Notable Canadians who died in 2017

Dec 20 2017, 8:01 pm

2017 is coming to a close so we thought it was an important time to look back and remember many of the celebrated Canadians who are no longer with us.

From Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie to popular radio host Stewart McLean, these Canadians made a huge impact on the nation’s culture and history. And they were, each and every one, a part of what makes Canada so great.

Here is a list of some great Canadians who passed away in 2017.

Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie 1964 – 2017

tragically hip

The Tragically Hip/Facebook

The frontman of the legendary Canadian band passed away on October 17, 2017.

Shoppers founder Murray Koffler 1924 – 2017

Murray Bernard Koffler was Canadian pharmacist, businessman, and philanthropist. He was best known for creating the Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart.

Writer William Weintraub 1926- 2017

Montreal’s William Weintraub was a Canadian journalist,¬†author, filmmaker and lecturer, known for his long association with Canada’s National Film Board (NFB).

Actor John Dunsworth 1946 Р2017

John Francis Dunsworth was an actor, best known for playing the alcoholic trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on the comedy series Trailer Park Boys and the mysterious reporter Dave Teagues on the supernatural drama series Haven.

MP Arnold Chan 1967 – 2017

arnold chan

Arnold Chan (Cpac/YouTube)

Arnold Chan, the MP for Scarborough-Agincourt, in Toronto had been fighting cancer for the past two years, he is survived by his wife and three sons.

Horror Movie Director George Romero 1940 – 2017

George Romero¬†was an American-Canadian filmmaker, writer and editor, best known for the classic horror movie “Night of the Living Dead.”

Creator of Hawaiian Pizza Sam Panopoulos 1934 Р2017

Born in Vourvoura, Greece, Panopoulos immigrated to Canada at the age of 20 and operated several successful restaurants alongside his brothers Elias & Nikitas, his obituary read. Among these was a restaurant called The Satellite. And it was here that, in 1962, Panopoulos reportedly took canned pineapples and pieces of ham and combined them on a pizza crust.

Former Flames defenceman Zarley Zalapski 1968 – 2017


Image: Calgary Flames

Comic actor Tony Rosato 1954 – 2017

Tony Rosato was an actor, writer, and comedian known for Night Heat (1985), Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999) and Seeds of Doubt (1998)

Former Habs owner David Molson 1928 – 2017

John David Molson was the former president and owner of the Montreal Canadiens and a member of the Molson family. Her served as president of the Canadiens for nine years.

Radio host Stuart McLean 1948 Р2017

Stuart McClean dead

Vinyl Cafe/Facebook

Stuart McClean, whose distinctive voice probably just popped into your head as you read the name died at the age of 68. The longtime host of CBC Radio’s popular The Vinyl Café, McClean was also an award-winning humourist with honourary degrees from eight Canadian universities.

TIFF co-founder Bill Marshall 1939 – 2017

Bill Marshall was a Scottish-born Canadian filmmaker, film producer and theatre producer. In 1976, Marshall co-founded the Toronto Festival of Festivals, now known as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), with Dusty Cohl and Henk Van der Kolk.

CFL star Bernie Custis 1928 – 2017

Bernie Custis was an American and Canadian football player who went on to a distinguished coaching career. He is known for being the first black professional quarterback in the modern era and first in professional Canadian football, starting for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1951.

Piano teacher Daisy Sweeny 1920 – 2017

Daisy Sweeney

@DenisCoderre‚ÄŹ/ Twitter

Daisy Sweeney was known for teaching jazz legends such as Oliver Jones and her own brother, Oscar Peterson, how to play the piano.

Cree leader Tyrone Tootoosis 1958 – 2017

Tyrone Tootoosis a was a well known First Nations activist and an indigenous historian in Saskatchewan.

WW2 hero Thomas Simpson 1921 – 2017

Thomas Joseph Simpson was one of only 114 Canadians to receive the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for World War II service.

Former general manager of the Ottawa Senators Bryan Murray 1942 Р2017

Bryan Murray was a Canadian professional ice hockey executive and coach. He served as general manager of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 2007 to 2016. He died of died of colon cancer in August.

Founder of legendary Montreal eatery Hymie Sckolnick 1921 – 2017

Beautys Luncheonette

beautysluncheonette/ Instagram

Hymie Sckolnick, the founder of Montreal’s iconic Beautys Luncheonette,  died at the age of 96.

Sckolnick bought the Mile End eatery in 1942 with his wife Freda.

Over the years Beautys became a Montreal institution.¬†The famous eatery is known for its ‚ÄúMish Mash‚ÄĚ as well as Beautys Special.¬†Sckolnick was known to greet customers daily, making them feel right at home.

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