(Obituaries are listed alphabetically at the top, but in chronolocical order below)
Jane Crosier - Monday, March 2, 2009
Mildred Joyce MacDonald - Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Les McLaughlin - Saturday, January 8, 2011
Lori Nash - Thursday, March 1, 2012
Norma Reveler-Butler - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Frederick Arthur Walker - Tuesday June 22, 2010
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Please note, if anyone (family or friends) would like to add more history or information, to these obituaries, please let us know: patrick[at]writersdeadline.ca
OBITUARY: NASH, Lori - Peacefully on March 1, 2012 in her 62nd year after a courageous battle with cancer. Predeceased by her parents George and Mary Siteman (nee Whalen) and sister Theresa Booth. Lori was a loving and devoted wife to husband Lorne, loving mother to her daughter Marcia Pascal (Dan) and son Christopher (Melanie Campeau), and cherished grandmother to Kylie, Cassidy and Holly. Lori will be lovingly remembered by her sister Geneva Murphy (Lloyd) of Fredericton, brothers Cyril Siteman (Janet) of Falmouth, Nova Scotia and James (Jim) Siteman (Mary) of Toronto, brother-in-law Dennis Nash, and sister-in-law Ardith Nash of Winnipeg. She will fondly be remembered by her nieces and nephews. Friends may call at the Heritage Funeral Home 2871 St. Joseph Blvd. Orleans, on Monday, March 5th from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, March 6th at 11:00 a.m. at the Redeemer Alliance Church 4825 Innes Road, Orleans, Ont. Memoriam donations may be made to the Redeemer Alliance Church and the Ottawa Public Library. Website. You can also sign the Guest Book.
Patrick remembers Lori Nash:
I first came across her name years ago when I was freelancing. She published a slick, glossy magazine called Orleans something, similar to Ottawa Magazine. It did not last too long, it was an ambitious venture, but expensive.
The next time we encountered her, I was an OIW board member and we tried to set up an OIW -East chapter in Orleans, to try and increase the membership and make it a little easier for the far-eastern residents to belong. I remember John Cook and I attending their first meeting at the Orleans Library. As the meeting progressed, I got up to say something, as a board member from the "HQ Chapter". Lori stopped me short... she was in charge, and no one was going to interrupt her meeting... even if we were the people from Ottawa, who were supposed to be running the organization.
I lost track of her over the years... given my own spouse's losing battle with cancer, and
my involvement and integration with my community news website in Rockland... but I remember her well.
The Ottawa Public Library Foundation announces with great sadness the passing of Lori Nash, a member of our Board of Directors.
Lori was a passionate supporter of the Ottawa Public Library and a tireless member of the Foundation Board. She contributed much energy, many ideas, advocacy and focussed strategic direction during her tenure on the Board, in support of her great passion – the Library and the services it provides to our citizens.
Prior to her work with the Foundation she was the President of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library and provided tremendous leadership to that group. Lori was a city champion, a library and literacy advocate, a dear colleague and we will miss her greatly.
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Preliminary Information from Ray Stone:
This photo comes from a Web site called Yukon Nuggets and offers some background on Les:
Les began his broadcasting career with CBC Northern Service in Whitehorse, Yukon as summer relief in 1962 and was a full-time announcer operator from 1964 – 68. He was the Northern Service producer in Montreal from 1968 – 80, moving to Ottawa as the producer/head of the Ottawa production unit form 1980 – 1995. The Northern Service production unit was established in 1980 as the result of minor downsizing at the CBC Northern Service short-wave headquarters in Montreal, the unit was located at the Chateau Laurier Hotel on the 8th floor, in an unused storage area which came to be known as The Eagle’s Nest. During his career, Les was the recipient of many awards that recognized not only his work in broadcasting, but most importantly his contribution in promoting artists, such as Hank Karr, and the Northern Peoples culture and talent; including Susan Aglukark, Hank Karr, Charlie Panigoniak, and Kashtin, to name a few.
Service Celebrating Les' life will be held at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 3440 Richmond Road, Nepean (between Bayshore Dr. and Baseline Rd.) on Saturday, January 15th at 2:00 pm, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers a donation to the Les McLaughlin Fund, c/o the Yukon Foundation, for the pursuit of journalism, production and broadcasting would be appreciated. To read more about Les' life, or to send condolences, tributes or donations please visit www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com. View/Sign the Guest Book.
(NOTE: These are just a few of the many references that you can find about Les on the Internet.
A google search will reveal many more.)
I never really knew anyone who fit the title of renaissance man until I met Les McLaughlin. And even then it took nearly forty years to recognize that he was the quintessential renaissance man. But there it is. Our pal Les is right up there with the best of them ~~ even though his favorite pair of slippers was a creative combination of caribou skin and duct tape. He accomplished so much in his own quiet way, that many of us never realized the scope of his talent. When he decided to try painting northern scenery, it became an all consuming passion ~~ and his small dining room became a studio where he produced dozens of unique, brilliant, wonderful sunsets and icescapes, colorful birds, and even classic cars. His home became an art gallery and just a couple of months ago he presented Karen and I with one of my favorite paintings as a wedding present. It hangs in our home in California.
Les wasn’t a musician ~~ he didn’t play any instrument ~~but he contributed an incredible legacy to the music scene here in Canada. He showcased the talents of many northern musical artists during the annual CBC True North Concert series. Well known entertainers ~ Susan Aglukark ~ Charlie Panagoniak ~ and Kashtin have acknowledged the important role Les played in their careers. Les was an amazingly talented music producer, bringing together musicians from just about everywhere to create an impressive library of LPs and albums for the Northern Service, and later for his own record company. His exceptionally popular Robert Service CD will be played for years to come. His CDs and DVD video productions of the songs of Hank Kerr are masterpieces, and his own recordings ~~ Crooner in 2006 and Sincerely in 2008 are further examples of his extraordinary versatility and talent.
He sang surprisingly well on these CDs, with the patient help of Canada’s musical icon Tracy Brown singing the harmony.
Here’s what he wrote for the back of his Crooner CD:
Let’s listen to a couple of verses of Les singing Sentimental Journey.
We can safely say that Les wasn’t a fashion plate, ~~and when he asked me to take a few photographs of him for the cover of his album, he wanted to look a bit more spiffy than usual. I asked him to wear a nice white shirt, and good sports jacket and a classy tie. He had none of the above. The picture of him standing under the bright red leaves of a maple tree looks very snazzy. He’s wearing my shirt, my jacket and my tie.
His quiet determination helped him conquer three demons ~~ He quit drinking , quit smoking and quit going to the casino ~~ all within a year. That’s enough to drive an ordinary man coo-coo. Les quietly fought those battles ~~ and won.
Les became one of the most popular figures ever to belong to the National Press Club of Canada. He made every Friday night at the club an event ~~ name that tune ~~ pool tournaments ~~ Video nights ~~ roasts and farewell parties ~~ Les was there along with his buddy Mike Pasternak helping to make the club what it used to be ~ an exciting and fun place. And his legendary hilarious conversations with Gordie Lovelace were awesome to behold. With their deadpan improv they once convinced a naïve new club member that the federal government secretly moved Newfoundland back and forth between time-zones twice a year as a massive public works project, but someone raised a ruckus and they had to stop in mid-transfer ~~ hence the half-hour time zone difference.
If you ever feel that you deserve the Order of Canada, don’t ask me to apply on your behalf. I’ve tried to have three deserving Canadians awarded this honor ~~ Jan Zurakowski, one of Canada’s most famous and heroic Air Force pilots, Rosaleen Dickson, a leading author, journalist, activist and wonderful Canadian ~~ and Les McLaughlin ~~~ all three were turned down by the wizards at Government House in favor of more deserving candidates. I won’t mention any names.
Les was an award-winning videographer. After retiring from the CBC as a radio producer of great renown, he decided that it must be just as easy to edit video as it was to edit audio tapes. He proved that he was right. It was easy ~~ for him. Watching him edit a complex video with all of the many tracks and cues and fades and effects was like watching the conductor of a symphony orchestra ~~ all in the exotic surroundings of his home studio which was a combination of a Rube Goldberg contraption, and Fibber Magee’s closet. His equipment was laced together with bits of tape decks from the 1950s, space age video cameras and computers, home-made wiring connections and cardboard boxes. But it all worked, and the finished product, whether it was a you-tube production of my song Mysterious woman, to a documentary about the Yukon River, was always a masterpiece.
Les was a writer in the Hemmingway sense of the word. His Yukon Nuggets appeared regularly in the Whitehorse Star and were always a joy to read. They were a kaleidoscope of historic and hilarious tales of the wild west.
As the executive producer for the CBC Northern Service, Les created literally thousands of news stories, features, dramas, historic series, and endless interviews with the newsmakers of the day~~ all with the help of a stable of unstable reporters and free-lancers. Several of us here today were members of that unstable group. I started with Les in 1968 and for thirty-five years had the time of my life working with Les on several iconic radio series for the CBC Northern service. His award-winning drama on the Mad Trapper of Rat River was replayed by the CBC a couple of months ago, thanks to the dedication of Julie Maloney. It was originally produced in 1975. I had one line in that epic ~~ “We know you’re in there” and then a gunshot and I went “UGH” ~~ killed by the Mad trapper.
But his true love was always Canada’s northwest. His annual pilgrimage to his beloved family retreat at Sturgeon Lake gave him a chance to kick back and recharge. It was on one of these getaways that he began fiddling with video production, and a new career was born. He’ll be there again this summer ~~ I won’t have to drive him to the airport this time ~~ his angel wings will take him there.
All of us here were his best friends. He was everybody’s best pal. His loving family ~~ His son Mark and wife Susan, two little grandkids ~ Daughter Angela, sisters Irene, Margaret and Jean, brothers tom and the late Fred McLaughln (names – daughter, sisters, brothers etc ~~ and all of his best pals will always remember his infectuous smile, his political steadfastness ~ his quiet understated talent and his beautiful personality. Les, we’re gonna miss you ~~ but your memory lives on in your many creative accomplishments. As your pal Robert Service would say, Les cast the spell of the Yukon over all of us. As my daughter Cathee said ~~ The aurora borealis will shine a little brighter.
Save a place for us in Valhalla Les.
Saying goodbye to a CBC legend
A spirit appeared during a celebration-of-life service in a funeral home chapel Jan. 15, with the express purpose of helping a grieving young woman singer whose voice had faltered.
The upbeat ceremony was to say goodbye to Leslie Lorne (Les) McLaughlin, a broadcast lifer with the CBC's Arctic radio service. He died of cancer Jan. 8. He didn't think age worth mentioning, but like most of his friends, he was 69.
The singer at Tubman's Garden Chapel on Richmond Road was Kelly Prescott, and she was well into Loch Lomond when she choked up.
That was when, with no hesitation, the spirit of the old National Press Club appeared. Many of the more than 100 attendees were, like Les McLaughlin, survivors of the club's glory days, multitalented, and not shy about turning loose the vocal cords or chords.
Suddenly the spirit in the room was upbeat and happy. It was the press club. It was spontaneous, and Les would have loved it.
McLaughlin was one of the most interesting members of a club filled with interesting people, and one of the hardest to get to know. For most of three decades, you'd find him occupying the same spot at the north end of the club's big bar.
If a stranger was looking for a media star, they'd give him a pass.
He looked so ordinary one could be forgiven for thinking a man had wandered into the wrong bar.
He was modest and self-effacing, rare qualities in a media star, particularly of the CBC variety. He seemed to have been born with premature male pattern baldness. He wore oversized glasses. There were unproved rumours he owned a tie. His usual greeting was to dip his head, peer over his glasses, and smile.
He wouldn't be alone long. People, most of them high-profile media types, gravitated to Les. The press club was a swamp crawling with opinions. Les was a proving ground. A writer may have been ready to put an opinion into word or print and if lucky enough to find Les at the north end, could flight test the latest punditry. If there were design flaws in the thinking, they would show immediately. Les looked like a shy man, but he wasn't. He was also one of the most opinionated players in the place.
During his career he helped launch northern music stars like Hank Karr, Susan Aglukark, Charlie Panigoniak, and Kashtin.
He took early retirement from his producer's job in Ottawa, saying there were other things he wanted to do. Then he surprised us all. He could sing. He could write songs. He was raised in the Yukon and could have been the territory's unofficial historian. He knew the works of Robert Service by heart and put many of them to music, then went on tour with Tracey Brown (of the Family Brown singers), and the mother of Kelly Prescott. They produced records of the music of the North. Photos for CDs and promotional material were done by longtime McLaughlin friend and club member Ray Stone, who during a eulogy said: "He accomplished so much in his own quiet way that most of us didn't realize the scope of his talent." He also explained how Les turned out looking so dapper on one of his CDs. "He's wearing my jacket, shirt and tie."
McLaughlin was also a painter. His battered paint box was on display at the service. It contained his ashes. Stone reminded attendees that McLaughlin's favourite footwear was a pair of slippers made of caribou skin and duct tape. The urn replacement was the right style.
The service was conducted by Rev. Nancy Murphy, for many years the press club's chaplain. The event needed a special touch, and she nailed it. She talked about ministering to the north end bar, said they really needed it, and admitted she had a swell time. Although Les was not religious, she referred to how he prospered under God's grace; "whether he believed it or not."
Changing times and a shrinking membership closed the press club's Wellington Street quarters three years ago, and it now exists as a foundation struggling to keep alive a variety of awards commitments.
In case it appears Les spent too much time at a bar, it should be mentioned that, like some of us, he quit drinking years ago.
He was the youngest of a large family, and although divorced about 30 years ago, stayed close to his two children and two grandchildren.
Norma It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Norma Reveler. Norma passed away on Wednesday, July
21st at the age of 46 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was the beloved wife of William Butler, the cherished
daughter of Dwight and Margaret (nee MacNeill, formerly of North Rustico) Reveler and dear daughter in-law to Edith
Butler and friend to Leah Butler. Norma was a loving sister to Doug (Jennifer), Ian, and Elaine (George), and a
loving aunt to Ben, Kimberly, Alanah, Ryan, Brianne and Brett. She will be greatly missed by her family and multitude
of friends including Donna, Emily and Lorna. Norma graduated from Carleton University with a degree in journalism
and received her Bachelor of Education at the University of PEI. Her joy was travelling. She spent seven years
living in Japan, and she travelled for pleasure, to write freelance articles and with her work. Her last job was
with the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair &
McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor) on Sunday, July 25 from 2-4 & 7-9pm. A Funeral Service will be held
in the Chapel on Monday, July 26 at 1pm. As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to the Ottawa Hospital
Foundation for cancer research. Sign and view the Guest Book.
WALKER, Frederick Arthur - June 22, 2010. It is with regret that we inform you of the recent passing of Fred Walker. Fred died peacefully at the Elisabeth Bruyère Health Centre on Tuesday June 22, 2010 at the age of 49 years. He was a long-time member of Canadian Authors Association and a very active participant in the Ottawa Branch. He will be much missed by his friends at CAA. As an expression of sympathy memorial contributions to your favorite charity would be appreciated by the family. www.mcgarryfamily.ca.
Obituary: Peacefully at the Elisabeth Bruyère Health Centre on Tuesday June 22, 2010
at the age of 49 years. Beloved son of William Edgar (Ed) Walker and the late Irene Walker (nee Sawyer). Dear brother
of Marilyn Laplante (Martin). Fondly remembered by his nieces, Michelle and Nicole and nephew Alexandre. Friends
are invited to visit at the St-Laurent Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 1200 Ogilvie Road (at Aviation
Parkway) on Sunday June 27th, 2010 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at Annunciation of the Lord
Roman Catholic Church, 2414 Ogilvie Road Ottawa on Monday June 28th, 2010 at 11 a.m. As an expression of sympathy
memorial contributions to your favorite charity would be appreciated by the family.
Mildred Joyce (nee Holmes) November 18, 1927 - June 4, 2009 With a martini in one hand and a microphone in the
other, veteran broadcaster Mildred MacDonald entertained us with her innate ability to find the story in everyday
people and events. She is survived by: her daughter Alex and her partner Martin Clary; granddog Zo; and her sisters,
Merrie Bulin (Swift Current) and Marg Galvin (Dryden). Special thanks to the wonderful staff at the Ottawa Cancer
Centre, the Hospice at May Court and, especially to Dr. Beverly Armitage. In lieu of flowers, please send donations
to the Hospice at May Court (613-260-2906 ext. 222 or www.hospicemaycourt.com ). A celebration of Mil's life will
be held at St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church (125 MacKay Street, Ottawa) on Thursday June 11th at 4:30 p.m. Reception
Broadcasting pioneer Mildred MacDonald dies
CROSIER, Jane Ann (Rioux) Died March 2, 2009 age 61 after a heartbreaking battle with cancer. Beloved wife to Peter, loving mother of Matthew (Valerie) and Benjamin. Devoted grandmother to Catherine, Alexander and Tessa. Daughter to Ray and Dora Rioux. Sister to Raymond, Francis, Carol and Nancy. Lovingly remembered by the Crosier and Rioux families. Born and raised in Port Hope, a graduate of York University Winters College. She worked for the OCDSB for more than 30 years at Glen Ogilvie, Gloucester High, Colonel By and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Host of the Literary Landscape on CKCU for 12 years. An inveterate gift giver and unrepentant doer of good deeds. Jane loved gardening, her felines, skating on the canal and preparing wonderful family events "getting out and doing something". The service will take place at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7. For details call (613) 552-1832 or email email@example.com Sorry Mom we will be showing pictures. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. Published in the Ottawa Citizen on 3/5/2009.
R.I.P. Jane Crosier
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