OXFORD email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-07-18 published
OXFORD, Kay Frances Clare (née DAVIDOVICH)
Mother, wife, teacher, college administrator, best friend to many. Born April 12, 1945, in London, England. Died February 8 of cancer in Toronto, aged 61.
By Dianne LOCOCO, Lynne KURYLO and Hilde ZIMMER and Earle OXFORD, Page L6
'I'm the luckiest person in the world." Days after being told that her cancer was inoperable, Kay, on impulse, took off to London for a long weekend. She was the Energizer Bunny, on the hop the whole time.
Kay's affinity for England was engendered by her English mother, Phyllis NASH. Kay's tenacity was engendered by her father, Stephen DAVIDOVICH. Stephen was a Canadian army officer in wartime London, where he met and married Phyllis.
"A wisp of air in a breeze," was how her father described Kay. She flitted from one social engagement to another, gracing hundreds of Friends with warmth, mirth and gifts of the Bruce Peninsula pottery she so loved.
How Kay shoehorned daily coffees, lunches, dinners with Friends and chats with shop clerks, bus drivers and students into her rigorous schedule as an administrator at George Brown College is a study in time management. She worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to facilitate access to education for new Canadians.
Kay's many years of volunteer work reflect her varied interests. A long-time student of Canadian history and heritage, she was a member of and volunteer at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse museum. Patients in the palliative care unit at Saint Michael's Hospital loved Kay's natural warmth and caring. Her spirit will live on in the lively annual neighbourhood parties that she instigated.
Kay was a saint with a broad swath of wicked humour painted up her steel spine. After her first operation, in 2003, I called her husband, Earle, who said, "Kay's fine." He meant that he hoped Kay would be okay, so I thought Kay was fine and sent flowers with a cocky note: "Start eating. Get off the Calista Flockhart I.V. diet." Kay telephoned. "You don't know they removed 2/3 of my stomach, do you?" I didn't. "I have cancer." I didn't know that either. "The nurses are upset with you." Kay thought it was hilarious. For the next 3½ years, she would tease me about my faux pas and delight in my squirming.
The last time I saw Kay, her health was fading quickly. She was weak and couldn't talk for long. But she spoke of her unbridled love for and pride in her son, John Daniel. She spoke of how wonderfully caring Earle was and the "lovely" talks they were sharing. She whispered, "I'm the luckiest person in the world."
The day before Valentine's Day, St. Philip's Anglican Church was packed. It was a testament not to Kay's luck, but to her heart.
Kay's friend Dianne LOCOCO wrote this with help from Lynne KURYLO, Hilde ZIMMER and Earle OXFORD.
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