Ethelyn Harlow

Obituary of Ethelyn Harlow

HARLOW, Ethelyn (Murley)

December 23, 1926 – June 5, 2018


With sadness, we announce the passing of our “Aunt Lynn,” aged 91, who died suddenly in hospital in Toronto.


The seventh child of the late John and Ethelyn (Hines) Murley of Acaciaville, Nova Scotia, she was adopted by relatives, the late Cleveland and Jessie Harlow, after her mother died in childbirth; she was raised in Deep Brook and Lawrencetown, NS. She excelled in school and in music (piano and choir singing), and pursued a business diploma after high school. She then worked for a decade as an office administrator for the Red Rose Tea company in Saint John and Montreal. 


Motivated to learn, she enrolled at McMaster Divinity School, and obtained part time work providing secretarial assistance to Professor G.P. Albaugh, Curator of the Baptist Historical Collection; she also assisted him in his research to create an annotated bibliography of American religious newspapers and periodicals, 1730-1830. Lynn graduated in 1960 with an Hon BA in English and Philosophy, and then worked full time with Professor Albaugh to organize and catalogue original documents. During the following five summers she attended the University of Ann Arbor, Michigan, earning the degree of Master of Arts in Library Science in 1965.


In October 1965, she was hired as a reference librarian at the Robarts Library, University of Toronto; and a year later, she was appointed the first University Archivist there. In 1971, she attained the position of librarian at the Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario, where she enjoyed cataloguing "Canadiana." She retired in 1989.


Ethelyn had an intelligent and inquiring mind and pursued studies as a lifelong learner, attending conferences all over Canada. She enjoyed Canada's north, especially above the Arctic Circle. She was an avid photographer, bird watcher and lover of nature, especially wildflowers. She loved to travel and had an extensive network of friends worldwide. She conversed eagerly with family and friends about sports, especially tennis and hockey; and she also enjoyed theatre, ballet, opera, art galleries and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 


She was a faithful and steadfast Baptist, and assisted in fundraising efforts for a new organ at Walmer Road Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir. In 1994 she joined Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, attending Bible Study and Prayer Groups, and participating actively in the life of the church. Ethelyn remained closely connected to her Murley siblings (including three more siblings after her father remarried). She was predeceased by eight siblings, and is survived by her brother Ray Murley (St. Catharines), her sister-in-law Zelma Murley (Windsor, NS) and many nieces and nephews and their families in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia.


At her request, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will take place in the chapel of YORKMINSTER PARK BAPTIST CHURCH, 1585 Yonge Street, on Tuesday, June 19th at 2:30 p.m., with visitation there from 1:30 p.m., and a reception following the service. Donations in lieu of flowers to a charity of choice would be appreciated.