MARJORIE SYBIL ABRAMS (NÉE SEARS), 1923-2013
Marjorie Sybil Abrams passed away peacefully at age 90 on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Toronto. She had suffered a devastating hemorrhagic stroke in late 2007 and had been in care at Wellesley Central Place.
Born April 11, 1923, in London, England, Marjorie was a WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) driver and war bride. She loved to tell how she met her husband, John Werner Abrams, an American from San Francisco (who had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force at the start of WWII), married him in London in 1944 and followed him that fall with one small suitcase to Vancouver, crossing the dangerous Atlantic by boat and the vast continent by train. She had rarely been out of London before the war! This was the beginning of an interesting life journey as the wife of a scientist (Defense Research Board in Ottawa and SHAPE/Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris) and academic (University of Manitoba, Connecticut's Wesleyan University, and finally University of Toronto where John was founding director of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology). She was a wonderful chef and warm hostess to all who visited their homes in Ottawa, Paris and Toronto. A vivacious, intelligent, broadly talented, energetic, strong and caring person, Marjorie was a member of various University of Toronto affiliated volunteer groups. Family and friends could rely on her for love, support and encouragement. Her curious mind ensured she was a voracious and eclectic reader. She was a written media news junkie and a devoted CBC 99.1 radio fan. She had a wry sense of humour and was always ready for adventure or a great idea. A founding member of the Rosedale Moore Park swimming pool club, she rarely missed a summer day of laps. She was an early contributor to the Don Valley/Evergreen Brickworks development scheme. She could walk miles and miles around the city and think nothing of it – and she always, always, wore a hat! As for personal development, this is the woman who learned to skate at age 50 at Leaside Skating Club and who started attending adult ballet classes at age 79 at the National Ballet School of Canada!
Dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was an impressive role model and will be remembered with great love and affection. Pre-deceased prematurely by her husband in 1981, she was a true matriarch. She always took enormous pride and pleasure in her family's accomplishments. She is mourned by daughters Jacqueline Elton (Peter) of Toronto and Lesley Abrams of Oxford, England; grand-daughters Sarah Elton (Kumail) and Elyssa Elton (Paul) of Toronto; and great-grand-daughters Nadia and Anisa, and Fiona and Avelene, who we are grateful had a chance to get to know her. We wish to thank the caring and dedicated staff at Wellesley Central Place for the quality of life they gave her in her last years. And we especially want to thank Marisa Gimena who cared for her these past six and a half years with much love and devotion and who made such a difference to her life and ours. We are so grateful.
A gathering in her memory will be held on Friday, June 7, 2013, at Rosar Morrison, 467 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, from 3:30 to 5:30. If so desired, a donation may be made to Evergreen Brickworks, or Trans-Canada Trail that she loved to support, perhaps in acknowledgement of her own trans-Canada journey on her arrival in this country.
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As noted above, if so desired, a donation may be made to Evergreen Brickworks, or Trans-Canada Trail.