the Westboro United Church Chapel, 450 Churchill Ave., Ottawa on Saturday June 21 from 11 a.m. until service time at 12 noon. Reception following the service. Cremation with interment of ashes will take place in Uxbridge cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Society of Ottawa Carleton, 1750 Russell Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 5Z6 or charity of choice.
Condolences, tributes and donations may also be made at
www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com

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COHEN o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2008-03-05 published
Gordon COHEN
Gordon COHEN of Providence Bay passed away peacefully in the Mindemoya Health Centre on February 23, 2008. He enjoyed a little birthday party celebrating his 90th year at his bedside on February 6. Bidding him fond farewell and shalom are his loving wife Elizabeth LEHMAN, devoted daughter Lee Anne and husband Pierre MARCOUX of Creemore, Ontario, son Nathan of Toronto, granddaughter Lily MANEA and her partner Daryl KLINE of Toronto, along with sweet great granddaughter Hannah, beloved grand_son Nathan of British Columbia and many relatives in Toronto, Gordon's hometown. All say shalom to a good and generous man who liked to hear people laugh and loved his dog Zoë. A memorial celebration will be held in May at his daughter's home where his ashes will help a new tree grow.
Shalom to all.

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COHEN o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-04-26 published
PYKE, Mary Teresa (née McDONALD)
Peacefully at home surrounded by family on Friday, April 25, 2008 in her 88th year, Mary Teresa (McDONALD) PYKE. Predeceased by her beloved husband, John Francis PYKE Sr. Cherished mother of Daniel Kenneth (Vi) McDOUGALL of Cobourg, John Bernard (Lynn) of Trenton, Bernice (Dennis) McAFFER of London, James Francis (Diane) of Halifax, John Francis Jr. (Tinie) of London, Victoria (Bill) BARTON of London, and Les S. (Madeleine) of Kitchener. Dearly loved grandmother of twelve granddaughters, five grand_sons, five great-granddaughters and nine great-grand_sons. Dear sister of Kenneth (Gwen) McDONALD of St. Catharines, Angus (Jean) McDONALD of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Daniel (Carol) McDONALD of Sackville, Nova Scotia. Predeceased by sisters Geraldine MURPHY of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Frances COHEN, Sadie (Doug) TAILOR/TAYLOR and Pearl (Jack) TOMLINSON of St. Catharines. Daughter of the late Daniel K. McDONALD and the late Lucy (KENNEDY) McDONALD of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, retired from Revenue Canada Taxation. Visitation will be held at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, on Monday from 2: 00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. with prayers at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Family Parish, 777 Valetta Street, on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 at 10: 00 a.m. Interment, Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Mary will be sadly missed by her faithful companion, Sheba. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the London Humane Society. Online condolences may be sent to condolences@westviewfuneralchapel.com

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-01-29 published
GOLDSTEIN, Lisa
On Sunday January 27th, 2008 at her home in Toronto. Lisa GOLDSTEIN, beloved wife of Earl STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Loving mother of Jessie, and Matthew. Cherished daughter of Sheba and Herbert. Dear daughter-in-law of Norah and the late Lou STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Devoted sister and sister-in-law of Debra GOLDSTEIN and David COHEN of Chicago, and Greg STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Loving aunt to Jacob, and Sophie. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave. W. (3 lights west of Dufferin) for service on Tuesday January 29th at 1: 00 p.m. Interment Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Shiva 613 Castlefield Ave. Memorial Donations may be made to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at 416-946-6560.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-02-16 published
HURWICH, Nathan O.
For seventy-three years husband to his beloved late wife Roey, (née APPLEBAUM,) son of the late Benjamin and Rachel HURWICH, friend and mentor to countless others, entrepreneur, philanthropist, tireless volunteer and fund-raiser on behalf of many charitable and community service organizations, passed away in his 99th year on Thursday, February 14, 2008. Survived by his sisters Anne HIMEL (Ben HIMEL and Jack COHEN both deceased) of Toronto and Ada WALTMAN (Harry deceased) of Washington D.C., predeceased by his brothers and sisters-in-law Reuben, Samuel (Becky), Dave (Freda) and Sydney (Dolly), he will be dearly missed by them as well as by all of his and Roey's many nieces and nephews and their offspring to the third generation. The son of parents who emigrated from Russia on the same day and met aboard ship bringing them to Canada, Nat was born in Toronto on August 11, 1909. He was raised and educated there, and as a youth attended after-public-school classes at Associated Hebrew School on Simcoe Street. While still a young man Nat established himself as an acute and successful entrepreneur, owning and operating a highly successful automotive parts outlet until the late sixties when he decided to sell it to allow him more time to do what he really wanted to do. Singularly passionate in his commitment to community and to the State of Israel, Nat made them and their institutions his life's work. And during a lifetime of philanthropy and service to community he received over one hundred honours and awards. In addition to the many Letters of Commendation, Certificates and plaques, so numerous some could not find space on his den's walls, his efforts were also publicly recognized by being chosen the guest of honour at several testimonial dinners as well as paid tribute with the bestowing upon him of an Honorary Degree from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He will be remembered with gratitude by those his passion touched and his leadership inspired. Among the organizations which benefitted from his dedication and generosity are: The United Way of Greater Toronto, Toronto Jewish Federation, United Israel Appeal, Jewish National Fund of Toronto, Beth Tzedec Congregation, Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto, Canadian Friends of Bar-Ilan University, Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University, Boys Town, Jerusalem, Theological Seminary of America, as well as State of Israel Bonds, Canadian Zionist Federation, Al Latner Jewish Public Library, Toronto Lodge and Toronto Regional Council of B'nai Brith, United Synagogue of America (Ontario Region), Toronto Association for the Welfare of Soldiers in Israel, Canadian Committee for Soviet Jewry, National Holocaust Remembrance Committee, Mount Sinai Hospital, Baycrest Men's Service Group, Board of Jewish Education, and many others. But Nat's greatest and most enduring legacy are the thousands upon thousands of students who have already graduated from, or presently attending, or M'ezrat H'Shem will in the future be enrolled in the Toronto Jewish Day School System on behalf of which he devoted his unstinting efforts during his entire adult life. And it is through his personal and gracious generosity the Nathan and Roey Hurwich Education Centre, the Finch Avenue branch of Associated Hebrew Schools, exists today as a thriving, vibrant middle-school of a thousand plus Jewish students. A sincere thank you Nat seems totally inadequate, yet for him it was more than enough. Nat will forever remain in our hearts and in memories not only for the special person he was, but also for the image he portrayed during his life - and simply put, that is - to everyone including future generations he will have helped to educate, a paradigm of what impact a single life well- lived can have and accomplish. If Friends and well wishers so desire, tributes in Nat's memory may be made to any of the organizations listed above. Funeral services will be held at Beth Tzedec Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst Street (south of Eglinton), on Sunday, February 17th at 2: 30 p.m. Interment, Beth Tzedec Memorial Park.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-02-18 published
GELFANT, Maxine Shirley (née COHEN)
At home, surrounded by her family on February 16, 2008. Force of life and force of nature, passionately committed to her family, community and country. Dearly loved by her husband of 58 years, Dr. Harry GELFANT. Born October 16, 1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the daughter of the late Ben M. COHEN and Sophia (ASCRICAN) COHEN. Graduated from the University of Manitoba (B.A.: Political Studies) in 1948 while working for The Jewish Post, the first Anglo-Jewish newspaper in Canada founded and published by her father. In the years following World War 2, Maxine GELFANT taught pre-school and English to immigrant women. She was the first woman elected to the board of governors of the Sharey Zedek Synagogue in Winnipeg and launched adult education and interfaith initiatives to build understanding between religious communities. Inspired by Pierre Trudeau's vision of a "Just Society," Maxine GELFANT was an indefatigable soldier for the Liberal Party of Canada. She knocked on doors during elections, served on her riding association executive, chaired policy forums at conventions and was a remarkable fund raiser who organized elegant Gala events. In 1981, she was appointed by the Privy Council to the National Design Council of Canada. Her home is filled with the books, music, art and the aroma of great food that all reflect her hunger for life. Maxine GELFANT was an ardent supporter of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Symphony and Vancouver Opera Association and board member of all three institutions. She was an activist and fundraiser for The British Columbia Heart Fund, The Canadian Cancer Society, Saint Paul's Hospital, The Whistler Health Centre, The Canadian Jewish Appeal, and the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre. Her volunteer work spanned religious and socio-economic lines. She was a founding member of the Jewish Parliamentary Action Committee. On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of confederation, Maxine GELFANT received "The Commemorative Medal" for her service to Canadian society. She celebrated her 80th birthday by raising $15,000 for a special fund in her name early detection of colo-rectal cancer. She is survived by her husband Harry, daughter Roberta (Brian MICKELSON,) sons Benjamin (Barbara GELFANT) and Daniel, grandchildren Max, Sam, Zoe, Sophia and Hannah, sister Arlyne GRUESNER (Los Angeles) and aunt and uncle Ethel and William MORRISON (Los Angeles). Funeral services begin at Temple Sholom, 7190 Oak Street, Vancouver, British Columbia Tuesday, February 19, 10 o'clock a.m., interment at Temple Cemetery, 14965 28th Avenue, White Rock, British Columbia. Shiv'a at 7 p.m. February 19, 20, 21 at 1510 West 36th Avenue, Vancouver. Special thanks to Doctor Barbara Melosky and all the staff at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, to Doctor Lyall Levy and to Evergreen Nursing and Pacific Spirit who cared for Maxine with compassion and respect. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name to the British Columbia Cancer Foundation (2560 Heather Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 0A6) for a special fund for the early detection of colo-rectal cancer.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-06 published
JOHNSON, Rose
Peacefully on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at her home. Rose JOHNSON, Beloved wife of the late Sam JOHNSON. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Alice and Syd FELDMAN, Marilyn and Bill MANDEL, and Beverly and Jerry COHEN. Dear sister of Evelyn ROLIN, and Lou GOLD. Devoted grandmother of Lorne and Debbie FELDMAN, Jill and Mark GLAZER, Robyn FELDMAN, Bradley FELDMAN, Michele MANDEL and Danny STERN, Lisa MANDEL and David ALTER, Debra MANDEL and Kevin GREEN, Marc MANDEL and Michal HAREL, Jeffrey and Leanne COHEN, Heather COHEN, and great-grandmother of Joshua, Alexis, Sara, Ariel, Noah, Ethan, Aaron, Rachel, Shira, Jaimie, Tyler, Jordan, Jake, Elan, Yael, Maya, Shayna, and Maya. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West (3 lights west of Dufferin) for service on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 11: 30 a.m. Interment Shedlover Young Mens section of Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park. Shiva 62 Baycrest Avenue daily from 2: 00 p.m. Donations may be made to the Rose Johnson Memorial Fund c/o The Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324, www.benjamins.ca

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-14 published
COHEN, Betty Ann
Born May 23, 1931 Toronto, daughter of Gertrude and Mac COHEN. Passed away peacefully on March 10, 2008 at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. Loving mother of Linda, Alan and the late Steven. Devoted sister to Michael and the late Jimmy. Adoring grandma of Dave (Marcella), Adam (Laura), Jesse, Marc, and Sara. Private funeral was held in Victoria. Gone from this world, but in our hearts forever. A gathering will be held on Sunday March 23, from 1-4 p.m. at 499 Oriole Parkway, Toronto in celebration of Betty Ann's life. Donations may be made to United Jewish Appeal online: www.ujadonations.com or phone 416-635-2883.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-28 published
KACHUCK, David
On Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at his residence. David KACHUCK, beloved husband of Sara. Loving father and father-in-law of Marilyn and Bob COHEN, Barbara and Harry WYLDE, Ellen and Allan ROSENBLUTH, and Robin KACHUCK. Devoted grandfather of Naomi and Derek, Debbie and Eli, Jackie and Michael, Katie, Geoffrey, Rachel, and Jonathan, and great-grandfather of Samara, Noa, and Koby. At Beth Tzedec Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst Street, (south of Eglinton) for service on Friday, March 28th at 2: 00 p.m. Interment Beth Tzedec Memorial Park. Shiva 355 St. Clair Avenue W., #2107. Donations may be made to The David Kachuck Memorial Fund, c/o The Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324, www.benjamins.ca or to a charity of your choice.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-07 published
STUPP, Jack
Peacefully, on Sunday, April 6, 2008 at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in his 82nd year. Jack STUPP, husband of the late Lillian. Father of Ricky, Cyd, and the late Randy and father-in-law of Peter COHEN. Brother and brother-in-law of Sam and Barbara, and the late Sydney STUPP. Grandfather of Sarah and Michael, Martha and Ted, and Ethel. Great-grandfather of Maya and Stella. Jack was a hard- working, self-made man who founded the Consumer Distributing Company. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the hospital staff at Mt. Sinai Hospital for the care delivered to Jack during this difficult time. A graveside service will held at Beth Tzedec Memorial Park, 5288 Bathurst Street, on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 11: 30 a.m. Following the interment Friends are invited to pay condolences to the family at the home of Sam and Barbara STUPP. Memorial donations may be made to the Mt. Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto, 1001-522 University Ave., Toronto, M5G 1W7, 416-586-8290.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-08 published
KIRSH, Gertrude (formerly GROSS)
On Sunday, April 6, 2008 at North York General Hospital. Gertrude Gross KIRSH, beloved wife of the late Louis GROSS and the late Alex KIRSH. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Morty and Bonnie GROSS, and Estelle and Hushy COHEN. Dear sister of Jean WEISBROD. Devoted grandmother of Lorne, Kimberly, Jamie, and Carly and Stephen. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West (3 lights west of Dufferin) for service on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 1: 00 p.m. Interment Community Section of Bathurst Lawn Memorial Chapel. Shiva 62 Nipigon Avenue visits 1-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. evening services at 8: 00 p.m. Shiva concluding Thursday evening following services. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-09 published
ROSS, Ann (née CLARFIELD)
On Tuesday April 8, 2008 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Ann ROSS beloved wife of the late Henry ROSS. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Ellen and Michael MILLER, and Janice ROSS- COHEN. Dear sister of Sylvia MARSCH, and the late Betty GOLD, Louis and Frank CLARFIELD, and Reva CAPLAN. Devoted grandmother of Romy, Zac, Betsy and Rob, Niki, Ira, and Marc. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave. West (3 lights west of Dufferin) for service on Thursday April 10th at 1: 00 p.m. Interment in the Holy Blossom Section of Pardes Shalom Cemetery. Shiva at 3900 Yonge Street #1007. Memorial donations may be made to the Henry and Ann Ross Memorial Fund c/o the Baycrest Centre Foundation, 416-785-2875.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-12 published
COHEN, Beverley
On Friday, April 4, 2008 in London, England. Bev COHEN loving daughter of the late Rita and William COHEN. Beloved life partner of Kim PICKERING. Dear sister and sister-in-law of Hélène COHEN of Ottawa, and Don and Marla COHEN. Loving Auntie of Dylan, Justin, and Haley. For service information please contact Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel at 416-663-9060, or visit www.benjamins.ca. Interment Community section of Pardes Shalom Cemetery. Shiva 37 El Dorado Street, Richmond Hill. Memorial donations may be made to the Bev Cohen Memorial Fund c/o the Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324, www.benjamins.ca

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-02 published
MULVENEY, John Harvey
On April 30, 2008 at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, Windsor, Ontario. Beloved husband of 63 years to Rita. Beloved father to Maryann, Alan and wife Sue, Jim and wife Patricia. Dear son of the late John A. and Edna Charlotte (née CLARKE.) Loving grandfather to Sarah, Jesse, Kaitlyn, Aaron and Bryan. Dear brother to Helen and George SCOPIS of Seattle; Phyllis and Gord McNABB of Owen Sound; Elizabeth KING (the late Fred) of Mississauga; Mary CORDREY (the late Eric) of Cornwall; and the late Doris CAMERON (Jim) of Oakville. He will be remembered by many nieces and nephews. John served his country as a Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, World War 2, flying Spitfire aircraft over the English Channel. He was retired from Industrial Engineering at the Ford Motor Company and was an avid golfer and bridge player. Special thanks to Doctor B. JHAWAR, Doctor J. COHEN and the Neurology nursing staff at Hotel Dieu Grace. Visiting Friday from 2: 00 to 5:00 and 7: 00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Marcotte Funeral Home and Chapel, 12105 Tecumseh Road, Tecumseh, Ontario. The Funeral Service will take place on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Windsor, Ontario at 10: 00 a.m. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-19 published
ZINER, Rose Rubin (CZINNER)
On Saturday, May 17, 2008. Rose, beloved wife of the late John ZINER, Adored mother of Vivienne and Bobby ZINER, mother-in-law of Glen COHEN and Debbie STONE, treasured grandmother of Eton, Tiphaera, Jon-Jaedon (J.J.) Shon, J.J. and Taliya, Sarah and Jacob. Respected and loved member of the Jewish community. Funeral service will be held Tuesday, May 20th at 11: 00 at Beth Torah Congregation, 47 Glenbrook Ave. (South of Lawrence and Dufferin) Shiva daily. See notice of service Steeles Memorial. No visitations between 11: 30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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COHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-16 published
COHEN, Doctor Saul
On Sunday, June 15, 2008 at Saint Michael's Hospital. Saul COHEN beloved husband of Sheila. Loving father and father-in-law of Stephen and Louise, Mitchell and Janice, and Brenda and Michael. Dear brother and brother-in-law of Bernie and Millie, Martha and Leslie, Betty, and the late Max COHEN. Devoted grandfather of Sam, Anna, Hannah, Jacob, Max, and Emma. A graveside service will be held at Pardes Shalom Cemetery, Temple Solel section on Monday, June 16th at 3: 00 p.m. Shiva 1829 Queen Street East, #414. Memorial donations may be made to the Doctor Saul Cohen Memorial Fund c/o the Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324, or www.benjamins.ca

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COHL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-01-12 published
COHL, Dusty
Founder of film festivals, bon vivant, mentor and entertainment guru. Died of cancer at age 78 at Sunnybrook Hospital on January 11, 2008. Dusty will be missed by loving family and a legion of loyal Friends. He leaves wife Joan; children Robert and Barbara COHL, Karen COHL and Mel CRYSTAL, Steven COHL; and grandchildren Valerie, Lisa, Jordan, Alex, Lauren and Lindy. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favourite charity. At Dusty's request there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life will be arranged. Family and Friends are invited to drop in at 43 Heathdale Road on Monday, January 14th and Tuesday January 15th between 2 and 8 p.m.

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COHL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-01-12 published
He was the 'king of real estate' who kick-started Toronto film festival
After retiring 'at the top of his game,' he made a trip to France and happened on Cannes and its film fête. Thus inspired, he returned home to help launch one of his own
By Sandra MARTIN, Page S10
A lawyer who made serious money in real-estate deals in the 1950s and 1960s, Dusty COHL was seduced by the movie business and spent the last 40 years schmoozing backers, stars and directors. Tall and lanky, with a grizzled beard and an ear-to-ear grin, and wearing his trademark black cowboy hat festooned with shiny pins and badges and outré T-shirt, he appeared to be the epitome of louche.
In fact, the film producer and co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival was a family man who remained married for more than 50 years to the girl he met in high school. He was also a genial and supportive father figure to many fledgling producers, directors and programmers in the Canadian film business.
"He was unconventional in his ideas and his dress, but he wasn't unconventional in his living habits and his loyalties," said film and television producer Ted KOTCHEFF. "He was the very heart and soul of the Canadian film industry and the most lovable man that I have ever met, hands down," said Mr. KOTCHEFF, who had known Mr. COHL "longer than anybody," dating back to summer camp in the mid-1940s.
"Dusty broke the mould of the bland, boring, polite Canadian, which was very important in the early days [of the Toronto film festival]," said public-relations consultant Helga STEPHENSON, who began working for Toronto International Film Festival in 1978 and was executive director from the mid-1980s until the early 1990s.
"With his huge sense of fun and flair, he helped a lot in getting critics and filmmakers here," she said. "Once they got here, they discovered it was a superb film festival, with an incredible audience, and that Toronto was a great place to be. But getting them here was the trick - and then he would entertain them once they were here."
Murray (Dusty) COHL was born on Euclid Street in Toronto in the same year as the stock-market crash on Wall Street. His father, Karl, was a Communist who worked as a house painter, a union organizer and, ultimately, as an insurance agent, while his mother, Lillian, sold bed linens at Eaton's, according to Brian D. Johnson in Brave Films, Wild Nights: 25 years of Festival Fever.
An only child, he attended Charles G. Fraser elementary school and Camp Naivelt (New World), a Bolshevik Jewish summer camp west of Toronto, from the age of 5. It was at camp that he shed his hated first name and acquired the nickname Dusty. Another camper, Harris Black, was called Blacky, and the kids decided that Murray COHL should be Dusty, as in coal dust.
"He was my camp counsellor," said Mr. KOTCHEFF, who attended Camp Naivelt from 1943 through 1945. "He was my boyhood hero." What Mr. KOTCHEFF loved about Dusty were the same qualities that have always captured people's affections: "He was so full of good humour and intelligence, and he was a born non-conformist. Even back then, he was unconventional in his dress, which appeals to young people." Dusty let his T-shirt hang outside his shorts while the other counsellors were all tucked in.
"He had his own style," said Mr. KOTCHEFF, who also has a much darker memory from those days: seeing his hero "ejected" from camp in the summer of 1945 after a "kangaroo court" found him guilty of being an "anarchist Trotskyite" - at 16. "He always saw that as a very amusing incident in his life, but that was Dusty. He was dedicated to following his own vision of things. He was an original."
After public school, he went to Harbord Collegiate from 1941 to 1947. That's where he met Joan CAIRN, although she says she knew of him from Camp Naivelt. When he asked her to dance, she felt very comfortable in his arms, and thought he might be "the one." After high school, he went to the University of Toronto, earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1950. On December 23, 1951, he and Joan married (they just celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary) and eventually had three children, Robert, Karen and Steven.
After the U of T, he entered Osgoode Hall Law School, coming first in his class one year and graduating with a law degree in 1954. For most of the next 20 years, Mr. COHL worked as a zoning and real-estate lawyer, putting together land parcels and property developments in Toronto and Florida. He was "tremendously successful," according to his close friend, film producer Barry Avrich, but retired from the business "at the top of his game" when people starting referring to him as "the king of real estate."
In 1964, he and his wife were holidaying in the south of France and she suggested they visit Cannes. By chance, they found a parking place in front of the Carlton Hotel, ordered a drink on the terrace and "saw and felt the pulse of the action" of the annual film festival, which happened to be on at the same time. "I was like a kid falling into Disneyland," he said later. It was another four years before they returned to Cannes, but, from then on, they were regulars at its film festival.
In 1973, he met William (Bill) MARSHALL, a filmmaker and communications whiz who had helped propel David Crombie into the Toronto mayor's office in 1972 and was then working as his executive assistant. Both Mr. MARSHALL and Mr. COHL have claimed credit for the idea of launching a film festival in Toronto; what is certainly true is that they both embraced the concept as enthusiastically as seals sliding down water slides.
After visiting film festivals in Berlin and Atlanta, the two men went to Cannes, where they rented a suite at the Carlton, ensconced themselves in the bar on the terrace and started schmoozing. "Dusty was the only person I knew in Canada who had actually been to Cannes in those days," Mr. MARSHALL recollected in a telephone interview.
"There were only about six of us making movies," he said. "We wanted a film festival [in Toronto] because foreign people might come and we'd get to sell our movies." Henk VAN DER KOLK (Mr. MARSHALL's partner in a company they enthusiastically called the Film Consortium of Canada) was the managing director of the festival, Mr. MARSHALL was the executive director, and Mr. COHL was "the accomplice." As such, he was to schmooze and, in Mr. MARSHALL's estimation, there was nobody better at talking, bringing people together and creating a buzz.
In October of 1976, they launched the Toronto International Film Festival at the Ontario Place Cinesphere on a budget of about $500,000, half of which was in goods and services. That first year, they wantonly courted Warren Beatty through a Toronto cousin, but he failed to show. Unexpectedly, Jeanne Moreau and Dino De Laurentiis did. And they had a bit of luck by screening Cousin, Cousine, which was later nominated for three Academy Awards.
In 1978, they defied the then-powerful but now-defunct Ontario Censor Board by showing an uncut version of In Praise of Older Women, based on Stephen Vizinczey's bestseller, and almost caused a riot by handing out 4,000 passes to a screening at a cinema that only seated 1,000. The overflow crowd engendered one of the slick-talking Mr. MARSHALL's more elusive qualifiers: "We're not oversold. We're just over-attended."
After three years, Mr. COHL and Mr. MARSHALL retreated and Wayne CLARKSON became the first of several professional managers of the burgeoning festival.
In addition to Toronto International Film Festival, which has long been one of the top film festivals in the world, Mr. COHL put his "accomplice" skills to work, co-producing feature films such as Outrageous! - based on a short story by Margaret Gibson (obituary, March 15, 2006) and starring her friend, impersonator Craig Russell - and The Circle Game. He was a consulting producer on The Last Mogul, Rush: Grace Under Pressure Tour, Guilty Pleasure, The Extraordinary World of Dominick Dunne and Bowfire and was executive producer of The Scales of Justice, which began on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio in the 1980s and was aired on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-television from 1991 to 1995. Hosted by lawyer Edward GREENSPAN, it featured docudramas based on real cases in Canadian criminal law.
Mr. COHL also worked with his cousin, rock promoter Michael COHL, famous for organizing tours for the Rolling Stones and other pop stars, on a concert series on cable television in the 1980s called First Choice Rocks. Less successfully, the two COHLs worked with basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain in an attempt to bring an National Basketball Association franchise to Toronto. "I miss him already," Michael COHL said yesterday. "He was great."
In 1990, Mr. COHL started the Floating Film Festival, an almost annual, luxury Caribbean cruise featuring films programmed by critics such as Roger Ebert, Richard Corliss and George Anthony. The Floating Film Festival combined the best elements of "the smallness of Telluride, the warmth of Toronto and the glamour of Cannes," according to Mr. COHL. It even had its own emblematic T-shirt depicting an art deco-style cruise ship flying a flag with a cowboy hat inspired by Mr. COHL's black Stetson. The 10th edition of the Floating Film Festival, which will sail from Los Angeles on February 25, is dedicated to Mr. COHL and features a tribute to actress Gena Rowlands.
Mr. COHL was also a member of the founding board of Canada's Walk of Fame, which, since its inception in 1998, has celebrated the achievements of more than 100 music, arts and sports celebrities, including Wayne Gretzky, Karen Kain, Gordon Pinsent and Kiefer Sutherland, by encasing their names in a slab of cement on the sidewalks in the entertainment district. In May of 2003, Mr. COHL was invested into the Order of Canada for "his pride in Canadian talent" and his "desire to celebrate our achievements."
Late last fall, he was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Murray (Dusty) COHL was born in Toronto on February 21, 1929. He died at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre of liver cancer on January 11, 2007. He was 78. Mr. COHL is survived by his wife, Joan, three children and five grandchildren. There will be a private family funeral followed by a public celebration of his life at a later date.

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