DESBARATS, Peter Hullett
Son of Hullett John Desbarats and Margaret Ogston Desbarats (Rettie), passed away peacefully of natural causes on 11 February 2014 at 6:30 a.m. after a battle with Alzheimer's Disease. He is survived by his loving wife, Hazel, and his children Michelle, Gabrielle (deceased), Lissa, Sharon, Brynne, Shasta, Nicholas, Jane, Jennifer, Jane, and Jonathan, and his 11 grandchildren.
Peter was a widely-recognized figure in Canadian print and broadcast journalism. From his beginnings as a copy boy in the 1950s, he rose quickly to write for The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, The Montreal Gazette and many more of Canada's largest newspapers. In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, Peter became a well-known television broadcast journalist, hosting political affairs shows and co-anchoring Global News, among other programs. A sought-after advisor and media expert, he led or consulted on many high-profile public inquiries and research initiatives, including his role as a Commissioner on the federal government's Somalia inquiry during the late 90's. From 1981 to 1996, Peter was the Dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Western Ontario. A prolific writer, he authored twelve books during his career, including a best-selling profile of René Lévesque and three children's books.
Visitation on Thursday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James St. at Richmond, London. The funeral service will be conducted at Colborne Street United Church, 711 Colborne Street at Piccadilly, London, on Friday, February 14 at 11 a.m. by The Rev. David R. Carrothers. Memorial contributions to the McCormick Home Foundation (Alzheimer Outreach Services) would be gratefully acknowledged.
Published in The Gazette on Feb. 12, 2014