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In Memoriam: Jill Le Clair

Jill M. Le Clair, PhD February 6, 1947 – October 24, 2020

Jill’s family and friends are saddened to announce her sudden death on Saturday, October 24, 2020 in Toronto. Jill was born in England and came to Canada with her mother, Lillian (Pip) after the loss of her stepfather Cam Le Clair. She attended Branksome Hall and McGill University. Jill’s great academic success included a career at Humber College as a professor of social sciences with a focus on sport. In 1993 she received a Humber College Distinguished Faculty Award. After a number of years she returned to university to complete a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto. That work earned her a grant from the European Commission: the Marie Curie Fellow to study sports, disability and the Paralympics at the University of Coventry in the UK. Her academic career centered on sports, disability and the Paralympics. She published numerous articles and authored a book entitled “Winners and Losers: Sport and Physical Activity in the 90’s”.

Jill’s work involved worldwide travel as a speaker at international conferences sponsored by academic organizations and universities on sports related topics. She attended sporting events throughout the world to interview participants and to discuss the challenges that many athletes, particularly para-athletes, encounter in their sport lives. In the late 90’s Jill was injured in a car accident that required her to wear a neck brace. She turned that adversity into an opportunity and created art shows of photographs taken while lying down in places such as airline lounges, hotel lobbies and meeting rooms. More recently, due to some medical issues she had begun to wind down and had moved to Christie Gardens.

Tragically, as Jill was enjoying a cup of tea with a friend, she was struck by a van that ran onto the sidewalk. Jill is survived by cousins in the UK, the US and by Michael (Louisa) and Geoffrey (Janet) Newbury in Toronto. She also leaves her dedicated helper Raquel Deveza and countless friends from her teaching career, academia, McGill, the Boulevard Club, and her connections in the west end neighbourhood where she lived and owned commercial properties. Jill brought together all these friends at her great Christmas parties! Her energy, keen intelligence, feistiness and humour will be deeply missed. Cremation has taken place, and a celebration of life will be scheduled at an appropriate time. Donations in memory of Jill may be made to Dr. Charles Tator’s injury prevention work with Parachute Canada.

 

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