2020 Deaths of Notables

Another year to keep track of deaths of notables. Ave atque vale.
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Top Iranian Commander Killed in U.S. Airstrike at Baghdad Airport

Right on. Evil has been curtailed.
Leeds United fan Heinz Skyte who fled Nazis dies

A man who fled Nazi Germany and became a lifelong fan of Leeds United has died aged 99.

News of Heinz Skyte's death was disclosed by the club he had supported devotedly for 80 years.

Mr Skyte fled Hamburg weeks after Jewish businesses and synagogues were ransacked on Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass", in November 1938.

Shortly after arriving in Leeds in February 1939, Mr Skyte and his brother went to watch Leeds play Everton.
The club said it learned of his death "with deep sadness".

Mr Skyte was given a club shirt and scarf at Elland Road on Saturday 14 December at the match against Cardiff City.

The club's chairman, Andrea Radrizzani, presented Mr Skyte with the gifts in a pitchside ceremony before the game.

During the ceremony Mr Skyte said it was "cold but nostalgic" to be back at Elland Road.

His son, Peter, said: "I feel very proud that he is being honoured and the club have done him proud and hopefully he has done the club proud, too."

'LOST HIS BEST FRIEND': Marilyn Lastman, wife of former mayor Mel Lastman, dies
Jane Stevenson
More from Jane Stevenson
Joe Warmington
January 2, 2020
January 2, 2020 2:30 PM EST
Marilyn Lastman is all smiles as Mel Lastman plants one on her cheek at the mayor’s award dinner in December 2005. Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun files
Marilyn Lastman, the “loyal and fierce” family matriarch of the Lastman family of Bad Boy furniture and appliance fame, died on New Year’s Day in Toronto General Hospital at the age of 84.
The wife of former Toronto and North York Mayor Mel Lastman, 86, had been in hospital for the last three weeks because of difficulty breathing and went home briefly, about a week ago, before she had to return hours later, her son Blayne, 58, said.
“My wife and I saw her last Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. and she was great,” said Blayne.
“She was laughing, feeling better, she had colour in her face.”
She died just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 1
Blayne said his father — her high school sweetheart to whom she had been married for 67 years — was “not good. He’s frail. He’s trying.”
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He said his dad “has lost his best friend. The love that the two of them had for each other was greater than the day they got married. I said, ‘Dad, this is the way (to go). You got to leave while you’re on top of the world. No pain. No suffering.’”
Then Toronto mayor Mel Lastman with wife Marilyn Lastman are pictured in 1998. Toronto Sun files
Lastman is survived by her husband Mel, sons Blayne and Dale, 62, their wives Adrienne and Robin, respectively, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
“She was a political giant,” said Paul Godfrey, Postmedia’s Executive Chair. “When you think of Mel and all of his achievements, behind all of that was Marilyn and none of it would’ve happened without her. Even though she was behind the scenes for the decades Mel was mayor of North York and Toronto, she was a very, very big part of it.”
Blayne said the family would be going to the funeral home on Thursday afternoon to make arrangements for either Friday or Sunday.
“No person in this world has lived a better life than my mother and my mother was a very, very happy and energetic person,” said Blayne. “For 34 years (while Mel was mayor), my mom was responsible for 51% of running the City of North York and the City of Toronto) and we’ll give my dad the 49% just because. She was the glue the held the family (together) and if there was a word to describe her it was loyalty. She was the most loyal person.”
Mel and Marilyn wave goodbye in front of City Hall in a thank-you card mailed out to Lastman’s supporters.
Born Marilyn Bornstein, she was the one who first landed a job at Heather Hill appliance store on College Street and asked if her boyfriend, Mel, could work in the backroom.
She quit because the boss disliked couples working together so Mel could have the job before his salesmanship became apparent and he struck out on his own in 1955 to form the beginnings of what would become the Bad Boy empire.
“If ever there was a couple who supported each other through many chapters, it was Marilyn and Mel Lastman,” said current Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“He couldn’t have been the mayor he was without her and she couldn’t have been the mother and grandmother she was without him. I know Mel will get lots of support from the Lastman family and the people of Toronto, including me, as he deals with this sad loss.”
Premier Doug Ford expressed condolences on behalf of his family, saying, “Marilyn’s countless contributions to Toronto and Ontario will live on for generations.”
On behalf of Karla, our daughters and family, I offer my most sincere condolences to former Mayor Mel, sons Dale and Blayne and their families. Marilyn’s countless contributions to Toronto and Ontario will live on for generations. http://t.co/hD1rWsRAi0
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) January 2, 2020
he loved her so much he had children with a coworker.
Most Haunted's Derek Acorah, TV medium, dies aged 69

BBC News
4th January 2020

Television medium and psychic Derek Acorah has died aged 69, his wife has announced.

Gwen Acorah Johnson said her "beloved" husband had passed away "after a very brief illness".

She announced his death on his official Facebook page, adding: "Farewell my love! I will miss you forever!"

Acorah was best known for Living TV's Most Haunted, a reality TV series that followed a team of paranormal experts as they investigated haunted locations.

Most Haunted ran from 2002 to 2010 although it returned in an online edition and on Really TV at various times until 2019.

Acorah departed as the show's guest medium after six series in 2005 over claims of fakery.

His former co-host, Yvette Fielding told the Metro in 2006: "We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go."

Acorah, who was born Derek Johnson in Bootle, Merseyside, made a cameo appearance in the 2006 Doctor Who episode Army of Ghosts and entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2017, finishing in fourth place.

He was banned from driving for more than two years in 2014 when he admitted to careless driving and failing to provide a further breath test following a car crash.

In addition to a 28-month ban, Acorah received a £1000 fine and had to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

He had performed regular live shows across the UK, with further tour dates planned for February and May, according to his website. He lived in Scarisbrick, near Southport, with his wife.

Mrs Acorah Johnson said she was "devastated", and thanked everybody who had supported her.

SAS hero who played a key role rescuing hostages in the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege dies aged 71 after a battle with cancer

A Scots special forces hero who played a key role in the Iranian embassy hostage crisis has died at the age of 71.

Tom MacDonald was part of the SAS team which was drafted in after Arab separatists stormed the building in 1980.

A tense siege ensued as 26 staff and visitors were held captive at gunpoint. But their demands were refused and eventually then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called in the SAS.

Glasgow-born Mr MacDonald was one of the masked men caught on camera as they stormed the building in South Kensington, London, after a six-day stand-off.

During Operation Nimrod, the SAS team abseiled from the roof of the embassy before forcing entry through windows and securing the five-storey building.

During a raid lasting 17 minutes, the team killed five of the six gunmen but lost one hostage.

Nine months ago, Mr MacDonald, who retired to Oamaru in New Zealand’s South Island, recalled the action for a local newspaper.

He said: ‘The whole thing lasted minutes. When we went into the embassy it was on five floors. My snipers were meant to contain the first floor, where I was, and the fifth floor, and the assault team were to take the middle three floors.

‘It turned out that a couple of the terrorists had come down to the floor that I went in on.

‘It was me that jumped the balcony and went in through the window, myself and another three.

‘We found the terrorists in there and dealt with them, so within 30 seconds I had gone through a window and killed two people, which wasn’t really expected.’

Fowzi Nejad, 23 at the time, was the sole survivor of the terrorists, who were demanding independence for a region of southern Iran.

He survived by pretending to be a hostage but was identified when they were handcuffed in the embassy garden.

He was sentenced to life in jail in 1981 for conspiracy to murder, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm and manslaughter. He was released after 27 years.

Scores say goodbye to Marilyn Lastman
Kevin Connor
January 5, 2020
January 6, 2020 9:01 AM EST
Mel Lastman, far left, and son Blayne Lastman after the funeral for Marilyn at Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel in Toronto on Sunday January 5, 2020. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun
It’s not the power you have in life that matters, it’s the people.
That was the message a Rabbi told the 400-plus mourners Sunday at the funeral of Marilyn Lastman.
“Marilyn knew that all her life,” Rabbi Louis Sachs told attendees at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel in North York.
Lastman, 84, the wife of former Toronto and North York Mayor Mel Lastman — her high school sweetheart — died on New Year’s Day.
She was the the matriarch of the Lastman family and Bad Boy retail chain, and had two married sons, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
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Former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman leaves the funeral for his wife Marilyn Lastman at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel in Toronto on Sunday January 5, 2020. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun
She was also known as the brains and political frontwoman for her husband, but as a businesswoman in her own right and worked with many charities — something she referred to as a labour of love.
Son Dale Lastman said he “lived in fear” of the day his mother would pass, and that dread was as real now it was when he was five years old.
Dale said he remembers coming home after graduating from law school, a tad bit high on the horse.
He said his mother taught him that what was most impressive about a person wasn’t their education, but how they carried themselves and treated others.
'LOST HIS BEST FRIEND': Marilyn Lastman, wife of former mayor Mel Lastman, dies
“In other words, drop the attitude,” he said.
“Heaven knows where I would be without those words or without her. People have said it’s remarkable how similar we were … I viewed that as the greatest compliment I could ever receive.”
He said “you can never love someone as much as you miss them, but you should spend every single day trying.”
Dale said his relationship with his mother was intensely private, so he would let grandchildren continue and six took to the pulpit.
One by one, they spoke about “Gamma”.
While preparing for the funeral was tough, they ended “laughing wildly” recalling her experiences and how lucky they were to have known her.
They say, Gamma taught them the the meaning of loyalty and how she was the brains behind Bad Boy.
More than a successful businesswoman who always put people at ease, she loved to throw charity balls and all six agreed she had an eye for fashion — always being the best-dressed in the room and an influencer long before the term was coined.
The congregation was told how “no” wasn’t in her vocabulary, with an example that even if a restaurant was full Gamma would miraculously have a table of 12 open up.
Lastman enjoyed making family memories during trips, even though she was afraid of flying.
In an attempt to put her at ease, she was told that “when it’s your time, it’s your time.”
To that, the congregation heard she replied, “what if it’s the pilot’s time?”
Ford family matriarch Diane Ford dies at age 85
Bryan Passifiume
January 6, 2020
January 6, 2020 8:12 AM EST
Doug and Rob Ford pose for a photo with mother Diane on Mother's day in 2012. Stan Behal / Toronto Sun file
She was the rock in an often tempestuous political family.
Diane Ford, mother of Ontario Premier Doug Ford and late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, died Sunday in Etobicoke at the age of 85.
A statement from the premier’s office said the Ford matriarch died surrounded by family and loved ones.
She had been battling cancer.
Diane Ford alongside grandson Michael Ford after he won the election for Ward 2, previously held by his uncle Rob Ford, on July 25, 2016. Jack Boland / Toronto Sun
Diane, the statement read, “was an active member of her community who supported numerous charitable causes. But most of all, she was the rock for her family, especially her 10 grandchildren,” the statement reads. “The Ford family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from members of the community in recent weeks. The family would also like to thank Mrs. Ford’s caregivers for their compassionate care.”
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Diane and husband Doug Ford Sr. had four children — Randy, Kathy, Doug Jr. and Rob.
She was at her husband’s side when he was elected to Queen’s Park as Progressive Conservative MP for Etobicoke-Humber.
The stylish and tough wife and mother was an ever-present figure during her son Rob’s time on Toronto city council, supporting numerous charities and opening up her home and backyard to numerous political and community functions.
Rob announced his intention to run for a second term as mayor in her home — a decision cut short upon his cancer diagnosis.
Diane Ford’s grandson Michael Ford, the eldest son of her only daughter, was first elected to Toronto city council in a 2016 byelection prompted by his uncle Rob’s death.
He tweeted about his grandmother on Sunday night.
“Heaven has just welcomed a very special angel through its gates tonight,” he wrote. “Words cannot describe how much I will miss you. Love you so much, Nana.”
Heaven has just welcomed a very special angel through its gates tonight. Words cannot describe how much I will miss you. Love you so much, Nana. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2JQJV5AqZM
— Michael Ford (@MichaelFordTO) January 6, 2020
Diane Ford’s death also prompted a flood of condolences from politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother,” he tweeted to the premier. “Sophie & I are keeping you & your family are in our thoughts tonight.”
.@fordnation, I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Sophie & I are keeping you & your family in our thoughts tonight.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 6, 2020
Ontario’s Opposition Leader, Andrea Horwath, also offered her sympathies.
“The Ford family is in our hearts and our minds as they grieve this deep loss,” the NDP leader said in a written statement. “I hope the family finds strength in each other, and comfort in community, and may warm memories of Mrs. Ford help the Ford family through this difficult time.”
The Ford family is in our hearts and thoughts as they grieve this deep loss.
I hope the family can find strength in each other, and comfort in community, and may warm memories of Mrs. Ford help the Ford family through this difficult time.
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) January 6, 2020
Toronto Mayor John Tory, who won the seat over Doug Ford in the 2014 municipal election, extended his condolences on behalf of the city.
“Throughout the 25 years I have known her, Mrs. Diane Ford was so obviously the matriarch of the Ford family and that is why I know they will miss her so much,” he said.
I know all of those who knew Mrs. Ford will miss her strong presence and treasure her memory.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 6, 2020
— With files from The Canadian Press
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume
WARMINGTON: Diane Ford was a 'larger than life' public servant
Joe Warmington
January 6, 2020
January 6, 2020 9:45 AM EST
Diane Ford joins Doug Ford's wife Karla during election canvassing in Oct. 2014Dave Abel / Toronto Sun file
One son is Ontario’s premier, another was Toronto’s mayor, her late husband was an MPP and her grandson is a city councillor.
But everybody in politics knows the biggest public servant of them all was Diane Ford.
Her death is “a major loss for Ford Nation, for Toronto, Ontario, Canada and of course Etobicoke,” said Postmedia Executive Chair Paul Godfrey, a former Metro Chairman.
“She was a wonderful mother who was a true matriarch — a leader of the family and an adviser with a strong voice to her husband and two sons.”
Surrounded by her family, she died Sunday at age 85 after a struggle with the same evil cancer that claimed her youngest son, former mayor Rob Ford and her late husband Doug Sr.
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Tributes came pouring in. Diane was Ford Nation royalty, but the sovereign of the legendary political family preferred loyalty.
“Diane Ford was fiercely loyal,” said family friend Justin ‘Shaker’ Van Dette.
No one saw that more than Mayor John Tory, a sometimes friend and sometimes political foe.
“You would have to have a chance to get up close to the family, not just Doug or Rob or Michael, to understand the incredibly important role Diane Ford played,” said Tory.
“Through all of the turbulence that often comes with public life, she stood in there and led the Ford family, tough but always generous, protective but always hospitable.”
Added Tory: “She was truly a larger-than-life figure.”
Like the mayor, Van Dette reminds us that Diane was not a cheerleader but a participant, who “in the role of government made so much sense and would often see an issue through from start to end.”
Etobicoke Councillor Stephen Holyday called Diane a “strong mother and grandmother who provided wise advice and a solid maternal foundation through the ups and downs of political life to her rising stars. My condolences to Michael and Doug, and the Ford family as they persevere through another tragic loss. A political mother has a special role in the success of a politician, Mrs. Ford has much to her credit in supporting local democracy from the quiet retreat of her family table.”
And not so quiet.
Diane Ford stands next to Doug Ford as late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s casket arrives at City Hall on Monday March 28, 2016. Craig Robertson / Toronto Sun
As Premier Doug Ford has told me, no one hosted more political picnics, constituents and media in her backyard than his mom.
The Ford Nation Ford Fest parties are legendary, but what is less-known are all of the constituency calls she would make — particularly when Rob was sick — because of her belief in Ford-style door-to-door customer service of representation.
Family friend Dr. Charles McVety described Diane as “the mother of Ontario,” who as a Christian “had a deep heart of compassion for people.”
In a statement, the premier’s office said Diane “was an active member of her community who supported numerous charitable causes but most of all was the rock for her family, especially her 10 grandchildren. The Ford family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from members of the community in recent weeks. The family would also like to thank Mrs. Ford’s caregivers for their compassionate care.”
Ford family matriarch Diane Ford dies at 85
Not everybody agreed at all times with her husband, sons or grandson — but so many people respected Diane.
“Our heartfelt sympathies to the Ford family at this most difficult time, as I know that the passing of Mrs. Ford will be deeply felt by many,” said Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack.
The only positive to losing somebody so big on the scene and behind the scenes is that she is no longer suffering with the disease of cancer that she loathed.
“She can now join Doug Sr. and Rob and be in comfort,” said Ford Nation member Jamie Wiley.
Rob Ford’s widow, Renata, said, “My mother-in-law had a special relationship with my children and myself and we are grateful to have had her in our lives. She is now in heaven surrounded by people she loves. May she rest in peace.”
Diane Ford certainly earned it.
This sucks...

Neil Peart of Rush has passed.

Neil Peart, the drummer of iconic Canadian band Rush, has died at age 67.

The influential musician and lyricist died Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., after having been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to a statement issued Friday by family spokesperson Elliot Mintz.

His death was confirmed by Meg Symsyk, a media spokesperson for the progressive rock trio comprising Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

I dont feel so good...
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

This sucks...

Neil Peart of Rush has passed.

Neil Peart, the drummer of iconic Canadian band Rush, has died at age 67.

The influential musician and lyricist died Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., after having been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to a statement issued Friday by family spokesperson Elliot Mintz.

His death was confirmed by Meg Symsyk, a media spokesperson for the progressive rock trio comprising Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

I dont feel so good...

Thanks for this, pete - saved me from posting it. Sad day for music fans. Neil was world-class. Fare Thee Well, Neil.
I wont lie, I shed a tear.
Best drummer of his generation.
Of any.
Premier Doug Ford reflects on mom's impact, plans fitting tribute
Joe Warmington
January 9, 2020
January 9, 2020 9:53 AM EST
The only thing different about the Ford family home was that Diane Ford wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table.
If she was at her north Etobicoke home while her son talked about her life and death, Doug Ford knows what his mom would say.
“She’d say, ‘Stop grieving and get back to work fixing the province,’” said the premier Wednesday with a chuckle.
Diane Ford was not shy about expressing her views. But she was always positive.
And family members have embraced that spirit as they prepare Saturday’s funeral for the Ford matriarch, who died Sunday of cancer.
“She would want it to be a celebration of life,” Ford said in an interview at the Ford family home.
The celebration of Diane’s life starts Thursday and Friday with visitations — from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. — at the Newediuk Funeral Home, located at 2058 Kipling Ave. Her funeral takes place at 10 a.m. at the Congress Centre, 1020 Martin Grove Rd.
A framed photo of the late Diane Ford at her Etobicoke home on Jan. 8, 2020. (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)
Doug Ford will speak and former premier Mike Harris will deliver a eulogy.
Many in public life, constituents, friends and employees of the family’s Deco Labels are expected at the funeral.
“She met so many people,” said Ford.
After 64 years of living in Etobicoke — and working on many political campaigns — Diane Ford was the family’s rock.
“She would have a good talk with us and give her opinions. She was very pragmatic,” recalled Doug Ford.
Diane was direct. Many campaign decisions were made at the family’s kitchen table.
“Sometimes, we would tell her we would be having a small gathering which could turn into 1,000 people,” said Ford. “Once the party happened, she was life of the party.”
Over the family’s 30 years in politics, he estimated, “more than 250,000 people must have come through that front door or been in the backyard.”
Since her death, people have been streaming in family’s homestead on Weston Wood Rd., just off Royal York Rd. Even in the middle of my interview with the premier on Wednesday, the doorbell rang.
And it’s not just at the house where people have been offering condolences to Doug, his surviving brother, Randy, his sister, Kathy and his mom’s 10 grandchildren, including Toronto Councillor Michael Ford.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook,” said the premier. “I just got off the phone with (former prime minister) Jean Chretien, who sent his best wishes.”
Ford family matriarch Diane Ford dies at age 85
WARMINGTON: Diane Ford was a 'larger than life' public servant
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called, as did most of Canada’s premiers.
“It means a lot,” said the premier, who believes in respecting political opponents. Ford added that his mother’s approach to politics was always “don’t make it personal.”
This is why so many from all political stripes are expected at the visitations and funeral which will feature bagpipers to honour her Scottish roots and a gospel choir to celebrate her Christian faith.
“We are going to give her quite a send off,” said the premier. “She would want people to have a smile on their face.”
Ford said even though he’s mourning, he will make sure he’s smiling, too, knowing his mother would insist on it.
“I think of all the great things we shared together,” said the premier, who added with so many memories, his mom really isn’t gone.
John Crosbie dead at 88

I liked his wit.
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

I wont lie, I shed a tear.

I’m not much of a fan-boy. If they held the Grammys in my backyard, I’d draw the curtains. But I have to admit to a lifelong obsession with Canadian rockers Rush that borders on the unhealthy.

I have never understood the outbursts of mass hysteria that have greeted the death of a celebrity that those grieving have never met.

Yet I confess to finding myself moved to tears by the death of drummer Neil Peart, from brain cancer at the age of 67.

To explain — those three mild-mannered Canadians changed my life. I grew up in small-town Scotland, aspiring to own luggage with a YYZ tag on it (the title of a mind-blowing instrumental on the classic Moving Pictures album) or to visit places that had inspired my heroes to write their song Subdivisions — exotically named towns like Mississauga and Etobicoke. It is not an exaggeration to say that when I came to North America to go to graduate school, I ended up in Canada because of Rush.

I was aware of the band in the late 1970s — Spirit of Radio was a Top 20 hit in Britain in 1980, but it was only after I bought the Vital Signs single that I became hooked. The guitar and bass playing were peerless, but it was the drumming and the weirdness of the lyrics that made Rush so different; Peart was the beat and the brains of the band. The dystopian fiction of 2112, inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem, had an almost hallucinatory impact on a 15-year-old who wasn’t interested in anything unless you could kick it, kiss it or plug it into an amplifier. Neil Peart opened up new worlds.

I wrote to join the Rush fan club in Thornhill, Ont., and found out the band was coming to Edinburgh to promote Moving Pictures. I bought 15 tickets, flogged 14 to my mates at a profit (Rush were huge among the spotty adolescent crowd) and persuaded our geography teacher to drive us in a rented minibus. That night remains etched in my memory to this day: Neil driving complex songs like Tom Sawyer and Red Barchetta from behind this massive kit, with its two bass drums adorned with the starman logo, flanked by a vast backdrop of tubular bells, wind chimes and cowbells.

Listen to Exit Stage Left, the live recording of that tour, and it’s easy to understand why he was consistently voted the best drummer in rock. Such power, such finesse.

I did get to meet Geddy Lee once and he was a perfect gentleman. That brief liaison relieved me of my irrational grudge against my Press Gallery colleague Don Martin, who claimed he was once being made up in the green room at CBC in Toronto when a diffident, long-haired individual approached while he was in the chair.

As Martin recounted: “He said: ‘Excuse me, are you Don Martin?’ He said he was Gerry Lee or something from Rush.” The injustice.

I never did meet The Professor, which may have been just as well. As he wrote in the song Limelight: “I can’t pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend.”

But if he didn’t know me, I felt I knew him through his lyrics and books, which latterly dealt with personal tragedy (the deaths of his daughter and wife) and his attempts to put his life back together (his subsequent re-marriage and the birth of a second daughter in 2009).

Peart called it a day from touring and recording because he was suffering from tendonitis and shoulder problems. He said he’d taken himself out of the game so he didn’t end up like the dancer in his song, Losing It — “Stiff as wire, her lungs on fire/With just the briefest pause/The flooding through her memory/The echoes of old applause.”

But that’s not what I will think of when I think of Neil Peart. I’ll think of great nights in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Toronto and Ottawa watching a master of his craft perform. I’ll think of many more nights with headphones on, playing air drums to Tom Sawyer and Xanadu like a demented extra from the movie I Love You, Man (in which “The Holy Triumvirate” appeared).

And as I reflect on his passing, I’ll think of his own words from the song The Garden.

“The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect/ So hard to earn, so easily burned.”

By any measure, his was a life well lived.

Hail and farewell to a great Canadian.


I saw Rush many times, notably on a New Years Rockin Eve at the old MLG on the same bill as Humble Pie. 1972-3?
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

John Crosbie dead at 88

I liked his wit.

the Don Cherry of Canadian Politics.

They'll have a party on the squid jiggin grounds tonight
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

I saw Rush many times, notably on a New Years Rockin Eve at the old MLG on the same bill as Humble Pie. 1972-3?

That's before Peart.
Then I never heard Peart because I didn't listen to Rush after that.
Actually I just checked and the Rush concert wasn't until 76. The Humble Pie show was with April Wine and Lighthouse.

That would have been about the last I heard of Rush.
Diane Ford remembered as family's 'guiding light' at Celebration of Life
Jane Stevenson
January 12, 2020
January 12, 2020 10:29 AM EST
A framed photo of the late Diane Ford at her Etobicoke home on Jan. 8, 2020. (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)
Politicians and members of Ford Nation showed up Saturday morning to pay their respects to Diane Ford, the “special” matriarch behind the Etobicoke political powerhouse Ford family.
The Celebration of Life was held at the Toronto Congress Centre for Ford, who died last Sunday at 85 after a long battle with cancer, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford shared a hilarious example of his mom’s “heavy foot,” recalling how she got a speeding ticket on Dixon Rd. after moving to Etobicoke 64 years ago with his dad, Doug. Sr.
“A couple of weeks later, sure enough, my Mom’s on Dixon Rd. again, and a police cruiser went flying by her,” Doug Ford explained while eulogizing his mother.
“Well, that was it. My mom was in hot pursuit right after the police. And they pulled over. And she marched out of the car and said, ‘Do you know how fast you were going back there?’ Back then we only had one car so needless to say my dad got pulled over every week for the next three or four weeks after.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford (centre left) reacts during a rendition of “Amazing Grace” performed by the CCC Greater Toronto Gospel Choir during the funeral service for his mother Diane Ford in Toronto on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Premier Ford was one of five people to deliver eulogies, the others coming from former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and various members of the Ford clan, who entered the Congress Centre behind a lone bagpiper playing Skyeboat Song and the casket of Diane Ford.
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The Premier, who spoke for just over 20 minutes, estimated after all the family’s famous Fordfests, which began in 1995 when Doug Sr. was elected as an Ontario MPP, his mother had hosted at least 250,000 people in their home and backyard.
WARMINGTON: Diane Ford was a 'larger than life' public servant
Premier Doug Ford reflects on mom's impact, plans fitting tribute
“That is absolutely staggering and she made the connection with every single person,” said Ford. “The last party that my mom hosted was a barbecue for all the consul generals from around the world. It was just in June. And she was dancing up a storm, and it was so appropriate that my mom, at her last party hosted the world after all those years.”
Throughout the proceedings, the CCC Greater Toronto Gospel Choir sang Amazing Grace, Soon and Very Soon, Hallelujah, Psalm 23, The Prayer and When The Roll is Called Up Yonder.
There were also two readings by Ford family members and a final prayer by His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins.
Ford said his socially-active and politically astute mother “guided us through the good times and through the tough times. And until her last day, our family never made any decision without her. And my mother was always guided by her three principles — family, community and giving back through charity.”
Aside from being the wife of an Ontario MPP and mother of the province’s current premier, one of her other sons, the late Rob Ford (who died from cancer in 2016), served as Toronto’s mayor and her grandson, Michael Ford, is a current city councillor.
Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris attends the funeral service for Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s mother Diane Ford in Toronto on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Also attending was former Ontario premier Ernie Eves, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion.
A slide show of the Ford Family was shown on large screens before the 90-minute service began while an organist softly played. And the bagpiper returned at the end of the memorial to perform Going Home as the Ford family and casket made their exit.
“Mom, I love you — I’ll always love you,” the Premier said as he wrapped up. “Look after Dad and Rob, up there in heaven, and I know the three of you are already planning Rob’s re-election campaign as the Mayor of heaven.”

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