Obituary of Sydney Granville Young
Words of Remembrance
What a long and adventurous life this guy has lived. Born to Wong Ah Young and Winifred Sandilands on April 14, 1922 in Lucea, Hanover, Jamaica, he lived for nearly 99 years as he passed away on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at the Toronto Western Hospital.
Sydney was the fourth child of 14 children, namely: Berthebel, Leon, Daphne, Amy, Madge, Ronald, Rita, Astley, Gladstone, Norma, Barbara, Clive and Emerson. He developed into being the “star boy” in Lucea from his youth to his senior years. He spent 47 years in Jamaica, resided in New York City for 4 years and then relocated to Toronto, Canada, which he dearly cherished as his home.
He was flamboyant, sociable, well mannered, and yet hot-tempered. He enjoyed playing cricket, ping pong, billiards, dominoes, card games and attending horse racing. He was always searching for “sessions” due to his love of music and dancing. He applied his acquired baking skills to help establish the bakery section of the family business. He moved to Kingston in 1959 and worked there for a few years before returning to Lucea to become a shopkeeper and bar operator.
Sydney was the elusive bachelor until he married Evadney Leonie Stewart in 1965 with whom he had two daughters: Claudette and Christine. He also fathered seven other children, namely: Canute (predeceased), Cecile (predeceased), Sandra, Michele, Ingrid, Dwayne and Joseph.
He migrated to New York City in 1969 and assisted Barrington and Sybil Evans in establishing their bakery business. Then in 1973, Lionel (Lallal) Hugh Williams and his wife Joyce encouraged him to visit Toronto, where he felt at home after meeting many Jamaican friends. He grasped the opportunity to reside permanently in Canada when an amnesty was offered to undocumented immigrants. He became an official resident in the late 1970s, worked as a taxi driver and eventually became a Canadian citizen.
For the next 35 years, his indefatigable spirit for living never waned as he traveled to New York City and Jamaica to visit his siblings for weddings, funerals, family gatherings and Rusea’s Old Students Association (ROSA) events. He never lost touch with his siblings as he accompanied them on ship cruises to other Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Alaska.
Sydney became ill in 2015 and could no longer live on his own. He had to be removed from his Keele Street residence where he had lived for over 40 years and was now in need of assisted care. After being shuttled around from one short stay unregulated group house to another for two years, his youngest sister Barbara Maxwell found him through their family friend Clive Marzouca. She rescued him from a bad situation and with the assistance of their nephew, Trevor Moo, became his joint legal guardians by powers of attorney. Trevor did an unparalleled job in administering to his care by ensuring Sydney got placed in a registered long-term nursing home and that he received the appropriate medical and dental care available.
Vermont Square Long Term Care Home was chosen after consultation with the authorities. Sydney was at home at this facility that provided him with suitable accommodation and a comfortable environment for the last four years of his life. His health deteriorated in 2020 as he was shuttled between hospitals and Nursing Home due to his increasing frail condition that required acute medical care. Added to this, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic restricted personal social interactions that he had thrived on all his life. Despite having weekly virtual family visits, he increasingly appeared interactively distant and to have almost given up, falling short of the century of living he so long desired.
Sydney leaves behind six surviving siblings, seven children, grandchildren, great- grandchildren, numerous nephews and nieces as well as a wide circle of friends who all have fond memories of him. He will be sadly missed and may his soul rest in everlasting peace.
Uniquely entrusted to eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc.
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