Obituary of Char Loncoa
CHARLENE (CHAR) LONCOA
Peacefully at home surrounded by love and light.
April 24, 1953 – April 7, 2020
Strong, loving, warm and passionate. Our “rare bird” was determined to outlive the estimated prognosis of her devastating blood cancer Myloprolific Neoplasm which became AML – and she did just that. Almost nine years after her diagnosis and six years after her bone marrow transplant, she remained dedicated to her family and friends, and determined and steadfast to her new job, her bi-weekly visits to Princess Margaret Hospital for clinic and transfusions.
Her tenacious personality and beautiful spirit made her the “go to” girl for anything that needed figuring out – “let’s ask Char, she’ll know how to fix it” was a typical comment made by most who knew her.
A true rebel and pioneer, she left her home in Rochester, NY to attend the University of Windsor as one of the first female students in Computer Sciences. Upon graduation, she landed a great position with Hewlett Packard in California where she lived for several years. An opportunity for her to join The Hospital for Sick Children as Head of IT came in the early 80’s and brought her to Toronto. She held senior positions at CIBC and State Street and even fed her construction/reno passion with a stint as Project Manager on the TV Show “Love it Or List it” but her love was always health care –where she retired from the University Health Network two years ago.
She was happiest puttering in the garden, building things, baking up incredible cakes, pies and cookies, sitting on the porch at the Lake House in Fenelon Falls or running errands with or for friends, it was the simple pleasures that made her thrive.
Char faced her disease courageously, always embracing each challenge with determination, bravery and faith. She taught us that the power of the mind can overcome almost anything. The language of “living with, rather than dying of,” allowed her to always remain hopeful and strong.
Our thanks to those who have supported her/us over these past several years. Our love and thanks to Dr. Vikas Gupta, Nancy and Danielle at PMH for their unwavering care and compassion. To the extraordinary nurse team at TGH (angels) for making this last period as comfortable as possible and to Dr. Bryson, Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Maddie Amurao in Palliative Care and to the incredible “dream team” in the Transfusion Clinic (she had her routine down pat and you all kept her comfortable and safe).
Our love to Fran, Mark and Adam (her alternative medicine healers) for their remarkable healing hands and hearts.
In addition, love and thanks to our incredible neighbors, colleagues and dear friends in Toronto and on Oak Street in Fenelon. You will be forever in our hearts.
Char is survived by her partner of 18 years, Merrill, and their two dogs Piper and Winnie, her brother Rene and sister-in-law, Marcy, and her nephews, Robert and Daniel, as well as her beloved cousins and friends in the US and Israel.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a time when we can all be together, near or far, as we hopefully come to the end of this difficult time of COVID-19.
For more information about the date, location and time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Char’s memory to the Canadian MPN Research Foundation at www.cmpnrf.ca. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.