12/26/2011 04:55 EST | Updated 02/24/2012 05:12 EST

In memoriam: Remembering notable Canadians who died in 2011


1 - Dr. Bruce Halliday, the Progressive Conservative MP for the Oxford riding from 1974 to 1993, at age 84.

3 - Donald Himes, the composer who penned the theme song to the beloved CBC-TV children's series "Mr. Dressup." He was 80.

3 - Dr. Ronald Colapinto, a Toronto physician whose innovations made him world-renowned in the field of interventional vascular radiology, died from a rare form of liver cancer. He was 79

3- Elmer Harris, a long-time radio broadcaster and humanitarian from Newfoundland and Labrador, at the age of 72.

9 - Peter Donaldson, a prolific stage and screen actor, from lung cancer at age 57.

10 - Barry Toole, a prominent former member of the New Brunswick civil service, at the age of 74.

11 - actor Al Kozlik, who worked for nearly three decades at the Shaw theatre festival and appeared in TV series including "Due South" and "Night Heat," after suffering a stroke. He was 76.

12 - Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, an 11-year veteran of the Toronto police force, struck by a stolen snowplow during a police chase through snowy city streets.

16 - western Manitoba broadcaster Ron Thompson, from cancer at age 68.

17 - Keith Davey, a legendary Liberal organizer who was dubbed the "rainmaker" because of his near-magic political instincts, at age 84.

17 - former Ontario cabinet minister Bob Mackenzie, who served as labour minister in Bob Rae's NDP government in the 1990, at age 82.

18 - Judy Welch, small town "blond bombshell" from Peterborough, Ont., who put Canada on the map when it came to modelling, at age 74.

18 - Jose Kusugak, a much-loved Inuit leader who used humour and eloquence to explain to both northerners and southerners why Canada needed to create Nunavut, from cancer at age 60.

19 - Ernest McCulloch, one half of the Canadian team that first proved the existence of stem cells. He was 84.

19 - Sharon Oliver, a community leader and respected voice for African-Nova Scotians, from cancer at the age of 70.

20 - Eric Dennis, a journalist who covered Europe and federal politics during a lengthy career with the Halifax Herald. He was 94.

22 - Lois Smith, who danced with the National Ballet of Canada from its inception in 1951 until 1969 when she left to open her own dance studio. She was 81.

24 - Jack Matheson, who began a 35-year newspaper career in 1946 with the former Winnipeg Tribune until it ceased operations in 1980. He was 86.

25 - French-born, California-raised Audrey Best, the shy political spouse of former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard, of breast cancer. She was 50.

29 - Rene Piche, who served as Ontario's northern transportation minister in the early 1980s under then-premier Frank Miller. He was 79.

30 - Tommy Longo, the eldest of the three founding brothers of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 76.


1 - Lawrence G. Tapp, a former corporate executive and dean of the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario from 1995 to 2003, while travelling in Belize with his wife. He was 73.

7 - Bobby Kuntz, a versatile former running back for the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, due to complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 79.

12 - veteran Canadian journalist Jim Reed, of lung cancer. He was 75.

17 - longtime broadcast journalist Dave Wright, after a battle with cancer. He was 82.

18 - actress Cayle Chernin, best known for appearing in the Canadian road movie, "Goin' Down the Road,' at age 63.

24 - Robert Reguly, the journalist who tracked down Gerda Munsinger, the mysterious woman at the centre of Canada's most notorious political sex scandal in 1966, after a lengthy battle with heart disease. He was 80.


3 - James Travers, a Toronto Star columnist whose Parliament Hill coverage earned him plaudits from across Canada's political spectrum, after a lengthy illness. He was 62.

3 - May Cutler, the first woman publisher of children's books in Canada, the first woman mayor of upscale Westmount, Que., and the second woman hired by The Canadian Press, at age 87.

8 - Arnie Patterson, who once served as press secretary for former-prime minister Pierre Trudeau and owned a successful Nova Scotia radio station, after a long battle with cancer at the age of 83.

12 - Olive Patricia Dickason, whose work shone a light on the aboriginal contribution to Canada's early economy, at age 91.

13 - Rick Martin, part of the Buffalo Sabres famed French Connection line in the 1970s, in a single vehicle accident. He was 59.

14 - veteran Canadian journalist and political commentator Larry Zolf at age 76.

24 - activist Dudley Laws, who fought for racial equality in Toronto in the 1980s, from complications of kidney disease. He was 76.

26 - Canadian actor and comedian Roger Abbott, one of the funny founding fathers of "The Royal Canadian Air Farce," after battling leukemia for 14 years. He was 64.

29 - Neil Reimer, the first leader of the Alberta NDP, at the age of 89.


2 - piano player Elizabeth Beaton, a well-known member of the traditional music community in Cape Breton, at the age of 92.

3 - John A. Tory, a lawyer with strong ties to both the Rogers and Thomson empires and father of former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory, following a stroke. He was 81.

4 - Gemini award-winning actor Wayne Robson, who played Mike Hamar on "The Red Green Show" for 12 seasons. He was 64.

6 - Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter John Bottomley committed suicide. He was 50.

13 - Lisa Marie Rendall, a former radio personality in Saskatoon who helped raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research, after more than a decade of battling the illness. She was 46.

16 - Serge LeClerc, a former drug dealer who turned his life around and became a member of the Saskatchewan legislature, only to resign amid further drug allegations, after a battle with cancer.

16 - Former Saskatchewan premier Allan Blakeney. He was 85.

17 - actor Michael Sarrazin, after a battle with cancer. He was 70.

22 - Canadian celebrity chef Ken Kostick, who hosted the long-running television show "What's for Dinner with Ken and Mary Jo," of acute pancreatitis. He was 58.


2 - Danny Kassap, a former world-class runner who fled to Canada during the 2001 Francophone Games from Congo. He was 28.

5 - former CFL commissioner J. Donald Crump, at age 78.

7 - New Brunswick country and gospel artist Joey Knight, at age 56.

7 - Willard Boyle, awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics for his work along with scientists George Smith and Charles Kao in digital imaging. He was 86.

7 - Ontario broadcaster Robert (Bob) McIntosh. He was 69.

13 - Wallace McCain, the mogul and philanthropist who helped turn a small New Brunswick french fry plant into the McCain Foods multibillion-dollar frozen foods empire and later went on to control meat processor Maple Leaf Foods. He was 81.

13 - New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard. He was 28.

14 - Clifton Elmer Stewart, a Canadian spy recruited by the British during the Second World War. He was 91.


3 - Ontario Liberal MPP Bruce Crozier, after suffering an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 73.

8 - actor Paul Massie, of lung cancer. He was 79.

9 - Claude Leveillee, hailed as a singer-songwriter who helped define Quebec's culture and who composed songs for the legendary singer Edith Piaf. He was 78.

17 - Betty Fox, the mother of beloved Canadian hero Terry Fox. She was 73.

21 - Governor General Award-winning author Robert Kroetsch, in a car accident. He was 83.

22 - Harley Hotchkiss, one of the founding members of the Calgary Flames and a prominent Alberta businessman. He was 83.

23 - Edmonton singer-songwriter Gaye Delormefrom an apparent heart attack. He was 64.

26 - Barry Wilkins, who scored the first franchise goal for the Vancouver Canucks, from lung cancer. He was 64.


5 - Saskatchewan-born actor and aboriginal activist Gordon Tootoosis. He was 69.

5 - former Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Ken Bishop. He was 73.

5 - Malcolm Forsyth, a Juno Award-winning Canadian composer. He was 74.

7 - former Calgary Stampeder president William "Roy" Jennings. He was 79.

11 - Gary Bannerman, longtime Vancouver broadcaster, writer and former talk show host. He was 64.

20 - Edmonton-based author and editor Gloria Sawai, who won the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction for "A Song for Nettie Johnson." She was 78.

21 - Elwy Yost, the longtime affable and enthusiastic host of TVOntario's "Saturday Night at the Movies." He was 86.

22 - award-winning journalist and anti-domestic violence activist Brian Vallee, after a battle with cancer. He was 70.

25 - David Somerville, the former archbishop of B.C. and the Yukon, who was known for his progressive stance in favour of women and gays, at age 95.

27 - Wilfred Arsenault, a former Conservative member of the P.E.I. legislature, of cancer. He was 57.

30 - Ruth Miriam (Babs) Asper, the wife of the late Canwest Global Communications founder Israel Asper, at the age of 78.


3 - William Commanda, an Algonquin elder who met Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama and was named an officer of the Order of Canada, at age 97.

8 - CFL Hall of Famer Royal Copeland, who combined with Joe Krol to form the infamous "Gold Dust Twins" with the Toronto Argonauts, after a battle with Alzheimer's. He was 86.

10 - Fred Jackson, a former managing editor of the Cape Breton Post. He was 54.

12 - Ted Tevan, a fixture on Montreal talk radio for decades, at the age of 78.

14 - Shawn Tompkins, a renowned mixed martial arts coach, at the age of 37.

19 - Quebec journalist and author Gil Courtemanche, whose novel on Rwanda was translated into 23 languages, of cancer. He was 68.

15 - NHL forward Rick Ripien, who had played with the Vancouver Canucks and had just signed with the Winnipeg Jets. He was 27.

22 - federal NDP Leader Jack Layton, after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

22 - Marguerite Ghiz, who watched her son and grandson become premier of Prince Edward Island, after a two-year struggle with cancer. She was 86.

26 - Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, the retired archbishop of Toronto, after a lengthy illness. He was 81.

27 - Ron Haggart, an award-winning Toronto journalist and pioneering television news producer. He was 84.

28 - journalist William Donald MacKay, of colon cancer. He was 86.

31 - Robert Muir, a longtime Conservative MP and senator from Nova Scotia. He was 91.

31 - broadcasting icon Bob Laine, who spent most of his career with CHUM Radio. He was 72.

31 - NHL enforcer Wade Belak, who spent much of his career with the Toronto maple Leafs. His suicide marked the third death of an NHL player during the year. He was 35.


7 - former NHL defenceman Brad McCrimmon, in a plane crash in Russia. He was 52.

8 - Michel Roy, a former diplomat and journalist whose media career spanned some four decades He was 81.

10 - Ian Munro, whose half-century career at The Canadian Press news agency took him from Morse telegraphy to the beginnings of the computerized newsroom, at the age of 98.

13 - Thomas Van Dusen, Sr., a journalist, speech writer, political adviser to both Conservatives and Liberals and patriarch of a clan of Canadian journalists, at the age of 90.

13 - former CFL and AFL offensive lineman Sam DeLuca, who became a broadcaster after a career-ending injury, of pancreatic cancer. He was 75.

14 - David Y.H. Lui, considered a cultural icon in Vancouver and co-founded Ballet British Columbia, at age 67.

16 - Lloyd Barber, a former University of Regina president who played a key role in expanding the institution during the 1970s and 1980s. He was 79.

18 - legendary Canadian film producer Tom Daly, after a long illness. He was 93.

19 - Alma Kytwayhat, a Saskatchewan woman who taught thousands of non-aboriginals about Cree language, culture and tradition. She was 69.

30 - serial child killer Clifford Olson, 71, of cancer.

30 - Dr. Ralph Steinman, a Montreal-born physician who died of pancreatic cancer three days before being awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. The committee decided to let his award stand. He was 68.


9 - Toronto oncologist, author and media personality Dr. Robert Buckman. He was 63.

14 - Christine Dekker, a prominent broadcaster who started as a receptionist at a Saskatoon radio station and became a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Half-Century Club, of cancer. She was 82.

14 - Reg Alcock, a federal and provincial politician from Manitoba who once served as Treasury Board president in Paul Martin's cabinet, at age 63.

17 - Barney Danson, former politician, defence minister and WWII soldier at age 90. He helped build the Canadian War Museum and was named a companion of the Order of Canada.

18 - Dr. George Scott Wallace, the former leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 82.

18 - CFL Hall of Fame running back Tommy Grant, who played in a record-tying nine Grey Cups during his 14-year career and won four, at age of 76.

19 - Mary Lou Farrell, an acclaimed singer and actor who appeared on Broadway and the Lawrence Welk Show, at her home in Tampa, Fla., after a long battle with cancer. She was 68.

23 - Former Canadian Wheat Board chairman Ken Ritter, of cancer. He was 64.

23 - Tillie Taylor, a human rights advocate who was the first woman appointed a judge in the Saskatchewan provincial court. She was 88.

24 - Harold Huskilson, a Nova Scotia MLA from 1970-93, at age 91.


5 - Ian Fowler, the man credited with turning Moncton into a go-to destination for some of the world's biggest music acts. He was 54. He was the driving force behind concerts at Magnetic Hill by U2, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, the Eagles and others.

15 - Tom Kent, who led a 1980 inquiry into newspaper ownership that was known as the Kent Commission, after a cardiac arrest following surgery. He was a journalist, public servant and an expert on public policy who was named a companion of the Order of Canada in 2001. He was 89.

16 - Dr. Fraser Mustard, a pioneer of early childhood education whose work helped pave the way for full-day kindergarten. He was 84.

16 - Eddy Palchak, the Montreal Canadiens legendary trainer and equipment manager, after a long illness. He was 71.

19 - British-born veteran actor and stage director John Neville, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 86.

21 - Herb Capozzi, who played an instrumental role in the development of several major league sports teams in B.C., at age of 86.

22 - Stephen Mendryk, who won three Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos in the mid-1950s, died after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

29 - Pierre Rolland, a music professor at the University of Montreal for nearly four decades and musician with symphoy orchestras in Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. He was 80.


1 - Graham Dennis, longtime publisher of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, after a brief illness. He was 84.

6 - Sum Ying Fung, Canada's oldest person, in Burnaby B.C., seven weeks before her 113th birthday.

12 - Canadian entrepreneur and businessman Gordon Stollery, at age 64.

13 - Kevin Nelson, the longtime morning show host of Ottawa radio station Majic 100, after a lengthy illness. He was 52.