George Holtby Cram
April 20, 1938 – March 16, 2018
George Holtby Cram passed away at Michael Garron Hospital on Friday, March 16, 2018 in his 79th year. Devoted husband to Sheila Cram. Loving father to sons Douglas, Kevin and Brian. He will be sadly missed by his brother David, niece Jennifer, nephew Andrew, and grandson Dylan. He was predeceased by parents Maxwell and Muriel.
George was a good natured man. Pleasant and peaceful. He was born in Montreal, April 20, 1938. He entered McGill University at the age of 16 and met his wife Sheila a few years later at a church social event. He married Sheila in 1966 and was a devoted loving husband his entire life. He acquired a science degree in 1958 and a Bachelor of Divinity in 1964. He was highly analytical and personable. George played a leadership role in numerous youth church organizations as a young man and was once a youth minister in Saskatchewan.
George worked overseas a great deal in his life. He started in South America moving to Venezuela in 1968 for two years. George continued to travel throughout South America and developed a fondness for the Latin American people. He joined a small group of compassionate, talented, and driven people at the Latin American Working Group. LAWG's aim was to educate Canadians on the socio-economic realities of the people of Latin America and to support their struggles for social justice. During the brutal Pinochet regime starting in 1973, LAWG was pressuring the Canadian government to take action. With the help of the government and the co-ordination of intercontinental church groups, 100 visas were granted to a prisoner release program. George was tasked with traveling to Chile and selecting the prisoners to be released. The Chilean prisoner release program was a resounding success and was lauded by solidarity workers around the world.
George worked ceaselessly his entire career helping people. He was president of the Canadian Council for refugees in 1980. He was secretary for the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. He worked as a refugee consultant and later became a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board for 10 years. George was also treasurer for a refugee advocacy group called AURA and volunteered extensively at South Riverdale Community Health Centre. By the time he was done his work, he had travelled to the majority of the world's countries and positively impacted the lives of countless people. His compassion, wisdom, and work ethic made him a powerful force for people in need.
George's love for his family was unconditional. He steered his three sons with steady sails. In his later years he battled many serious diseases with grace and courage. He continued to smile often and warmed the hearts of the people taking care of him. George Holtby Cram will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Visitation will be held at Trull Funeral Home, 1111 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ( just west of Greenwood Ave.) from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. A funeral service will be held at St Barnabas Anglican Church, 361 Danforth Avenue, Toronto at 11 am on Thursday, March 22, 2018.
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George Holtby Cram
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