J. Trevor Eyton

Obituary of J. Trevor Eyton

THE HONOURABLE J. TREVOR EYTON, OC

July 12, 1934 to February 24, 2019

 

Passed away at Toronto General Hospital on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 after a brief illness, with all five of his children by his side.

 

Predeceased in November, 2014 by his dear wife, Jane (Montgomery) Eyton, whom he missed immensely. Beloved father of Debbie (Paul Edmonds), Susie (Greg Belton), Adam, Christopher and Sarah (Jason Gould). Interested, inspiring, proud and loving grandfather of Kate (Robert Scobie), Trevor (Steph Findlay), John and Hayley Findlay; Scott, James and Victoria Belton; Lindsay and Nigel Eyton; and Bronwyn and Rory Gould. Devoted and thrilled “Great Papa” of Ella and Beatrice Scobie.

 

Son of the late John (Jack) and Dorothy (Drysdale) Eyton, Trevor is the dear brother of Marion Hall (late Bill), and Anthony (Tony) Eyton and his wife, June. His friendship with cousin, Rhys Eyton and his wife Lynn was also important to him. He had many wonderful memories of time spent over many years with Jane and her family, including her devoted older brother, Don Montgomery and his wife Molly, and sister Mary de Haas, all of whom predeceased Dad. Mom's Jackson family in Great Britain continued to be important to Dad and to all of us. Remembered with great affection by his nieces and nephews who, like us and his friends, have many stories to tell about “Treasure”, and his love of pranks, inspired by his dry humour, and ability to laugh at himself.

 

Dad’s distinguished career in law and business, and as the champion for many charitable endeavours, earned him the respect and affection of many. He was passionate about so many things, and although we learned that taking an opposing view on politics was not worth the subsequent re-education he felt was required, he was a generous and thoughtful mentor and advocate for the projects and people to which, and whom, he was committed.

 

Growing up, nothing was more effective than being told you had disappointed him. He seldom raised his voice, and in fact was known for his constant mumble. We all listened carefully. Dad and Mom moved to Caledon in 1974 and that was his principal residence for the rest of his life. He often described it as God’s Country, and it was respite from the demands of his busy career and myriad other commitments.

 

His legacy as a consummate deal maker, and business icon to many, was balanced by his enjoyment of so many aspects of his life. Dad loved games and could make any event a competition. Much to his happiness, he successfully instilled in all of us his highly competitive nature.  He loved hosting friends and family and pulling out all the stops, but had many simple tastes too, especially evident in his favourite foods. No matter the occasion, chips and a bowl of Heluva Good Dip were within easy reach. One scoop of vanilla ice cream was his favourite dessert (he’d send it back if it came with more than one, and expected all dining establishments to have it) and he loved both chocolate chip cookies and egg salad sandwiches. He was also a devoted Blue Jays fan and used to love floating in the pool with the game blasting from the radio perched on the pool deck.

 

We were and are so proud of him.

 

After graduating from the University of Toronto Law School in 1960 he joined the law firm of Tory Tory DesLauriers & Binnington (now Torys) as an associate and later, partner. He left the practice of law in 1979 to become President and Chief Executive Officer of Brascan Limited (now Brookfield Asset Management) a post he held for 12 years. He remained with Brascan as Chairman and Senior Chairman until 1997 and continued to serve as a Board Member until 2014, and as an Advisor to Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. till his death. He was appointed to the Senate in 1991 by former Prime Minster of Canada Brian Mulroney.

 

Over the course of his career he served as a board member of a number of corporations, including Coca-Cola Enterprises (Atlanta), General Motors of Canada, Noranda and Nestle Canada, John Labatt Inc., Barrick Gold Corporation, and Magna International. He was involved in amateur sport and philanthropic organizations including Junior Achievement, the Canadian Olympic Foundation and as Chairman of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. It should be mentioned that Dad’s love of sport was lifelong. While at U of T he played for and was, ultimately, Captain of the U of T Varsity Blues Football team. He was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, traded to the Toronto Argonauts, and after attending training camp for one day decided law was indeed where his future lay.

 

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986 and was awarded Honorary Doctors of Laws by both the University of Waterloo and the University of King’s College at Dalhousie where he was Chancellor from 1996 to 2001. In 2000 he was awarded Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle – the highest award given to foreigners by the government of Mexico. He retired from the Canadian Senate on July 12, 2009.

 

Trevor was kind, loving, full of life, big-hearted, thoughtful and family oriented.  He told great stories, hosted great parties, and always supported ‘the more, the merrier’. He lived life fully and had a profound and lasting impact on each of us and so many others. We will miss him greatly but are already reveling in the stories being shared that we hadn’t heard before.

 

The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles - Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28th. A celebration of Trevor’s life will be held in Rosedale United Church, 159 Roxborough Drive, Toronto on Friday, March 1st at 2:00 p.m. Please wear bright colours in honour of Trevor’s zest for life.

 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Trevor’s memory to the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, to be directed to the Jane and Trevor Eyton Tribute Fund in support of Nursing, Emergency Medicine and General Internal Medicine. Please call 416-603-6278 or visit www.tgwhf.ca, or to Special Olympics Canada at www.specialolympics.ca. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.

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Thursday
28
February

1st Visitation

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles - Newbigging Chapel Limited
1403 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thursday
28
February

2nd Visitation

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles - Newbigging Chapel Limited
1403 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Friday
1
March

Celebration of Trevor's Life

2:00 pm
Friday, March 1, 2019
Rosedale United Church
159 Roxborough Drive
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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