Katharine Claire Tummon

Katharine Claire Tummon

Saturday, December 19th, 1925 - Friday, August 21st, 2020
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Katharine Claire Stephens Tummon died on August 21, 2020 in Willowdale, Ontario. She was 94.

Beloved by her children: Ian (Naomi), Katharine (Shawn), Jeanie (Chris) and Cynthia (Sean) and her grandchildren: Rebecca (James), Jacob (Jessica) and Emma; Paula and Emily; Laura, Trent (Deanna) and Alex; as well as her great-grandchildren Aurelia and Audrey.

Claire was born in Barrie, Ontario on December 19, 1925 to Marion Christina Murray Stephens and Paul Crispin Stephens. Dr. Little, who delivered her, told the family: “she’s a beautiful baby.” Claire was glad to share this story all the while knowing that Dr. Little might say this of every baby, safely delivered. She was one of four children: sister Ruth and brothers Donald and Murray.

Claire grew up in the hamlet of Glencairn during the late twenties and thirties amongst family and community members who had survived the Great War and who lived through the Great Depression. She was influenced by aunts and great-aunts, uncles and great-uncles, cousins, second cousins and more.

She loved to read, discovering Pride and Prejudice at the age of sixteen. She loved literature, art and poetry. A commitment to education was an important personal value. Ultimately, she became a primary specialist teacher for eighteen years. A former colleague described her as “a wonderful teacher.”

Claire spent part of her summers up at Pointe au Baril with her Auntie Marge and Uncle George. This early experience of the joys of cottage life on Georgian Bay were treasured throughout her life.

She came of age during WWII. She left home to go to university at the age of 17, attending classes at Victoria College, University of Toronto. During this time, she formed strong friendships which were life long.

She met William J. Tummon while at University and they married shortly after the war was over.

They built a home in Willowdale and bought property on Gloucester Pool, building a cottage there. Following the end of her marriage, Gloucester Pool and the cottage would become central as a place of independent life, beauty, hospitality, relaxation, restoration, and the focus of many creative construction projects. Over the years, Claire welcomed many friends and family to the Pool.

She was shaped by a deep curiosity about and understanding of her ancestors and their lives. This continuing passion occupied her until her death.

Mourned by her immediate and extended family, friends and neighbours, Claire has been interred in Glencairn cemetery.

Donations may be made to SickKid’s Foundation or the Severn Sound Environmental Association in Claire’s memory.

Claire’s children are grateful to her medical care team and the personal support workers’ diligence in providing her with as much independence as possible and with loving care throughout her last weeks.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 |
    Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
    Glencairn Cemetery
    9034 Webster Rd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Graveside Ceremony will be held Tuesday, August 25, 11:30 a.m. Please note: Restrictions due to Covid 19 are in place. The maximum number of people allowed to attend is 100. Those in attendance must maintain a distance of 6 ft. or 2 metres from others that are not from the same household or social bubble. Masks are recommended. All guests will be asked to register with the funeral home staff at the entrance to Glencairn cemetery.


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Raquel, Blessing, Carol & The Right at Home Toronto Family

Posted at 02:14pm
Please accept our condolences. Claire was a wonderful woman and each of us looked forward to our visits with her. She will be deeply missed.
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Terry Low

Posted at 01:31pm
T Leaves (Terry Low)
I have many nice memories of your mom from when I crossed the street to visit/play with Ian. My condolences.

Jo Robertson

Posted at 04:01pm
I first met Claire at Willowdale Provincial Liberal meetings and we became friends with a shared interest in politics, literature, and genealogy. When I visited Claire for what was supposed to be a short visit, I always stayed longer than I had planned because there were so many interesting topics to discuss. I last saw her in February before COVID made such visits impossible. I will miss my friend. My sincere sympathy to her family.
Jo Robertson

Ann Grewar Wray

Posted at 01:56pm
I am so sorry to hear of Claire’s passing. I knew her as a wonderful colleague, generous friend and an intelligent, forward thinking woman. My condolences to her family at this sad time.
Ann Grewar Wray

Mark&Jo Simpson

Posted at 10:52am
Our hearts go out to the family.

We were lucky enough to share moments with Claire. One particular time, we landed unannounced at Gloucester Poole and we were greeted with such incredible hospitality & friendship. Our family was setting out on a year long boating expedition & Claire was our first stop. Dinner, laughs & she presented us with a great bottle of wine on our departure. Every other meeting she was equally as gracious & made you feel special.

She was so kind-hearted, she will be missed.

Mark, Jo, Caitlin, Wesley Simpson

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