It was a celebration of an extraordinary life rather than a lamentation of a sudden death.
About 250 students gathered at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church on St. Clair Avenue West on Monday morning to commemorate the life of Stanley Heath, Ryerson’s dean of business.
The crowd, mostly in black, was a mix of Mr. Heath’s family, friends, colleagues and students. Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse and v.p. academic Dennis Mock were honorary pallbearers for the service. Linda Grayson, v.p. administration and student affairs, was also in attendance.
Mr. Heath’s family, filling the first four pews of the church, listened intently and occasionally chuckled as three of his friends shared anecdotes with the congregation. There were no sobs or bursts of emotion.
Reverend Andrew Stirling urged the congregation to be optimistic in the face of this untimely death.
“We must continue to celebrate the things Stanley loved and held dear to him,” Stanley said in his sermon. “We must continue to strive high.”
After the service, the family followed the mahogany casket out of the church. They walked, arm in arm, through the steady rain to a waiting hearse.