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Fond farewells

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Fond farewells


Free Press staff   2004-01-01 04:20:18  



Prominent people who died in 2003, as compiled by Free Press staff, CP and Associated Press: JANUARY

Billy Van, 68, the diminutive, manic comic actor who starred in CBC-TV's Nightcap in the 1960s and the Hilarious House of Frightenstein in the '70s, of cancer in Toronto.

Evelyn Gosnell, 82, the wife of Fred Gosnell, who was mayor London in 1971, and mother of Tom Gosnell, London's mayor from 1986 to 1984.

Sydney Omarr, 76. His horoscopes were the first thing many newspaper readers turned to each morning.

Maurice Gibb, 53. One of the Bee Gees, who ruled the 1970s charts with disco hits like Stayin' Alive.

FEBRUARY

Dennis McDermott, 80, former president of the Canadian Labour Congress and instrumental in raising the profile of the labour movement, in Peterborough.

Charlie Biddle, 76, who played bass with Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker and singlehandedly kept Montreal's jazz scene alive in the '50s and' 60s, of cancer in Montreal.

Dick Shatto, 69, retired in 1965 as the best offensive player in Toronto Argonauts history, of lung cancer in New Port Richey, Fla.

RIck Husband, 45, commander of the shuttle space shuttle Columbia, along with pilot William McCool, 41; mission specialists Michael Anderson, 43, David Brown, 46, Kalpana Chawla, 41, Laurel Clark, 41; payload specialist Ilan Ramon, 48, Israel's first astronaut.

Fred Rogers, 74. He gently invited millions of children to be his neighbour as longtime host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

MARCH

Diane Stuemer, 43, who sailed around the world with her family and captivated Canadians for four years with bulletins from faraway places, of cancer in Ottawa.

Ron McNeil, 83, a lifelong resident of Springfield, where he was inducted into the Elgin County Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was the Progressive Conservative MPP for Elgin from 1958 to 1987 and was known for his efforts to keep the Ontario Police College in Aylmer.

Dr. Robert Atkins, 72. His high-protein diet was long dismissed as folly, but recently validated in some research.

Robert Stack, 84. His granite-eyed stare and menacing baritone spelled trouble for criminals in The Untouchables and Unsolved Mysteries.

June Carter Cash, 73. Grammy-winning scion of country music's pioneering Carter Family, wife and collaborator of Johnny Cash.

APRIL

Richard (Dic) Doyle, 80, former senator and editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, in Toronto.

Rosemary Brown, 72, first black woman elected to a Canadian legislature, of a heart attack in Vancouver.

Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, 91, served as the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of London for 14 years beginning in 1964.

MAY

BARB TARBOX, 42, A HEAVY SMOKER DIAGNOSED WITH INCURABLE LUNG AND BRAIN CANCER WHO SPENT HER LAST DAYS TELLING SCHOOL KIDS NOT TO SMOKE, IN EDMONTON.

John Savage, 70, former hippie doctor who became premier of Nova Scotia, of cancer in Halifax.

Ross Powless, 76, Six Nations lacrosse legend and member of the Canadian and Ontario lacrosse halls of fame, after a lengthy illness in Paris, Ont.

JUNE

Roger Neilson, 69, Hockey Hall of Fame member and NHL innovator and coach, of cancer in Peterborough.

Hume Cronyn, 91, a London-born actor best-known for playing irascible old men, of prostate cancer in Fairfield, Conn.

Pierre Bourgault, 69, who began fight for Quebec independence at meetings in kitchens, of respiratory problems in Montreal.

David Brinkley, 82. Revered broadcaster, first gained fame as half of NBC's Huntley-Brinkley anchor team.

Gregory Peck, 87. He embodied citizenship and fatherly compassion in To Kill a Mockingbird and played real-life figures from Abraham Lincoln to Josef Mengele.

Leon Uris, 78. Author who made it big with Exodus, other popular novels.

Katharine Hepburn, 96. She brought feminist strength, chiselled beauty and patrician bearing to such films as The Philadelphia Story and The African Queen.

JULY

Buddy Ebsen, 95. Actor who achieved stardom in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.

Bob Hope, 100. Master of the one-liner and favorite comedian of servicepersons and presidents alike.

Sam Phillips, 80. Record producer who discovered Elvis Presley and helped usher in the rock 'n' roll era.

Eddie Allen, 82, member of the CBC's Happy Gang, in London.

Frank Fodemesi, 89, a downtown London business icon who left his footprints all over London as owner of Fodemesi's shoe store on Dundas street.

Carol Shields, 68, award-winning Canadian writer who was often compared to Jane Austen for her telling portraits of everyday life.

AUGUST

George Retzlaff, 81, founding producer of Hockey Night in Canada and creator of the first instant replay in 1955, in Toronto.

Nancy McNee, 80, a tireless volunteer with a passion for helping Londoners. McNee was a volunteer for 50 years with United Way.

Idi Amin, about 80. His bizarre eight years as president of Uganda in the 1970s typified the continent's worst dictatorships.

Charles Bronson, 81. Tough action star of the 1970s, notably in Death Wish movies.

John Munro, 72, former federal cabinet minister and longtime political scrapper, of heart attack in Hamilton.

J.C. (Charlie) Van Horne, 82, former leader of the provincial Tories in New Brunswick, in Campbellton.

Robert Timbrell, 55, one of the country's foremost female impersonators, in Liverpool, N.S.

SEPTEMBER

Warren Zevon, 56. Singer-songwriter known for twisted sense of humour (Werewolves of London, Life'll Kill Ya).

John Ritter, 54. He ruled TV comedy with Three's Company; more recently the dad on 8 Simple Rules . . . For Dating My Teenage Daughter.

Johnny Cash, 71, country singer and songwriting legend, was known as The Man In Black.

OCTOBER

Bertram Brockhouse, 85, who won a Nobel Prize for work on neutrons in 1994, in Hamilton.

Ben Metcalfe, 83, founding member of Greenpeace.

Stu Hart, 88, patriarch of Canada's famous wrestling family and founder of Stampede Wrestling, from pneumonia in Calgary.

Martha Curgin, 53, a community leader with vision, commitment and enthusiasm. She was executive director of the London Health Sciences Foundation, heading its successful $104-million capital campaign in 2003. She was also chairperson of the London Public Library board.

Martha Bishop, 81, a retired University of Western Ontario librarian. She donated $275,000 to the London Public Library from her estate valued at $6.1 million.

Izzy Asper, 71, the patriarch of CanWest Global Communications, who rose from obscurity in small-town Manitoba to found the country's largest media empire.

Bill (a.k.a. Willie) Shoemaker, 72. Hall of Fame jockey with 8,833 victories; one of the 20th century's greatest athletes.

Madame Chiang Kai-shek, 105. With her husband, she ruled China and later Taiwan during decades of upheaval and Cold War tension.

NOVEMBER

Robert McMichael, 82, art collector and co-founder of The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, of pneumonia, in Kleinburg.

Brennan Howe, 7, of London, was featured nationally in the Angel Christmas campaign in 2000 for Canadian Blood Services. She endured chemotherapy, radiation, a bone marrow transplant, surgeries, cancer, a stroke and countless blood transfusions.

Art Carney, 85. He turned The Honeymooners sidekick Ed Norton into one of the most memorable characters in television history, won Oscar for "Harry and Tonto."

Raymond Gray Lewis, 93, the first Canadian-born black athlete to win an Olympic medal, a bronze in the 4x400 relay in 1932, in Hamilton.

DECEMBER

Suzanne Cloutier, 76, Quebec actress who developed an international film and stage career.

Robert Stanfield, 89, a former leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party, often referred to as the best prime minister Canada never had.


Copyright © The London Free Press 2001,2002,2003





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