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Torrance, Thomas Bruce

1939 - 2018

Passed away at the Ottawa Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, April 18,  after a long battle with the effects of kidney disease.

Beloved husband of Karin (nee Dobbratz) of Ottawa, father of Lynn (Stefan) of Frankfurt, Germany, Michael (Andrea) of Madison, Wisconsin, brother of George (Judy) of Ottawa and Paul (Barbara) of Elliot Lake. Predeceased by his mother, Ada Bruce Torrance, and Father Dr. Thomas Torrance of Orillia, Ontario.

Raised in Orillia, Tom was a popular student in high school, serving as President of the Key Club and of the Students’ Council. He was idealistic and intensely interested in international affairs. At the University of Toronto he was active in student Liberal politics, serving as President of the Liberal Association and making lifelong friends such as Jim Fleming, Jerry Omelon and  Bill Woodley . After graduating from the University of Toronto  in 1962 with a degree in political science and economics  he went on his own initiative to Dar Es Salaam  where he worked as a junior economist for the Tanzanian government. His book  Dar Es Salaam 1963 which he published in 2010 offers  an insight from his youthful  perspective  into a  new African nation seeking to find itself after escaping colonialism.

Subsequently he was supported by Canadian External Aid as one of the youngest workers of this organization  to work for the International Labour Office in Geneva,  where he met his wife Karin. In 1968 the couple moved to New York where Tom worked in the Recruiting Field  of the United Nations, and two years  later  he moved  his young family  to Washington DC where he  worked for the World Bank.

In 1978  the family moved back to Canada where Tom worked for EDC ,  IDRC and CIDA .  By this time he had developed  bipolar depression  and kidney disease  which were to affect his entire later life.  In retirement he became an active  disability advocate.

Tom will be missed by his family and his wide circle of friends in Canada and abroad. His ashes will be returned  home to Orillia in August where he had fond memories of his youth together with his brothers George and Paul.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Canadian Mental  Health Association, Ottawa Branch,  or the Canadian Kidney Foundation.

A celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, April 28, at 10 am at the Unitarian Fellowship, 400 McArthur Ave., Ottawa.  

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