DONALD HAROLD HARTFORD

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DONALD HAROLD HARTFORD January 24, 1919 to March 2, 2014 It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Donald Harold Hartford (Don) at the age of 95 in Toronto. Born in Edmonton to Mabel Hartford (Young) and Harold Hartford, Don was the eldest brother to Kathleen Houliston and Margaret Weiss (deceased). Don was married in 1939 to Ruth Vivian Vernon (deceased) in Calgary and in 1973 to Jean Emilie Tomsett. Don spent his teenage years in Red Deer, then moved to Calgary where his radio career began. With a terrific sense of humour, Don was a natural fit for the radio industry and soon moved from behind the mic to Sales Manager, then on to President and General Manager of station CFAC. At the time it was the largest radio station in Western Calgary. Don was a vibrant member of the radio community and consequently served as President of the Western Association of Broadcasters. Chosen in 1965 by a larger group of stations, Don moved east to Toronto as Vice President and General Manager of CFRB and was soon promoted to President of Standard Radio Inc., which included CFRB, CKFM (Toronto) and CJAD Inc. (Montreal). When Don retired in 1984 as Vice President of Standard Broadcasting Corp. (the parent company), he also oversaw St. Clair Productions and VRT Productions (which produced such notable shows as Fraggle Rock with Jim Henson and King of Kensington). He was also in charge of Eastern Sound Limited (which recorded many artists, including The Rolling Stones, Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Boss Brass, Guido Basso, Moe Koffman and The Spitfire Band). Don had a keen interest in news, music and popular events and was a friend to many of the top broadcasters of the time, including Wally Crouter, Betty Kennedy and Gordon Sinclair. On the music side, Don was a big fan of jazz and his friends included artists such as Guido Basso, Anne Murray, Gene Lees, Rob McConnell and Jackie Rae. Don enjoyed a busy social life and giving back to the community. He served on many varied boards and associations. In Calgary he was Director of the Calgary Stampede, Vice Chairman of the United Appeal, then became Zone Chairman of the United Appeal in Toronto, President of the Ontario Safety League, Co-Chairman of the Toronto Waterfront Council, a Director and on the executive committee of the Canadian National Sportsmen's Shows, Vice Chairman of Ontario Place, Chairman of Variety Village, Director of the Canadian National Exhibition, Council Member of the Toronto Board of Trade, a Director of the Clark Institute of Psychiatry and on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army. Don was also a founding member of the Broadcast Executive Society and the Radio Bureau of Canada and Vice Chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. In recognition of his many contributions, Don was awarded the Centennial Medal, the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame Award, The International B'nai B'rith Humanitarian Award and the Broadcaster of the Year Award. Don loved the outdoors and was a proud boat owner. He also loved hunting, fishing and golf. He was a member of the Canadian International Tuna Cup Challenge team and was also a member of the Goodwood Club, Variety Club, Rotary Club, Calgary Petroleum Club and the Granite Club. During the winter months, he enjoyed the Yacht and Country Club in Stuart, FL, where he had a home and enjoyed deep sea fishing. Don is survived by his wife Jean Hartford and children Diane Leslie Pacey and Douglas Wayne Hartford; step-children Frederick Skogland and Kari Skogland (Munro) and his grandchildren Donald, Steven, Trent, Jennifer, Kyle, Kelly, David, Eric, Stuart, Mackenzie and Aislin. Sadly, Don lost his eldest son Don Leigh Hartford, who died in Victoria, BC, in 2002. Don's wonderful laugh and feisty intelligent sparkle will be missed. In lieu of flowers, Don's favourite charity was The Salvation Army. A celebration of Don's life will be held at a later date. Funeral will take place on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. For online condolences, please visit www.etouch.ca
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Published in the Toronto Star on Mar. 7, 2014
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