Ross Monk

Obituary of Ross Charles Bedford Monk


The Monk family is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Ross, Dad, Guv, on Friday, February 11, 2022 at the age of 91. Despite his final illness over the last year, Ross continued to live life to the fullest.

Ross was born in Toronto, lived and died here. Predeceased by his parents, Philip and Ella (Martin), and his older brother, William Monk of Bracebridge. In 1955 Ross married his Janet (Kingstone), whom he had known since kindergarten, spotting her some years later while she was on a date with someone else, and making the move. Ross and Janet had 37 happy and fulfilled years together before her death in 1992. Their four children (and well-loved in-laws), Greg, Susan (Peter Dance), Jessica (Chris Van Loan) and Brad survive. Their nine grandchildren, Geoff, Tim, Ella, Joe, Janet, Sam, Ian, Douglas and Jonathan carry on Ross and Janet’s creative talents in their own ways.

Since their blind date in late 1993 and marriage in 1996, Ross and Janne (Cheney) Burton have been inseparable, creating a home to share with family; a studio for Ross’s painting and songwriting; and a garden where his painterly eye is so evident. Ross and Janne have enjoyed the fruits of retirement: travelling; watching their grandchildren arrive and grow into adulthood; savouring old friendships and new; pursuing interests together and separately; loving the Haliburton cottage; weathering new hips, a pandemic and a final illness; finding humour, richness and love in every corner of life.

Ross’s innate talents and diligence took him from high school to his first job, acquired because he could type, to his dream of entering the advertising business where he flourished, retiring as a Partner after 40 years at Foster Advertising. At Foster’s Ross was actively involved in political campaigns during the Bill Davis era.

In retirement Ross spread in new directions as a painter and songwriter. One of his watercolours is in Queen Elizabeth’s Permanent Collection. He taught painting at Haliburton School of the Arts and at a private gallery in Muskoka; and in his final months his painting style became brighter and more abstract. It was his refuge.

Singing old hurtin’ songs and those he wrote, accompanying himself on the ukulele gave Ross special joy. The more humorous the twist, the better.

And his final new love was lawn bowling, at which he excelled, winning tournaments from the start and wishing he’d found it earlier.

Whichever community he entered, as an in-law, in business, with neighbours, the families of artists, ukulele players or lawn bowlers, or in Patzcuaro, Mexico, Ross was savoured and loved in no time by all generations.

A unique man. We will miss him to our bones.

A family memorial has been arranged. If you wish to make a donation in Ross’s memory, kindly consider Sunnybrook Hospital, Odette Cancer Centre, where Ross received superlative care. Condolences may be forwarded through


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