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"FOT" 2008 Obituary


FOTHERINGHAM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-01 published
Soldier, salesman, Rotarian, tennis player, pipe smoker. Born April 25, 1919, in Slovakia. Died February 2 of old age in Toronto, aged 88.
What a wonderful life.
Tibor was sent to the London School of Economics at 18, only to have his education interrupted by a chap called Hitler.
He pursued the Nazis across Europe with a Czech battalion attached to the British Army, from the Normandy invasion to the Dachau death camp.
He arrived in Canada after the war with his wife, Helen, and two small children, armed only with a tennis racquet, a pipe and his charm.
Tibor joined a Rotary Club in 1949 and over the next six decades served as president of the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, district governor, a director and treasurer of Rotary International, and a trustee of the Rotary Foundation.
Roaming the globe in his business ventures, which included office equipment, the sand and gravel business and the soft-drink industry, he never missed a weekly Rotary meeting in whatever continent he was on, and proudly achieved 50 years of perfect attendance, puffing away all the while.
Tibor seldom put down his tennis racquet, let alone his pipe.
A member of the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club for 50 years, he used to tell of the days when his club still had a lawn, rather than artificial surfaces. When the winter weather grew cold enough, they would take down the nets, turn on the loudspeakers and the floodlights, and Tibor and Friends and their sweethearts would skate the night away over the frozen grass.
When he was 86, he still topped the leaderboard at his club for the over-50 players, known internally as the "Geezers" - most of them 25 years his junior. He played his final match at the club last October, before he took to his bed.
Tibor's wit was as strong as his tobacco and, in arguments, he could always deflate his opponents with some Latin quotation remembered from his high-school education. His numerous Friends were collected from his travels around the globe, and he corresponded regularly with them on a typewriter that also smoked with its speed.
As his health faded last fall, he wrote all of them a letter ending with "fare well." There is a classy gentleman.
Tibor is remembered for what he gave back to his adopted country. He supported the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded, the Friends of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, the Ionic Lodge, the Czech Legion and on and on.
He leaves his beloved daughter Anne, son Jan and his legions of local Friends, all covered by a cloud of smoke.
Allan FOTHERINGHAM is Tibor's friend.

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