In Memory of



Obituary for Alan Landsberg

After a life well-lived and many sailing adventures, Alan passed away in his 85th year on March 9, 2022. During his last few months, he fought courageously against an increasingly debilitating affliction, amyloidosis. As was his wish he breathed his last at home with his wife and soulmate, Lynne, the love of his life, beside him.

Alan never forgot and was deeply proud of his Jewish roots in Toronto as the son of a working-class family in the rough-and-tumble 1940s and he gave back to others throughout his life. Following graduation from the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), Alan moved to Ottawa for what became a life-long career with National Revenue (now CRA). He quickly distinguished himself, rising to a succession of senior management positions.

Along with his first wife, Eleanor Millson, they raised three sons in a family home on a dead-end street and next to a greenbelt—the best for kids! It was home to many street-hockey games, forts built and re-built, motorcycles and eventually car repairs. They exposed their boys to sports, both summer and winter varieties, literature, and music. Record collections and hi-fi systems were always the envy of the hood. Many, many years later the impacts are still felt, and neighbours are grieving as well.

On the day of his retirement, in 1997, the entire Department took the exceptionally rare step of recognizing his contribution and the esteem in which he was held. A permanent plaque was affixed to one of the Department’s conference rooms, christening it “The J. A. Landsberg Boardroom.” This is one of many lasting recognitions of what his sister, Michele, appropriately summarized when informed of his passing, “Alan’s decency, intelligence and humour endeared him to everyone, and he was cherished by a wide circle of friends and family.”

Following retirement, Alan remained active in multiple ways. He accepted a number of consulting assignments, including one as team leader of multi-year work in India involving the modernization and digitization of India’s complex taxation system. As was always the case with Alan, he made many friends in India during that assignment and maintained contact over the ensuing years. He also accepted key roles on the executive of the Ottawa community in which he and Lynne lived and a leadership role in the Community Association of Grand Lake, the location of their cottage. The doors of their home and cottage were always open to countless family and friends and served as a magnet to happy times, to lively discussion, to good food, to a love of sharing and a building of memories.

Alan leaves behind Lynne, his loving soulmate of over forty years; his three sons, Stephen, Peter and David, their life partners, Karen, Kim and Mona; his beloved sister Michele (husband Stephen), nieces Ilana and Jenny, nephew Avi; his extended family of Marc and Lindsay, Lisa Jo and Pamela; nine grandchildren, one great granddaughter; and countless friends both in Canada and around the world.

He was pre-deceased by his brother Ralph; daughters in-law Alison (Thom), Gaye (Savage); and an infant daughter Jennifer.

From hot sauces to hot rods, Alan—known to the many who loved him as Sweetie, Zeda, and Big Bear—embraced adventure. Despite his immense intellect and talents, he was a man of limitless humility. He rarely spoke about himself, and instead, embraced the stories of others. When talking to Alan, he leaned in and listened as if it mattered above anything else, because to him, it did. Alan was present in every moment, but absent of any judgement. A Lion of a man with a gentle nature that made everyone feel welcomed and special. An avid sailor, a seasoned world traveller, a connoisseur of scotch, and a lover of music, his love of life and keen sense of humour drew in all those lucky enough to share in his journey. He will be missed greatly.

Lynne would like to express her sincere gratitude for everyone’s support, particularly her brother Keith and wonderful friend Sareena as well as Dr. Small, Angela and the amazing staff at the Heart Institute.

In lieu of flowers please consider donations to UNHCR (, or any organization of your choice dedicated to saving lives in Ukraine.


Livestream of speeches for Alan Landsberg