Obituary of The Reverend Canon William Ebert Hobbs
THE REVEREND CANON WILLIAM EBERT HOBBS
We are saddened by the passing into God’s Hands of the Reverend Canon William Ebert Hobbs, on Monday, March 20, 2023, at Christie Gardens, Toronto, at the age of 98. Ebert was predeceased by his loving wife of 60 years, Audrey Spanswick, and his daughter, Roxanne Cooper. He will be dearly missed by his devoted wife of 10 years, Doreen Davies; his children, Debbie (John) of Illinois, Chris (Sue) of Guelph, Kim (Ron) of Melbourne, Australia, son-in-law Gary (Sandra) of Trenton; his grandchildren, Bronwen (Jered), Jennifer (Dan), Erin (Dale), Theresa (Joey), Christopher (Karissa), John (Carmen), Rachael, Gary (Nicole), Megan, Nathan; his 15 great-grandchildren; his step-daughters, Sherrill and Kathy and their families; his sister-in-law, Joyce; and many nieces and nephews.
Ebert (Bim) was born on June 23, 1924, in Ashton, Ontario, son of Henry and Blanche Hobbs. He served in the Canadian Air Force during WWII and as an Army Chaplain after the War. Ebert was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration.
Ebert received his theological training at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, QC, and St. John’s College, Winnipeg. He was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada in Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa in 1951. Following ministry in Stafford parish and St. Richard’s parish, Ottawa, and in keeping with the changes in the Church and society, Ebert was involved in a wide range of creative, new ministries. He was internationally recognized for his work in Resource Development, Church Planning and Communications which included major national programs in Canada, the National Council of Churches in the United States, as well as projects in other countries. These experiences were always closely related to pastoral ministry, which included Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Ohio, several years as Honourary Assistant at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, Toronto, part-time Chaplain for the veterans at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Chaplain for the Royal Canadian Legion, Fort York Branch. For his work, Ebert received many awards. Among them was the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for voluntary service, including conducting the Remembrance Service for 15 years. Ebert made a significant impact on the charitable sector in Canada, including helping to establish and chairing Navion, a leading fundraising consulting firm.
Ebert dearly loved his family and he and Audrey always provided an open door and a listening ear. A yearly cottage reunion, which they provided, renewed strong family relationships and taught the value of time together. His wife, Doreen, was a cherished companion and caregiver in his later years along with his family.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers from Christie Gardens and Smart Staffing for their ongoing love and support.
The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue), from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29. A service of celebration and thanksgiving for Ebert’s life will be held on Thursday, March 30, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 227 Bloor Street East, Toronto, at 2:00 p.m., with a reception in the Great Hall to follow.
If so desired, the family has requested that you consider a donation to St. Paul’s Heritage Fund, 227 Bloor St. East, Toronto, ON M4W 1C8, The Hobbs/Spanswick Leadership Award at Bishop’s University, 2600 College Street, Sherbrook, QC J1M 1Z7, or Christie Gardens, 602 Melita Cres., Toronto, ON M6G 3Z4. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com
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