Mark GOLDBLATT
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GOLDBLATT, Mark
Mark died suddenly on February 3, 2015 at the age of 62. Our beloved Mark will always be remembered for his passion and visionary leadership in building the co-operative movement and spreading the co-op message across the country. Bringing co-op values to life from his early 20s, Mark co-founded the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) and contributed to the construction of thousands of co-op housing units. He was a co-founder of Rooftops Canada, served on CHF Canada's board and as its executive director, was a co-founder and longtime president of the Canadian Worker Co- operative Federation (CWCF) and founding member of the Canadian Co-operative Federation. As co-operative development manager with CCA, he worked to expand and create federations of health care, car share and funeral co-operatives, and to promote First Nations, Metis and Inuit co-operatives. Mark dedicated himself with heart and soul to developing the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa. Among his honours were: CHFC Honorary Life Associate, CMHC Award for Outstanding Contribution to Co-operative Housing, Lifetime Achievement Award from On Co-op, and the Queen's Jubilee Medal. Beyond his achievements, everyone loved Mark – for his gentle and loving nature, generous spirit, sense of humour, and loyalty to those he loved. His passion for social justice started in his high school years. He took a caring and genuine interest in other people's lives and liked to learn something new every day. He was a loving brother, kindred spirit and solid rock of support to his sisters and irreplaceable soulmate to Linda. He will be forever missed by Linda, sisters Lynn and Ann, brother-in law, Alvin, Linda's sisters and families, Alexandra, his close friends, and all who had the good fortune to know and work with him. His funeral will be held Sunday, February 8, 3:00 p.m. at First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary, with interment on Monday at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to support the development of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa, www.fco-cpo.coop or the cause of your choice.




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Published in Ottawa Citizen on Feb. 6, 2015.
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Memories & Condolences
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37 entries
April 27, 2015
My deepest condolences to Mark's family and loved ones. I only just heard of his passing. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark at the CCA, and I will forever fondly remember his kind and generous nature, and the great conversations we had. I'm so very sorry for your loss.
jo moffatt
April 14, 2015
Ann- my condolences to you on the loss of your brother Mark
Mark Silverman
March 24, 2015
My condolences to Mark's family and friends. I was not a close friend but I definitely knew about his work with the co-op movement. In my book, anyone who makes a career out of helping people help themselves is honorable. It is a loss for the co-op movement. Laurette Deveau, Conseil coop Acadien, Nouvelle-cosse
Laurette Deveau
March 19, 2015
The First Nations Vehicle Repair Worker Co-op in Muskoday, Saskatchewan's President Fox Munroe wanted me to pass on their co-op member's condolences to Mark's family. Mark was a great help in getting their co-op started.
March 1, 2015
I was just told of his passing! I am without words...guess God needed him more than us. I was looking forward to speaking with him but that will have to wait til we meet in heaven. I am sorry for your lost and prayer that you help to continue what Mark dedicated his life towards in bringing into this hurting world. With Love and gratitude for sharing such a precious soul with so many people.
Ladi Emmanuel
February 11, 2015
Such a huge loss to many communities. Our thoughts and prays are with Linda and Marks family.
Lianna Cousins
February 11, 2015
We were shocked and saddened to hear of Marks sudden passing. He has been loved & held in the hearts of our family for many decades.
His tireless work improved the lives of many Canadians. The benefits from his work will continue for many years to come.
We will remember Mark for his humility and warm and generous spirit.
Our deepest condolences to all his family
Mark Mahyr & Julie Eckhart
Mark Mahyr
February 10, 2015
I am so sorry to hear of Mark's passing. I have fond memories of meeting Mark through his father Murray "G" -- the legendary political reporting professor at Carleton's Journalism School in Ottawa. It was a thrill to interview him for the Toronto Star in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Toronto when the co-op housing movement was fighting the first of the ongoing federal cuts. Such a knowledgeable and passionate advocate, full of energy and humour. Big hugs to Ann and Lynn and all the Goldblatt family and friends. Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto, Ontario
February 9, 2015
Linda, I am so sorry for your loss. What a shock. Joanne Lowe
February 9, 2015
Met Mark many years ago related to housing co-op and our efforts to build a worker co-op. In the last few years always looked forward to meeting Mark at Credit Union , Co-op meetings, or just a short lunch. All encounters started with his famous bear hug. I join so many other co-operators in our loss.
Condolences to Linda.
Gary Campbell
February 8, 2015
Mark was a true Canadian hero - a champion of the co-op movement and an inspiration to me and so many others. All of us face complicated lives and personal issues, Mark included. When I look around this city and this country and see the many people and projects that his life touched, shaped and influenced, I am so grateful for his leadership. Ultimately, the measure of a life is not in the size of the bank account or even in the list of achievements, but in the quality of character. In that, Mark excelled. My condolences to his family, friends and the long list of colleagues around the country. We will miss Mark, we will celebrate his life and continue to be inspired by him.
Michael Shapcott
February 8, 2015
I learned much from Mark about life. Although he suffered throughout his life, he was able to bring much love and presence to others...he truly passed by doing good.
I will miss him...
Ken L
February 8, 2015
Mark touched many lives. It was through Mark that David became involved in political activism, that Ellen became a co-op housing architect and through those interventions, that we met.
Through the years he provided us with inspiration and encouragement. We treasure the long discussions with Mark and Linda on the dock at the Kamp. We will miss him.
Ellen Vera Allen
February 8, 2015
I first met Mark when he interviewed me in 1975 for a position with the then fledgling Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT).

I had the great good fortune to be hired and to be part of the early years of the growth of non-profit co-op housing both in Toronto and across Canada.

A large part of that good fortune was the opportunity to work with, be mentored by and to become friends with Mark.

Mark was one of a kind.

A brilliant and innovative thinker; 1000% committed to social justice, the need for affordable housing for all & the co-op housing model as one of the best means to meet that need; funny and wacky; and kind and gentle to all he came into contact with.

My deepest condolences to Linda and all of Mark's family, and his large circle of friends and colleagues.

We shall not see his like again.
Jean Stevenson
February 8, 2015
mom, Mark, Linda, Ellen & David, 2014
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
on a woodland walk 2004
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
having tea
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
with a friend from Mark'd activism in the 70s
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
in Atkinson Co-op, converted from Ontario Housing
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
on Arcadia Housing co-op, Toronto, 2002
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
Mark & Linda, 2002
David Smiley
February 8, 2015
One of us has known Mark since we were youngsters in the 1950's. We crossed paths again in the 1980's at co-op housing meetings. Both of us really got to know him from various family functions the last few years. For Ann and Lynn and Linda we know his memory will be a blessing
David & Carol Abbey & Ruttle-Abbey
February 8, 2015
The first time I met Mark was in 1979 when I first moved into the Bain Co-op, where he was living. I have always been impressed by Mark's complete commitment and dedication to co-ops of all kinds. but mostly I was always impressed by Mark's kindness, which was always evident. The Canadian Co-operative movement owes a great deal of gratitude to Mark. RIP. My condolences to Mark's family and friends. He will be missed.
February 7, 2015
I count myself among the many people that Mark brought into the co-operative movement and turned into lifelong activists for the cause. His commitment to co-operative values was contagious, which means that his legacy will live on in the work of others who he mentored as well as in the many co-ops that he helped found.
Scott Stager Piatkowski
February 7, 2015
Mark's dedication to the co-operative movement and a better world inspired many people including me. Thousands of Canadians have their homes and co-op communities because of him He was as so many have said, a very fine, a very good man. We'll miss him.
Bob Luker
February 7, 2015
I am so sorry to hear of Mark's passing. We were good friends and colleagues in the early days of developing the Dufferin Grove Housing Co-op in Toronto. I will always remember his sense of humour, his compassion and his passion for social justice. Patricia O'Sullivan
Patricia O'Sullivan
February 7, 2015
Mark is someone I met in the early 1990's and did not know well, but well enough to appreciate what a very fine and good person he is. I am so sorry to hear of his death, much too early. My condolences to all his cherished friends and family, Linda and his sisters especially.
Kristine Connidis
February 7, 2015
I first met Mark when he interviewed me in 1975 for a position with the fledgling
Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto.

I had the good fortune to be hired and to have the opportunity to be part of the growth of CHFT and of non-profit co-operative housing in Toronto and throughout Canada.

A large part of that good fortune was the opportunity to work with, be inspired and mentored by, and become friends with Mark.

He was one of a kind - a brilliant, innovative thinker and strategist, committed 1000% to social justice and particularly for the need for affordable housing in Canada & the non-profit co-operative housing model as a ideal means to meet that need; hard working and tenacious in pursuing his numerous projects and goals;funny, gentle, kind and caring to everyone he came into contact with.

Deep condolences to Linda, Mark's family, and his large circle of friends and colleagues.

We will not see his like again.

Jean
Jean Stevenson
February 7, 2015
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Stephen Troubridge
February 6, 2015
I have only known Mark for the last few years but I have been very impressed with his dedication to the co-op movement. His record of service is exceptional. We have lost a great co-op advocate and a wonderful man.
Don Smith
February 6, 2015
One of many housing co-ops across Canada...
I have many fond memories of Mark Goldblatt from the early period of housing co-op growth across Canada.

He and I met at the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto. It was a time in co-op housing that all things seemed possible if we just worked harder and talked to more people.

Mark had an infectious energy on the subject of co-op housing. I'll always remember a trip he and I made to Thunder Bay for the official opening of Castlegreen Co-op. It was a an incredible non-stop exercise in co-op housing evangelizing starting from the Toronto airport to Thunder Bay and back. We talked to absolutely everybody about the value of co-op housing: cab drivers, air line attendants, shop owners, people on the street. We left no one untouched about our message on co-ops!

Mark and I also shared in a boat co-op with Bob Van Alstyne (Co-op Habitat Association of Toronto) for a few years. Mark enjoyed sailing around Toronto Harbour. But he was happiest when someone else took on the navigation so he could unwind.
Dave Jackson
February 6, 2015
Mark Goldblatt was a long-time supporter and activist for Canadian Friends of Peace Now, which promotes a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Despite his very busy schedule, Mark volunteered to help with events, meetings, and fundraising over the years. He did what he could with the most generous of spirits. He was willing to do the small things, such as greeting people at the door at events, or the more onerous tasks such as phoning around for donations (which he found excruciating, but he did it anyway). It was always about the greater good of the organization, never about him. He was sweet, kind, caring, enthusiastic and modest. Many people will miss him very much, including me.
Unfortunately, since I'm in Victoria, BC, for the winter, I can't come to the funeral. But I'll certainly be thinking of him.

Gabriella Goliger
Gabriella Goliger
February 6, 2015
Ever since I became Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives, I had the privilege of meeting many community leaders dedicated to the co-op cause.

One of the most dynamic of them was Mr. Mark Goldblatt, former executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and founder and chair of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa. Mr. Goldblatt suddenly passed away on Wednesday February 4th. Many will miss his sage advice, me included.

A positive force for change in the co-op world, he also served as president of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation for 14 years. For the last 10 years of his life, he remained very active and namely developed three new housing co-operatives and two non-profit projects.

A recipient of several awards, Mr. Goldblatt was an iconic figure of Canada's thriving co-operative community. His actions paved the way for future generations of co-op entrepreneurs.

The memory of Mark Goldblatt and the impact he had lives on and will continue to do so for a long time yet. I want to thank his family for sharing him with us for so many years.
Mauril Bélanger
February 6, 2015
I've known Mark for many, many years. As others have no doubt said as well, to work with such an incredibly intelligent and generous man, keen to make a difference in whatever he was doing, was inspiring. I'll miss Mark. And send my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Christine Seguin
February 6, 2015
Mark was an inspiration to all who came to know him in the co-operative movement. We are diminished by his loss to us but his legacy will long endure.
Nicholas Gazzard
February 6, 2015
Linda, Ann, Lynn and family:
Our family knew Mark for over 40 years. Our parents had the pleasure and honour of meeting him and working with him on neighbourhood community development projects back in the 1970s. They kept in touch ever since and it was so wonderful to visit with him in November when he attended our mother's 90th birthday party. His presence and kind words meant so much to her and the rest of our family. Mark was a wonderful, gentle and kind human being whom we deeply respected and held in great regard for his work, his beliefs and his enduring friendship. He will very dearly missed.
With profound condolences,
Marion Mahyr
Cheryl Mahyr
Bob Gordica
Toronto, ON
February 6, 2015
It is with shock and sorrow that I processing Mark's death. Others have known him longer, and perhaps better, so my words will only echo theirs. Mark's generosity with his time and knowledge impressed me deeply, but not as much as his unflagging determination and unfailing graciousness. He made an impact on my life, and set the standard for what I understand a cooperator to be. I will miss him.
Blair Hamilton
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