Obituaries

Maria Vomiero
B: 1933-12-13
D: 2017-10-17
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Vomiero, Maria
Salvatore Di Matteo
B: 1932-05-14
D: 2017-10-17
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Di Matteo, Salvatore
Michele Cerase
B: 1933-04-28
D: 2017-10-17
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Cerase, Michele
Gwen Liptrott
B: 1919-02-26
D: 2017-10-15
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Liptrott, Gwen
Helen Rafuse
B: 1923-11-20
D: 2017-10-15
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Rafuse, Helen
Bernard Joseph Roach
B: 1924-10-28
D: 2017-10-15
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Roach, Bernard Joseph
Maria Toarba
B: 1942-01-18
D: 2017-10-14
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Toarba, Maria
Maria Machado
B: 1935-10-31
D: 2017-10-14
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Machado, Maria
Robert Risdale
B: 1939-04-26
D: 2017-10-13
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Risdale, Robert
Kathleen Gaitskell
B: 1918-06-18
D: 2017-10-13
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Gaitskell, Kathleen
Zlata Jelincic-Rosati
B: 1949-01-19
D: 2017-10-13
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Jelincic-Rosati, Zlata
Rita McKie
B: 1937-05-26
D: 2017-10-12
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McKie, Rita
Lori Burnham
B: 1954-12-14
D: 2017-10-12
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Burnham, Lori
Fiorenza Lucentini
B: 1936-05-26
D: 2017-10-12
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Lucentini, Fiorenza
Wesley Ashton
B: 1920-06-06
D: 2017-10-12
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Ashton, Wesley
Hans Natterer
B: 1927-03-06
D: 2017-10-11
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Natterer, Hans
Anna Favilla
B: 1944-11-24
D: 2017-10-11
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Favilla, Anna
Clovie Bourgeois
B: 1949-03-09
D: 2017-10-11
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Bourgeois, Clovie
Charles Schembri
B: 1930-05-18
D: 2017-10-11
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Schembri, Charles
Bridget Swirla
B: 1926-11-04
D: 2017-10-10
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Swirla, Bridget
Denise Embree
B: 1940-11-12
D: 2017-10-10
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Embree, Denise

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Condolence From: Norman Smith
Condolence: My deepest sympathy to John , Rob , and all the Whittaker Family upon the passing of Carole .
Sunday August 20, 2017
Condolence From: Rob Whittaker
Condolence: We are very-lucky to have had Carole Anne Whittaker in our lives. She is proof that a single person can leave the world a better place than world she found. She was also my first and most longstanding best friend. I hope that Suzann and I will surpass that record. My Mom loved Suzann and they were dear friends.

If tequila and lime are an excellent combination, Carole could be compared to a salted caramel because she didn't like alcohol. Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson said:

'the intensity of the flavor combination of salted caramel is somehow surprising - and yet so compelling. You taste the saltiness and the sweetness together and somehow experience them separately; they tingle away in conjunction.'

While that is an interesting metaphor for the dichotomy my Moms strength and softness, she also just really liked caramel. And I thought that if I could figure out a decent segue we could all enjoy a caramel together, and tangibly remember my Mom.

Similarly - Carole was a wonderful combination of style, substance, frailty, intellect, compassion, and love. She was smart, she was funny, she was enormously generous, she was a loyal friend, she was vulnerable, she was frank, she never wanted to be mean spirited or resentful (but she had her moments), she made the most of the opportunities she had, she endeavored to understand the challenges she would encounter. Carole had a moral compass and she was not afraid to stand for what she believed to be right.

She also had a debilitating illness that stole her from us a long time ago. Oakville's own Wyndham Manor Long Term Care oasis is staffed by remarkably loving and caring people who helped us for about a decade. Still it was not easy for my Mom - or me. I tried to visit as often as I could. It was hard to do because I would have to eventually leave her alone and she didn't deserve that. Though she would implore me to stay all I had to say was "I've got to pick up the kids at school Mom" and she would dismiss me because they were always more important than her own fear of being alone. That tool of deception worked even when Nicholas and Julian were in post secondary school. In my own defense - it was my Mom taught me the diplomatic power of The White Lie.

Before she became ill we would talk a lot. She gave me books to read, to consider, and to discuss. She couldn't read without a pencil. She would underscore key thoughts, she would write comments in the margin, in some cases her notes would relate to her life. I have those books still, and to find her notes in the pages was the closest I could come to hearing her voice again.

As if to prove my Moms dogged optimism that there is an upside to almost anything - I came to a realization last Saturday in Saks Fifth Avenue at Sherway Gardens. Suzann was shopping for today's occasion. Suddenly I heard my Mothers voice for the first time since Alzheimer's had overcome her. I heard her say - with that self-awareness and lively-intonation that we all loved about Carole "treat yourself to something nice, because I'm only going to have one funeral" then I saw her playfully punch Suzann in the shoulder and demand acknowledgement that what she said was funny. My realization was that I had not heard my Moms true voice since she became sick more than 12 years ago. It was her voice from her early 50's. She had to die for me to hear it again. I'm looking forward to hearing more of that voice.

Wayne said that us-kids were like 3 separate families because we were born so far apart, that I knew my mom differently than my brothers new her.

When I was a child she was my defender, my supporter, and my nurturer. I remember the day she taught me to say thank you in response to kindness. I also remember that I would come home for lunch and she would have a PB&J and chocolate milk waiting for me in front of the television. 2 Flintstones episodes later, I was going back to class. However, if I wanted to stay home from school she was happy to let me stay. She would eventually tell me that she liked my company. I told her I really liked staying home from school.

As a teenager she became my friend and life guide. I worked at Sam The Record Man and I bought a lot of records. If it wasn't too gnarly, we would listen to albums for the first time together. She really liked Babylon Sisters by Steely Dan, and - I'm not joking - she seemed to like the opening high-hat ticks on AC/DC's Back In Black; to hear that in the kitchen from the family room stereo meant that it had to be very-very loud. She thought that was fun.

We moved often, and that was hard on her. I found her in her garden one afternoon with tears on her face, and I when I asked why she was sad, she told me that when she planted flowers she was never certain that she would see them bloom, because we may have to move before then. Yet she planted those bulbs, and she hosted discussion groups that focused on appreciating life, and she helped others in challenging times. She reached into her community because she enjoyed the symbiosis of giving to receive, and that sadness was a necessary contrast to joy. She wasn't religious, but she was spiritual.

As an adult she took on another role in my world. She became my mentor. She was even the office manager of RLWdesign for several years. She had a unique instinct for business and relationships. She taught me to keep track of the favors I would do for others and to treat them as an investment in my future. She started a file for me and labeled it "favors". With it she told me to track favors and reciprocity. Carole suggested that if I gave generously - but not foolishly - one day I will have built my world on a foundation made from that generosity. As usual - she was right.

When my 2 beautiful boys - Nicholas and Julian - came along she insisted on caring for them. Like 'day-caring' for them. It was an enormous task and Suzann and I tried to save her from herself. We spelled off alternating days of YMCA daycare and Nanny Whittaker until kindergarten. Nick and Julian are shaped by those years and they speak very fondly of those special days.

Interestingly, she would diarise and keep copious notes about the kids routines. We still have those notes. Suzann was reading them again the other day and among them she found my Moms writing about her own failing mental state. That was about 20 years ago. That she knew she was descending into darkness and that must have been terrifying for her. Those notes in those times gave me the opportunity to connect with her before time ran out. As I would drive between clients around the sprawling and often gridlocked GTA she and I would have long telephone conversations. These were among the most meaningful, personal, frivolous, or philosophical conversations that I would ever have with my Mom. She was - quite simply - awesome, and I miss her dearly.

I was crazy-lucky to have Carole Anne Whittaker in my life. She shaped who I am and who I still aspire to be.

I declare to her - before all of you - that I promise use the gifts she gave me to leave this world better than I found it, and I will have fun doing it.

Thank you Mom.
Saturday August 19, 2017
Condolence From: Julian Whittaker
Condolence: My Nan lives on through me by the way I care for and appreciate people and things. Although I was only young when I spent most of my time with her, I can distinctly remember the way I learned from her, or her energy rubbed off on me. I remember our daily ritual of going down to the lake and skipping stones and playing hide and seek in “our secret garden”. We did that almost everyday. I can’t remember the things she would say or talk about in detail, but I knew it was always good. To me, she didn't have an ounce of negativity in her. It was a time when I must have felt pure, because whatever I did with her felt alright. She inspires me to care about every little thing I do. To be gentle and leave a light footprint wherever I go and on the people I interact with. Her impact on me has taught me to appreciate someones effort to give. Regardless of what it was. She made me lunch everyday. She didn't need to, but she did because she cared about me. She picked my brother and I up from school and drove us over to her house where she would look after us, play with us and tend to us late into the evening. That takes a lot of effort, a lot of care. Why would she do so much for us? Because she loved us. Before I could understand the concept of love, I didn't realize the power of her positive energy. I wish I could tell her how much it means to me today. I don't think about it often, but I think that’s because her positivity is so deeply ingrained in me. It’s second nature. Her want to nurture someone(myself for instance) at an age where I never realized her efforts until recently is inspiring. I not only hope to, but I know I will do the same for my grandchildren someday. And I will always be reminded of her when I do something simply for the sake of helping and wanting to be kind to someone. I know she would do anything for me. She never expected anything in return for her kindness. I want to pass on her generosity and love to everyone that I care about. I hope that there are more people in the world like her.

Julian
Friday August 18, 2017
Condolence From: Julian Whittaker
Condolence: My Nan lives on through me by the way I care for and appreciate people and things. Although I was only young when I spent most of my time with her, I can distinctly remember the way I learned from her, or her energy rubbed off on me. I remember our daily ritual of going down to the lake and skipping stones and playing hide and seek in “our secret garden”. We did that almost everyday. I can’t remember the things she would say or talk about in detail, but I knew it was always good. To me, she didn't have an ounce of negativity in her. It was a time when I must have felt pure, because whatever I did with her felt alright. She inspires me to care about every little thing I do. To be gentle and leave a light footprint wherever I go and on the people I interact with. Her impact on me has taught me to appreciate someones effort to give. Regardless of what it was. She made me lunch everyday. She didn't need to, but she did because she cared about me. She picked my brother and I up from school and drove us over to her house where she would look after us, play with us and tend to us late into the evening. That takes a lot of effort, a lot of care. Why would she do so much for us? Because she loved us. Before I could understand the concept of love, I didn't realize the power of her positive energy. I wish I could tell her how much it means to me today. I don't think about it often, but I think that’s because her positivity is so deeply ingrained in me. It’s second nature. Her want to nurture someone(myself for instance) at an age where I never realized her efforts until recently is inspiring. I not only hope to, but I know I will do the same for my grandchildren someday. And I will always be reminded of her when I do something simply for the sake of helping and wanting to be kind to someone. I know she would do anything for me. She never expected anything in return for her kindness. I want to pass on her generosity and love to everyone that I care about. I hope that there are more people in the world like her.

Julian
Friday August 18, 2017
Condolence From: Ray Moynagh
Condolence: John, Eric Birtles was kind enough to forward Carole's announcement to me. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family at this time. I recall when we worked together, anytime Carole's name was mentioned, it was always with a tone of love and respect. I always enjoyed the time we spent together, you were always the TRUE PROFESSIONAL.
Tuesday August 15, 2017
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