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William J. SAMARIN
1926 - 2020
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WILLIAM J. SAMARIN February 7, 1926 - January 16, 2020 With sadness we announce the death of Professor Emeritus William Samarin. The American-born scholar of socio-linguistics taught for many years at the University of Toronto. He was best known for his work on the language of religion and on two Central African languages: Sango and Gbeya. Predeceased by his beloved wife, Ruth; he is survived by his daughters, Manya (George) Egerton and Ramona (Per) Furst and their families; as well as extended family in California. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Jan. 25 to Jan. 29, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
August 31, 2020
"Cousin Bill" and his first wife "Cousin Ruth" (my Dad's first cousin) were beloved guests at our home in Portugal. They left a strong impression on me as a child. They were both calm but fun, endlessly curious and enthusiastic and always interesting to talk to!
As an adult, after Ruth had passed away, I had the wonderful opportunity to correspond with Cousin Bill and to even spend a few days at his home in Toronto. His intelligence, wit and caring attitude still are an inspiration to me, as I am sure they are to many others.
My parents, Vital and Maria Aurora, were very sad to hear of Bill' passing. We send our most heartfelt condolences and love to all the family.
Marta Varela
Family
February 2, 2020
Bill was my PhD supervisor and, later, friend. I owe him much for teaching me research and writing discipline. I always enjoyed his stories of Africa, some of which he shared with my son, Daniel. He liked to recollect his fascinating childhood in the Molokan community. His studies of speaking in tongues were typical for his ability to combine scholarship with a broad interest in faith.
I used to see him at the gym, too. An avid swimmer, he was proud of his excellent health.
One wonders what has happened or will happen to the pair of huge elephant tusks, a legal trophy that he brought from Africa a long time ago.
Bill was a wise, disciplined man of principle with a heart of gold. May he rest in peace.
January 27, 2020
Heartbreaking to learn of Mr. Samarin's passing - he was a brilliant man with a passion for his work greater than anyone else I've met. He'll be dearly missed. Wishing love and strength to his family.
Frederick Gietz
January 27, 2020
I have told our colleagues in the Department of Linguistics about Bill's death. We are saddened by the loss of a great scholar and a good friend. I would be pleased to hear details about the memorial service when they are set. I know Manya and Ramona are not nearby and it may take a while. I offer them my condolences though it is some years since I last met them.
Jack Chambers
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