Dr. Ruth Elizabeth Alison

Dr. Ruth Alison: Woman of Faith and Science Ruth Elizabeth Alison MD, or Aunt Ruth, as she was fondly known by family and friends alike, lived in service to her church, her patients and her volunteer commitments; a loving and generous friend to so many. Ruth was born in Toronto, August 13, 1926 to parents Albert & Mary (Armstrong) Alison and brother, Gordon Alison (Alice Ayer). She attended Branksome Hall in her highschool years. In 1952, Dr. Alison graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto, where she later taught. She worked in Bella Bella, (Waglisla) BC, with Dr. Darby, before practicing oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital for 30 years. A strong believer in treating body, mind and spirit, she connected with her patients first as a human being and secondly as a doctor. Dr. Alison became the first female president of the Canadian Cancer Society, during the Terry Fox years. Among her many volunteer activities, she was an elder at two Presbyterian churches: Glenview (Toronto) and Union (Terra Cotta) and for almost three decades, led the CGIT group at Glenview. In retirement, Dr. Alison became a chaplain, serving at Peel Memorial Hospital. She died in Toronto on Saturday, May 26, 2018, aged 91, and is survived by her nieces, Adrienne Alison (Alicia and Callum Owen) and Karen Alison, and close cousin Alison Germain. The family would like to thank Violeta for her loving care of our aunt for the past nine years, along with Beatrice, Patti and Sally and the staff at Kensington Gardens. Memorial service: Glenview Presbyterian Church, 1 Glenview Ave, Toronto, ON M4R 1P5 on Saturday, June 9th at 11 a.m.

2018-06-01T16:52:08+00:00 June 1st, 2018|Categories: Obituary|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Janet Cassels Ham June 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Today I have been enjoying many lovely memories of times spent with Dr. Ruth almost 40 years ago. She came into my family’s life when my roommate had been hospitalized. Hearing that a Ewart College student was in hospital she made a point in seeking her out. There we saw demonstrated first hand her holistic care. She lit up the room as she entered, took time to made sure my roommate was as comfortable as possible, ordered extra pillows and fluffed them up until they were just right. She enquired into how she was coping, if she had questions and where she would be going upon her release.

    She returned later to explain how she had cared for her own father who had recently died. Finding her home large and hearing how our rental conditions in the community were not ideal for my roommate’s healing, she welcomed us to come live with her. We were the first of many she opened her home to, including my sister and brother.

    She demonstrated living a life of faith in the “market place.” She gave fully at work and in the community as a volunteer. She spoke lovingly of her CIGT girls and all that she had “learned from them.” She spent many hours personally responding to “slow mail” adding her words of encouragement and faith.

    We enjoyed lively theological and philosophical dinner conversations. She taught us that a person could die fully healed in all areas of their life. She also taught us to enjoy the moment and use the good china. We benefited from her desire to make Terra Cotta a place of healing hospitality. She welcomed Armour Heights youth group for retreats and opened the door for numerous other groups.

    As Brian and I were launched into our life’s journey, we believe we continued to live out many of the ideals she planted within us. The desire to live out our faith in the “market place” of life, to use our home as a place of hospitality, to minister personally to the needs of those around us and to enjoy great discussions around the table using the “good china.”

    May her passions continue to live on in those she touched.

    With great admiration
    Janet Cassels Ham

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