Elizabeth "Libby" Toop

Obituary of Elizabeth "Libby" Caroline Toop

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Toop, Elizabeth Caroline Peacefully at the Smiths Falls Hospital on Sunday, November 26, 2023, at the age of 85. Beloved wife of the late Ronald Glenson Toop. Loving mother of Gary Toop, Gael (late Jeff) Young, (late) Graham, Brenda (Karl) Benjamin. Forever missed by her grandchildren Savannah, Fiona, Sydney, and Jaimee. Survived by her sisters-in-law Alice Nicholls and Hanneke Jansen. Predeceased by her parents John and Adeline Nicholls, and her brothers John and Peter. Fondly remembered by many cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends Elizabeth - Libby to her friends - lived a rich, full, life, sharing widely the gifts of her experience and education and her loquacious and loving nature. The first part of her life was shaped by change. WWII forced a family move to Toronto, where Libby started at Bishop Strachan School, a beginning cut short by a severe case of pneumonia that sent her to hospital and then months in a home oxygen tent. Leaving it, then Toronto, behind her, she lost no time in Montreal’s Hampstead making lifetime friends. At not quite 17 she went on to Bishop’s University in the lovely Eastern Townships of Quebec, where she made more lifetime friends and majored in English Literature with a minor in Biology - interests that stayed with her for the rest of her life. After Bishop’s, Libby moved back to Toronto, pursuing graduate studies in English Literature at the University of Toronto and meeting Ron Toop, a fellow graduate student in English Lit. They fell in love, married, and had their first child, Gary, all before Libby turned 24 and while she was completing the coursework for her PhD. Shortly after giving birth, she and Ron moved to Sudbury where, as well as home-making and child-rearing with two more children, Gael and Graham, she taught university courses part-time for Laurentian University. More change followed - a year in Toronto during Canada’s Centennial, another year back in Sudbury, and a move to London, Ontario, where the family settled for 7 years, adopting a fourth child, Brenda. Continually, as her family grew, Libby taught - part-time at university and English as a Foreign Language at colleges and as a tutor. Her other interests deepened. A love of gardening, a love of bread-baking, and a love of knitting and sewing, lead to lovely sweaters and afghans, well-made shirts, pants and dresses, often with careful, bright hand-embroidery on collars and bell-bottom cuffs, and wonderful fresh and baked food for family and friends. In 1976 Libby and family moved to the farm of Ron’s mother’s family, a home and area whose land and people Libby fell in love with and continued to live in until illness took her to the hospital a few weeks ago. On the farm, her gardening found much greater scope - vegetables were raised and sold at the local farmer’s market and delivered on order to restaurants; bread baked on the farm was sold at the local farmer’s market and through a local store; clothes were made, sweaters knitted; and most importantly, more people met, more wonderful friends made. After a decade of farming, Libby found work off the farm teaching, obtaining a teaching certificate from Queen’s University and teaching not only in the Perth and Smiths Falls Alternative Schools as a Teaching Assistant, but also across Leeds County in seniors and nursing homes, programs for the developmentally challenged, and at Buenavista On The Rideau. She taught and tutored not only literacy, literature, science, geography, history, and math skills, but also bread-making, baking, computer skills and local history and helped with the facilitation of an oral history project, collecting stories from seniors in nursing and retirement homes. Throughout, Libby always had an open ear and heart for those in difficulty, particularly those disadvantaged by social injustice, learning difficulties, and the unkindness of life. Retiring at 65, she found time for cross-continental travel - west and east - with Ron, visiting family on both coasts and in between. At home, she kept busy volunteering at the Smiths Falls Public Library and for REAL, and working on family history, not only collecting and sharing information with a range of correspondents, but also writing up things she learned and publishing them in The York Pioneer, and sharing other things she researched on her family in illustrated writing, including a project of 4 separate pieces on her 4 great-grandmothers. A kind, generous, story-teller and educator to the end, Libby enjoyed talking to her nurses and doctors in her last hospital stay, curious about her illness, complaining little, and happy if others could learn something from her about the problem that claimed her life. Her life burned much brighter than any candle and, those who loved her are very grateful, for much longer. Friends are invited to pay their respects at the Lannin Funeral Home on Wednesday, December 06, 2023 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. A funeral service will take place in the Chapel at 1:00pm. Interment to follow at St. Andrew's United Church Cemetery, Toledo. As expressions of sympathy, donations to Rideau Environmental Action League, Smiths Falls Community Food Bank, or Indspire would be greatly appreciated. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lannin Funeral Home. Online condolences available at www.lannin.ca
Wednesday
6
December

Visitation

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Lannin Funeral Home & Chapel
32 Main Street East
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
613-2837225
Wednesday
6
December

Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Lannin Funeral Home & Chapel
32 Main Street East
Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
613-2837225
Wednesday
6
December

Interment

2:00 pm
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
St. Andrew's United Church Cemetery
284 County Road 8
Toledo, Ontario, Canada
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Elizabeth "Libby" Toop

In Loving Memory

Elizabeth "Libby" Toop

1938 - 2023

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