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"GWI" 2007 Obituary


GWILT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-07-03 published
Toddler dies after dog mauling
By Alwynne GWILT and Unnati GANDHI, Page A6
Smiths Falls, Ontario and Toronto -- A 17-month-old girl was mauled to death by a family dog over the long weekend.
Korie-Lyn EDWARDS's family had gathered at her grandmother's rural house in Montague Township, about 80 kilometres southwest of Ottawa, for the Canada Day weekend.
About 6: 30 p.m. on Sunday, the toddler wandered over to where her grandmother's 10-year-old Rottweiler-German Shepherd was chained in the backyard.
The dog attacked.
"She suffered obviously fatal injuries to the head," Ontario Provincial Police Constable Kevin DAVIDSON said yesterday.
Korie-Lyn's parents rushed her to Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, he said.
She was then immediately airlifted to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa where she succumbed to her injuries.
An autopsy was performed yesterday, but results weren't immediately available.
The dog had no history of aggressive behaviour, Constable DAVIDSON said, and it had been socialized with various family members and children.
"That's what makes this situation that much more tragic," the constable said yesterday.
The dog was taken into custody by animal control, and, at the family's request, is scheduled to be put down today.
Constable DAVIDSON said no charges are pending.
No one was at the family's duplex in Smiths Falls yesterday - about six kilometres west of the grandmother's home - where two strollers were in view near a large maple tree with wind chimes in the front yard.
The couple, both in their 20s, had moved in two months ago with their young daughter, said Dino MUSCA, their landlord. He said he often saw the mother taking walks around the neighbourhood with the girl in a stroller. The family did not own a car.
"They were keeping to themselves a lot, but I know a lot of people in town know them," he said, adding that the mother had come to his house once to use the phone.
Around the back of the home, a Dora the Explorer patio set was clearly visible, along with a large children's paddling pool with toys still floating in it.
On the front door, a sign that read "Parking For Pitbull" was above another that read, "Owners only. Violators better haul ass."

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GWILT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-10 published
One of Canada's last explorers, he mapped vast regions of the North
Ottawa scientist who spent 35 years working for the Geological Survey of Canada found rock stardom in the wilderness as a pre-eminent expert on Precambrian formations
By Alwynne GWILT, Page S9
Fred TAILOR/TAYLOR was one of Canada's last explorers. A scientist with boots and a backpack, he mapped vast areas of the geologically unknown North to accumulate a motherlode of data about the rocks, minerals and formations that make up one of the largest and oldest landmasses on Earth. His maps are still used for exploration today and some have said he deserves a medal for the amount of territory he covered in his years of service to the Geological Survey of Canada.
He hadn't always intended to be a geologist. He grew up in London, amid the rich, loamy farmlands characteristic of that part of Ontario, and hankered to be a veterinarian. A child of the Depression, he was raised in his grandmother Elizabeth's home on Simcoe Street, where he lived with his English immigrant parents, Samuel and Lydia. It was a time when few people had jobs and his family often did without. It was a hardship that would affect Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR in later years.
By the time the Second World War came around, he was a lean 13-year old whose height made him look older than he was. In 1942, he signed up illegally as an underage army recruit, but it was not until 1945 that he made it overseas. He fought in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France, an experience he seldom talked about except for the inexplicable remark that he owed his life to his general.
When peace returned, he was demobilized and given two choices by the government: a home or an education. Not yet 20 when the war ended, he thought about where an education might take him. A house was for older men. In 1946, he applied to veterinary school at the University of Western Ontario, only to be disappointed. Apparently, so many former servicemen wanted to be vets that the school asked him to select a different major. For no particular reason, he chose geology. The decision changed the course of his life.
By all accounts, it was a year of major life developments. At a traditional Saturday-night dance at the local arena, where boys lined one wall and girls the other wall until someone broke the ice, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR picked out a 22-year-old employee of an insurance agency employee named Shirley and asked her to dance. Later that evening, he walked her home and a romance took root.
In the early years, they bonded over her access to technology: She had a typewriter; he had essays to write. By 1949, those key strokes had earned him a degree in geology and a hand in marriage. After a September wedding, they took off for postgraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal. It was a time of renewed poverty. At $90 a month, his government veteran's stipend was hardly enough to sustain them. Shirley got a job, and they postponed having children.
He left McGill with a doctorate (although he loathed being addressed as "Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR") and landed at job with Cominco in Trail, British Columbia There, the TAYLORs started their family. Daughter Virginia was born in a Cranbrook hospital in January, 1954, and son Mark arrived 11 months later in Ottawa.
By then, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR had accepted a job at the Geological Survey of Canada. As an expert in Precambrian rock formations, he was on track to rock stardom. Strong and fit, and with a bent for exploration, it was his job to go to remote regions, take samples and create detailed maps -- often of places where none existed.
Each summer began the same way: In June, his children tearfully waved goodbye and he departed on another dangerous four-month mission in the North. The bush planes were unsophisticated, the bears ran rampant and the weather dictated what he and others in his party would eat that week. (If supplies couldn't get in, it was oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.) For Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR, though, it was all a grand adventure -- if sometimes perilous.
One summer, he was stranded in northern Manitoba with four student geologists, forgotten by their pilot. Without a radio to contact the outside world, they were running out of food and living mainly on fish when he made a bold decision. Selecting one of the students, he left the others in camp and canoed south along the shore of Hudson's Bay to Churchill, a 150-kilometre journey that demanded long days of paddling with little to eat.
It was a long and arduous voyage along a hostile coast that could be negotiated only in daylight hours. When evening came, they went ashore and made camp. One night, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR woke up with the awful realization that he had forgotten about the tide. The canoe had drifted out and he had to jump in the water and go after it. When finally they reached Churchill, he went ashore in such a fury that he stalked into the airplane company office, found the errant pilot and punched him out.
Over the years, there were few parts of the North that did not feel the sole of Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR's boots. Some seasons, he and his team covered a different area every day. In the early years, that meant the eastern half of Hill Island Lake and Snowbird Lake in the District of Mackenzie, along with Shethanei Lake in Manitoba. Called reconnaissance missions, the teams would break up and explore grids that had been laid out over a simple map. Each grid square had to be individually detailed, with samples gathered.
"It was exciting to find new formations that no one had ever discovered before," said Doctor Hulbert Lee, who first worked with Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR in 1953. "These maps have stood the test of time."
Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR covered about 22 kilometres a day, returning to camp near the end of each long Northern evening with a pack full of rock samples. He'd make dinner out of whatever canned food was available and pack the next day's lunch before settling down in a rough tent to write up his notes and sleep. Eventually, the notes became full-fledged papers that found homes in 65 scholarly publications between 1956 and 1986.
Perhaps his most important work was a five-year mapping of the Torngat Mountains on the Labrador Peninsula. Between 1966 and 1971, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR helped run one of the last helicopter reconnaissance missions in Canada. Transported by Bell 47 G2 helicopters, he mapped areas by grid division. Pilots would land as close as possible to a designated grid point, and with the rotor blades still whirling, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR would jump out and grab a rock sample, make notes about the area and take a reading of the minerals. He was then flown to the next grid. Every day, he performed as many as 50 such traverses. By the end of 1971, the work had led to the completion of 18 mapping sheets at the 1: 250,000 scale. The maps are still in use today.
"It sounds like boring work… but it was absolutely necessary to cover the country," said Richard Herd, the curator of national collections at the Geological Survey of Canada.
Yet it wasn't all so repetitive. There were encounters with polar bears, the trading of sugar for soapstone rubbings and some of the best salmon fishing in the world. One summer in the Torngat Mountains, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR took a fellow geologist to a secret fishing hole. "He pointed out a place and the helicopter pilot flew backwards into the canyon," said Bill Morgan, who worked with Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR in 1969 and 1972. "No one had ever fished in there. It was just incredible."
Every autumn, Doctor TAILOR/TAYLOR returned to Ottawa fed up with eating canned food. His first order of business would be to eat a fresh tomato out of the back garden. For the rest of the year, he would rewrite his notes and review his findings.
Family life was spent coaching his sons' hockey teams, attending school plays and spending a lot of time with the children.
In 1974, he and his wife divorced after 25 years of marriage. He bought the family home for himself and continued at Geological Survey of Canada until 1989. He never threw anything away, a compulsion that harked back to his days of childhood poverty, but remained an outdoorsman. He stayed fit by playing tennis, and tended a large vegetable garden and some giant white and red-speckled begonias that had been passed down to him from his grandmother's garden. His eyes never came to rest on another polar bear, but he was blessed by a pair of falcons that nested in his backyard.
Fred TAILOR/TAYLOR was born in London, Ontario, on November 11, 1925. He died in Ottawa on July 3, 2007, of a heart attack after suffering complications from a rare blood disorder. He was 81. He is survived by his three children, Virginia, Mark and Craig.

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GWILT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-10 published
Detective with a steel-trap memory excelled at undercover surveillance
He did everything from wire tapping to following vehicles, even though weaving in and out of traffic while remaining undetected by a suspect is not for everyone
By Alwynne GWILT, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S10
John (Freebie) FREEMAN was a York Regional detective in Ontario who never gave up a case until all the parts of the puzzle were perfectly in place. For much of his career, he was a surveillance expert with a steel-trap memory who knew the name, address and activities of every bad guy in his bailiwick.
The son of a dentist father and a homemaker mother, he grew up in a two-storey brick home on Chine Drive in Scarborough, now part of Toronto. As a boy, he was surrounded by a large extended family. In 1964, his father and uncle bought an outdoor skating rink that they called Little Switzerland; it was the job of the family men to keep it up, packing snow down and flooding it on cold winter nights. He spent a couple of winters with his cousin, Greg, working at the rink, before both families decided to go rural and move to the village of Zephyr, just north of Uxbridge, Ontario, where home became about 80 hectares of blissful farmland. Along with his cousins, he bused 15 kilometres every day to attend secondary school in Uxbridge.
But country life was not for him. As soon as he turned 19, he joined the Toronto Metro Police. For a young man who loved almost any kind of motor vehicle, the highlight of joining so young was to be assigned the use of a Harley Davidson police motorcycle. They were fast times: From his motor bikes to his new job and a marriage at 21 to Ellen Dianne HENDERSON, Mr. FREEMAN left city life nearly as quickly as he entered it. After only four years in Toronto, he moved north to York Regional Police, where he would spend the rest of his career. In 1975, he began work as a uniformed officer in Newmarket, Ontario
Five years later, he was selected to be part of York Region's first surveillance unit. He had a near-photographic memory that was perfect for the job, and there was rarely a criminal whose name, address and activities he did not know by heart or could not recount easily to colleagues. Friends considered him a walking computer and liked to ask random questions simply to see whether he knew the answer.
As part of the Special Sections Unit, his work entailed everything from wire tapping to following vehicles. It was his love of driving that really cut him out as the person to tail cars. Weaving in and out of traffic while remaining undetected by the suspect is not a job for every police officer, but it was a skill that Mr. FREEMAN mastered, according to York Regional Police Chief Armand LA BARGE.
"If you're careless, you'd never survive," Mr. LA BARGE said. "But he had abilities beyond the norm, and there was a passion in Craig."
But Mr. FREEMAN possessed more than just memory skills and excelled at connecting with people through his quiet wit and friendly manner. Known as Freebie, he possessed a relaxed demeanour that came in handy when a situation needed to be defused. Answering a complaint about a noisy bar in nearby Vaughan, he convinced the owner that, rather than trying to lower the decibels, maybe the party should be fully shut down. Where most police officers would get an angry response, Mr. FREEMAN found respect.
Colleagues said you could also never tell whether he was serious or joking. Wes BONNER, his former partner, liked to recount the story of a female officer from outside the district who arrived dressed in a leather outfit.
"I just love a woman when she dresses in leather," remarked Mr. FREEMAN.
"What do you mean by that?" she asked.
"Well, you smell like a new car."
During the early years in surveillance, Mr. FREEMAN became especially close to his team, since the unit's six or seven members worked the same hours. They spent off-time together, sometimes becoming close enough to share Christmas holidays or vacation trips. It wasn't easy work and could be dangerous, investigating organized crime, auto theft and motorcycle gangs. After only a couple of years, Mr. FREEMAN was promoted to detective and took over running his team.
Everyone in the unit knew they had to pull their weight to meet his expectations. Mr. FREEMAN saw hard work as simply keeping up the standards he felt every officer should share - in the work, the uniform or even the vehicle they drove. As detective, most of his work should have been focused behind the desk or in administrative duties, but he could often be seen hopping in a car with colleagues and chasing after criminals.
During this time, he separated from and then divorced his wife. Later, he met Daneen RAE, a fellow police officer. The two became close and moved in together. In the mid-1980s, Ms. RAE was diagnosed with leukemia and given just three months to live. He stuck with her and she fought on for more than three years before dying in 1988. Not long afterward, Mr. FREEMAN transferred out of the special sections unit.
In April of 1994, he unexpectedly experienced a change in his social life that would set the course for years to come. At 42, he met the love of his life on a blind date set up by one of her Friends. Craig FREEMAN and Doctor Carol ROLHEISER made an unusual couple: She was an associated dean at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, while he was deep in the subculture of law enforcement.
In 1997, they married. But while honeymooning in San Francisco, Mr. FREEMAN began having problems with pain in his feet. When he returned to work, he began a quest to find out what on earth was troubling him. Over the next couple of years, he tried to figure out the cause, but he and his doctors remained puzzled. When he was finally hospitalized because of a blood clot, doctors suggested amputating his legs. That struck him as a ridiculous notion.
Dr. ROLHEISER called in some favours through her university network and the couple found a doctor who finally solved the mystery. Three years in, Mr. FREEMAN found out he was suffering from POEMS syndrome, a very rare blood disorder with no real explanation that doctors believe may involve an overgrowth of bone-marrow cells. Its unusual acronym is made up from elements of its most common symptoms: Polyneuropathy (peripheral nerve damage); organomegaly (abnormal enlargement of organs); endocrinopathy (damage to hormone-producing glands)/Edema; M protein (an abnormal antibody); and skin abnormalities.
In the end, doctors had to amputate one leg below the knee. For the next seven years, Mr. FREEMAN maintained a positive attitude and acquired all the gadgets necessary to outfit a van in a way that would allow him to motor on. Although he technically semi-retired in 1999, he remained a member of the police force and delighted in finding his Friends gifts on the Internet. Sometimes, colleagues would open the door to discover a new kitchen gadget or even, since he was the "world's biggest Jimmy Buffet fan," the latest margarita machine.
This year, with his health deteriorating, Mr. FREEMAN drove himself to his official retirement ceremony, but fell very ill in August. In hospital, he charmed the staff with his attitude. Even in his last days, his humour was not to be messed with.
"Do you know you are in Toronto General Hospital?" asked Doctor ROLHEISER, testing his cognition.
"Well, I'm not in Kansas City," he replied.
John Craig FREEMAN was born in Toronto on July 6, 1952. He died at Toronto General Hospital on August 19, 2007. He was 55. He is survived by his wife, Carol ROLHEISER, and his brother, Mark FREEMAN. He also leaves many others in his extended family.

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