Archive | November, 2014

In Tribute: Eudora Pendergrast

7 Nov


With great sadness we announce the passing of Eudora (“Docie”) Lina Pendergrast, who died peacefully on Friday, October 17th, 2014, at the age of 70.

Always curious, energetic and open to new experiences, Eudora’s life was varied and rich. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1944, the second child to Nell Carruth Walthall and Paul Alexander Simmons, Eudora’s academic abilities won her scholarships to The Westminster Schools and Smith College, where, after spending a year abroad in France, she returned to win the Alpha Award in Creative Writing and the Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize.

Moving to Canada in 1967 with her husband John, she earned an M.A. in English Literature and a M.Sc. in Urban Planning. Her choice of career in urban planning was in keeping with a lifelong commitment to social activism; even as she advanced to the position of Director of Central Core and Waterfront, she continued to volunteer her time to causes such as nuclear disarmament and women’s health.

Following her retirement from city hall, she began a second career in alternative dispute resolution, initially through St. Stephen’s Community House and then as a provincially certified mediator. Her skills as an urban planner continued to be sought out, both by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and the Ontario Municipal Board, under whose auspices she adjudicated land disputes in cities and towns across southern Ontario.

In recent years she was able to devote greater time to her lifelong love of pottery — her work has been displayed and sold through the Woodlawn Pottery Studio, where she served as president. She was an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveller, a passionate correspondent, a talented cook, a skilled gardener, and a determined bridge player. Her love of poetry lasted all her life.

Above all else, she was a tremendously caring and loving person who formed deep and lasting connections with people. She was the intellectual and emotional mate of her husband, with whom she shared 47 years of marriage, an engaged and highly perceptive guide for her two sons, and an affectionate and adventurous grandmother.

She will be profoundly missed. We are richer for having known her, poorer for having lost her. We will keep her alive through our shared memories of her vision for a fair world and the caring she brought to each person she touched – through both her acute mind and her big heart.

She is predeceased by her parents and her brother Alec and is survived by her husband John, her brother Vaughan, her sister Antoinette (“Toni”), her son Jacob (Sarah) and his children Rowan and Molly, and her son Edward (Treasa).

A funeral service will be held in the CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER, at the corner of Avenue Road and Bloor Street, on Saturday, November 8 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a reception at The Gardiner Museum, third floor, at 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy of Canada or Médecins Sans Frontières.

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