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Lives Lived: Sudburians we lost in 2018



Below is a list of Sudburians and former Sudburians who died in 2018 who had a lasting impact on the city or beyond.


Michel Dupuis and Gaétan Gervais (below)

The co-creators of the Franco-Ontarian flag both passed away in 2018. Michel Dupuis passed away at the age of 62 in North Bay on Jan. 11 and Gaétan Gervais died Oct. 20 at age 74. Gervais was a professor at Laurentian University in 1975 and Dupuis his student when they created the white and green Franco-Ontarian flag, which has since become a symbol for Francophones across the province.


Mary Weaver

A trailblazing Nickel City lawyer died Jan. 27 at the age of 90. Mary Weaver was the only female lawyer in Sudbury until the early 1970s. She was also the first female partner in a firm in Northern Ontario. She retired in 1995 from the firm Weaver Simmons LLP.


Jacqueline Desmarais

longtime supporter of Quebec’s arts scene and the widow of billionaire Paul Desmarais died March 3 at the age of 89. The Sudbury native was one of the greatest supporters of Quebec’s cultural scene, particularly classical music and opera. Jacqueline Desmarais was named an officer of the Order of Canada and has received the Order of Quebec and France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour for her philanthropy. Desmarais was predeceased by her husband, Paul Desmarais, one of Canada’s wealthiest men, in 2013. The couple had four children; two sons, Paul Jr. and André, and two daughters, Sophie and Louise.

Pamela Krueger

The former director of Sudbury’s art gallery, Pamela Krueger, died April 19. She was 66.

Krueger was director of the Laurentian University’s Museum and Art Centre (LUMAC) for 20 years, and involved in promoting northeastern Ontario artists and developing the city’s art scene in the 1980s.

After her tenure, the gallery became known as the Art Gallery of Sudbury.

Krueger grew up in Barrie and attended Western University. She moved to Sudbury with her husband Dale, According to her obituary, she received her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Laurentian University, writing a paper on the topic of cultural appropriation titled Counterfeit Cultures. She ran a shop specializing in vintage clothing and jewelry for several years.

After leaving Sudbury, she and her husband lived for a brief period in Wales, before retiring in Nova Scotia.



Peter Moutsatsos

A giant in Sudbury’s restaurant community died at age 83 June 3. Peter Moutsatsos is survived by his wife, Shirley. The couple ran Gus’s Restaurant on Elm Street for decades and would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in June. Along with their uncle Gus Lagges – who came to Canada in the 1920s – Peter and his brother George opened Gus’s Restaurant in 1952, not long after coming to Sudbury.


Msgr. John Caswell

The 83-year-old prominent Catholic priest in Sudbury passed away July 1. He served in churches across the North, including Sudbury. Msgr. John Caswell retired in 2006, but remained on with communications, hosting the weekly televised “Mass for Shut-Ins” until 2012.


Michael Biglow

Tragically, Valley East businessman Michael Biglow, 62, was killed while riding his motorcycle on Radar Road on July 3. He was the former owner of J.B. Jewellers in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. “I can say without a doubt that Mike Biglow was a person who truly made a difference in the community and who touched each of his customers,” said Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan on his Valley East Facebook page.


Evelyn Margaret Waddell (Lyn Cook)

The author of the 1950 children’s book “The Bells on Finland Street,” which was set in Sudbury, passed away July 14 in Ottawa. Evelyn Margaret Waddell, also known by her pen name of Lyn Cook, celebrated her 100th birthday three months before her death. A pioneering Canadian children’s author from the 1950s to 2004, Waddell wrote 23 books for children of all ages, but will be best remembered for her historical novels for those ages 10-14, said her obituary. “The Bells on Finland Street,” about a young Finnish-Canadian girl who dreams of becoming a figure skater, was Waddell’s first novel. She was working in Sudbury as a children’s librarian when she wrote it.


Mitch Lalonde

The Sudbury basketball community suffered a great loss July 31 with the sudden passing of long-time local coach Mitch Lalonde at the age of 65. Through his work and passion for the sport that he loved, as well as his career as a life-long educator, Lalonde literally would touch the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of local youngsters. In recent years, he worked at Lasalle Secondary School.


Michael Persinger

The noted and sometimes controversial Laurentian University professor of psychology — who at times during his career ran afoul of university administration — died Aug. 14 at the age of 73. Michael Persinger is perhaps best-known for the development of the “God Helmet,” a device used to study creativity, religious experiences, and the effects of stimulation of the temporal lobes.


William Day

The founder of William Day Construction group of companies, which employs hundreds of people, passed away at age 84 Aug. 15. William Day moved to Sudbury in the early 1950s, starting out by doing hauling work and snow plowing in Dowling. Day and his wife, Rhona, had five sons, all of whom work for the company.


Karen McCauley

Laurentian University social work professor Karen McCauley passed away at the age of 50 on Sept. 3. She is the daughter of former Greater Sudbury Police Chief Alex McCauley and his wife Pirkko. McCauley was also survived by her husband of 30 years, Al Aho, and her two daughters. “Karen’s love of learning and passion for social justice was something she inspired in the students she taught, the children she raised, and the lives she touched daily,” her obituary said.


Rick Briggs

The former president of Mine Mill Local 598 in Sudbury died at the age of 72 on Oct. 7. “His life story reads of an eager young man who began his career as a miner with Falconbridge and worked his way up to be the long-time president of Mine Mill Union Local 598, a position he held dearly and took great pride in,” said his obituary. After Rick Briggs retired from Falconbridge, he worked with the Ontario government at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.


Aarne Kovala

A man who survived being taken prisoner by the Germans as a teenage Finnish merchant marine during the Second World War and later went on to help build the Superstack here in Sudbury passed away Oct. 30 at the age of 90. There’s an amazing photo of Aarne Kovala — sitting at the top of the Superstack — without any fall restraint safety gear. His daughter, Liisa Kovala, also wrote a book about her father’s experiences in the Second World War called “Surviving Stutthof: My father’s memories behind the Death Gate.”


Mélisa Kingsley

The Greater Sudbury hockey community is in mourning after 20-year-old Mélisa Kingsley passed away from cancer Oct. 31. She was a Sudbury Lady Wolves alumna who was diagnosed with sarcoma in August 2016 after being recruited by the Ottawa Gee Gees for the 2016-2017 season. Treatments delayed her joining the team for a time, but last year she became part of the Gee Gees family.


Dave Newell

The 73-year-old former NHL referee passed away Dec. 16. A native of Copper Cliff, Dave Newell worked three Stanley Cup finals in his career. Newell worked in the NHL for 23 years, from 1967-1990, in the era when games included just one referee (there are now two for each game.) He worked the NHL finals in 1981, 1984 and 1987.




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