Obituary of Douglas Pyzer
Douglas passed away peacefully at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at the age of 93. Dear father of Jeannie Miklos (Bob), Doug Pyzer (Sandy) and Linda Adam (Tom). Loving grandfather of Chaundra Miklos (Shawn), Ryan Miklos (Natasha), Jim Pyzer (Evelyn), David Pyzer (Michelle), Kerry Brouwez (Jay), Andrew Lumley (Shelby), Aaron Lumley (Dianna), Melanie Bennett (Andrew), and daughter in law, Lynn Robinson. Lovingly remembered by 19 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his parents Jeannie and George, his siblings Jean and George, wife, Noreen Hamly Pyzer and former spouse and mother of his children, Ruth Birnie Kosalle.
Doug served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and, as many young soldiers did at the time, lied about his age so he could serve his country as it entered in to World War II. Due to hearing disabilities, Doug was disappointed he could not follow in his father's and brother's footsteps by serving overseas. However, he was able to serve his country by training soldiers to be physically ready for combat overseas. You can be sure those soldiers were combat ready. As someone recently told Doug, referring to his sports career, there was absolutely no one tougher.
Doug was born in October 1923 in Toronto and went to Jessee Ketchum School. It was during this period that he developed his love for sports and began his lifelong sports achievements.
Doug was an all-round superb athlete. He began playing football while serving in the military and later was a member of the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos, playing as a member of the 1947 and 1952 Grey Cup Teams, with the 1952 Grey Cup being one of his proudest moments in his career. He was also an outstanding fastball player for many years, and was known as one of the best players in and around the Toronto area. Further, he had been considered a star goalie, and at one time drew interest from Conn Smythe, then owner of the Maple Leafs. Adding to his list of accomplishments, it was reported Doug was a favourite to win the 100-yard dash in the London 1948 Olympics but did not qualify due to his status as a professional athlete.
He was a sports fanatic through and through following most sports right until the end. Before the invention of the tv remote control he would have one of his children change the channels for him, and in later years, he piled televisions on top of one another, each with a different game playing.
Doug was an active owner of Standardbred horses, and an avid, but not so great, poker player. Some great poker stories were created whenever Doug hit the tables.
Doug was such a lover of music, with his favourites being Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. He had a passion for Broadway Shows as well and made many trips to New York City before O'Keefe Centre opened, where he immediately took out a membership. In Doug's early years he loved spending Saturday nights at the Royal York Hotel's Imperial Room enjoying the music and dancing the night away. No surprise, since Doug excelled at anything he set his mind to do, he was a very good dancer!
Doug loved spending summers at his cottage on Lake Scugog enjoying family, friends, and the outdoors. He had so many fond memories from that time in his life.
A very recent visit to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre by the NHL old timers was indeed a day to remember as former NHL stars shared stories with Doug, and some even recalled Doug’s glory days as a football star. The memory of Doug’s broad grins and sheer joy from that day has been planted in our brains and will forever remain!
Doug definitely lived life to the fullest. One of his favourite songs, “My Way” sums up his life;
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
When asked if there was anything he wished he'd done, he answered, “Not a thing. I've done it all. I’ve had a good life.”
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staff, doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and would like to give a special shout out of thanks to Camelia Proulx and David Alpin and Gary Pyzer who did so much for Doug through his waning years.
Cremation has taken place. Doug's family will receive relatives and friends on Saturday, November 12th at 1:30 p.m. in SUNNYBROOK CHAPEL with reception to follow at Sunnybrook's Annex room. Parking at Sunnybrook; please park in Garage #1, large garage in center section. Chapel is located in E Wing, just past McLaughlin Auditorium.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.