Janet McDougall

Obituary of Janet Elizabeth Anne McDougall



Janet passed away peacefully on June 13, 2021, in her longtime Riverdale home in Toronto, with partner and wife of thirty-eight years, Lynne Howarth, and dogs, Lucy and Barney, at her bedside.  Predeceased by her parents and cherished sister and childhood roommate, Brenda, Janet will be dearly missed by sisters, Donna and Elaine (John), much loved nieces, Tara and Robin (Gary), great-niece and SUP board buddy, Arya, great-nephews Austin and Colton whose determination and spirit she treasured, and Andrew, her Saturday YMCA companion.  She leaves volumes of memories for the numerous long-time friends who loved her, and for colleagues and neighbours who knew her well.


Born in Montreal on November 15, 1947, to parents, Kathleen (née Donihee) and Donald McDougall, Janet attended Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Elementary School, then St. Joseph’s High School, Islington.  She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology at the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Science in Statistics and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. 


In 1984 she founded McDougall Scientific Ltd., a pharmaceutical contract research organization (CRO) specializing in statistics and clinical data management services.  As President, she built the company from a sole proprietorship to a niche CRO with a professional staff servicing an international client base.  Janet and her team supported the complex needs of the pharmaceutical, biotechnical and medical device industries engaged in clinical trials and related research.  Prior to starting the company Janet worked as a Research Assistant at the Addiction Research Foundation, taught in Technology at Durham College in Oshawa, and was a statistician in clinical research at McNeil Pharmaceutical.  She was accredited by both the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) and the American Statistical Association (ASA) and held a number of leadership positions in each organization.  She was passionate about mentoring the next generation of statisticians.


Janet was the consummate organizer, whether a March for Peace (Toronto, 1983) on behalf of Operation Dismantle, a special event with family or friends, or planning to the smallest detail a renovation of home or cottage.  She took great pleasure in entertaining, and in preparing for trips of a lifetime through, among others, Europe, Botswana, South Africa, Thailand, Tibet, Nepal, Hong Kong, and the country closest to her heart, Bhutan.  In addition to the touring and hiking such travels included, she was an avid cyclist, scuba diver, swimmer and sailor, amateur handywoman, and dog-walker for a lifetime of canine companions.  She had a deep love of learning, and took great pleasure in music, photography, and politics.


Janet will be remembered for her spirit of adventure, her curiosity, her sense of humour, her steadfast and determined approach to any challenge, her intelligence, her genuine caring and consideration for others, her sense of social justice and fair play, and her commitment to philanthropy in so many forms. She believed in giving back, paying forward, and in sharing whatever she had with heartfelt generosity. 


A special thanks to Nigel Forbes, RN, and Drs. Joshua Wales and Reeta Barua, for their respectful care throughout Janet’s journey. 


A celebration of life will be held when COVID-19 restrictions permit. Interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.


As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Donald J. and Kathleen D. McDougall Graduate Scholarship at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, https://uwaterloo.ca/pharmacy/, in memory of Janet would be appreciated by the family.  Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


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