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Publication: Globe and Mail, The add link
Issue: 8 July 2008, page R10
Web Link: link

WILLIAM HUBERT SHORTILL (HUGH) KT.G.C. APRIL 22, 1906 - JULY 3, 2008 B.Comm. - Queen's '34 It is with great sorrow, the family announces the passing of William Hubert Shortill (Hugh) in his daughter's home in Thornhill, Ontario at the grand age of 102, while listening to Bing Crosby singing Irish songs. He leaves to mourn, his son John (Helen), daughter Deborah, grandsons John J. (Delphine), James (Krista), Robert and Timothy and great-grandson Matthew. Predeceased in 1990, by his beloved wife of 52 years, Jean Stapleton (of Stratford, ON) and his cherished son David, in 1997. He will also be missed by his many nieces, nephews and best friends Jim Hewitt, Harv Greer, Louis Janetta and the late Frank Bogart. Unexpectedly born in Galt, ON while his parents were at the races. Most proud of his Irish descent, he was the son of Cowin Shortill, of Ballinafad, and May Dempster, of Gananoque. With the passing of his mother, in 1907, he was raised by her parents Thomas and Margaret Dempster in the family home, Woodview Villa, now the Athlone Inn and Restaurant. He put himself through Queen's University, during the Depression, by working five months each summer on the St. Lawrence Ferry System. Filled with energy and ideas, he moved to Toronto in 1935, where he met and married Jean. Joined the Toronto Real Estate Board to become 'Realtor Extraordinaire'. He was instrumental in the early development of Leaside, North York, Rosedale and the Bridle Path area, where he tried to convince buyers to purchase 2-acre lots for $10,000. He served organized real estate with distinction as President of The Toronto Real Estate Board and The Canadian Real Estate Association. 'W.H.' maintained his Broker's License well into his nineties, and was proud to hold the FRI designation (Fellow of the Realtors Institute) throughout his career. Hugh enjoyed many affiliations, including: The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Granite Club and Albany Club. He was a life member of York Downs Golf and Country Club and played in his nineties, although legally blind in later years. He represented York Downs in international tournaments and had the ultimate satisfaction of scoring 'A Hole in One'. Sir William H. Shortill was a Knight of Malta (Priory of Canada), of The Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and held elevated memberships as a 32nd Degree Mason (1926), A.F. & A.M. of Can. (1933), A. & A.S.R. Rose Croix, Royal Arch, Rameses Temple, a Shriner and a member of The Jesters. Always a Toronto Booster, he played an important role in the Residential/Commercial/Industrial growth and development of this city. Hugh loved to travel and his favourite method remained the many trips to Europe and The British Isles on the Q.E. 2 and the Concord. He had an unquenchable interest in people - who they were and where they came from, and as an old school gentleman, often did business, simply on a handshake. Hugh was a dynamic speaker and spoke internationally on real estate issues, also an amateur historian who spoke often at various Historical Societies. He enjoyed life to the fullest and always found time to 'give back', including many charities. Above all, he was an optimist, with an amazing ability to inspire, enthuse anyone he met and give hilarious hat shows from his 100+ collection and he hosted the best parties! Many thanks to his wonderful caregivers, Patricia Malcolm, Brad, Janice and Natasha. A private service to be held, with interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CNIB or charity of your choice. Online condolences The 'First Nations' word for Gananoque means 'Place of Good Health' - W.H. certainly enjoyed this over a long and fulfilling life. Happy travelling Dad. R.S. Kane 416-221-1159