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"AST" 2008 Obituary


ASTER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-01-14 published
Stray bullet kills Toronto man
By Omar EL AKKAD with a report from JENNIFER Lewington, Page A1
John O'KEEFE just happened to be walking down Toronto's busiest street on a Saturday night. That's all it took to cost him his life.
The 42-year-old Toronto resident and health-food store manager became the city's second homicide victim of 2008 when he was killed over the weekend. Mr. O'KEEFE, an avid environmentalist and father of a nine-year-old boy, was hit in the head by a single bullet that police believe was never meant for him. Two men now face first-degree murder charges in connection to the killing.
"The deceased was struck while he was basically just walking down the street," said Toronto police homicide detective Graham GIBSON. "He was just walking."
At around 1: 15 a.m. on Saturday, police were called to the Brass Rail Tavern, a strip club at 701 Yonge Street, just south of Bloor Street. Two men had just been kicked out of the club after acting up. After being booted from the tavern, both men began walking away, but only got a few metres before turning around.
"They did leave, but they didn't go far," said Det. GIBSON. " They took exception with security [at the Brass Rail]."
Upon returning, one of the two men allegedly pulled out a handgun and fired a single shot. Last night, police said the gun was registered to one of the suspects. Police believe it was aimed at members of the security staff outside the club.
Instead, it hit Mr. O'KEEFE in the head. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr. O'KEEFE's partner described him yesterday as a wonderful human being who loved the environment.
"Johnny was a great guy; he really was," said Susan BANAHAN. "He loved to recycle - you couldn't throw a tissue in the garbage when he was around."
Mr. O'KEEFE had a nine-year-old son from a previous relationship. Together with Ms. BANAHAN and her child, they formed a family.
Ms. BANAHAN said Mr. O'KEEFE worked as a health-food store manager at the downtown Exchange Tower. In his spare time, she said, he liked to walk around the city - the Don Valley was one of his favourite spots.
At the time of his shooting, Mr. O'KEEFE was likely walking to the subway from the Duke of Gloucester, his favourite watering hole, Ms. BANAHAN said. Like the Brass Rail, the bar is located near the corner of Yonge and Bloor.
After the shooting, both suspects allegedly ran away, heading south on Yonge Street for a few metres before turning onto Charles Street.
But within 12 hours, police had two men in custody.
"We had excellent witnesses: and support from civilians and community members and people inside [the club]," Det. GIBSON said. As a result, police had the first suspect in custody by 11: 45 Saturday morning, and the second suspect a couple of hours later. Edward PAREDES, 22, and Awet ZEKARIAS, 23, both Toronto residents, are jointly charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. They made their first court appearance yesterday morning at Old City Hall.
Saturday's killing bore eerie similarities to another shooting that rocked Toronto in December of 2005. Mr. O'KEEFE was killed just a few blocks north of where a brazen shootout claimed the life of 15-year-old Jane CREBA. Both victims were never the intended targets of the bullets that hit them, yet both were the only ones to die in each incident.
Ms. BANAHAN was devastated by the news of her partner's death - she spoke to a reporter yesterday just as news of Mr. O'KEEFE's killing played out on her television set at home.
"I'm just so sad that he won't be around any more," she said.
Last night, two of his best Friends, in shock over the fluke of their friend being in the wrong place at the wrong time, remembered him as a gentle, funny man, "brilliant at darts" and devoted to his young son and network of Friends.
"As a father, he showed his son Toronto's every ravine and heritage building," recalls Andrea ASTER, a friend for the past 20 years. "He was an ardent environmentalist whose only wish was that his son would grow up to be an environmental warrior."
She said that Mr. O'KEEFE, a 6-foot-2-inch man with "piercing blue eyes," had a way of making and keeping Friends.
"The people who were his Friends were his Friends for life," she said.
Another long-time friend, Brian EATON, 43, met Mr. O'KEEFE when they attended the same Scarborough high school. Mr. EATON said his younger brother, Tony, 42, who was in the same high-school class as Mr. O'KEEFE and remained close Friends, had invited him to the family cottage in Huntsville this past weekend. But Mr. O'KEEFE declined so that he could go skating with his son.
"I wish he had gone to the cottage," said Mr. EATON.
For the past 15 years, he said Mr. O'KEEFE was a weekly regular at the Duke of Gloucester pub, where he played darts.
"When I heard of the shooting I thought to myself I hope that was not Johnny because he was my one friend who might be walking down Yonge Street because he goes to the Duke," said Mr. EATON, adding that his friend's violent end was the opposite of how he lived.
"He wouldn't know anyone who has a gun or practices violence," said Mr. EATON.
"He was a responsible father, a responsible friend, the kind of guy that everyone loved and every kind word you would think of, you would apply to him."
Meanwhile, police are looking for witnesses: to a shooting Saturday night at Rosemary Lane in the Forest Hill neighbourhood. An unidentified man in his 20s suffered serious injury when he was shot once in the stomach near Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue, but is recovering in hospital, Toronto Police said yesterday.

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ASTILL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-02-14 published
In her 65th year, Paula passed away peacefully at her home with her family and dear friend at her side on Monday, February 11, 2008. Predeceased by father Alfred and mother Mignonne ASTILL (née McSHERRY.) Paula is the beloved wife of Frank, loving mother and proud grandmother of families: Steven and Teresa, his children Jon, Nick, Felicia, Victoria, Ed and his wife Nedy, their children Allesandra and Daniele, Rosalie and her husband Mark FITZPATRICK, and their children Braeden and Nicole. Dear sister of Peter ASTILL, his wife Carol, Mary-Adele ASTILL, Michael ASTILL, his wife Susan, and Suzanne CARSON (née ASTILL,) her husband Andy CARSON. Paula will be fondly remembered by all of her family and wide circle of Friends. Paula was active in her parishes, a strong singer and contributor to the church communities. She enjoyed entertaining and hosted many popular parties. One of her strongest commitments was to her children, grandchildren and Friends, for whom she bought a cottage to enjoy with them. While not an avid waterskier she proudly prepared feasts for those who were. In her day, Paula was an avid tennis player by summer and alpine skied with the 'Skibees' in the winter as well as skied most of the hills with her family in Quebec, Ontario, Vermont and New York, and even a few in western Canada. With various dear Friends Paula traveled the world including all of Canada, the U.S., Europe, the French Polynesian islands of which Bora Bora was her favourite, Australia, New Zealand, and closer to home Mexico. Paula was a classy lady and a family person who often said, "I'm here for a good time, not a long time".
The family will receive their Friends at Egan Funeral Home Baxter and Giles Chapel 273 Broadway, Orangeville 519-941-2630 on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 and evening from 7 to 9 o'clock. Funeral mass will be held at St. Cornelius Catholic Church 16631 Kennedy Road just north of The Grange Side Road Caledon, on Friday morning at 11 o'clock. Reception to follow at Hockley Valley Resort, 3rd Line Mono south of Hockley Valley Road. Donations in her memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society Dufferin Branch P.O. box 296 Orangeville, Ontario L9W 2Z7 Condolences for the family may be offered at

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ASTLE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-15 published
ASTLE, David, Capt. R.N. Ret.
In his 92nd year at his residence at Fellowship Towers, Toronto. Following a distinguished career in the navy before and during the Second World War, he settled in Canada and turned to writing. He was the author of numerous essays, articles, books and poems. His masterpiece was The Babylonian Woe The Babylonian Woe, a history of money. Translated into many languages (including Hungarian and Mandarin!), the book continues to intrigue readers, as it has since it was published in the 1970s. Captain ASTLE is survived by his first cousin, Sylvia PUGH and family of Cambridge, Ontario and the Astle, Edwards, and Moya families in the United Kingdom. The family will receive Friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home - A.W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East), on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 from 7: 00-9:00 p.m. A full funeral mass will follow on Thursday, April 17, 2008, at 2: 00 p.m. in Saint Thomas's Anglican Church, 383 Huron Street (at the St. George subway station). Condolences and memories may be for warded through

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ASTLES o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-19 published
ASTLES, Garry (August 3, 1951-May 17, 2008)
Garry died at home at the age of 56 after a long struggle with Multiple Myeloma. Garry was predeceased by his mother, Margaret DUSTAN. He is survived by his wife, Brenda (née BURGESS,) children Caitlin (Tony SILVA,) David and Christine, and step-sons Christopher ALBERT, Gregory ALBERT and Jeff ALBERT (Cherie,) his sister Susan McGILLIS (Rick,) and nieces Heather NICOLARDI (Tony,) Jennifer KING (Jeff,) nephew Sean KING (Lisa) and great-nephews and great-niece Andrew, Danielle, and Michael NICOLARDI, and Joshua KING. Garry graduated from the University of Toronto as a Civil Engineer in 1974 and worked for Dominion Bridge for 18 years. He then became a Project Manager at Babcock and Wilcox, Nuclear Division, and worked on projects at St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Florida, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland, and most recently at the Bruce Power Plant in Ontario. Garry was an avid photographer, played hockey with his University classmates for over 30 years, played baseball with the New Dundee Old Timers, and enjoyed the many challenges of his golf game - truly a man for all seasons. Garry made many Friends on whatever project he was working, and his professionalism, integrity, directness and sense of humour will be greatly missed by all who knew him. The family would like to thank Doctor Bob STEVENS, Doctor Erinn OWENS, and especially the nurses in the Chemo Suite at Grand River Cancer Centre, and the Paramed nurses through Community Care Access Centre. The care, respect and genuine feelings all of them displayed when caring for Garry made this difficult journey bearable. A special thanks to Garry's employer Babcock and Wilcox, and PEER Group where Brenda and Christine work, for being so generous and giving us the gift of time with Garry over the past few months. Visitation will be held at the Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 21 from 10-10: 45 a.m. The funeral service to celebrate Garry's life will follow in the funeral home chapel on Wednesday, May 21 at 11 a.m. Cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre would be appreciated and may be arranged by contacting the funeral home at 519-7458445 or

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ASTROFF o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-24 published
ZUCKERMAN, Murry (1918-2008)
Beloved husband of Estelle ZUCKERMAN and the late Rayzel ZUCKERMAN, loving father and father-in-law of Alan and Debbie, Linda and Jeff FARBSTEIN, Gary and Beverly, Stuart and Joanne, Mitchell, and Lloyd and Shari, brother of the late George and Arthur ZUCKERMAN grandfather of Leo, Jonah, Eli, Blair, Chase, Aubrey, Chloe, Adam, Rachel, Jeremy, Jesse, Noah, Riley, Taylor, Andie, Hannah, Ben, Sam, Aaron, sadly missed by Estelle's children and their spouses Lori and Jeff GOSSACK, Karen and Steven MILLER, Robin and Elic ANBAR, and Barry and Susan ASTROFF, son of the late Charles and Rebecca ZUCKERMAN. Murry's life was rich in chapters, beginning as a semi-pro ball player in his youth, and later graduating as a dental surgeon, and opening a practice. In 1955, he decided to join the family textile business, where he worked alongside his brother George until his retirement in 1990. Together, they grew a small quilting business in Toronto into one of Canada's largest textile companies, with operations across Canada and spanning into Europe. Murry was loved, respected, and held in the highest regard by all who knew him: From Friends to strangers, he loved people and nurtured relationships, and so people loved him back. His reputation was impeccable. He was kind, compassionate, a true gentleman and friend. Murry was fortunate to spend his life with two wonderful women. His loving marriage to Ray produced 6 children, and along with their spouses, 19 grandchildren. Upon his retirement, he was fortunate enough to meet and marry Estelle ZUCKERMAN, and together they traveled the world. Murry will be sadly missed by us all, but the legacy he left behind is rich and bountiful. Services at Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, Friday April 25th, Internment at Beth Tzedec Memorial Park. Any memorial donations may be made to the Rayzel Zuckerman Endowment Fund c/o Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.

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