Toni Milne left us on September 9, 2014. She died in Palliative care in Toronto in her 98th year. Click here to see the Toronto Star obituary.
Mollie (Toni) Walsh was born in London, England on May 12, 1917. After training as a nurse she travelled extensively in the Mediterranean and in Egypt caring for children with disabilities. As you can tell from her photo she was a true English beauty.
Upon her return to Britain during the Second World War in 1941, Toni met Ron Milne at a church dance in southern England and they married a year later in 1942.
Ron Milne was an officer with the Royal Canadian Engineers. Ron and his two older brothers were in the Canadian armed forces. Ron Milne landed on Juno Beach on D-day. Because he was an engineer, he was one of the first to land. Incredibly he survived the D-Day landing as well as the Allied advance into Normandy, the Netherlands and Germany with no physical wounds - only those of the soul and mind from what he had endured and what he had seen.
Ron Milne had started visiting Wood Lake in about 1925 as a newcomer to Canada to help out his uncle Alick Milne (the namesake of Milne Road) when he was about ten years old (he was born in Belfast of Scottish parents). When they first met, Ron told Toni it was his objective to build a cottage on Wood Lake, if he survived.
After numerous lengthy wartime separations, Toni arrived in Canada to join Ron and start a family in April 1946. The devoted couple settled their family in Don Mills and spent summers at the family cottage on Wood Lake. Toni never returned to Wood Lake after Ron died suddenly on November 5, 1989.
Toni leaves her daughters Jennifer and Marion, and her “adopted” family of Susan Vercoe of Kamo New Zealand as well as beloved Lucy Lou, her bulldog puppy.
Toni always adored animals and had numerous dogs and cats throughout her long life. At her request there will be no funeral service. Toni wished for her body to be donated to the University of Toronto for research.
Donations may be made in her memory to the OSPCA, the Ontario Society for the Protection from Cruelty to Animals. Contact ospca.on.ca or call 1-888-668-7722
Thanks to Jennifer Milne for providing this information.