In Celebration of
Elizabeth Anne Kane
June 25, 1943 -
May 1, 2018
Passed peacefully in her home in Ottawa, Ontario on May 1, 2018 surrounded by her three loving sons, Graeme, Adam and Oliver. Liz will be profoundly missed by her three sons, her devoted and loving partner of twenty five years, Gordon P. Jackson, daughter-in-law, Trina, and her seven grandchildren, Carson, Catharine, Victoria (Tori), Lauryn, Alexander, Carolyn and Jareese.
Liz was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Dundas, Ontario. She attended Dundas – District High School before moving to Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, where, on graduation, she received the Howard Award, presented to the “finest representative lady student.” Later, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, she received the Tricolour Award for her work in Kenya, Africa – “regarded as the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable service to the university in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities.” To Liz, the experience in Kenya as a member of the group ‘Crossroads’ was a “privilege.” She often re-called, “you can leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you.” Liz believed that her experiences overseas only enhanced her career and lifestyle, and had a positive influence on her life back home.
Back in Canada, Liz would champion various causes in support of development and education. First with the Institute for Development Education through the Arts (IDEA), whose primary objective was to bring to Canada the very best artists and art exhibits from Africa, Asia, Latin and South America as an educational experience for Canadians and to create awareness in Canada of the rich diversity of these cultures. Later, with the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE), where Liz was instrumental in its growth, and what is now Canada’s leading international organization for development through education. More recently, Liz was instrumental in the initial growth of the annual Writer’s Trust “Politics and the Pen” dinner in Ottawa. With humble beginnings, “Politics and the Pen” has since grown to become a major fundraiser and one of the highlights on the Ottawa social calendar.
But Liz’s passion was her garden. To describe this as a hobby is a gross understatement. This was her life! In January of 2000, she and Gordon took possession of their New Edinburgh home where Liz’s fantasy came true – she became the owner of one of Canada’s most historical gardens. Built in 1864, the house is one of Ottawa’s oldest. A one-time resident of the home, Agnes Fitzgibbon, had been one of Canada’s first botanical artists. The connection with Fitzgibbon became an inspiration and Liz set out to fill her garden with plants of her childhood – lily of the valley, peonies, hollyhocks and morning glory, which would compliment the existing lilacs. In sunnier spots, Liz planted wild flowers painted by Fitzgibbon, including irises and coneflowers. Her garden was, and is, a true neighbourhood treasure.
Liz was grateful that she was brought up in a Christian home and was not afraid of death after a courageous battle with various forms of cancer over a fifteen-year period. She approached her condition with the same style, grace and wit that she lived her life, believing that she was “living with cancer, rather than dying from it!” She lived a life truly as beautiful as her garden, perhaps even more. Her radiant smile may be gone but it most certainly will not be forgotten.
Liz was grateful for and genuinely impressed with the level of care she received from her team of physicians at the Ottawa General Hospital, her home care doctors, nurses and support workers, as well as the seemingly endless care from her doctors Swedani and Sabloff.
The family would like to invite all to a visitation on Friday, May 4th from 6pm to 9pm. A celebration of her life will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Saturday, May 5th at 11am. In lieu of flowers, the family would encourage donations to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.