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"OBE" 2007 Obituary


O'BEIRNE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-07-28 published
O'BEIRNE, Hugh James
Born in Ireland, died July 26, 2007 in his seventy-fourth year at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, after a courageous battle with cancer. son of the late Alphonsus O'BEIRNE and Brigid McDONNELL. Brother to Betty, Brigid HURLEY (Victor,) and Richard O'BEIRNE (Mary.) Predeceased by his sisters Frances and Gertie. Lovingly missed by his wife Henriette BOISVERT and his children Patricia (Elvidio), Allan, Michael (Jennifer), and Carole (Michael). Proud grandfather of Jessica, Maggie, Stefan and Félix. Hugh graduated as a civil engineer in Dublin and worked all over the world. We will always remember his love of nature, literature and a good yarn. The family wishes to thank Doctor Gerry Batist, Dr. Bernard Lapointe, Doctor David Melnychuk, and the staff and volunteers of the Segal Cancer Centre and the 4 Main Palliative Care unit of the Jewish General Hospital for their care and compassion. Visitation will be held at Maison Darche, 7679 Taschereau, Brossard, Quebec, Thursday, August 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday, August 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Service to follow. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Hope and Cope program of the Jewish General Hospital would be appreciated, 514-340-8255. 'Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.'

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OBERDORF o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-09-29 published
'Country gentleman' doubled as the gravel-voiced Nose of Algonquin
Disarmingly direct, he kept a close eye on his resort's decorum and his campers' secrets
By Charles OBERDORF, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S12
For 30 years, most people met Eugene KATES as the proprietor of Arowhon Pines, the luxury resort in Ontario's Algonquin Park. Although sometimes disarmingly direct, he had the manners and style of what an earlier generation called a "country gentleman." In charge but at ease, he made a very reassuring host.
Mr. KATES's gentlemanly side often came as a revelation to the two generations of summer campers, more than 5,000 children and adolescents, who knew him in the 30 years before 1975 as the fearsome, gravel-voiced autocrat who owned and ran Camp Arowhon, two lakes away from "the Pines."
Seth GODIN, a former Arowhon camper and counsellor who is now a widely read marketing guru, wrote recently that, "In an age of 'the customer is king,' Eugene was an anachronism. He never said things to make people happy, didn't sugarcoat his point of view and didn't compromise. He stood up to the government, to rangers, to staff and even to his customers, the parents. He wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought, and it didn't take long to guess what he expected."
Behind his back, campers called him The Nose. That hurt, but as his daughter Joanne, now Arowhon's camp director (and in winter, this newspaper's restaurant critic), tried to tell him, it was really a backhanded compliment. Although he rarely dealt with campers individually - that was the counsellors' job - he always seemed to know everything that went on, including each child's most embarrassing secrets. The full phrase was "The Nose knows."
And so he did. When two counsellors-in-training got caught smoking marijuana, Mr. KATES immediately began arranging to send them home. Not an easy decision; one of the two was very popular and also a close relative. Within hours, one senior counsellor had begun organizing a resistance: "If those two have to go home, we should all quit."
Mr. KATES called a staff meeting for 11 p.m. His decision was final, he said, adding that he had heard talk about quitting. "I'm going into my office now," he said. "If any of you want to leave, meet me there and we'll do the paperwork." No one took him up on it.
However, he was less hard-hearted than his young charges thought. His second wife, Helen, remembers a pale yellow bathrobe in which he would patrol the grounds when he thought some campers were staying up too late. Helen, new and conscientious, took a walk herself one night, caught a boy in one of the girls' cabins and marched the miscreants to the director's cabin. Later, he told her gently that the idea wasn't really to catch anyone. It was enough that campers saw the yellow bathrobe and got scared back to where they belonged.
Eugene KATES was born in Toronto, the elder child and only son of Max KATES, a dentist, and his wife, Lillian. He grew up on Edgar Avenue in Rosedale, attended St. Andrew's College, Elm House School and Upper Canada College until his final school year, 1932-33, when he transferred to the University of Toronto Schools. At the university itself, he studied math, physics and chemistry. He then went for a short time to Rochester, New York to learn film editing, hoping to work in the industry.
But the Depression was cutting deeply into his father's income, and to eke things out, Lillian KATES determined to open a children's camp in Algonquin Park. She took over the lease on a bankrupt family campground, renamed it Arowhon (from Samuel Butler's utopian novel Erewhon - and "arrow"), and in 1934, signed up her first 60 campers, recruiting them through the sisterhoods of Reform synagogues within one day's drive of Toronto. Mr. KATES, then 20, dealt with logistics.
"The cabins had no lights, no running water," he later recalled. "There was a smelly central toilet system and a kitchen with a couple of old wood-burning stoves. To keep food cold, we had to cut ice from the lake in wintertime, carry it to the icehouse and pack it in sawdust. I was as much trouble as I was a value, but I installed a small 32-volt generator, which allowed a 25-watt bulb in each of the camper cabins. Almost every time there was a play, we would overload the generator and there'd be a mad rush up the hill to restart it while the camp waited in the dark."
In 1940, he and friend Tommy Walker joined the armed forces. He trained at Camp Borden and in 1941 was commissioned a second lieutenant with the 10th Armoured Regiment. By mid-1942, in England, he had been seconded to the Royal Air Force, interpreting aerial photographs and, it seems, spending many evenings at London's Savoy Hotel.
He always spoke fondly of his time in England, but hardly at all about later tours in Europe and North Africa, except to imply that what he witnessed there turned him forever against the idea of war. His last long conversation with his daughter was about the folly, as he saw it, of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.
At war's end, he had a job offer in the British film industry but decided to help out for one season at the camp. The war years had left it with a staff more interested in having fun than in their charges, and his mother was giving it only partial attention, having also built and opened Arowhon Pines, for visiting parents.
"That season was so unsuccessful and so unhappy" he wrote, "that I had to come back to prove that I could beat it. I certainly had no experience as an educator, but I had trained men in the army and had become used to having my directions unquestioned. That first postwar year at camp hooked me on the life."
He abhorred the thought of running a babysitting service, though. He cleared a baseball diamond and an archery range, built stables and a riding ring, expanded the docks for canoeing, sailing and swimming. They could choose what skills to master, but they were expected to set goals, state them and meet them. "His philosophy," his daughter says, "was that the drive toward excellence and the pursuit of learning forged lifelong character - for both the child attaining the skill and the staff member teaching it."
He was also passionate about the wilderness, even though, as his son, Robert, an expert outdoorsman, points out, he never hiked in the bush, never paddled a canoe and hardly ever sailed. "But he loved Algonquin Park, loved being in business in Algonquin Park."
From the start, Camp Arowhon had been co-ed - one of the first such camps in North America. After the war, Mr. KATES set about diversifying it in other ways, reaching outside the Jewish community to replicate the rich mix of cultures he had experienced in the army. Soon enough, Arowhon was mixing not only Jews and gentiles, Americans and Canadians, but also campers from Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.
His off-season life in Toronto went less well for a while. In 1949, he had married Ruth GROSS, Joanne and Robert's mother, but the pair divorced in 1962. In 1968, he married Helen DAY, an English-born businesswoman. In 1971, the two took over Arowhon Pines, the resort hotel, which had been fading under Mr. KATES's mother's management.
The hotel's lease then had only six years to run, and government policy called for an end to all private leaseholds in the park. Mr. KATES brought his full-bore energy and single-mindedness to bear on Queen's Park. "A park the size of Algonquin can't be the exclusive preserve of canoeists and backpackers," he argued. "Three hotels in a 3,000-square-mile park exclude no one."
The minister he addressed was impressed, and even more that the Pines had stayed solvent for 30 years with no liquor licence (guests bring their own) and operating only 18 weeks a year. Its lease was renewed, and the government was soon promoting it in its tourism brochures.
The KATESes set about upgrading on all fronts. As Mr. KATES put it with typical directness in a 1976 interview, "We're in the business of selling three things: a bedroom, a dining room and a setting. The setting is superb, but it's beyond our control, so we have to do our best with the other two." In 1987, Arowhon Pines was invited to join Relais and Châteaux, the very selective luxury hotel association.
By that time, it was already attracting guests from Europe. It has since seen them arrive from as far as Peru, Vietnam and Senegal. Mr. KATES delighted over the foreign guests, but when his staff was abuzz over serving Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, William Hurt, Frances McDormand or Martin Short, he would ask, "Who?" And, while he fretted over decorum in the stately dining room, whenever hydro crews worked on lines to the camp or the hotel, they got invited to lunch, sweaty work clothes and all.
Until late in his 70s, he went skiing for three weeks each year in the Alps. In his 80s, he and Helen were beating couples 30 years his junior at doubles tennis. About five years ago, though, he was diagnosed with emphysema. Still, one afternoon in April, sitting in his Toronto garden with the management team, talking about reopening, he offhandedly said, "I don't know if 92 is the right time to retire."
He spent his final weeks in his cabin at the camp, amid the shouts and laughter of children. He died on the final day of camp, but not until after the last bus had left.
The Nose knew.
Eugene KATES was born in Toronto on October 14, 1914. He died at his cabin in Algonquin Park on August 21, 2007. He was 92. He is survived by wife Helen, children Joanne and Robert, and four grandchildren.

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OBERDORF o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-03 published
He escaped the Nazis to become Canada's 'most brilliant photographer'
Initially trained as an engraver in Vienna, he pursued a passion for photography that led him to produce trademark black-and-white images. The results took him to the heights of his profession
By Charles OBERDORF, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S11
Toronto -- Peter Newman once described Walter CURTIN as Canada's greatest photographer. A Viennese Jew who fled Nazism, he became one of the country's most successful photojournalists of the Fifties and Sixties.
His best-known image is probably also the best-known photograph of its subject, Glenn Gould. In it, the pianist, wearing a heavy overcoat and a driver's cap, sits in profile, hunched over the keyboard of a shopworn Canadian Broadcasting Corporation studio piano, his mouth slightly ajar, as if singing along with his playing.
Mr. Gould himself seems to have preferred a different Walter CURTIN shot.
Over the years, thanks to several CURTIN assignments, the two had become Friends. ("Walter," Mr. Gould once said, "you're as crazy as I am.") The Friendship had an opposites-attract element: the charming, gregarious and dapper Viennese and the unkempt, argumentative and reclusive Canadian.
During one conversation - possibly one of Mr. Gould's famous late-night phone calls - the pianist described a nightmare he'd recently had in which he was a passenger in a 747 jet. A flight attendant came to him and whispered that the pilot had just died and that only Mr. Gould could land the plane. He woke up in terror.
In his darkroom, Mr. CURTIN dug out the negatives from an assignment he'd done that included a shot of a pilot at the controls of a big jet. He printed an enlargement, then one of Mr. Gould with his head at a matching angle. Carefully, he substituted the pianist's face for the pilot's, framed the result and sent it to Gould. He heard nothing, but later learned that for years there had been a shot of Mr. Gould in a pilot's uniform, with someone else's hairy hands, hanging in the pianist's bedroom.
Walter CURTIN was born Walter SPIEGEL in the imperial Vienna of Gustav Mahler and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arthur Schnitzler and Gustav Klimt. In that well-fed city, the SPIEGELs were food importers and wholesalers. The business ran into trouble, however, when Walter was about 15.
A few years later, in 1933, his father died, leaving him head of the family. In November, 1938, eight months after Hitler's Germany annexed Austria, the concierge in their apartment building saved the family during the brutal Kristallnacht pogrom by sowing such seeds of deceit and confusion that the Nazi mob who came for them went away empty-handed. The strategy gained precious time, and Mr. CURTIN and his brother, Otto, soon fled to Britain. Their mother would die in Poland along with thousands of other Viennese Jews.
In England, Mr. CURTIN worked at odd jobs, tried to enlist on the day war was declared in September, 1939, but was rejected as an "alien." After the fall of France, both brothers, along with 2,000 other German-speaking aliens of military age, were shipped to an internment camp in Australia. When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill changed the policy to allow "friendly aliens" to enlist, Mr. CURTIN joined the British military and was advised to change his name in case of capture.
The brothers served first in the 93rd Pioneer Corps, and then Mr. CURTIN joined the Royal Engineers "after passing a test that required putting together two bits of old-fashioned toilet chain. That's how I became an Army engineer," he once wrote. He served until 1946, mainly with the Royal Air Force.
Once out of the military, he decided to pursue a career in photography. It was an interest that had followed him through the years. In Vienna, he had studied photoengraving and worked briefly for a portrait photographer; in London, before he was deported, he had learned colour printing; on the ship to Australia, he and some had formed a keen if under-equipped photography club.
Returning to London, he talked his way into an apprenticeship at a busy commercial photo studio. He was soon behind a camera making copy photographs of paintings. In 1948, he set up shop on his own in Kensington, where such clients as Time-Life Books wanted his well-crafted photos of paintings and art objects.
Along the way, Mr. CURTIN became acquainted with a talented young British painter 10 years his junior whom he met through an old military friend. As it happened, his friend was married to a painter who had decided to play matchmaker. Invited to dinner, Mr. CURTIN showed up in all innocence to be introduced to a beautiful young woman named Isabel KANN. She was Catholic and he was Jewish, but no matter. As these things go, a relationship quickly developed and they fell in love. They married in 1949.
On visits to Paris, he made Friends with the founders of the Magnum photo agency - including Robert and Cornell Capa, Dimitri Kessel and Henri Cartier-Bresson - who were setting new standards in photojournalism made possible by the inconspicuous mobility of the 35 mm camera and the versatility of high-speed film.
In 1952, hard economic times in Britain, together with the needs of a young family, led the CURTINs to emigrate to Canada.
Settling in Toronto, Mr. Walter decided to follow the lead of his Magnum Friends and began shooting people and events rather than paintings and sculpture. Within months he had sold a cover to Liberty magazine. It was a portrait of the hockey giant, King Clancy. Not long after that, the National Film Board in 1953 commissioned him to document the first season of the Stratford Festival.
It soon became apparent, though, that photojournalism would not support a growing family that by 1963 would number six children. So, according to his colleague, John Reeves, "Walter did this amazing thing. He unleashed that Viennnese charm of his on the ad agencies and somehow convinced them that his kind of shooting was just what they needed. All of a sudden, these black-and-white, available-light images started showing up in magazine ads and at the art directors' shows."
It was during this period that he worked with the journalist Peter C. Newman, who was then a senior editor and columnist at Maclean's. In a hand-written dedication, Mr. Newman wrote: "To Walter CURTIN, the most brilliant photographer in Canada. With admiration and best wishes. Peter Newman, May, 1961." It was a respect that was to remain unchanged through the years.
By then, Mr. CURTIN had moved the family back across the Atlantic to again try his luck in London. There, he replicated his Toronto ad-agency breakthrough, most memorably in a series of ads for Wills cigars. Each one featured a large informal close-up portrait of a man, clearly not a model, usually working-class - one was a street sweeper - each in his working garb and almost off-handedly holding a cigar. Freed of their ad copy, the series still stands up as a vivid collection of genre portraits.
Eight years later, the CURTINs returned to Toronto, where he would soon begin an obsessive personal project to document the major figures in Canada's classical music scene. In concert or rehearsal, in their homes or sometimes his own, he shot them all, from an aging Wilfred Pelletier in 1971 to a just-unpacked-from-Finland Jukka-Pekka Saraste in 1994. His Canadian Brass look slimly resplendent in the bell-bottomed, peacock tailoring of the early 1970s. Lotfi Mansouri of the Canadian Opera Company gesticulates, soprano Teresa Stratas clasps her hands to her mouth in embarrassment, the Huggett family clutter the floor with their many wind and string instruments. In 1994, some 80 of these images (from tens of thousands of negatives) finally became a book, Curtin Call, published by Exile Editions.
One reason Mr. CURTIN could indulge in this labour of love was that just as he was reaching retirement age in the mid-1970s, his wife, Isabel, took up painting again and was soon a success in major galleries with calm canvases that always included a vase of flowers, a colourful swatch of fabric and a sun-shot view through a window. Increasingly, in paintings made in winter, the window looked out on a corner of Cannes or Albuquerque.
The six CURTIN children also flourished. All of them have worked in the arts, but as one son, John, said, "We keep out of each other's way." One daughter paints, another sculpts, another writes poetry, another designs stage sets. John CURTIN makes award-winning documentary films. Joe, a designer and builder of concert violins and violas, recently received a $100,000 "genius" fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation for advancing the science of his field.
At the age of 80, Walter CURTIN, an agnostic Jew, converted to Roman Catholicism - primarily, his Friends speculated, to be buried with Isabel. Characteristically, he took Israel as his baptismal name. Until his early 90s, he seemed to live as energetically as ever, though, travelling whenever possible, especially to Europe, at home running errands for Isabel, entertaining Friends and eating heartily in the Viennese style, always with a glass of port before dinner, music after. He loved walking the dog, Bertie, and sitting in Isabel's overflowing garden of lilies. In the last year or two, though, he loved more and more to sleep, claiming it was preparing him for "the eternal snooze."
Walter CURTIN was born Walter SPIEGEL, on August 16, 1911, in Vienna. He died of age-related causes in Toronto on October 21, 2007. He was 96. He leaves his wife, Isabel KANN, and two sons and four daughters. He also leaves four grand_sons.

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OBERHOLZER o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-10-19 published
McFARLAND, Ruby Alice (née FRENCH)
Formerly of Mississauga passed away peacefully at the Southampton Care Centre of Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in her 92nd year. Beloved wife of Ralph Wesley McFARLAND for 65 years. Dear mother of James McFARLAND and his wife Janie of Port Elgin. Loving Grandmother of Patricia Ann OBERHOLZER of London, Janie Lynn and her husband Brent RICHARDSON of Burgoyne and Jennifer Marie McFARLAND and her fiancé Luke PARADIS of Kincardine. Loved Great-grandmother of Fawn OBERHOLZER and Mikki OBERHOLZER. Sister-in-law of Irene FRENCH of Palmerston. Fondly remembered by several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by two sisters Edith VEITEL and Emily MITCHELL, two brothers Bert FRENCH and Beverly FRENCH, sister-in-law Anna FRENCH and brother-in-law Lloyd VEITEL. The family will receive Friends on Sunday, October 21, 2007 from 2-4 p.m. at the Heritage Funeral Home, Palmerston where Rev. Janet SINCLAIR will conduct the Funeral Service in the Funeral Home Chapel on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 2: 00 p.m. Interment Palmerston Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy donations to charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

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OBERLE 2007-01-12 published
MARCHAND, Jordan Marchand
Was always smiling, learning, dreaming and hoping. During his four year battle with cancer, Jordan proudly completed his computer engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and worked for Conversys Inc. Although Jordan never realized his dreams of buying a Mercedes and working in California, he continued living his life quietly, but with zest and spunk. Jordan, 25, died holding his mother's hand in his Star Wars decorated room at London Health Sciences Centre, Tuesday, January 9, 2007. Jordan was the cherished son of Robert and Mary Ann MARCHAND, the beloved brother of Nathan and Sheldon MARCHAND and Ingrid (Paul) McDERMOTT and special grand_son of Flora DUQUETTE. Predeceased by grandparents Arthur and Leona OBERLE and Oscar DUQUETTE. Jordan will also be missed by Comet, his Chihuahua. Friends will be received by the family form 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the A. Millard George Funeral Home, 60 Ridout Street South, London, and at Holy Family Catholic Church, 777 Valetta Street, London, on Saturday, January 13, 2007 from 10: 00 to 11:00 a.m. where the funeral mass will be held at 11: 00 a.m. Jordan's family thanks London Health Sciences Centre oncology, cancer, and palliative care staff and physicians for the outstanding care Jordan received. Donations may be made as flowers, or as the gift of life (blood donations) or to the charity of your choice. Online condolences accepted at

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