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"VER" 2003 Obituary


VERASAMY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-28 published
By Carrol VERASAMY and Jennifer CHAITON Tuesday, January 28, 2003, Page A20
Mother, wife, businesswoman, survivor. Born July 3, 1931, in Guyana. Died May 4, 2002, of esophageal cancer, in Toronto, aged Hilda was the ultimate survivor. Born to hardworking parents, our mom was orphaned at 3 and drifted from one relative to another over the years, doing housework and working in rice fields for pennies a day. She watched with envy as other girls went off to school and enjoyed a normal childhood. For her, school was just a dream.
She grew up and married a handsome accountant, our dad Joe, and they had 10 children, the youngest a set of twins. She wanted to provide us with everything she lacked as a child, and our education was her top priority. There never seemed to be enough money to go around, yet mom always found the money for our textbooks and tuition fees. At night she would hand-wash our school uniforms, white socks, and sneakers, and hang them under light bulbs to dry, so we could have clean uniforms to wear every morning. Although these years were difficult, mom remembered them as the best years of her life.
After dad retired, they bought a struggling hotel-and-restaurant business, but it barely kept the family afloat.
In 1971, mom faced her biggest challenge when dad died suddenly, leaving no savings or life insurance. She was left on her own, with 10 children to raise. Well-meaning relatives offered to take some of the children, but mom adamantly refused to split up her family. Her survival instinct went into high gear and she found within herself incredible strength and wisdom that even she hadn't known she possessed. She built up a struggling hotel business, and despite her inexperience and lack of education, it became a thriving success within a short time. She became financially independent and was able to build a big house in the country; we lived there comfortably.
In 1974, one of mom's beloved twins, Donna, died tragically in a car accident. Mom survived this as she had the many previous adversities in her life: with extraordinary strength and spirit.
In 1982, the family emigrated to Canada to begin a new life. It was an enormous adjustment as mom was past 50, but she worked as a day-care provider, and finally got the chance to attend school, fulfilling her childhood dream. This wasn't easy for her but she refused to quit, and her perseverance paid off. What an accomplishment it was for mom to finally be able to read her beloved Bible! She was thrilled when she could write her own letters and cards to her grandkids. She began volunteer work at Warden Woods Community Centre, Bendale Nursing Home, and Agincourt Pentecostal Church. She was always willing to help anyone in need. Even when her health started to deteriorate, she refused to slow down.
Mom took great pride in watching her children grow into successful adults. She became a grandmother of 22 and great-grandmother of six. Her happiest times were with her family, and she eagerly looked forward to our large family gatherings. When she turned 70, in July, 2001, we held a big birthday party in her honour. That night, mom was the happiest we had ever seen her.
Just three months later came the devastating diagnosis of cancer. Although in great pain, mom remained optimistic to the very end, her faith in God never wavering. She believed that God was going to cure her as she had so much work left to do! But God had other plans. After a heroic battle, she died on a crisp spring morning, all her children at her bedside, a peaceful look on her face.
Mom will always be remembered for her fierce independence, determination, and courage: a phenomenal matriarch.
Carrol and Jennifer are Hilda's daughters.
Died This Day
Friday, January 31, 2003, Page R15
John Beverley ROBINSON, 1863
Lawyer, Family Compact leader, born on July 26, 1791, in Berthier, Quebec; Attorney-General of Upper Canada and later Chief Justice stalwart of the Family Compact that ruled the colony; favoured imperial unity against "pernicious American influences"; died in Toronto.

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VERBOOM o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-02-12 published
Michael Benn JANSEN
In loving memory of Michael Benn JANSEN who passed away on Friday, February 7, 2003 at Sudbury General Hospital at the age of 23 years.
Husband of Christine. Father of Alexandra and Brianna. son of Evert & Barbara JANSEN. Brother of Serena and husband Marius VERBOOM of Providence Bay, Kyla at home, Erica of Kingston and Peter at home. Grandson of Alie JANSEN of Whitby and Azetta STEPHENS of Little Current. Predeceased by grandfathers Cornelis JANSEN and Ellwood STEPHENS. Brother-in-law of Nathan POLMATEER. Visitation was held on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at Island Funeral Home. Funeral Service at 11: 00 am Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at Grace Bible Church.

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VERCHERE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-04 published
VERCHERE, Lilian Frances Anne "Fanta" (formerly MacLEAN, née TAIT/TAITE/TATE)
Died peacefully on August 29, 2003, at the age of 96. Predeceased by her brother Ian TAIT/TAITE/TATE, her nephew Wallace TAIT, first husband Daniel MacLEAN and second husband Hon. David R. VERCHERE. She is survived by her grand-nieces Fanta TAIT/TAITE/TATE and Andrea TAIT, and grand-nephews Ian TAIT/TAITE/TATE and Christopher TAIT. Fanta served with the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Services for 12 proud years. She was a sparkling conversationalist, loved by family and Friends of all ages. She will be remembered for her grace and enduring elegance. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 at 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Church, 1130 Jervis Street, Vancouver. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Arthritis Society would be appreciated.

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VERNER o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-01-15 published
Maryann Catherine VERNER
In loving memory of Mary Ann Catherine VERNER, June 9, 1939 to January 6, 2003.
Maryann VERNER, a resident of R. R. #1, Evansville, passed away at the Manitoulin Health Centre, Mindemoya, on Monday, January 6, 2003 at the age of 63 years. She was born in Toronto, daughter of the late Wesley and Catherine DAY. Mary Ann was a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and through her talents as a musician, had a wide range of experience, having played for the Billy Graham Crusade, the People's Church in Toronto, organist at Centennial Rouge Church in Toronto for 10 years, and organist at Lyon's Memorial United Church in Gore Bay for about 12 years. Before her marriage to Harry on December 19, 1959, she had worked as an assistant at CBC, working with Norman JEWISON in Toronto and New York. She had also worked as a secretary for Eaton's and Capitol Records. She also enjoyed handcrafts, but her greatest enjoyment was her music and family. Dearly loved wife of Harry VERNER of Evansville loved mother of Catherine and husband Doug REIMER of Scarborough Gregory and wife Sherry of Sault Ste. Marie James and wife Terry of Burnt River and Amy, friend Paul MILLER of Hamilton. Proud grandmother of Stephen, Jacob, Kari, Justin, Silken, Nathan and Sarah and three great grandchildren.
The funeral service was conducted at the Burpee Mills Complex on Thursday, January 9, 2003 with Reverend Mary Jo Eckert Tracy and Mr. Erwin Thompson officiating. Spring interment in Mills Cemetery.
Culgin Funeral Home

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VERNON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-02 published
Jean Watson VERNON
By Kate BARLOW Thursday, October 2, 2003 - Page A26
Singer, teacher. Born April 23, 1909, in Scotland. Died August 12 in Oakville, Ontario, of natural causes, aged 94.
Coloratura contralto Jean WATSON sang in each province in Canada and every state of the Union during the Second World War, taking her magnificent three-octave voice to the war weary. This Canadian singer was the first "British" singer to be invited to sing at the great Wagner Festival at Bayreuth, Germany, after that war.
She performed with the great conductors of the age -- Bruno Walter, Eugene Ormandy and Serge Koussevitsky -- always to sensational reviews. She sang more than a dozen concerts in Carnegie Hall represented Canada in the elite choir assembled for Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953 and became a principal contralto at Covent Garden.
I knew none of this in 1981 when I enrolled in a creative writing course. Our instructor asked us to introduce ourselves. Then the turn came of the smartly dressed woman sitting opposite. She appeared to be in her mid-fifties. Huge brown eyes looked out from a still striking face, made up to the nines. Her blond hair was immaculate and so were her clothes.
We listened spellbound as this stranger recounted, in carefully modulated tones, how she had been born in Scotland, emigrated to Canada with her family when she was 10, studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and in New York. She had returned to Britain after the war, she said, to try her fortune as an opera singer. Oh yes, and she had sung at Covent Garden and in Westminster Abbey at the Queen's Coronation, before losing her voice to breast cancer. She had recently returned to Canada, after the death of her beloved husband, Edmond VERNON.
(When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, what she feared above death itself happened. The radical mastectomy affected her chest muscles, ruining that huge voice; a voice still capable of sending shivers down my spine when I listen to a rare scratchy 78 rpm vinyl recording of Jean singing Abide with Me, accompanied by the great Gerald Moore.)
Her tale seemed too gothic, even for an embryo writer. I was intrigued and gave her a lift home at the end of the class. I had never before met a true "diva." It proved an education. She had had a great voice. She said so herself. If you asked her opinion on some deathless prose you had written, she told the truth. Even in her eighties, she retained that "star quality" of hers, usually becoming the centre of attention at social gatherings.
Jean had loved her husband Edmond deeply and in return been equally loved by the eminent research chemist, who had put his own career on hold to follow her around the world's great concert and opera houses. And who then supported her in her time of trial.
After her voice was gone and she had conquered her initial despair, she taught music to small children in the pre-prep school of the famous English private school Harrow, where her husband had found work as a master.
When her husband died suddenly, shortly before he was due to retire, Jean returned to Canada, moving to Oakville, Ontario, to be near her brother. But her right arm began to wither, as a result of the cancer operation all those years before. Undeterred, the right-handed Jean wrote a Harlequin Romance novel using just her left hand. She was 79 when Love's Perjury, written under the pen name Marina Francis (she disliked British royal, Princess Marina, as much as she admired writer, Dick Francis) was released in 1988. It proved a bestseller in the romance genre and was translated into seven languages.
Jean died in a long-term care centre, leaving only a few old recordings of her magnificent voice.
Kate BARLOW is a friend of Jean.

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