With dignity and grace, peacefully with his wife by his side on Friday, March 29, 2013 surrounded by love. He was a deeply loving husband to Adrianne Levine, his wife and best friend since they met on a blind date fifty-one years ago. A devoted father to his two daughters, Alem and Dessalen, whom he treasured as individuals and showered with unconditional love. He will also be missed by his son in law, Graham Wood, who has lost a spirited debating partner.
Ron - known as Zaza to his grandchildren Jada (11), Zev (9), and Nate (6) – was both a playmate and friend (and baseball guru), remembered for two generations of playing Slow Poke Sally and Speedy Sam, and for hour long bed time stories and indulging trips to the Sutton Flea Market.
Ron was a dual citizen, and will be missed south of the border by his U.S. family, by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Harvey and Linda Levine, and his cousins, Harvey, Jeffrey and Steve Siegel and his stickball buddies, the "Hawks" from Montgomery Avenue in the Bronx.
Remembered as a passionate, dedicated and humorous law professor at McGill, where he taught for thirty-seven years, he put his students first, earning the John W. Durnford Award for Teaching Excellence. He also served for over ten years as the Ethics Consultant for the Douglas Hospital.
A lover and protector of animals from the majestic to the minuscule, Ron created and taught the first course on Animal law in Canada. He will be missed by his pug Chas, as well as all the many birds and squirrels he loyally fed every summer.
Ron grew up in the Bronx, and was the first graduate of Brooklyn Law School to be accepted into Yale Law Graduate School. After meeting and marrying his wife Adrianne, they moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where they lived for five years, teaching law at the Haile Selassie i University. The family moved to Montreal from Addis in 1973 when Ron received a law professor position at McGill University. He became a well-known voice on CBC radio and CTV news, both for his legal commentary and baseball insights.
His travels did not end there; in 2007-2008 he went to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, to conduct Seminars on the law, where help was needed after the Tsunami.
His family and friends will remember a man with an open, kind and accepting heart, whose beauty radiated from within and touched all those around him. Even in illness, he was able to shine to his caregivers at the Jewish General Hospital who regularly told his family that he was a truly special man and they were blessed to have known him. Ron will be lovingly remembered by his nieces and nephews, colleagues, students and friends.
The family would like to thank doctors April Shamy, David Melnychuk, Michael Dworkin and the residents and staff of 7 Northwest and 4 Northwest for their sensitivity and exceptional care.
Funeral service from Paperman & Sons, 3888 Jean Talon St. W., on Sunday, March 31 at 1:45 p.m. Burial at the Reconstructionist Dorshei Emet Congregation Section, Eternal Gardens Cemetery, Beaconsfield. Due to the festival of Passover, shiva commences the evening of Tuesday, April 2, and will continue through Friday, April 5 at Ron and Adrianne's home. The family will also be receiving visitors immediately following burial until Sunday evening, and on Monday from 1:00 to 5:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers Ron would have appreciated donations either to the Fauna Foundation (www.faunafoundation.org
) which provides a sanctuary for abandoned chimpanzees (humans are lucky enough to be 98% chimpanzee, as Ron used to say) or to the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, (514) 340-8251, where he received fantastic care.