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"ORF" 2007 Obituary


ORFORD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-22 published
HILLS, Jean Ann (née DOWNER)
At her residence in London on Monday, December 17, 2007 in her 81st year. Beloved wife of Norman for 61 years. Loving mother of Margaret Lisbeth "Peggy" HILLS of Mississauga, Norman John HILLS and his wife Kay of Carp, Henry Thomas HILLS of Brockville and Emily Jane and her husband Clive ORFORD of Nepean. Dear grandmother of Rosanna, Belinda and Olivia McGUIRE, Lizanne BLAIR, Thomas and Katherine HILLS, Margaret and Henry ORFORD and great-grandmother of Clarissa and Natasha BLAIR. Jean attended elementary and secondary school in Simcoe, Ontario. She earned her Bachelor of Music (Education) at the University of Toronto (1949) and attended Teacher's College in London (1969). Along with Music, she taught French and Special Education at the primary level. In 1978, Jean was President of the London branch of the Women's Teacher Federation. Jean accepted compulsory retirement in 1992 and in 2001 responded to a yearning for the classroom by enlisting as a supply teacher to teach as opportunities permitted, which continued until June, 2007. She had many interests including music, flower gardening, photography, heritage buildings, genealogy, and embroidery. A private family service at the James A. Harris Funeral Home, London was followed by cremation. A public memorial service will be held at Saint Paul's Anglican Cathedral, 472 Richmond Street at Queens Ave., London, on Sunday, April 20 at 2: 00 p.m. followed by a reception in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Canadian Cancer Society, Salvation Army, or World Vision would be appreciated and acknowledged. (

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ORFUS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-01-10 published
AMAR, Sara Allison Shapiro
By Pam SHAINHOUSE and Melanie ORFUS, Page A20
Daughter, sister, wife, niece, cousin, grandchild, friend. Born September 6, 1979, in Toronto. Died July 12, 2006, in Toronto of Hodgkin's lymphoma, aged 26.
Alli's yearbook quotation, when she graduated from high-school, came from a song written by one of her favourite bands, Counting Crows: I can't remember all the times I've tried to tell myself /To hold on to these moments as they pass. Although she was afforded fewer moments than she deserved, she used her time to be a strong, bright, loving person, living for her moments with family and Friends.
Alli collected her Friends from every stage of her life. She had an especially powerful bond with her grandmother, a strong woman whose maternal influence, and keen eye for a good bargain, could be seen in her granddaughter. Alli's family and Friends will always talk about her hugs -- her full, strong, straight-from-the-heart hugs. If you gave her a mediocre hug, she would let you know and then squeeze until you understood what a true hug really was.
To complement this instinct, Alli applied tenacity and wisdom in all the right situations. When the best limousine was needed for the prom and when donations were needed for the school play, you went to Alli. When her Friends wanted to give her younger brother beer at a concert, Alli stepped in. She had a real passion to express herself. Although she had two brothers to compete with, Alli's opinions were always heard -- even if you did not want to hear them! She could, and would, confront anyone; however she did so with a balance of reprimand and encouragement.
She matched this audacity in behaviour, too. At one high-school exam, the class was given the essay question in advance. Alli saw no reason to wait. She immediately borrowed some school paper and prepared her essay at home one night. At the exam, she sneaked the fully written essay in under her sweatshirt. The only evidence of her bold move was the loud coughing she produced to hide the crinkling of the paper when she pulled it out and flattened it out on her desk. Alli emerged from the exam very well-rested.
It was not long after high school that Alli was diagnosed with cancer, in her first year of Ryerson University. Instead of letting it slow her down, she graduated with a fine arts degree at the same time as her Friends. She endured chemotherapy, radiation, and a stem-cell transplant while others were drinking beer and worrying only about finals. Instead of hiding out, she maintained Friendships and made new ones; she partied at spring break in the Dominican Republic, took a group of teenagers across the United States, and travelled to Israel with her mother. In her studies, Alli worked late nights producing plays. Her attitude, energy and strength made us all forget that she was sick.
Because Alli's focus was always on somebody else, we were so thrilled when she found someone to dote on her: Philip AMAR, her other half. Philip did not consider her cancer treatment a deterrent; he proposed to her in the presence of her ailing grandmother. Married for just under two years, Phil gave Alli the undying love, exceptional support and normalcy she deserved, supporting her through a bone-marrow transplant and other treatments.
As her Friends' lives progressed, Alli's battle with cancer continued. Realizing that there was so little support available for young adult cancer patients, she began Alli's Journey -- a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for education, research and support for young adults, 18 to 35, with cancer. Its opening musical gala took place a little over a month before she died and found Alli on stage encouraging others to be a friend to the young cancer patient. She will continue to give hugs and support to others through Alli's Journey.
Pam is Alli's Mom; Melanie Alli's friend.

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