David Kent Pecaut

Obituary
  • "Dear Mrs. Pecaut, David would not have remembered me but he..."
    - David Smith
  • "Dear Helen, I am so very saddened to hear of your loss. My..."
    - Alexis (Larson) Thomas
  • "To Helen Burstyn & Family: Sincere condolences on your..."
  • "Dear Helen, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your..."
    - Eulan & Rusty O'Connor

DAVID KENT PECAUT September 14, 1955 - December 14, 2009 Succumbing to colorectal cancer at age 54, David died peacefully and gracefully in his Toronto home, surrounded by his adoring family. Though his life ended much too soon, David lived every moment to the fullest. He was a devoted husband and father; a trailblazing business consultant and strategist; and a widely-respected community leader. Born on September 14, 1955 in Sioux City, Iowa, David was the son of the late Richard and Dorothy (Kent) Pecaut. He graduated from West High School in 1973, received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Harvard University in 1977 and completed a Master's Degree in Philosophy at the University of Sussex in 1978. David began his consulting career as special assistant to the president of Terra Chemicals in Sioux City. He moved to Toronto and joined the Canada Consulting Group in the early 1980s, became a partner at Telesis in Rhode Island in 1984, and rejoined CCG in 1988, later leading the negotiations that merged the firm with the Boston Consulting Group in the early 1990s. As a senior partner and managing director of BCG, he was a major force in building BCG's global strategy, e-commerce and public policy practices. David was an avid booster of Toronto and devoted himself increasingly to civic entrepreneurship in recent years, referring to his city-building activities as one of the greatest highlights of his life. He spearheaded the formation of the Toronto City Summit Alliance in 2002 and was its guiding light in developing initiatives like DiverseCity, the Emerging Leaders Network, the Toronto Region Research Alliance, Greening Greater Toronto and Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults (MISWAA). He also convened the Toronto Alliance in 2003 to renew tourism after SARS, sparked the formation of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and initiated an award winning mentorship partnership program. One of the civic projects that excited him most was Luminato, the Toronto-based international arts festival that he co-founded with Tony Gagliano in 2007. All of these initiatives were David's gifts to Toronto. He was grateful to his adopted city and its citizens for working with him to achieve a unique model of collective leadership. David was also very proud of his Sioux City roots and the fact that his great-great- grandfather, Gustav Pecaut, was among the first European settlers in the area in 1852. David led a full and rich life. He had a sharp wit, an inquiring mind and an active imagination. He was a voracious reader and an engaging conversationalist, always brimming with new ideas. He valued creativity, collaboration, honesty and hard work, all of which were hallmarks of his professional career and personal charm. David is survived by his wife, Helen Burstyn, his daughters Lauren Burstyn Lawrence and her husband Matt, of Los Angeles, CA; Amy Burstyn, Sarah Pecaut and Rebecca Pecaut of Toronto; a brother Dan Pecaut and his wife Kay, of Sioux City, Iowa; a sister Stacey Gerhart of Sioux City, Iowa; a sister Mary Pecaut and her husband Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, living in Morocco; brother-in-law Rubin Burstyn and wife Judi Bodnoff; and many adoring nieces, nephews and extended family members. A Visitation to pay respects to his family will take place on Sunday, December 20th at the Visitation Centre in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, east gate entrance (416-485-5572) from 5:00-8:00 p.m. A private memorial service and burial are planned. A public celebration of David's life will be take place in the new year. Memorial donations may be directed to the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital (www.mtsinai.on.ca/tlcpc), St. Michael's Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital or to any of the numerous community organizations and charitable causes supported by David, Helen and their family.

Published in the Toronto Star on Dec. 16, 2009