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In Memoriam

Remember and celebrate the lives of alumni and friends.

2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015 

In Memoriam: Professor David Booth, OISE Professor Emeritus in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

December 22, 2018

professor david boothWe are very sorry to inform the OISE community that Professor David Booth passed away on December 22, 2018. David was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning.

David was involved in education for over sixty years, as a classroom teacher, consultant, professor, researcher, speaker and author. He authored many teacher reference books and textbooks in all areas of curriculum development: the arts, drama, literacy and media. As an internationally respected authority on education, he addressed educators and parents in every province of Canada, throughout the United States, and in many other countries around the globe. He won several awards for his classroom teaching, for his contributions to the teaching of reading and the arts in education, and for his books for young people, and was awarded honorary lifetime memberships in educational drama organizations in Canada, the United States and England.

A private funeral service will be held in Byron, Minnesota. A celebration of David’s life will be held in the spring of 2019, and more details will be provided after the New Year.

David was a very special member of our community. He was an outstanding colleague, friend, teacher and mentor, and we will all remember his wonderful smile and his very special sense of humour. This is a very sad loss for our community.

Our thoughts are with David’s family at this difficult time.

In Memoriam: Cindy Halewood, OISE alum (BEd '00) and JICS Lab School Teacher

November 12, 2018

With great sadness we share the news of Cindy Halewood's passing on November 8, 2018. Cindy was a former Lab School Teacher at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study since 2000. She taught Grade 2 and previously was the Junior Kindergarten Teacher. Cindy's work at the Institute began in 1995 as an Early Childhood Education Specialist in the licensed daycare prior to receiving her BEd degree at OISE in 2000.

Cindy will be remembered for many things including her loving rapport with children and her innovative curriculum, e.g. the study of birds, salmon restoration at Duffens Creek, the “cardboard arcade”, and her innovative approach to introducing Shakespearean comedies to 7-year old children.

Cindy was fiercely committed to creating an inclusive learning environment, environmental education, and worked hard to make connections with local indigenous educators and from Aroland First Nation to incorporate indigenous knowledge and perspectives into her work. Her professional development experiences were included in both editions of “Natural Curiosity: A resource for Educators” and serve as an inspiration for public school teachers.

Cindy understood the mission of the Lab School and was dedicated to mentoring teacher-candidates from the MA-CSE program and passionately presenting in their academic classes. She was deeply involved in research – Cindy was an early collaborator in the Knowledge Building / Knowledge Forum research of Dr. Marlene Scardamalia and Dr. Carl Bereiter and this work with the very young children has been published and presented at numerous conferences. Cindy welcomed local and international professional visitors into her class on a weekly basis.

In 2007-2008, Cindy was seconded to Mills College Children’s School, the lab school of the renowned teacher education program at Mills College, Oakland, California due to her reputation for deep knowledge in child-centered education. Unfortunately, Cindy needed to end her work at the Lab School in August 2016 but her surprise visits to JICS community events were a highlight for the children, teachers, and parents.

Her incredible laugh and razor-sharp wit will be missed by all at Jackman ICS.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 25, 2:00pm at 1101 Leslie St. Level B1 – Condominium Party Room. Visitor parking access - buzzer in front of building 1101. TTC information: 51 or 54 bus from Eglinton station.

Condolences can be left at: aftercare.org

In Memoriam: Edmund Theodore Frymire, OISE alum

September 19, 2018

Edmund Theodore Frymire, age 94, of RR1 Walton and formerly of Logan Township, Stratford and Kettle Point, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at Huron Residential Hospice, Clinton on September 15, 2018.

Ed served with the Royal Canadian Air Force for 21 years as a Captain and Chief Radio Officer. Later, Ed got his teacher’s degree at OISE, U of T, moved to Stratford and taught Business, Accounting and Math, at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School. During his time at Northwestern he worked for The Canadian International Development Agency in Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, Southern Africa. Although Ed officially retired in 1987, he moved to the country and started a whole new adventure.

Ed enjoyed a fine wine and company of friends and family, especially when a game of cards was involved; specifically: ‘Wipes’! Ed served on several boards, including Citizens for Stratford, and was very active in the successful campaign to save Stratford’s City Hall. Other boards include treasurer of various sports organizations. 

Family and friends will be received at the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford on Thursday, September 20, from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Friday at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow.

In Memoriam: Ljiljana Sandic-Aylon, OISE alumna (BEd '86)

August 31, 2018

Ljiljana_Sandic-AylonOISE alumna Ljiljana Sandic-Aylon (BEd 1986) passed away on August 21, 2018. Lil was a teacher at Newmarket High School for many years, working most recently in special education. The Toronto Star ran a story about her last days at Southlake Regional Cancer Center where she celebrated in the marriage of her eldest daughter.

On August 29, 2018, hundreds of family, friends, colleagues, and students attended a beautiful Celebration of Life. OISE alumna and Associate Dean Michele Peterson-Badali, a close and long time family friend, spoke at the celebration of Lil's tremendous contributions as an educator, mentor, and friend.

Lil's call to the teaching profession and her training many years ago at OISE led to a career marked by excellence, service, and care for students and colleagues alike, and exemplary dedication to the profession of teaching.

Although taken far too soon, those near and dear to her agree that she lived life to the fullest and leaves a legacy of love, good humour, and incredible strength of character that will continue to inspire.

Please take a moment to read her obiturary containing an option to leave a condolence message. 

In Memoriam: Peggy Black, OISE alumna 

August 28, 2018

With heavy hearts, we announce that Peggy Black passed away at the age of 99 on Sunday, August 12, 2018 at The Village of Winston Park. She was the beloved wife of John Sawyer (1975) for a short 29 years and the loving, devoted mother of her six children, as well as a grandmother, daughter and sister. 

Peggy was proud of her teaching career. She began teaching at Copper Cliff High School, after graduating from the University of Guelph and OISE at the University of Toronto, then moved on to Peterborough Collegiate where she met her husband. Peggy ended her career, of many years, teaching at St Mary’s High School in Kitchener, Ontario.

Peggy was gracious and kind, strong and loving and family meant everything to her. We have learned well from her example.

In Memoriam: Dr. Garnet Leo McDiarmid, OISE alum and former Chair

July 3, 2018

Dr. Garnet Leo McDiarmidWe are writing to share the sad news of the passing of Dr. Garnet Leo McDiarmid (OISE BEd) on June 14, 2018. We recently had the pleasure of hearing first hand of his teaching approach from an OISE alumni who had wonderful things to say about his work as a supervisor. Garnet had a brilliant mind and a tireless commitment to education. He retired from OISE in 1989 as the Chair of the Curriculum Department.

Please take a moment and read the full details of his life in the Globe and Mail obituary containing information about the service planned for July 15th. 

In Memoriam: Walter George Pitman, former OISE Director

June 14, 2018

walter pitmanThis morning we learned of the passing of Walter George Pitman, a colleague, friend and former Director of OISE (1986-1992). Walter had a remarkable passion for the arts, social justice, the environment and education. He joined OISE following his term as President of Ryerson, and he provided leadership during a challenging time. He was a thoughtful, caring contributor to our community. 

A celebration of Walter's exemplary life will take place on Friday, June 22nd at 7 p.m. at Trinity St. Paul's United Church at 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto. Reception to follow.

Please review the details of his remarkable life by visiting the Toronto Star obituary and read the OISE News story: Remembering Walter George Pitman.

In Memoriam: Donald MacWilliam, OISE alumnus

February 12, 2018

MacWilliam, Donald William – Passed away peacefully at Southlake Regional Health Centre on February 7, 2018 in his 89th year. Loving husband of Lois MacWilliam for 64 years. Beloved father of Robert (Linda Hadley), Annamarie (Stephen Hill), and Donna (Brian Hollander). Proud grandfather of Caroline (Lucas Montagnese), Jennifer, James, Gregory, Timothy, Elizabeth and Samantha. Great grandfather of Cedric and Owen Montagnese. Brother of Margaret Irvine. Son of the late Gordon and Mary MacWilliam of Wallacetown, Ontario.

Donald was educated at the University of Toronto with Masters of Education and Masters of Psychology degrees. He was an elementary school principal in Welland and York Region for many years. A special thanks to the staff at the Newmarket Health Centre.

Online condolences at www.roadhouseandrose.com.

In Memoriam: Beverley Evelyn Golden, OISE alumna

December 20, 2017

Peacefully, with the support of her friends and hospital staff as was her wish, at University Hospital London, on Monday, December 11, 2017 Beverley Evelyn Golden in her 83rd year.

Beverley's life path took her to the RCAF serving on the DEW Line radar station to her studies at Brescia College, London, the University of Toronto and Harvard University. Her teaching career continued at Banting High School and Tweedsmuir Grade School in London.

Beverley poured her gifts into her students, her precious friends, her much loved cats along with all other living creatures. She will be dearly missed by her good friend Terry O'Dacre.

Visitors will be received in the O'Neil Funeral Home, 350 William Street, London, Ontario on Friday, December 15, 2017 from 12:00 noon until the time of the Funeral Service which will be conducted in the Chapel at 1:00 p.m., followed by interment in St. Peter's Cemetery, London. 

In Memoriam: Bruce McFarlane, OISE alumnus

December 20, 2017

A bright light left the world on December 12, 2017. Bruce Furnival McFarlane passed away peacefully in his 78th year after a long struggle with Alzheimer's.

Bruce was an incredibly positive and outgoing force. He had an unquenchable enthusiasm and great zest for life. His tremendous ability to treat everyone he met with respect and sincerity made people feel special.

Bruce had a life-long interest in education and was a graduate of economics from Wilfred Laurier University and had a masters degree in education from the University of Toronto. He parlayed his love of education into a 33 year career as a teacher, mentor and principal. Bruce was an avid sports fan. He grew up playing minor sports in Toronto as a youth. This translated into a fanatical passion for the Toronto Argonauts and his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.

At Bruce's request, cremation has taken place. A celebration of remembrance will be held at a later date.

Visit www.henrywalser.com for Bruce's memorial.


In Memoriam: Honey Sherman, OISE alumna

December 18, 2017

We are deeply saddened by the death of Honey Sherman and her husband Bernard (Barry) Sherman—two of the University of Toronto's most prominent alumni and visionary supporters. 

Honey Sherman was a graduate of New College (B.A. 1969) and OISE (B.Ed. 1970), and was recognized with an Arbor Award in 2003 for her volunteerism which has always helped make the UofT community a better place.

We extend our deepest condolences to family and friends of the Shermans at this time.

See the University's statement in U of T News.  

In Memoriam: Paul Begley, OISE faculty member

November 22, 2017

We are writing to share the sad news of the passing of Paul Begley on November 20, 2017. Paul was an OISE faculty member in the former Departments of Educational Administration and Theory and Policy Studies. For those who remember Paul, we hope you will take a moment to share some reflections with others in our community. 

More information is available at Adams Funeral Home website: www.adamsfuneralhome.ca.The funeral is planned for Saturday November 25, 2017 with visitation from 9:30 to 11:00 am followed by service and reception. 

In Memoriam: Fr. Mario D'Souza, OISE Associate Professor

September 27, 2017

father mario oise profIt is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr. Mario D’Souza, CSB. Fr. D’Souza, former Dean of the Faculty of Theology, former President and Vice Chancellor of Assumption University, Windsor, and a world leader in the field of religious education, died peacefully at the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre on Tuesday evening, Sept. 26 after a brief illness.

Fr. D’Souza began teaching at the St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology in 1991, and, other than his time at Assumption (Jan., 2005-Aug., 2006), the Faculty remained his home until his death. He held the Basilian Fathers Chair in Religion and Education, and was named a Fellow of St. Michael’s College in October of 2014. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Theology from 2009 to 2014.

He brought to the classroom a rich academic history of his own, having received degrees from Boston College, the University of St. Michael’s College, the University of Toronto, the University of Calgary, and University College, Dublin.  

Loved by his colleagues, his friends, and, most importantly, his students, Fr. Mario will be deeply missed.

See Fr. Mario D'Souza's obituary by St. Mike's College, U of T.

In Memoriam: Ann M. Jaffrey, Jackman ICS teacher

August 14, 2017

Born in 1938, died on August 12, 2017 from an aggressive lung disease. She was a great teacher, a great friend, and a great mother who will be missed enormously by her son and daughter, Eric and Nora Jaffary, their spouses Aeyliya Husain and Edward Osowski, her grandchildren, Luc, Adam, and Simon, her sister and brother-in- law, Ellen and Roger Staig, and her former husband, Karl Jaffary, among many others. Ann was predeceased by her sister, Carol Hoffman, and by her longtime partner, Leslie Tompkins.

She will also be mourned by the dear friends she made in all eras of her life including during her time at the University of Toronto, her career at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, and her house on Orchardview Blvd. With dear old friends, and remarkable new ones, she shared her love of ballet, literature, theatre, and music, and she extended generous hospitality in many fine meals and visits both in Toronto and at Bona Vista. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Palliative Care Unit at Sunnybrook Hospital.

A memorial service will be held this fall. Those interested in attending can contact Eric Jaffary for details.

In Memoriam: Hildy Cronin, Jackman ICS teacher

July 15, 2017

It is with great sadness to announce that Hildy (Stollery) Cronin, a long time classroom teacher at the Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) and teacher educator, has passed away on July 6, 2017 at the age of 73.

Hildy joined OISE in 1968 as a teacher in the Institute of Child Study. In 1980 she was appointed to the rank of Tutor and taught both in the consecutive Bachelor of Education program, and in the Early Childhood Education Diploma program. She retired in 1999, and was also well known and highly regarded in the Toronto story telling community.

We extend our sincerest sympathies to Hildy’s family.

For more information and a link to online condolences, see Hildy Cronin's obituary.

In Memoriam: John Richard Harris, OISE alumnus

June 21, 2017

john richard harrisPeacefully at Parkwood Institute, John Richard Harris passed away in his 98th year. John was born and raised in Toronto. He joined the RCAF in 1941, serving as a navigator on a Halifax Bomber. The sole survivor of his aircrew, he spent two years as a prisoner of war in Germany, taking part in The Great Escape. A graduate of University of Toronto, and Carleton, John taught High School in Ottawa for 18 years, before moving to London in 1967 where he joined the administration at the newly opened Fanshawe College.

In his retirement, he wrote a wartime memoir entitled “Serving and Surviving”. On many Remembrance Days, and other occasions, he generously shared his wartime experiences with the public. After the war, he married his high school sweetheart Violet Kelly (predeceased). He will be greatly missed by his daughters, Anne and Catherine, and his grandchildren Kimberly, Suzanne, John, and Stephen. Cremation has taken place. A private celebration of his life will be held in August. Those wishing to make donations in memory of John are asked to consider the Canadian Red Cross. We wish to express our gratitude to the staff at Parkwood who provided him with wonderful care during the last year of his life.

For online condolences, please visit www.westviewfuneralchapel.com.

In Memoriam: Hugh Oliver, OISE staff member ('69-'95)

July 14, 2017

It is with great sadness to announce the death of Hugh Oliver, a long-time OISE staff member who was the Editor-in-Chief of OISE Press for many years, and was very much the spirit of OISE.

Hugh began at OISE Press in 1969 and served as its Editor-in-Chief from 1982 until his retirement in 1995. He was not only the editor of the Press and its journals and newsletter, News and Notes, but also the star of OISE’s social life, organizing bi-annual musical satires called CROISE, CROISIER, CROISIEST, and CROISE CUM LAUDE between 1980 and 1986, the star singer of the OISE band (subsequently named the Foolish Things), and the chief instigator of an annual cricket match at OISE. In addition, he was an accomplished songwriter and crooner, sculptor (some of his works still being at OISE), poet, and star of the award-winning documentary, The Ballad of Hugh

His books of poetry included the Canadian Limerick Book, the American Limerick Book, and several serious volumes, including one focused on the Holocaust, A Fog of Grey Voices. He also authored Hoblyn: A Novel in 3 Parts and the book, the Art of Aluminum Foil. In a 2012 interview with NOW Magazine, Hugh made no secret about wishing to be buried next to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer in Westminster Abbey, but alas accepted a more modest fate at St. James Cemetery in Toronto. 

A visitation will be held from 12 Noon to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017, at the Forest Lawn Mausoleum and Cremation Centre, 4570 Yonge St (just north of the 401). Following the visitation, a burial will take place at St James Cemetery (probably between 2 and 2:30), 635 Parliament St., North Lot 317, Section E-Ravine.

Hugh Oliver was a very special part of the OISE legacy and his passing fills us with great sorrow. We extend our sincerest sympathies to Hugh’s family and friends.

There will be a celebration of life for Hugh Oliver, the long-time editor-in-chief of OISE Press, on Saturday, September 30, 2017 starting at 7 pm, at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick St., just south of Bloor, a setting where he performed for many years. There will be bands, poetry readings, some speeches between 8 and 9, along with some video clips featuring Oliver. 

For more information please see the following: www.facebook.com/events/520950884910660/

Tammy KokotkiewiczIn Memoriam: Ursula Tammy Kokotkiewicz, OISE alumna (BEd '14)

July 5, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a former OISE student, Tammy Kokotkiewicz. According to news reports, Tammy or 'Mrs. K' – as she was affectionately referred to by her students – and her husband Jacob passed away in New Mexico in June 2017. A well-loved teacher in Dallas, Tammy graduated with an Honours BA from Woodsworth College in 2013 and with a B.Ed. from OISE in 2014. She was 32 years old.

We extend our sincerest sympathies to Tammy’s family and friends.

In Memoriam: Richard Potwarka, OISE alumnus (MEd)

June 5, 2017


Rich Potwarka really had no intention of becoming a teacher.

After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in philosophy, he might have been scrambling to come up with a practical career goal, but teaching, well that wasn't an option.

Son, Luke Potwarka, said it was a pal of his father's who convinced him, even though the term at the teachers college had started two weeks earlier. “He was coaxed in," said Luke. "He needed a little bit of a nudge.”

That nudge led Rich to a career he loved, one that mirrored his work as a baseball coach, a job where he had the deepest impact on young athletes.

Rich was born in Kitchener an only child and the son of Polish immigrants. He was raised by his mother, in the Cherry Park neighbourhood. That park was where Rich spent many happy hours playing baseball with friends. "That's where he honed his craft," said Luke.

After completing teachers college in Stratford, Rich finished a master's degree in education from the [Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the] University of Toronto. He met Charlene, a teacher living in Michigan, while attending a wedding.

See Richard Potwarka's obituary in the Waterloo Region Record.

In Memoriam: Dr. Carol Ann Golench, past President of the OISE Alumni Association 

March 25, 2017

We are deeply saddened by the news of Carol Ann Golench's passing. Carol passed away peacefully after a brave struggle with cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in her 70th year on March 18, 2017. She was a graduate of the University of Toronto, attaining three degrees and a Doctorate (PhD) in Theory and Policy Studies, and a past President of the OISE Alumni Association.

As a recipient of a [U of T] Arbor Award, Dr. Golench proudly served on the College of Electors and as a co-opted member of the University of Toronto's Governing Council. Carol enjoyed attending Université d'Aix-Marseille, France and spoke four languages and embraced her Finnish heritage. Following a distinguished career in education as a Principal of international languages program, she subsequently pursued her interest in politics as a member of the Ontario Liberal Party, which later led her to be elected to the position of Vice-President Policy.

As a member of the Toronto Earlscourt Rotary Club, she was introduced to the microfinance movement and was subsequently appointed President of the Toronto International Microfinance Summit, a forum to raise the public profile of microfinance in Canada and internationally. Carol was extremely hard working and had varied interests particularly in fashion and design.

A memorial service is planned in early May for her many friends and colleagues. Her interment will be at a later date at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In Carol's memory, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society and Covenant House would be greatly appreciated. Carol will be greatly missed by her many friends and relatives. 

See Carol Golench's obituary in the Toronto Star.

In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas Mark Turay (MA '96; PhD '01)

September 2015

Dr. Thomas Turay

OISE's distinguished scholar, Dr. Thomas Mark Turay—a great teacher, peace builder, co-founder and co-director of the Center for Development and Peace (CDPeace) in rural Sierra Leone—died September 6, 2015 suddenly of heart failure brought on by a severe asthma attack, not far from his home in Sierra Leone.  He will be much missed by fellow alumni, colleagues and friends.

The primary focus of Dr. Turay's work was in the areas of peacebuilding, human rights, advocacy, development education, peace education, and indigenous African knowledge systems. He worked closely with the Coady Institute’s overseas partners in Egypt, Guyana, Jamaica and Sierra Leone, and with Canadian NGOs including Canadian Friends of Sierra Leone, Partnership Africa Canada, Peacefund Canada, Peaceful Schools International, the International Centre for Conflict Resolution and Mediation, and the Tatamagouche Training Centre. 

He stepped down as senior program staff at the Coady Institute and as a faculty member in the Department of Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University in 2008. He returned to Sierra Leone to focus on his work with the Center for Development and Peace Education, an organization he directed and co-founded before coming to the Coady. Over the past year, Dr. Turay and his wife Mary, also a StFX graduate, gave much of their time and energy helping communities respond to the Ebola crisis in their country.

Prior to his work with the Coady Institute, Dr. Turay was also the Director of Caritas Makeni – an NGO which provides relief and development support for community-based organizations in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone.