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1952 - 2020
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IRENE BORINS ASH July 16, 1952 - June 7, 2020 Irene Borins Ash, died of complications from pancreatic cancer, which she had been battling for three years. Irene is survived by her husband, Irv Ash; her mother, Beverley Ludwig Borins; her brothers, Sandford and Michael Borins; sisters-in-law, Beth Herst and Heidi Bergstrom; brother-in-law, Mel Ash; nieces, Adryan and Haley Bergstrom- Borins; and nephews, Alexander and Nathaniel Borins. Always concerned about the welfare of others, Irene chose a career in social work, receiving a diploma from Seneca College (1973), BA in Anthropology from York University (1984), and MSW from Yeshiva University (1987), and specializing in care for the elderly. Irene was also a talented artist, working in tapestry and photography. In 2000, Irene used her photographic skills to create the first of four photography and texts exhibits that were completed and exhibited in numerous locations over the next 15 years. Two of those exhibits lead directly to her writing two books, where Irene combined her artistic and social work passions : Treasured Legacies; Older and Still Great (Second Story Press 2003) and, co- authored with her husband Irv Ash, Aging is Living: Myth Breaking Stories from Long Term Care (Dundurn Press, 2009). Both combine inspiring stories of resilience and compassion with Irene's portraits. In recent years, Irene became interested in the potential of community initiatives, especially those of faith-based communities, to restore the environment. She and her husband Irv Ash made a video, entitled One Planet: Harnessing Hope, about this theme which can be viewed through her website Her efforts in this area were cut short by her illness. Further information about and photos of Irene's work are available on her website. A family graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Private family Shiva. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Irene and her family deeply appreciate the care she received from Dr. Jennifer Knox and the chemotherapy team at Princess Margaret Hospital as well as the intensive care unit at Toronto General Hospital. The family requests that donations in her memory be made to either of the two funds Irene set up as bequests in her will: Jewish Family and Child Foundation "Irene Borins Ash Fund" or Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology "Irene Borins Ash Endowed Award".

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Jun. 9 to Jun. 13, 2020.
Graveside service
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4 entries
June 10, 2020
My deepest condolences to her family during this difficult time. Peace.
Brent W
June 10, 2020
My heart is with Irene's family today. I know how immensely loved Irene was by way of my friendship with Michael. I hope solace may be found as you support one another through this difficult time. I appreciate learning more about Irene's gifts and life as written in the obituary. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Nancy Mabey
June 9, 2020
I will remember Irene as a wonderfully creative and kind woman. She used her gifts to make our world a better place. In particular, I think of her interest in and the kindness with which she related to my friend Francis, a L'Arche member and octogenarian whom she photographed in his garage workshop. We--Francis and I--were invited to her book launch where she introduced us to Oscar Peterson, among others. May she rest in peace. Surely her memory will be a blessing to many.
Beth Porter
June 9, 2020
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