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"McMI" 2003 Obituary


MCMICHAEL  MCMILLAN  MCMINN 

McMICHAEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-20 published
McMICHAEL, Robert Alliston, C.M., O.Ont., D.Litt., LL.D July 27, 1921 - November 18, 2003
Bob passed away at Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville on Tuesday, November 18, 2003, with Signe, his friend, partner and wife of 54 years, at his side. Even in his teens while at Humberside Collegiate, Bob was an entrepreneur, for he founded and edited Canadian High News, which was widely read by students in the high schools in the Toronto area. After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War 2, Bob opened a studio on Avenue Road in Toronto, specializing in wedding photographs. In 1949 he met and married his beloved Signe and shortly thereafter they became interested in the work of The Group of Seven. Bob was commuting between Toronto and New York while running a successful business called Travelpak, but nonetheless found time together with Signe to begin building their log home at Kleinburg which they named Tapawingo, meaning House of Joy in the language of the Woodland Indians. As their early interest in The Group of Seven expanded into an increasingly sizeable collection of their works, their home was expanded to add additional galleries and the public was invited to share with them the treasure trove they had created. Ultimately, they gave their home and their collection, which by then included Canadian Indian and Inuit art, to the people of Ontario. Bob died full of honours, shared in part with Signe and bestowed on them in recognition of their contribution to the cultural life of Ontario and Canada. He was a member of the Orders of Canada and Ontario, a Fellow of the Ontario College of Art, a Doctor of Letters of Glendon College, York University and a Doctor of Laws of the University of Waterloo. He now goes to join his Friends from The Group of Seven who chose as their final resting place the grounds of Tapawingo. Bob lived the tenets expressed in this quotation attributed to an 18th century Quaker: ''I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefor that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being let me do it now, let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.'' The family will receive Friends at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Islington Avenue, Kleinburg on Saturday afternoon between 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock and Sunday afternoon between 2 o'clock and 5 o'clock. A service in celebration of Bob's life will be held at the gallery on Monday morning, November 24 at 11 o'clock. Following the service, interment will take place on the gallery grounds among his Friends from The Group of Seven. In addition to his wife Signe, he leaves his brother Don and his wife Sophie. In lieu of flowers, Bob would have appreciated donations to either the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, 555 University Avenue, Toronto M5G 1X8 or the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Islington Avenue, Kleinburg L0J 1C0. Arrangements by Egan Funeral Home, Bolton (905-857-2213). Condolences for the family may be offered at www.eganfuneralhome.com

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McMICHAEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-20 published
A cherished gift despite the follies
By John Bentley MAYS, Special to The Globe and Mail Thursday, November 20, 2003 - Page R1
Robert McMICHAEL's reputation was never better than it was when I first met him, around 1980. In the eyes of many people, especially outside the official art world, he was the little guy from Toronto who made good and got rich and did something good with his money, by creating the McMichael Canadian Collection of Art, in Kleinburg, Ontario
He had amassed this important collection of much-loved Canadian art and had selflessly given it to the people. If this kindly gentleman wanted to play lord of the manor in the great log cabin in Kleinburg, who could possibly object? McMICHAEL was firmly planted in popular imagination as a visionary, which he certainly was not, and a down-home Canadian original, which, in his fashion, he surely was.
Robert McMICHAEL, who died on Tuesday at age 82, came of age in Toronto in the Depression, then graduated from high school just in time for the Second World War. Stationed in Newfoundland, he worked as a war photographer. "People have the idea that we waited for the shells to fly," he told me in 1981. "I photographed things like caskets and radar." After being mustered out in 1946, McMICHAEL decided on a career in custom photography and opened a shop in Toronto's Yorkville district.
McMICHAEL had his million-dollar idea when thinking up ways to promote wedding photographs. Why not get manufacturers to donate advertising samples, then hand out boxes full of these goodies to brides-to-be as a promotional gimmick? This simple notion produced Bridal Shower, the forerunner of New Mother Packs and Travel Packs (something for employers to give to employees bound for vacation as a way to say "take care of yourself, we want you back").
By 1964, McMICHAEL was living in New York and marketing a million packs a year and 20 million samples in all 50 states. He was also getting weary of the twice-weekly commute between New York and his homestead north of Toronto, just outside Kleinburg, which he and wife Signe had established in the fifties, just after they were married.
And there was the baby to think about. The McMichaels' "baby" the word he used to describe it -- was, of course, their burgeoning collection of Canadian art. There was never any question that it was going to be a Canadian collection. "Inherently, we have a pride in the nation. That sounds corny, but that's how we felt. Between a Renoir and a Thomson, we'd take the Thomson."
The collection had been born in 1955, when the McMICHAELs bought a Lawren Harris oil landscape for $250. Soon thereafter, Robert McMICHAEL was doing a drawing class at New York's Art Students League, devouring what books on Canadian art were around in those days, and buying art, often on the instalment plan, and almost invariably of the woods-and-water Group of Seven kind.
But for the McMICHAELs, the collection was a baby in a deeper and sadder sense. A year after they were married, the couple found that they would never be able to have children. But there were these artworks for them to nurture and protect. "We thought of each new acquisition as a child, especially the early ones," McMICHAEL once told me.
The collection did not grow all by itself, however. Friends told marvellous stories -- all flatly denied by the principal figure about Robert McMICHAEL visiting the deathbeds of Group of Seven collectors and quietly, persistently, convincing them to make their last earthly act a tax-deductible bequest.
If such stories were not true, given the man's accomplishment, they were certainly believable. Assembled by whatever combination of cajoling and purchasing, the McMichael Canadian Collection is today, after the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario, our most impressive gathering of 20th-century Canadian painting.
That said, it is far from the best. Anyone familiar with the Canadian displays in the country's great museums will notice at once the McMichael's scantiness of large paintings by well-known artists. One sees much work, but not very much that is extraordinary, or illustrative of long passages in a given artist's development. But it's a massive, unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable conglomeration of popular Group of Seven artworks. The art is housed in a crazy-quilt building that people cherish.
This affection for the McMichael Canadian Collection, I suspect, will survive long after the founder's follies have been forgotten. The latter were, unfortunately, many and famous. For much of the last 25 years of his life, you could never be quite sure what he would do next.
The first surprise came after McMICHAEL gave his 3,500-square-foot log house in Kleinburg, along with 235 Canadian artworks -- the home and core collection of the McMichael Canadian Collection to the people of Ontario in 1965. In return, Queen's Park gave him a generous tax write-off and permission to go on living in his log cabin. He somehow got it into his head the free ride on the public tab was forever. Instead of graciously moving on after a decent interval, he and his wife Signe stayed on in the house, entertaining Friends among the public's paintings and aboriginal artworks as though he still owned everything.
For more than a decade, nobody raised an objection. Then McMICHAEL's Conservative Party cronies in the Ontario government threw a lavish farewell dinner, with tributes and gratitude galore. Instead of taking the hint, loosening his grip on the gallery and surrendering control to museum professionals -- which was clearly and wisely wanted by the cultural bureaucrats at Queen's Park -- McMICHAEL still didn't budge an inch. Even after the dangerous, dilapidated physical condition of the building became public knowledge in the early 1980s, McMICHAEL continued to dismiss the fire experts and art conservationists as pointy-headed meddlers. He was finally ousted from the building in 1982, when the urgent $10.4-million overhaul of the gallery was commenced. (The pain of transition was eased by gifts of $400,000 cash and a $300,000 house from Queen's Park.)
But being off the premises only seemed to whet McMICHAEL's taste for power. Over the next two decades, he continued to plot and agitate for a comeback to personal control of the collection he had given away. He was especially vociferous about the historical scope of the central group of artworks, which curators wanted to broaden to include contemporary painting, prints and sculpture. Art-gathering had never been strictly confined to the Group of Seven, even during the heyday of McMICHAEL's control. But now the founder decided it was high time to get back to a fiction called "the original vision," and abandon the collecting of contemporary art altogether.
Few believed it would happen. But in 2000 -- to the astonishment of nobody who had watched McMICHAEL operating over the years he got his wish. The provincial Tories under Mike HARRIS slammed through a law that swept professional staff to the sidelines of crucial gallery decision-making, and gave Robert McMICHAEL a permanent say in deciding gallery policy.
The next year, he announced his intention to rid the collection of some 2,000 contemporary artworks he did not like. "or use them as opposed to... simply being wasted, sitting in storage year after year, decade after decade," he told a reporter. "I don't think there's anything demeaning about that at all. They belong in a certain type of atmosphere which is not the atmosphere that exists in Kleinburg."
With McMICHAEL's death, the chance that the gallery will be stripped of its contemporary works is much diminished. The McMichael Canadian Collection will likely remain what it has long been, despite its founder's misunderstandings and misgivings: both a shrine to the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, and a testament to the ongoing commitment of Canadian artists to portraying the Canadian land -- a commitment that, despite many changes in style, medium and strategy, remains strong in the present day.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-08-13 published
Howard Reginald McCORRISTON
Died peacefully at Grand River Hospital, Kitchener-Waterloo Health Centre on Monday, August 4, 2003 at the age of 77 years.
Beloved husband of 51 years to Lenna (née LEWIS.) Loving father of Terry and Marg of Kitchener, Ross and Cheryl of Saint Agatha, Mark and Willi of Kindersley, Sask., and Brian and Sue of Oak Ridges, ON.
Grandpa will be missed by his 12 grandchildren, Jason and Rachel, Colin, Blair, Adam, Matthew, Ashley, Holly, Lorah, Kaitlinn, Melissa, and Brittany. He will be remembered by his brothers and sisters, Roy of South Porcupine, ON., Harvey of Saskatoon, Sask., Ann and Charles HANCOCK of Humboldt, Sask., and Jim and Gretta of Saskatoon, Sask. Brother-in-law Viola McCORRISTON of Tisdale, Sask., and Dianne McCORRISTON of Kitchener. Missed by Lenna's family, Ilene McMILLAN, Marvin and Nancy LEWIS, Eldon and Mona LEWIS, June LEWIS, Liz LEWIS, and Carl and Lorene LEWIS. Predeceased by his parents, Reginald (1932) and Mildred (1998) McCORRISTON, his brothers, John and Dave, and brothers-in-law to Earl LEWIS Jr., Harold McMILLAN, Jim LEWIS, and Rene LEWIS. Survived by his aunts, Hazel and Irma and Uncle Dave and many nieces and nephews.
The McCORRISTON family will receive Friends at the United Missionary Church, Spring Bay, on Saturday, August 23, 2003 for Howards' memorial from 1-3pm. The Funeral Services were held in Kitchener on August 8, 2003. Visit www.obit411.com/1066 for Howards' memorial.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-10-08 published Glenna Viola LAROCQUE In loving memory of Glenna Viola LAROCQUE, who passed away peacefully at St. Joseph's Health Centre, Sudbury on Friday, October 3, 2003 in her 80th year.
Predeceased by husband Graydon WRIGHT (1969) and Gabriel LAROCQUE (1991.) Loved by children Dawn and Garry KERR of Manitowaning, Jacqueline and Arnold MacMILLAN of Val Caron, Patricia and Leon SAINT_MARSEILLE of Blezard Valley, Perry WRIGHT of London, Leon and Sylvie WRIGHT of Val Caron and John WRIGHT of London. Predeceased by daughter Vanessa GAYLE. Special grandmother of Shari (Ray) LEVESQUE, Kelli (Alton) HOBBS, Corrine (Claude) PELLATT, Allan (Holly) MacMILLAN, Catharine (Jeff) GIFFEN, Gregory (Nicole) MacMILLAN, Steven (Janice) SAINT_MARSEILLE,
Dean (Nicole) SAINT_MARSEILLE, Jodi WRIGHT, Kristy WRIGHT, Andy WRIGHT, Jennifer WRIGHT, Jason WRIGHT, David WRIGHT and Cyllna WRIGHT. Great grandmother of Jessica, Danielle, Nicholas, Allanah, Brytne, Kristofer, Tyler, Sarah, Bradley, Vanessa, Colin, Mackenzie, Kendra, Kyle and Sally. Remembered by brother Alvie (Ruth) ELLIOT/ELLIOTT of Sisson Ridge, NB. Memorial Service at 3: 00 pm Friday, October 10, 2003 at Knox United Church, Manitowaning. Darlene HARDY officiating. Burial of ashes in Hilly Grove Cemetery. Island Funeral Home.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-29 published
MacRAE, John Ross
Died peacefully on April 26, 2003 at North York General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 84. Ross was born in Winnipeg in 1918, and later moved to Regina when his father, D.B. MacRAE, became editor of the Regina Leader-Post. Ross was a musical prodigy, learning the violin, trumpet and piano, and even during the Depression as a teenager he earned money as a classical violin performer and with a swing band he started. He worked as an announcer at CKCK radio in Regina, then briefly in radio after moving to Toronto before getting a job at the Cockfield-Brown advertising agency, where he remained until his retirement in 1978. At Cockfield, Ross was one of the pioneers in television advertising, and with old friend Brian HAWKINS, created the Expo 67 commercials that became television works of art. When he retired he was a vice-president and in charge of the agency's outstanding radio and television unit. But active life didn't end then. For many years Ross played violin with the semi-professional North York Symphony Orchestra, and later with the East York Symphony (now part of Orchestra Toronto), and with a string quartet. He was also an ardent golfer right to the end of his life, and rarely missed the annual Maxville Highland Games in Glengarry County, where his family's ancestors first settled in Canada in the early 1800s. Above all, Ross had a love of life and a sense of humour backed by an apparently endless fund of stories that endeared him to everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by his sons, Paul and Scott (Denise), their mother Phyllis, daughter-in-law Sherry BRYDSON, and grandchildren David, Kevin, Sean, Gaye, Duncan, Cameron and Holly; by nephew Bruce MacDOUGALL (Lucy WAVERMAN) and their children, Alexander, Emma, Katie and Robyn; by the family of Ross's sister Isobel LEES who, with sisters Margaret and Betty, predeceased him; by the family of Eunice McGILLIS, Ross's second wife, who predeceased him; by his good friend Mary MacMILLAN and her family; and by Ross's many Friends, former co-workers, and fellow golfers and musicians. The family has only thanks and praise for the work of the doctors, nurses and staff at North York General Hospital, who cared for Ross during and after his abdominal surgery. A memorial will be held in Toronto on Saturday, May 24, at 5 p.m. at The Elmwood Terrace Room, fourth floor, 18 Elm Street. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Orchestra Toronto and/or the North York General Hospital.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-17 published
STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, Gerald A.
Died peacefully of complications related to cancer on Thursday, May 15, 2003 at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ontario at age 70. Husband and best friend of Nelia MacMILLAN. son of the late Mabel PEACHMAN and Horace STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Brother of Bernice STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Father of Christopher, Lisa VEHRS and her husband Jason. Brother-in-law of Kerr MacMILLAN, the late Jim MacMILLAN and Joan MacMILLAN. Uncle of Ann MacMILLAN and Tyler MacMILLAN, his wife Jill and great-uncle of Lindsay. He was a longtime member of the MG Car Club of Canada throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, a dedicated parent and coach at Leaside Girls' Hockey in the 80s and 90s, and for years an enthusiastic member of the executive committee at the Sturgeon Point Golf Club. A memorial service will be held in the chapel of the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto (2 stop lights west of Yonge Street), Wednesday, May 21, 2003, 4 p.m. If desired, please make a donation to a favourite charity.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-20 published
STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, Gerald A.
Died peacefully of complications related to cancer on Thursday, May 15, 2003 at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ontario at age 70. Husband and best friend of Nelia MacMILLAN. son of the late Mabel PEACHMAN and Horace STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Brother of Bernice STEWARD/STEWART/STUART. Father of Christopher, Lisa VEHRS and her husband Jason. Brother-in-law of Kerr MacMILLAN, the late Jim MacMILLAN and Joan MacMILLAN. Uncle of Ann MacMILLAN and Tyler MacMILLAN, his wife Jill and great-uncle of Lindsay. He was a longtime member of the MG Car Club of Canada throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, a dedicated parent and coach at Leaside Girls' Hockey in the 80s and 90s, and for years an enthusiastic member of the executive committee at the Sturgeon Point Golf Club. A memorial service will be held in the chapel of the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto (2 stop lights west of Yonge Street), Wednesday, May 21, 2003, 4 p.m. If desired, please make a donation to a favourite charity.

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McMILLAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-13 published
FLANAGAN, Gerald Joseph
Born March 15, 1925 in Montreal. Died November 11, 2003. Graduated Loyola High School, Loyola College B.Sc., McGill University Civil Engineering, Member of Professional Engineers Society. Beloved son of James B. FLANAGAN and Rachel FLANAGAN (née McMILLAN.) Brother of Bernard and Catherine all deceased. A fine man with a generous heart. A great dad and attentive grandfather who will be sadly missed by the little ones. Well regarded in his professional career in construction and engineering, working for Johns Manville, St. Lawrence Systems and C.A.A. In his later years he devoted his time and energy to his parish and many worthy causes including Foster Parents Plan, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Weston Food Bank. He is survived by his children Jim, Margot, Kevin and Bruce and his many grandchildren Michael, Marie-Claire, Matthew, Malcolm, Maeve, Duncan, Isabel, Jacqueline, Madeleine, Kate, James and Joseph. Peace be with you Dad. Family and Friends will be received at the Ward Funeral Home, 2035 Weston Road, 416-241-4618 (north of Lawrence Ave.) Weston on Thursday, November 13 from 7-9 p.m. and on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass on Saturday, November 15, 2003 at 11: 30 a.m. at Saint John the Evangelist Church, 49 George Street in Weston (416-241-0133). Cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers please feel free to donate to the above mentioned charitable organizations.

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McMINN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-11 published
COLLINS, Betty (née Margaret Elizabeth MacMINN)
Born in Truro, Nova Scotia on 26 November 1923, died at home in Victoria on 7 March, 2003 after bravely fighting two strokes. Beloved of husband Alan, son David (Jacquie), grand_son Nicholas, brother George MacMINN (Louise,) sister Gene McMORRIS (George,) and predeceased by her grand_son, Alan. Betty will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. The family would like to thank Hospice P.R.T., her caregivers and the Home Care Service of the Vancouver Island Health Authority for their professional and abundant care. The funeral service will be held at St. Mathias Church, corner of Richardson and Richmond, in Victoria, on Thursday, 13 March at 2 p.m.

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