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"LYO" 2003 Obituary


LYON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-29 published
By Issie LYON Monday, September 29, 2003 - Page A20
Psychologist, friend, reader, mother. Born August 23, 1949, in Montreal. Died July 5 in Toronto, of cancer, aged 53.
Everyone who knew Carole knew what a brilliant woman she was. She was an intellectual, a reader, a thinker, who was always exploring new ideas and seeking to use her own mind to understand the world better, and to understand herself better. In this sense, the profession of psychology was really perfect for her, because plumbing the human mind for insight and understanding was so important to her. Her book club, her Bible study group, her earlier explorations of (among many things) Gestalt and Virginia Satir testify to the restlessness of her intellectual search for meaning. When a book or a movie or an opera touched her, no one could be more enthusiastic about singing its praises than Carole, because she was so passionate about her search for meaning, was always so open to new ideas. When she loved something, she really loved it, because she learned from it.
One of the extraordinary things about Carole was that for all of her intellectual strengths, she was never an ivory tower type. She was always determined to use the mind, and the PhD that she had earned, to help others. Nothing gave Carole more pleasure than when she helped a client make progress. At the Scarborough school board, she devoted herself to helping single mothers, and to anti-racism work. Clients she had in her private practice had tremendous respect, and affection, for her as someone who really cared.
Those Carole helped were not only clients. Carole's Friendships were so important to her. She inspired tremendous loyalty in her Friends, some going all the way back to kindergarten in Montreal and the Laurentians, and of course from the decades she spent in Toronto. She loved to help build up her Friends in whatever ways she could, and in particular she loved to make connections and matches among her Friends. The parties she and I threw were always a pleasure for her, because they brought people together. The Sunday healing circles of the last few months were the finest expressions of this aspect of Carole. She brought people from different parts of her life together so that the networks of people she cared about would come to know each other and support each other through this difficult time.
Family was so important to Carole. She enjoyed getting together with her large and close extended family. She was also a wonderful mother to Matthew and Josh. Carole derived great comfort from the fact that she and I had raised two good boys, whom, she felt confident, had the resources and tools to construct good and productive lives for themselves. She was always very proud of her boys. Carole was a wonderful role model for them as someone who was inquisitive, someone who always had a book in her hand, and who was open to learning new things.
Carole brought tremendous energy to whatever she did -- her professional life, her marriage, her role as mother, her Friendships, her sports, her pottery, and her constant quest for self-improvement. This energy often came along with strong opinions, and she had high standards for those around her. But she was always toughest on herself. She always wanted to be the best; nothing less was good enough. Because she was always seeking to grow, she never stagnated. But that restlessness must not have been easy for her. And perhaps that's why her backyard garden was so important to her. She loved her quiet little oasis in the middle of the big city. She loved her flowers, and the birds, which would come feed. For someone whose nature was to be always on the go, that garden provided a very important sanctuary for her, where she could just be.
Issie LYON and Carole YELLIN were together for almost 30 years.

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