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"BMO" 2006 Obituary


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BMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-29 published
Trying to reconcile a man's life and death
Friends are wondering how a college student from a good family ended up shot dead by police, writes Anthony REINHART
By Anthony REINHART, Page A11
Toronto -- Until a couple of weeks ago, anyone who knew the real Shelton McKENZIE would have expected to find him out clubbing last night, toasting his 21st birthday on some Toronto dance floor in smooth urban attire and a fresh pair of Jordans.
Instead, his Friends dressed for a visitation yesterday at a funeral home in his hometown of Ajax, east of Toronto, to file past Mr. McKENZIE's coffin and wonder whether they really knew him at all.
Specifically, they've been wondering how Mr. McKENZIE -- who came from a middle-class suburban family, who worked as a produce clerk through high school, who had young women lining up for his ever-respectful attention, and who took police courses in college just last fall -- wound up shot dead by police this month.
It happened just before dawn on Thursday, April 13, near an upscale home in the Thornhill community north of Toronto, where the THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON family had just endured a home invasion robbery.
York Regional Police arrived as Mr. McKENZIE and another person fled in the THOMPSONs' pickup truck. Officers opened fire on the truck, killing Mr. McKENZIE. The second man ran off and holed up in another home and was arrested within hours.
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, which probes deaths and injuries related to police, is still examining the killing of Mr. McKENZIE.
But York police have linked the two men to five home invasions in and around Toronto since late February, including the gunpoint robbery of Sherry COOPER, chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and her husband, Peter.
As she squinted through the murk of predawn to find two masked men standing in her bedroom, Ms. COOPER felt surprised, bewildered and terrified on the morning of March 13.
Police say Mr. McKENZIE was one of the two mud-splattered men standing before her and her husband. The pair had broken into the COOPERs' ravine-side home in Hogg's Hollow, an exclusive enclave in North Toronto.
They bound the couple with duct tape, ransacked the house and fled with cash, jewellery, computers and BlackBerrys.
Their masks, and the shock that gripped the COOPERs, made them all but impossible to identify.
"We refer to the 'old guy' and the 'young guy' when we speak to each other, or the 'big guy,' Ms. COOPER told The Globe and Mail, "and we're not even sure we're referring to the same people."
Ms. COOPER, 55, was also caught without her glasses or contact lenses. "I'm not blind without my glasses, but it was pleasingly fuzzy, believe me. I didn't particularly want to be 100-per-cent conscious."
She was conscious enough, however, to talk her way to some relief after one of the men, armed with a gun, pinned her to the bed.
"He said he wanted jewellery and I said, 'Let me show you… where it is,' Ms. COOPER said. "So, fortunately, that got us to stand up and walk in there" to where her valuables were stored.
The couple were led downstairs and taped to a pillar. One man stood guard, pointing a gun at them, the other combed the house, selecting items to fill his backpack and tossing others to the floor.
Asked whether either man seemed like a novice, or a junior partner, Ms. COOPER had this to say about the one who stood guard: "Until the very end I would have thought that he was more nervous, and that he wasn't as aggressive, he wasn't a leader," she said.
"However, at the end, I managed to get myself out of the tape, and it was that stand-guard guy that saw me. And then he grabbed me and, you know, pulled me up the steps and told me, now he's going to have to hurt me, now he's going to have to shoot me, and he threw me down on the floor and said he was going to have to shoot me.
"And it was the other one who said, 'Take her back downstairs.' So they just retaped us."
"There wasn't, like, a good cop and a bad cop; there wasn't a leader and a follower," she said. "They were brutal. They clearly hated us, just [because of] what we had."
But for the people who knew or encountered Shelton McKENZIE, nothing is very clear. No one -- from coaches and former co-workers to Friends and the police themselves -- has been able to reconcile the way he lived with the way he died.
"I really don't know how or why he became involved," Detective Sergeant Fred MOFFATT of York's holdup squad said, adding that police have seen more young people from trouble-free backgrounds jumping "right into doing robberies."
Sometimes the goal is to win acceptance from a gang. Others are dragged in by underworld creditors, such as drug dealers.
"I don't know if that's the case here, so I would never say that," Det. Sgt. MOFFATT said. "We're still investigating and still trying to figure out exactly where he comes from. But yeah, it's a mystery."
Mr. McKENZIE's parents, who have requested privacy from reporters, are "just blown away" by what happened, said Lance BROWN, their pastor at Refuge City Pentecostal Church in Ajax. "I knew Shelton. He was a great kid," Mr. BROWN said.
At the No Frills on Kingston Road in Pickering, Tony CORNACCHIA recalled how Mr. McKENZIE "always asked for as many hours as I could give him" in the produce department, where he was the most experienced part-timer, until he left the job a year ago. "I left him in charge quite a few times, on evenings and weekends."
Mr. CORNACCHIA remembered driving the young man home to his parents' relatively new house in west Ajax, where he lived with an older brother, a younger brother and a sister. He described the family as hard-working and strict, particularly the mother, who insisted that her son help pay his own way.
"It seemed like they were a very disciplined family," he said, and when he heard the news of Mr. McKENZIE's death, "I was surprised just like everyone else."
Ms. COOPER had trouble squaring the wholesome image of Mr. McKENZIE with the man who caused her to feel such terror that morning, a terror that she said has changed her life forever.
"It is inconceivable to me that some normal, 20-year-old, good kid finds himself just accidentally in this kind of situation," she said. "I have a son who's not much older than that and, honestly, I just can't even fathom how you get yourself in that situation unless you've been… involved with some real bad people for a while."
If that's the case, Shelton McKENZIE kept his secret life well hidden.
At J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, where he graduated in 2004, basketball coaches Steve DAWSON and Mike McFETTERS stood in the gym last week, puzzled.
"Whatever happened, we didn't see it coming," said Mr. DAWSON, a middle-aged man who traded easy, good-natured jibes with the popular all-star nicknamed Springz for his jumping prowess.
Mr. McFETTERS said his star rebounder avoided situations that looked like trouble and could take a beating on the court without losing his cool.
"He wasn't a violent kid," he said, but acknowledged he'd seen Mr. McKENZIE just three times, for a total of about 20 minutes, in the two years since he left Richardson. The last time was just before Christmas, when the young man dropped by the school after his first semester in the police foundations program at Durham College in Oshawa.
Mr. McFETTERS said Mr. McKENZIE was conflicted over whether to continue his studies, citing the cost and the commute as challenges.
"If he wasn't sure what he wanted to do, he didn't want to go [back to college] until he could figure things out," the coach said.
With that, he asked Mr. McFETTERS about his wife and daughter, and congratulated him on the impending birth of a second child.
With his death, "there's just questions that I don't know if we're ever going to get the answers to now," the coach said.
Similar questions are circulating among Mr. McKENZIE's Friends, 236 of whom are linked to his profile on hi5.com, a Web gathering place. Since his death, many have posted photos and comments, written in the vernacular of on-line chat.
"i cant begin 2 understand y USA did wat USA did," wrote one. 'it wasnt ur thing… it wasnt like u. buh im not tryna hold nothing on u. Ire gota 4give u… even tho now ur gone 4ever."
Several young women claimed Mr. McKENZIE as their dream man, and gave accounts of long telephone conversations, nights out dancing, tender moments and hopes for a future together.
In an interview this week, Jennifer VIEIRA, 19, said Mr. McKENZIE's attractiveness was no mystery when she met him after the 2004 Caribana parade in downtown Toronto. He was not only well-dressed, but also a gentleman.
"He said, 'I'll call you in a couple of hours,' and he actually called me back later," she said. "He was coming off real. He wasn't being fake at all."
What was real and what was fake is sure to cross the minds of many at Mr. McKENZIE's funeral this morning, inside the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Pickering.
But inside the church and out, it seems, God only knows.

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BMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-05-31 published
FOSTER, Vincent Alexander - Estate of
Notice To Creditors
Creditors and others having claims against the estate of Vincent Alexander FOSTER, late of the City of Scarborough, Ontario, who died on August 17, 2005, are required to send full particulars of such claims to the undersigned Trustee on or before the 28th day of June, 2006 after which date the estate's assets will be distributed, having regard only to claims that have then been received.
BMO Trust Company
agent for the Estate Trustee with a Will,
by their solicitor: Laura M. TYRRELL
68 Airdrie Road
Toronto, Ontario, M4G 1M2
Page B15

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BMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-07 published
FOSTER, Vincent Alexander - Estate of
Notice To Creditors
Creditors and others having claims against the estate of Vincent Alexander FOSTER, late of the City of Scarborough, Ontario, who died on August 17, 2005, are required to send full particulars of such claims to the undersigned Trustee on or before the 28th day of June, 2006 after which date the estate's assets will be distributed, having regard only to claims that have then been received.
BMO Trust Company
agent for the Estate Trustee with a Will,
by their solicitor: Laura M. TYRRELL
68 Airdrie Road
Toronto, Ontario, M4G 1M2
Page B9

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BMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-20 published
BARKER, Edward " Hugh"
(Member of St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church for 61 years)
Passed away on Monday, June 19, 2006, in his 93rd year. Beloved husband of Ruth WADDINGTON for 62 years. Dear father of Nancy DORKIN, Margaret (Andi KASPEROWITSCH), Edward (Tish O'CONNELL), Marion (Brian GRAHAM,) Sharon (Dana STANLEY) and Susan (Kevin DONNELLY.) Loving grandfather of Cynthia (Greg CURTIS,) Catherine, Lisa, John, Clare, Daniel, Jeffrey, Christine, Sean, Adam, Laura, Jessica, Jack, Rory and Erin. Great-grandfather of Brianna and Shawna. Dad began his working career at the Board of the Toronto Stock Exchange at age 19, ultimately becoming a stock broker for Bongard and Co. (BMO Nesbitt Burns) for 42 years. A lifelong baseball fan, he could still recite stats and players names from years gone by up until a week before his passing. A kind and thoughtful man who would give the clothes off his back if he thought that it would help you. May it comfort all to know that he left us feeling contented and peaceful. We would like to extend appreciation and heartful thanks to the doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook and Toronto Grace Hospitals for their care and compassion and to the staff at 921 Millwood. The family will receive Friends from one o'clock on Saturday, June 24, 2006 in St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church, 1399 Bayview Avenue for a memorial service at two o'clock. In lieu of flowers, donations in Hugh's memory may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, 1920 Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto M4S 3E2 or to the Scott Mission, 502 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2H1.

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BMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-08 published
BARKER, Edward Hugh -- Dispatch:
By Suzanne MA, Page M4
A week before he died, Edward Hugh BARKER could still recite baseball statistics and players' names from years ago. "You could talk about any game in any World Series and he seemed to know all the players and almost all the game-by-game scores," says his son, Edward John BARKER. "I used to go on the Internet and ask him questions, and he would know all the answers."
Mr. BARKER was born in Toronto in 1914 and started working as a stockbroker when he was 19, ultimately spending 42 years at Bongard and Co. (now part of BMO Nesbitt Burns.)
In 1943, he saw Ruth WADDINGTON across the dance floor at a nightclub in Toronto. He asked her to dance, and less than a year later they were married. They would have six children -- five girls and one boy -- 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In the evenings and on weekends, father and son walked every square inch of their Leaside neighbourhood - taking long hikes, fishing, playing catch, strolling by the railroad and watching the trains flatten pennies they would later use as guitar picks. And of course, taking the subway downtown to watch baseball games. When Edward John BARKER got married in 1978, his father was his best man.
And while Mr. BARKER loved playing ball with his son, he didn't hesitate to share his mitts with others either.
One winter day while walking around Queen's Park, he saw a man shovelling snow without gloves. He took off his own and offered them to the man, who gratefully accepted them.
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