Stella Esther Toba Torontow (Gandall)
It is with the deepest sorrow that the family mourns the loss and celebrates the extraordinary force of nature that was Stella Torontow who passed suddenly on Monday August 24th at her home in Ottawa. Predeceased by her soul mate Norman (March 2020), beloved daughter of Hyman and Celia Gandall, sister of Pauline Bodnoff, proud and loving Mother to Karen and devoted Bubie of Drew (Kera) and Seth Silverman. Deeply loved Auntie of many nieces and nephews. Mentor to many women and men throughout their lives.
Stella was truly one of a kind. She was a tireless community builder and advocate who gave her time, boundless energy and insight to many fortunate organizations throughout her life. Stella was engaged, she got involved in what she believed in, her sharp wit, political acumen and limitless memory was breathtaking.
Stella was a consummate back roomer, she had tremendous political instincts and was astute in her analysis and believed that public policy is an essential obligation of citizenship.
A devoted and life-long member of Hadassah Wizo a national network of women working for the advancement of women and girls in ways that transcends religion or politics, Stella was instrumental in supporting young women setting up chapters across Canada. Stella supported many important, national, provincial and local organizations, serving on the Boards of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, The National Capital Commission, The Shirley Greenberg Women’s Health Centre and countless others. She received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal to honour her service to Canada throughout her life.
Most recently, Stella and Norman served as Honorary Chairs to the Life Changing Campaign at Bruyère. In this role, Stella was using her last years to advocate, support and improve services for elders in Ottawa and throughout Canada. She had a deep belief that services to seniors are woefully inadequate need to be a priority, the impact of COVID certainly reflected this. Stella truly wanted to a make a difference and she most certainly did.
Stella and Norman operated a successful business for 40 years in Ottawa, Thelen and Torontow Lighting was a staple in the city until their retirement. Stella and Norman had a beautiful life, a true love story 68 years in the making, his loss in March broke her heart, knowing they are together again is a blessing for all who loved them.
Funeral will be held at Jewish Memorial Gardens 2692 Bank Street, COVID measures will be in place. Donations to the Bruyère Foundation in honour of Stella are encouraged and appreciated by the family.