WHITSITT o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-05-02 published
LITTLE, Thomas " Tom" Elgin
Suddenly at his home in Wilkesport on Saturday, April 29, 2006, Thomas " Tom" Elgin LITTLE age 61 years. Beloved husband of Joyce. Loving father of Steve and Deb LITTLE, Randy and Tara LITTLE, Sheri and Dave WHITSITT all of Courtright, Danielle WAYBRANT of Corunna and Leah PRAILL of Wilkesport. Proud Papa of Riley, Ashley, Paige, Bryce, Taylor, Kaitlyn, Emma, Connor and Jersey dog. Also survived by Steve, Randy and Sheri's mother, Janet LITTLE of Mooretown; his mother Dorothy (SHERWOOD) LITTLE of Courtright; his mother-in-law Marion HARGROVE of Corunna; close family Friends Lou MacPHERSON of Mooretown and Hilda SWAN of Sarnia, his brothers and sisters, George and Carol LITTLE of Mooretown, Ken and Erica LITTLE of Sombra, Gayle and Robert JUDAS of Windsor, Sandra and Jim MUNDAY of Corunna, Gary LITTLE of Calgary, Sharon and Dan FIELDS of Wallaceburg, Holly and Keith HOLDER of Wallaceburg, Velma WELLS and friend Ted of Corunna, Garnet LITTLE and friend Monique of Courtright, John and Sharon LITTLE of Wyoming and Ann LITTLE of Sarnia. Brother-in-law of Lewis and Marilyn HENRY of Dresden, Pat and Bev JENNINGS of Kincardine, Ruth and Alan HARGROVE of Sombra, Lawrence and Mary HENRY of Sombra and Marguerite and Mike JUBENVILLE of Paincourt. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive. Predeceased by his father Elgin (Bud) LITTLE and infant sister Marion. Tom retired from Local #663 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. He was an avid horseman and member of the Quarter Horse and Paint Association, was a retired farmer from Moore Township and was most at peace on his farm with his family in Wilkesport. Friends will be received at the Knight Funeral Home, 588 St. Clair Parkway, Corunna on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A private family funeral service will be held with cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, sympathy may be expressed through memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or to the Alzheimer Society. Knight 519-862-2845. "Rest in Peace Tom and Dad"

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WHITSITT - All Categories in OGSPI

WHITSON o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-02-16 published
PENFOUND, Irene Annie (RAVELLE)
At Blue Water Rest Home, Zurich, Tuesday, February 14, 2006, Irene Annie (RAVELLE) PENFOUND, formerly of R.R.#1, Grand Bend, in her 90th year. Beloved wife of the late George Argyle PENFOUND (1980.) Loved by her nieces and nephews Reg and Barb CHILTON of London, Jackie SUTTON and Hugh THOMAS of Lambeth, Sylvia and Ray BEIERLING and Gary ZIMMER all of Grand Bend, Esther and Alberto REYNAUD of Toronto and their families. Predeceased by her sisters Violet CHILTON, Verna ZIMMER, brother Stewart RAVELLE, parents Remy and Annie (THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON) RAVELLE. A graveside service will be held at Grand Bend Cemetery, Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 11 a.m. Tracey WHITSON- BAHRO officiating. If desired, memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Blue Water Rest Home or charity of choice would be appreciated. T. Harry Hoffman and Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood, entrusted with arrangements. Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

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WHITSON o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-10-13 published
McADAMS, Marvin James
Peacefully, at Stratford General Hospital, after a long illness, on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, Marvin James McADAMS, age 63, of Dashwood. Beloved husband of Nancy Jean (LINGARD) McADAMS. Loved father and father-in-law of Terry and Melissa McADAMS of Dashwood, Elizabeth and Ken FRASER of Zurich, Susan and Fraser LOTHIAN of Harwood, Audrey and Jason TIESMA of Zurich, Julie an Lyle WARD of Monkton, Marlene and Steve WINDSOR of Ottawa. Predeceased by infant son Robert James (1971). Loving grandpa of Michael and Chelsea McADAMS, Bryce and Ocean LOTHIAN, Jasmine and Destany TIESMA, Derek, April, and Devon WARD, Matthew, Kaithlyn, Megan and Katherine BROOKS- CLARKE. Dear brother of Murray McADAMS of London, Don and Linda McADAMS of Kincardine. Also remembered by is nieces, nephews and their families. Predeceased by infant sister Joyce, his parents William and Bernice (NEEB) McADAMS. Resting at the T. Harry Hoffman and Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood, with visitation Friday, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.; where the Funeral Service will be held Saturday October 14, 2006 at 11 a.m. Tracey WHITSON- BAHRO officiating. Interment Emmanuel United Church Cemetery, Zurich. If desired, memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or charity of choice would be appreciated. Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

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WHITSON o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-10-30 published
UHDEN, Gertrud (TUTTELIES)
Peacefully, at Blue Water Rest Home, Zurich, Friday, October 20, 2006, with family at her side, Gertrud (TUTTELIES) UHDEN, formerly of Exeter, Dashwood, Grand Bend and Kitchener-Waterloo. Beloved wife of the late Karl F. UHDEN (1989.) Dear mother of Wolfgang UHDEN of Waterloo, Marion and Gary TIEMAN of Dashwood. Loving grandma of April UHDEN of Dubai, Ryan TIEMAN and Annette of R.R.#3 Zurich and Jordan TIEMAN of Dashwood. Remembered by her husband's niece Hanne and other family members of Germany. Resting at the T. Harry Hoffman and Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood, with visitation Thursday 7 to 9 p.m.; where the Funeral Service will be held Friday, November 3, 2006 at 11 a.m. Tracey WHITSON- BAHRO officiating. Interment Calvary United Church Cemetery, Dashwood. If desired, memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Blue Water Rest Home or charity of choice would be appreciated. Gertrud and Karl were former owners of the Pinedale Motel in Grand Bend and the Steddick Hotel in Elmira. Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

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WHITSON o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-12-28 published
MATHANY, Michael Douglas " Doug"
A resident of Wallaceburg passed away on Tuesday December 26, 2006 in London, Ontario at the age of 80. He was born in Wallaceburg and was a son of the late Edward and Annie Belle (BOWERS) MATHANY. Beloved husband of Theresa (McGRAIL) MATHANY. Loving father and father-in-law of Terry Lynn and Bill DECHMAN of Gander, Newfoundland, Mike and Cathy MATHANY of Chatham, Jean and Paul KILBY of Corunna, Patti and Terry CHORPITTA of Simcoe, Tim and Shelley MATHANY of Dresden, Ed and Marilyn MATHANY of Voorhees, New Jersey, Judy MATHANY of London, Ric and Rosalie MATHANY of Wallaceburg, Susan MATHANY of Corunna, Barb CARSON of Burlington, Jeff MATHANY of Sarnia, Kelly and Jeff ROVERS of Courtright, Doug and Kim MATHANY of Sarnia and Al BAJC of Sarnia. A special family friend Carol WHITSON of Corunna. Proud grandfather of 25 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Kind brother-in-law of Ruth MATHANY of Wallaceburg, Mary MATHANY of Bright's Grove, Mary McGRAIL of Wallaceburg, Liz PERRY of Chatham and Joanne McGRAIL of Wallaceburg. Predeceased by a daughter Ellen BAJC (2003) his brothers Roy, Lem and Willis "Bud" and sisters Jean MINIELLY and Betty BURR. Friends will be received at the Eric F. Nicholls Funeral Home Ltd., 639 Elgin Street, Wallaceburg, Ontario on Friday December 29, 2006 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Knights of Columbus prayers Friday at 6: 45 p.m. Funeral Mass Saturday December 30, 2006 from Holy Family Church at 11: 00 a.m. Interment in Riverview Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Kidney Foundation or may be left at the funeral home.

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WHITSON - All Categories in OGSPI

WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-04-18 published
HOTSON, J. Daniel " Dan"
Peacefully at home in Saint Marys on April 16, 2006, surrounded by his loving family, J. Daniel (Dan) HOTSON age 47 years. Beloved husband of Denise (WHITE/WHYTE) HOTSON. Loving father of Darrell and Sara HOTSON of Mitchell and Donald HOTSON of Saint Marys. Proud grandfather of Malia HOTSON. Dear brother of Susan and Alex CHAMBERS of Portage La Prairie, Jim and Mandy HOTSON of Fergus, Bill and Janet HOTSON of Avonbank. He is survived by his parents John H. and Irene (BURNARD) HOTSON of Avonbank and his grandmother Gladys WHITTAKER of Seaforth. He is sadly missed by his mother-in-law Dolores WHITE/WHYTE of London and aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and their families. He was predeceased by his father-in-law Donald WHITE/WHYTE. The late Dan HOTSON will rest at the L.A. Ball Funeral Chapel, 7 Water Street North, Saint Marys on Friday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Saint Marys United Church (85 Church Street South) on Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 1 p.m. with Rev. David HORNE of Grace Community Church officiating. Interment will follow in Avonbank Cemetery. In his memory donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Avonbank Church or the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-06-30 published
WRIGHT, Donald "Don" John Alexander, B.A., D.M., L.M., Member of Order of Canada
Don passed away peacefully at his home in Toronto after a brief illness on June 27th, 2006 in his 98th year. His beloved wife Lillian, his life partner and best friend, predeceased him on January 12, 1993. Sadly missed and fondly remembered by his sister Dr. Mary Jean WRIGHT of London, Ontario, son Timothy and his wife Sharon (née EMPRINGHAM) of Sarnia, daughter Priscilla of Toronto, son Patrick (predeceased in 1993), grand_sons and granddaughters Christopher and his wife Katrin (née ZEUNER) of Toronto, Brian and his wife Susan (née PRINCE) of Australia, Pamela WHITTAKER of Delaware, Ontario, Liam and his wife Louise of Toronto, Alyssa of Cannington and Doctor Tarah and her husband Daniel of Halifax, great-grand_sons Connor, Kyle, Corwin, Benjamin and Aidan, and great-granddaughters Cassidy and Lilly. Don really lived a charmed life. He was born in Strathroy, Ontario to Ernest and Jean (nee CLARK) WRIGHT in 1908. He had three brothers and a sister Doctor Mary WRIGHT. The family was very involved in theatre and music and the boys formed the "Wright Brothers Orchestra" which had a great following during their school years and on through university. Don met his "Lilly Belle" (Lillian (née MEIGHEN,) the daughter of the Right Honourable Arthur MEIGHEN and his wife Isabel (nee COX) at one of the dances and the rest was history. They courted each other for their entire lives together. At the University of Western Ontario, Don started the U.W.O. marching band -- an institution that continues to this day. He was a very successful athlete as a sprinter, high hurdler and his long jump record of twenty-three feet, eight inches held for over a quarter century. Don taught music, history, Latin and Greek for several years at Sir Adam Beck Collegiate in London and all of his classes were over-subscribed. His pedagogical talents were prodigious and his former pupils still rave about his classes more than 60 years after he taught them. Don became supervisor of music for the London Board of Education and from there he was recruited to take over the reins of CFPL Radio. He completely remodeled the studios and control rooms and simultaneously brought new and exciting programming to life. He increased the audience levels many times over. His " CFPL Goes Calling" brought many talented people (both musical and other forms of radio entertainment) onto the airwaves. Such voices as Max Ferguson (Rawhide), Ward Cornell, John Tretheway and Murray Brown were all brought into CFPL by Don. His outstanding creation while there was his "Don Wright Chorus" which entranced audiences throughout both Canada and the U.S. all through the early 1950s. Don moved to Toronto in 1955 and continued his advertising "jingle" business in addition to being Musical Director for the Denny Vaughn Show, Wayne and Schuster and the Cliff McKey show "Holiday Ranch". He developed a new radio choir called the Don Wright Singers which performed for several years. As his career matured he composed a series of provincial anthems presented in a performance package called "Proudly we Praise", a tribute to Canada, which could be performed by professionals or amateurs, and Don was very proud to be asked to arrange and conduct a performance of this work on Parliament Hill on Canada's Centennial for Queen Elizabeth II. Don's philanthropy in later years was generous and impressive. He donated to track and field endeavours and musical programmes at many universities across Canada. He received several Honourary Doctorates from Canadian Universities for these efforts, and the faculties of music at U.W.O. and Victoria University bear his name. Grace Hospital in Toronto as well as Saint Michael's Hospital's maternity centres bear his and Lillian's names. A celebration of his life will be held in Saint_James Cathedral, 65 Church Street, (at King Street East) Toronto on Thursday, July 6th at 11 o'clock. A reception will follow. Private entombment in the family niche at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Please direct any donations to the charity of your choice. Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles Chapel 416-487-4523

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-09-13 published
GOODING, Mabel Josephine (née WHITTAKER)
With quiet strength and dignity surrounded by her family at Four Counties Hospital, Newbury, on Monday, September 11th, 2006, Mabel Josephine GOODING (née WHITTAKER) in her 68th year. Dear wife of 50 years to Robert S. GOODING (Bob.) Loving mother of Anne Marie DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, Kimberley May BACH and Jim GOODING. Special grandmother of Kyle DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, Mindy DOUGLAS, Derek GOODING, and Amber-Jo BACH. Kind mother-in-law to John VERBERNE, Joe BACH and Lisa GOODING. Best friend to Anne McNEIL. Predeceased by son Andy, brother Melvin, mother Myrtle and father Leslie. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 2: 00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, where the funeral service will be conducted on Thursday, September 14th, 2006 at 9: 30 a.m. Interment, Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Mabel are asked to consider the Four Counties Hospital, Newbury or the London Health Sciences Foundation -- Cancer Centre.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-10-11 published
KEPINSKI, Helen Marie (KARN)
Suddenly but peacefully at London Health Sciences Centre, Victoria Campus on Monday, October 9, 2006. Helen Marie (KARN) KEPINSKI of Thamesford in her 76th year. Beloved wife of Ted and dear mother of Linda KEPINSKI of London, Deborah MARCHELLO of Belmont and Edward (Cheryl) KEPINSKI and Lisa (Wayne) JACKSON of Thamesford. Also loved by 5 grandchildren Angela (Ken), Carrie, Ryan, Olivia and Ewan and one great-grand_son Mason. Also sadly missed by her sister Freda WHITTAKER of Thamesford. Predeceased by 2 brothers Jake and Barney and one sister Leona. Friends may call at the Harland B. Betzner Funeral Home, 177 Dundas Street, Thamesford on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2006 at 11 a.m. Interment Zion 7th Line Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy memorial donations may be given to the London Health Sciences Foundation.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-11-03 published
TAZZMAN, Flora Phyllis (née WALCH)
Peacefully passed with her family by her side at Sprucedale Care Centre, Strathroy, on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 in her 87th year. Beloved wife of the late Robert TAZZMAN. Loving mother of Brent WHITTAKER, Elaine PULLEN and her husband Wayne, Michael WALCH and his wife Betty, Marjorie GIRARD and her husband Marcel, and the late Gregory WHITTAKER. Flora is survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dear sister of Verlyn McQUIGGAN, Jim WALCH, and Marie BOGART. She will be sadly missed by her many Friends at Sprucedale. Friends may call on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the James A. Harris Funeral Home, 220 Saint_James Street at Richmond where the funeral service will be conducted on Saturday, November 4 at 1: 30 p.m. Interment McArthur Cemetery, Southwold Township. Memorial contributions to the Diabetes Association or the charity of your choice would be gratefully acknowledged.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2006-11-04 published
WHITTAKER, Darlene Patricia (née WALTERS)
Of R.R.#1, Embro passed away peacefully at her residence on Thursday, November 2, 2006 in her 54th year. She was born at Stratford on November 10, 1952, a daughter of the late Lorne and Ruth LOWES) WALTERS. She owned and operated "Homestyle Catering;" was a member of St. Andrew's United Church, Brooksdale; a member of Embro Memorial Branch #318 Royal Canadian Legion; an Honorary Member of the Kiwanis Club of Stratford and was an avid golfer and member of the Tavistock and Embro Ladies Golf Leagues. Darlene is survived by her husband, Andrew Alex "Andy" WHITTAKER, whom she married at Brooksdale on May 22, 1971; two daughters, Sherri and husband Andrew BELL, Sheila WHITTAKER and companion Dave BELL, all of R.R.#1, Stratford; two sons, Keith WHITTAKER of Embro, Kyle and wife Tracey WHITTAKER of Woodstock; six grandchildren, Brayden, Codie, Griffin and Gracie BELL; Scott BENNETT and Blake WHITTAKER one brother, Bob and wife Gail WALTERS of Stratford; three sisters, Sharon and husband Larry PYE of Ingersoll, Judy WALTERS- CHANDLER of R.R.#2, Embro; Lori and husband Fred ELLIS of R.R.#5, Stratford brothers-in-law and sisters-ni-law, George and Marjorie WHITTAKER of Lakeside, James "Jim" WHITTAKER and Shirley WATLING of Woodstock, Alex and Jane WHITTAKER of Embro along with several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father-in-law and mother-in-law Alex and Isabella (McFARLAND) WHITTAKER. Relatives and Friends will be received in the Francis Funeral Home, 77 Woodstock Street North, Tavistock on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Monday, November 6, 2006 at 11 a.m. The Rev. Janice AICKEN will officiate. Interment in Knox Presbyterian Cemetery, Harrington. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Cardiac Surgery Program of London Health Sciences Centre, Embro Fire Department or Sunshine Dreams for Kids would be appreciated and may be made through the funeral home by calling 1-519-655-2431.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-04 published
WRIGHT, Donald "Don" John Alexander, B.A., D.M., L.M.,
Member of Order of Canada.
Don passed away peacefully at his home in Toronto after a brief illness on June 27th, 2006 in his 98th year. His beloved wife Lillian, his life partner and best friend, predeceased him on January 12, 1993. Sadly missed and fondly remembered by his sister Dr. Mary Jean WRIGHT of London, Ontario, son Timothy and his wife Sharon (née EMPRINGHAM) of Sarnia, daughter Priscilla of Toronto, son Patrick (predeceased in 1993), grand_sons and granddaughters Christopher and his wife Katrin (née ZEUNER) of Toronto, Brian and his wife Susan (née PRINCE) of Australia, Pamela WHITTAKER of Delaware, Ontario, Liam and his wife Louise of Toronto, Alyssa of Cannington and Doctor Tarah and her husband Daniel of Halifax, great-grand_sons Connor, Kyle, Corwin, Benjamin and Aidan, and great-granddaughters Cassidy and Lilly. Don really lived a charmed life. He was born in Strathroy, Ontario to Ernest and Jean (nee CLARK) WRIGHT in 1908. He had three brothers and a sister Doctor Mary WRIGHT. The family was very involved in theatre and music and the boys formed the "Wright Brothers Orchestra" which had a great following during their school years and on through university. Don met his "Lilly Belle" (Lillian (née MEIGHEN,) the daughter of the Right Honourable Arthur MEIGHEN and his wife Isabel (nee COX) at one of the dances and the rest was history. They courted each other for their entire lives together. At the University of Western Ontario, Don started the U.W.O. marching band - an institution that continues to this day. He was a very successful athlete as a sprinter, high hurdler and his long jump record of twenty-three feet, eight inches held for over a quarter century. Don taught music, history, Latin and Greek for several years at Sir Adam Beck Collegiate in London and all of his classes were over-subscribed. His pedagogical talents were prodigious and his former pupils still rave about his classes more than 60 years after he taught them. Don became supervisor of music for the London Board of Education and from there he was recruited to take over the reins of CFPL Radio. He completely remodeled the studios and control rooms and simultaneously brought new and exciting programming to life. He increased the audience levels many times over. His " CFPL Goes Calling" brought many talented people (both musical and other forms of radio entertainment) onto the airwaves. Such voices as Max Ferguson (Rawhide), Ward Cornell, John Tretheway and Murray Brown were all brought into CFPL by Don. His outstanding creation while there was his "Don Wright Chorus" which entranced audiences throughout both Canada and the U.S. all through the early 1950s. Don moved to Toronto in 1955 and continued his advertising "jingle" business in addition to being Musical Director for the Denny Vaughn Show, Wayne and Schuster and the Cliff McKey show "Holiday Ranch". He developed a new radio choir called the Don Wright Singers which performed for several years. As his career matured he composed a series of provincial anthems presented in a performance package called "Proudly we Praise", a tribute to Canada, which could be performed by professionals or amateurs, and Don was very proud to be asked to arrange and conduct a performance of this work on Parliament Hill on Canada's Centennial for Queen Elizabeth II. Don's philanthropy in later years was generous and impressive. He donated to track and field endeavours and musical programmes at many universities across Canada. He received several Honourary Doctorates from Canadian Universities for these efforts, and the faculties of music at U.W.O. and Victoria University bear his name. Grace Hospital in Toronto as well as Saint Michael's Hospital's maternity centres bear his and Lillian's names. A celebration of his life will be held in Saint_James Cathedral, 65 Church Street, (at King Street East) Toronto on Thursday, July 6th at 11 o'clock. A reception will follow. Private entombment in the family niche at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Please direct any donations to the charity of your choice.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-09-11 published
WHITTAKER, Herbert, 95
Globe's drama critic created Theatre Museum
By Jan WONG
Herbert WHITTAKER, The Globe's drama critic for 26 years, died Saturday in Toronto, 11 days before his 96th birthday.
He died of natural causes, said Kate BARRIS, a friend.
Unusually for a critic, he also designed sets and directed. In 1950, Toronto's theatre community was so small -- some would say incestuous -- that he created the sets for, and then reviewed, Morley Callaghan's Going Home. The last line of his review said, "The settings were adequate." When it came to the work of others, he was more generous. Donald Sutherland credits a favourable WHITTAKER review of a University of Toronto production with helping him decide to pursue an acting career.
Born in Montreal on September 20, 1910, Mr. WHITTAKER worked for The Gazette as a drama critic. He joined The Globe in 1949 and remained its drama critic until his mandatory retirement at 65 in 1976.
Mr. WHITTAKER, who never married, continued to freelance even after The Globe once inadvertently referred to him as "the late Herbert WHITTAKER." He was the recipient of a Silver Ticket Award, which entitled him to free tickets for life. He also devoted himself to creating Theatre Museum Canada. It remains without a home.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-09-12 published
Herbert WHITTAKER, Theatre Critic And Writer: (1910-2006)
He discovered theatre in London as a boy during the First World War and was forever smitten by a love for the stage
By Alex DOBROTA with files by the late Donn DOWNEY and Jan WONG, Page S9
Toronto -- He imagined himself a war correspondent on a battlefield, writing about costumed soldiers that bled emotions on a stage. But the struggle that Herbert Whittaker documented and supported for almost half a decade was a real one. As The Globe and Mail's emeritus drama critic until 1975, Mr. WHITTAKER found himself on the front lines of the creation of a distinct Canadian theatre.
And much like the war correspondent who sometimes feels compelled to pick up a rifle in the thick of battle, Mr. WHITTAKER never shied away from using his pen to forward the cause he embraced since early childhood.
"Canadian critics tend to be crusaders," he wrote in a 1985 article. "Their very occupation determines this."
Indeed, when Mr. WHITTAKER, a tall and courtly man, started his career at the Montreal Gazette in 1935, theatre was not high on the national agenda. The country had to survive the rest of the Depression and the Second World War before Canadian theatre came of age in 1953 with the Stratford Shakespearian Festival.
It opened in a big tent and Mr. WHITTAKER was there on behalf of The Globe. He had been with the paper for just four years. "The most exciting night in the history of Canadian theatre," he wrote after the festival's first production, Richard III.
His enthusiasm did not diminish over the years. When he retired, Mr. WHITTAKER was invited to Stratford to accept a gift from the festival. He was offered a prop from any of its productions and, in a rare moment of practicality, he chose the sword used by Alec Guinness, who appeared as Richard in 1953. "I knew his sword, being a hard object, was likely in good repair," Mr. WHITTAKER said. He also wanted something that was closely associated with the event.
Some said Mr. WHITTAKER's reviews were too kind -- less than satisfactory for the theatregoer who wanted to know if a play was worth the price of a ticket. But Toronto readers had the advantage of placing his review alongside the one in The Toronto Star. Its critics, most notably Nathan COHEN, had the reputation of being cold and analytical, and the intelligent reader learned how to strike a balance between the two.
Mr. WHITTAKER offered further reasons to explain the differences. The Star was then an afternoon paper so it could not echo The Globe's review, which appeared in the morning. And Mr. WHITTAKER tended to put positive impressions in his first paragraphs. The Star tended to do the reverse. "I was trying to build up Canadian theatre," Mr. WHITTAKER said in a 1999 interview.
He covered drama with the zeal of an evangelist, showing up at The Globe in the early afternoon to write a chatty, name-dropping column or a weekend feature. He would then return in the evening, Sundays included, to write a thoughtful review for a deadline usually less than an hour away.
The computer had not come of age and his typewritten copy looked like a crossword puzzle with unreadable inserts scribbled in by hand. The reviews were the dismay of the copy editors but represented, given the time constraints, a minor journalistic miracle.
While he covered the theatrical mainstream, he paid equal attention to the smaller theatres, where he would see untried, but promising, Canadian performers and, quite frequently, a play that was making its Canadian debut. He also drew no distinction between amateur and professional performances. "In certain instances, some of the best work is done by amateurs," he said.
Herbert WHITTAKER fell under the spell of stage performance as a boy growing up in London, England. With his family, he moved there before the outbreak of the First World War and events had transpired to keep them on the wrong side of the Atlantic until peace returned. Pantomime fascinated him, as did the antics of Elsie Janis, the musical comedy star who entertained British troops.
After the war, Mr. WHITTAKER's family returned to Montreal, where the theatre scene offered little or no Canadian content and most productions were imported from England or the U.S. With great delight, Mr. WHITTAKER discovered John Martin-Harvey's rendition of Hamlet, an experience that would leave an indelible mark on the rest of his life.
"Young as he was, these experiences shaped his critical standards throughout his career and it is remarkable how often his reviews harken back to Martin-Harvey…" Anton Wagner wrote in Establishing Our Boundaries -- English-Canadian Theatre Criticism.
But for all his love of drama, Mr. WHITTAKER shunned the stage, opting instead for positions as speech writer and art director during his school years at Strathcona Academy in the Outremont neighbourhood of Montreal. As a boy growing up in Outremount, he once played the Toff, a crime solver, in a performance staged in the hall of a local church -- an experience he qualified as the peak of his acting career. He was never seen on a theatre stage again. "I was too shy," he said. "Then I got tall and gangly and started wearing these glasses."
He dropped out of school around the age of 16 to help his family make a living during the harsh years of the Depression. He took up a job as an office clerk with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Montreal's Windsor Station.
But his fascination with theatre never subsided.
"I'm afraid I cheated the Canadian Pacific Railway, for I eventually discovered that by going down to the stacks to search out invoices, I could find time to design costumes for church plays," he would later write in a book about the Montreal theatre scene.
He quit his job in 1935. That same year, he started working at the Gazette as a junior critic who was responsible for just about everything.
And by the late 1930s, he was directing plays in Montreal, taking some of them to the Dominion Drama Festival. He was also designing sets for Montreal productions.
When the Second World War broke out, the army rejected him for military service, mainly because of his less-than-perfect eyesight and because of his somewhat frail physical condition,
"As WHITTAKER recalls, he was rejected for military service," University of Waterloo English professor Rota LISTER once wrote. "[He] did not much care whether it was because he had diminished eye sight, a weak heart or varicose veins; he was simply relieved and let his soldier brother defend the values of civilization while he battled on for Canadian theatrical culture."
For all that, he viewed his work as a theatre critic for The Gazette as a contribution to the war effort. He praised the verve of two Canadian troop shows meant to entertain Allied soldiers, Meet the Navy and Army Show. "His wartime reviews do not seem out of place in The Gazette of the time, rubbing shoulders with news flashes from the front and wartime propaganda," Mr. Wagner wrote.
In 1949, Mr. WHITTAKER joined The Globe as its theatre and film critic and began his long association with the University of Toronto as a director and designer.
At times, he reviewed the plays he directed. In 1950, for instance, he worked on the set design for Going Home, a play written by Morley Callaghan and performed by the New Play Society. He later reviewed the performance for The Globe and Mail. The article's last line read: "The settings were adequate."
He might have chosen either critic or designer as a career but thoughts of a regular pay cheque decided the issue. The remuneration for a designer or director was, at best, a modest honorarium, while newspapers put their contributors on a payroll -- $35 a week to start, in Mr. WHITTAKER's case.
His salary must have improved over the years because when he arrived in Toronto he discovered there were few restaurants that matched what he had grown accustomed to in Montreal. Winston's was one of the few exceptions and Mr. WHITTAKER adopted it. The actors who were appearing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre down the street followed suit and it became the restaurant of the celebrities.
The names of the theatrical giants fell easily from his lips. He said the actor Sir John Gielgud helped him get the job with The Globe by describing Mr. WHITTAKER as "the only intelligent theatre critic in Canada." The favourable notice from Sir John came after Mr. WHITTAKER had bestowed a favourable notice for one of Sir John's performances.
In 1961, Mr. WHITTAKER designed the sets for the 1961-62 season of the Canadian Players, an offshoot of the festival that toured Canada with the classics and provided winter work for some Stratford performers.
King Lear was included in the company's season and Mr. WHITTAKER, who had designed Lear productions twice before, decided to move the play out of ancient Britain into a Far North setting. The set design was serviceable, a bare-bones portable affair that relied on colour to match the mood of the play.
Over the years, Mr. WHITTAKER's name was attached to countless productions as either the director or designer. He had a separate career as an adjudicator with the Dominion Drama Festival's regional festivals and other productions. The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Americana both asked him for special articles which he supplied.
He was also a frequent recipient of theatrical awards and picked up honorary doctorate degrees in arts from York University and McGill University in Montreal.
In 1976, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The accompanying citation read: "actor, adjudicator, director and drama critic, whose contributions to the theatre in Canada are legion."!
Long after he retired, Mr. WHITTAKER continued writing theatre reviews and other various articles for The Globe and Mail, The New York Times and the Herald Tribune. He also authored or co-authored as many as six books, including one about Winston's, the restaurant he so often frequented.
And, in the early 1980s, he shouldered the task of founding the Theatre Museum of Canada. "Nobody could talk to him for more than 30 seconds without talking about the theatre museum," recalled Kate Barris, now the museum's president.
The museum was established in 1992 and, over the following years, Mr. WHITTAKER would donate much of his memorabilia collection hundreds of items that included play bills, portraits of artists and even Alec Guinness's sword.
"Theatre was his life," said Kate Barris, the museum's president. "He had many Friends but his main love was the theatre."
In 1999, Mr. WHITTAKER wrote Setting the Stage, which documents Montreal English theatre from 1920 to 1949. The book opens with a sentence that could very well encapsulate the driving force behind its author's career: "In many countries, no matter how thinly populated, no matter how widely scattered across a continent, people must eventually produce their own theatre, as objects on a landscape must produce their own shadows."
But for all his love for Canadian theatre, Mr. WHITTAKER also enjoyed Western European productions. In his free time, he travelled to England, France and Spain in search of the local flavour producers and theatres bring to classical plays there. In one 1978 adventure unrelated to theatre, he visited China at a time when outsiders were seldom seen. His experiences left him somewhat rueful: "A much-travelled man may be a well-travelled man but not necessarily a man who travels well," he later wrote in an article in The Globe that appeared under the headline "What went wrong."
Herb WHITTAKER never married. Before he moved into a retirement home in 2003, he spent two years at Toronto's Performing Arts Lodge on The Esplanade, where married couples are allocated to two bed-room apartments. Mr. WHITTAKER was hoping for an extra room to use as his study. He argued his case, telling staff that he was married to his work. "He only got one bedroom," said Ms. Barris. "It didn't work."
And, as Mr. WHITTAKER's living quarters shrank, the museum's collection swelled with his donations. He kept his typewriter, though, which often clanked away in his room as he crafted letters to Friends and acquaintances the world over.
Well into his 90s, Mr. WHITTAKER continued to attend theatre performances. He was a familiar sight at Toronto premieres and at theatre festivals in Stratford and Niagara.
In 2002, when he attended a Chekhov play at SoulPepper Theatre Company, director Albert Shultz led the crowd in a standing ovation to mark Mr. WHITTAKER's 91st birthday.
"He was quite moved," Ms. Barris said.
By all accounts, he last saw a play the following year when he watched Richard McMillan perform in Through the Eyes at The Factory Theatre Company. Soon thereafter, his frail health confined him to his retirement home on St. George Street, where he continued reading theatre reviews.
"Herb's passing really marks the end of a certain generation in Canadian theatre," Phillip SILVER, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts of York University wrote in a statement. "He had a view of our history that no one else will ever have. And on top of that all, he was truly a gentleman."
Herbert WHITTAKER was born in Montreal September 20, 1910. He died of natural causes in Toronto on Saturday.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-09-15 published
WHITTAKER, Herbert William
Died September 9, 2006 in Toronto, in his 95th year. Born September 20, 1910 in Montreal, P.Q., parents were Eleanor TRAPITT and George WHITTAKER. Brother George (Lillias) predeceased Herbert in 1997. Survived by niece Leslie WHITTAKER and nephew Jeffrey (Maura) of Vancouver, British Columbia, who remember him as their favourite uncle, Uncle Bert, who introduced them to performing arts. Fondly remembered by his closest "god-daughter" Kate BARRIS, who cared for him like a daughter, particularly in his last years. Herbert championed Canadian live theatre, its actors and actresses, designers and directors all his life. Reviewed countless productions during his career as the Theatre Critic, first for the Montreal Gazette and then the Globe and Mail until 1975. Encouraging the growth and development of Canadian theatre was his mission since 1935, culminating in the founding of Theatre Museum Canada, which is his legacy. Memorial Service at the Arts and Letters Club, 14 Elm Street, Toronto at 4: 00 on October 12, 2006. Donations in lieu of flowers, to Theatre Museum Canada would be very appreciated, at 77 Bloor St. W, Suite 1903, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1M2.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-03-12 published
ANTHONY, Douglas Garfield
Peacefully at home on Sunday, February 26, 2006 surrounded by his loving family. Happiest outdoors, canoeing, and inspiring generations of youth through over 60 years of Scouting and 40 years as a lineman for Bell, Doug was foremost a loving Dad to Kathy and John HOONDERT, Lawrence and Crystabel, Carole, David and Karen. Devoted and much loved Grampa of Sean Douglas and Sara Hoondert and wee Nolan Douglas ANTHONY. He will be forever remembered by wife Dorothy, sister Sheila (Ted) WHITTAKER and sister-in-law June THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON. Predeceased by his sidekick and brother Don. Please join our family for a Celebration of Doug's life on Saturday, April 1 from 2: 00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Kleinburg Golf Club. Memorial donations can be made to Yellow Briar District Scouts or St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Swinton Park.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-03-18 published
ANTHONY, Douglas Garfield
Peacefully at home on Sunday, February 26, 2006 surrounded by his loving family. Happiest outdoors, canoeing, and inspiring generations of youth through over 60 years of Scouting and 40 years as a lineman for Bell, Doug was foremost a loving Dad to Kathy and John HOONDERT, Lawrence and Crystabel, Carole, David and Karen. Devoted and much loved Grampa of Sean DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS and Sara HOONDERT and wee Nolan Douglas ANTHONY. He will be forever remembered by wife Dorothy, sister Sheila (Ted) WHITTAKER and sister-in-law June THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON. Predeceased by his sidekick and brother Don. Please join our family for a Celebration of Doug's life on Saturday, April 1 from 2: 00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Kleinburg Golf Club. Memorial donations can be made to Yellow Briar District Scouts or St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Swinton Park.

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WHITTAKER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-04-15 published
WHITTAKER, Ida " The Hugger"
Passed away peacefully, at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, in her 97th year. Beloved wife of the late James Alvin WHITTAKER (Al.) Dear mother of Harry WHITTAKER (Shawn,) Saint Thomas, Ann HAMBY (Ian,) Alliston and predeceased by John WHITTAKER, 2002. Loving grandmother of 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Funeral service to be held at St. Phillip's-on-the-Hill, 4900 Kennedy Road, Unionville at 2 p.m. with visitation at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 17. Cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Phillip's-on-the-Hill or the charity of your choice.

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WHITTALL o@ca.on.brant.brantford.the_expositor 2006-03-13 published
LAMB, Renee May
After a lengthy illness on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at Brantford General Hospital in her 79th year. Beloved wife of Les LAMB. Loving mother of Norma SHUTE (Bev), Susan SHEWFELT (Dave) and Lesley BROWN (Gary.) Cherished nanny of Rachal (Dave,) Emily (John), Elena (Barry), Charlotte, Nathan, Daniel, Jennifer (Jeff), Andrea and great grandma to Alexandra. Dear sister-in-law of Gerald and Nora LAMB, Vin and Edna WHITTALL, Sheila MURPHY all residing in the United Kingdom. Renee will be sadly missed by her many nieces, nephews and Friends. Renee had been a long time active member of South Brant Legion Branch 463 Ladies Auxiliary. The family will receive Friends at the Dennis Toll Funeral Home 55 Charing Cross Street, Brantford Tuesday 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A service under auspices South Brant Legion Ladies Auxiliary will be held Tuesday evening at 6: 30 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held in the chapel on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario or Poppy Fund at South Brant Legion appreciated. www.dennistoll.ca

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WHITTALL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-12-23 published
WHITTALL, Gretchen Anne (née SCHLEGEL) (1922-2006)
Sadly, Gretchen died on December 16, although Alzheimer's had taken her away from us several years previously. Predeceased by Bill, her husband of 58 years, she will be missed by her daughters, Terry KISH (Joe), Barbara WHITTALL (Jack LOHNES), and Gretchen WHITTALL (Bob DUMONT.) She leaves behind seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held later January, 2007 in St. Catharines. Donations to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario would be appreciated. Rest peacefully, Mom - you are forever "In the round-tower of our hearts".

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WHITTEMORE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-07 published
HILL, John Henry
(Retired 33 year employee of deHavilland Aircraft)
Passed away peacefully at Trillium Health Centre - Mississauga on Thursday, January 5, 2006 at the age of 84. Beloved husband of Lucy. Loving father of Donna and her husband Brian HUDSON, and Alberta and her husband Wayne ANTHONY. Much loved grandfather of Matthew and Nolan. Dear brother of Fern Alma (the late Francis Cooper WHITTEMORE) and the late Violet (the late Frank HOPKINSON.) He will be fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews Sydney, Dale, and Vergie; his brother-in-law Herbert and his wife Reba ENDRIJAITIS, and sister-in-law Greta LAMAR and their families in the U.S.A. Special thanks to John's personal caregiver Angelina D'ANGELO, the staff at Lakeshore Lodge and the nursing staff at Trillium Health Centre 3M for their loving and kind care. Friends may call at the Turner and Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, east of the Jane subway on Sunday from 1-3 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service to be held in the Chapel on Monday, January 9, 2006 at 11 a.m. Interment Park Lawn Cemetery. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.turnerporter.ca.

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WHITTEN o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2006-07-12 published
WHITTEN, Harold
(Our dear Father and Papa) who passed away July 9, 2004.
There you are
In the early light of day
There you are
In the quiet words we pray
Every time we turn around
When we're lost and when we're found
You're our angel standing guard
There you are.
Every time we take a breath
And if we forget to breathe
You're watching over us
There you are.
When we're looking for the light
In the middle of the night
You are the brightest star
There you are.
You're everywhere we are
You're everywhere we go
You're in every song we hear
You're in every face we know
There you are.
Each day brings new memories
Memories we hold dear
But Dad, be assured the memories
Grow stronger each year.
We hold them dearly in our hearts
Wrapped up tight away from harm
And there, there you are. (in our hearts)
We'll never forget the love we shared
We love you and will miss you always.
- Rachel, Darren, Brad, Caitlyn, Justina, Bailey and Shelby.
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WHITTEN o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2006-10-11 published
WHITTEN, William " Clarke"
Peacefully at Dufferin Oaks, Shelburne on Sunday October 8, 2006 in his 85th year. Loving brother-in-law of Annie May WHITTEN. Beloved uncle of Bruce and Andrea WHITTEN and their children Kevin and Allison, Diane and her husband Jeff FRANKS and their children Carter and Jordan. Predeceased by his brother, Elvin WHITTEN. The family will receive Friends at the Doney Funeral Home, Shelburne on Wednesday October 11, 2006 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home chapel on Thursday October 12, 2006 at 11 a.m. Interment to follow in the Shelburne Cemetery. Donations to the Dufferin Oaks or the Alzheimer's Society would be appreciated.
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WHITTEN o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2006-12-20 published
FOWLER, Aurelia Jane " Rilla" (JACK)
Passed away on Sunday, December 17, 2006 in Bethany Nursing Home, Airdrie, Alberta, beloved wife of Chester FOWLER, Airdrie. Eldest daughter of the late Hector and Annie (WRIGHT) JACK. Loved sister of Annie May WHITTEN, Dundalk, Frances STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, Stouffville, Ainsy (Evelyn) and Adeline JACK, Dundalk. Also survived by several step-children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents, brothers-in-law, Elvin WHITTEN and Elvin STEWARD/STEWART/STUART.
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WHI surnames continued to 06whi005.htm