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"CKC" 2003 Obituary


CKCK o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-29 published
MacRAE, John Ross
Died peacefully on April 26, 2003 at North York General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 84. Ross was born in Winnipeg in 1918, and later moved to Regina when his father, D.B. MacRAE, became editor of the Regina Leader-Post. Ross was a musical prodigy, learning the violin, trumpet and piano, and even during the Depression as a teenager he earned money as a classical violin performer and with a swing band he started. He worked as an announcer at CKCK radio in Regina, then briefly in radio after moving to Toronto before getting a job at the Cockfield-Brown advertising agency, where he remained until his retirement in 1978. At Cockfield, Ross was one of the pioneers in television advertising, and with old friend Brian HAWKINS, created the Expo 67 commercials that became television works of art. When he retired he was a vice-president and in charge of the agency's outstanding radio and television unit. But active life didn't end then. For many years Ross played violin with the semi-professional North York Symphony Orchestra, and later with the East York Symphony (now part of Orchestra Toronto), and with a string quartet. He was also an ardent golfer right to the end of his life, and rarely missed the annual Maxville Highland Games in Glengarry County, where his family's ancestors first settled in Canada in the early 1800s. Above all, Ross had a love of life and a sense of humour backed by an apparently endless fund of stories that endeared him to everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by his sons, Paul and Scott (Denise), their mother Phyllis, daughter-in-law Sherry BRYDSON, and grandchildren David, Kevin, Sean, Gaye, Duncan, Cameron and Holly; by nephew Bruce MacDOUGALL (Lucy WAVERMAN) and their children, Alexander, Emma, Katie and Robyn; by the family of Ross's sister Isobel LEES who, with sisters Margaret and Betty, predeceased him; by the family of Eunice McGILLIS, Ross's second wife, who predeceased him; by his good friend Mary MacMILLAN and her family; and by Ross's many Friends, former co-workers, and fellow golfers and musicians. The family has only thanks and praise for the work of the doctors, nurses and staff at North York General Hospital, who cared for Ross during and after his abdominal surgery. A memorial will be held in Toronto on Saturday, May 24, at 5 p.m. at The Elmwood Terrace Room, fourth floor, 18 Elm Street. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Orchestra Toronto and/or the North York General Hospital.

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