Educator, mentor, medical miracle, family man. Born Jan. 28, 1948, in Toronto, died July 23, 2012, in Toronto of kidney and lung diseases, aged 64.
Known as Ted, Teddy, Mr. B., Dad, Pop and Zadie Ted, Ted Borovoy had a single passion in life – education. Every aspect of his professional and personal life centred on what he could learn and what he could share.
Ted loved teaching – everything about it. He taught night school, summer school, public school, private school; he would have taught a school of fish, but he was never much of a swimmer.
Born in Toronto to Jewish parents, Ted was an only child. As a youngster he suffered from colitis. After his parents separated, he spent his teenage years living with his mother above Daiter’s deli, slicing herring by the barrel to earn some cash. He began his career immediately after high school. He got his bachelor of education at night school, then his masters while working full time as a teacher, part time at a paint store and raising a young family.
Ted was a teacher, vice-principal and principal at the York Region Board of Education and the Toronto District School Board for 35 years, making a profound and long-lasting impact on colleagues and students alike. He fought passionately against injustices and for the disadvantaged.
Even after retirement, Ted helped create a program in York Region that provided a last chance for students who had been expelled. Ted had the power to believe in someone before they believed in themselves.
Only weeks before his passing, Ted learned that a former student of his was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He became involved from his hospital room with a website to raise funds and awareness about the disease. From that same room, he continued to provide his armchair wisdom to family and friends.
In 2005, Ted was violently struck down by septic shock. Within hours, he was on life support. Doctors told his family that he would not survive. For what became the first of many occasions, Ted became extremely ill, was hospitalized for months, and then rallied. His family would find themselves in this situation time and time again for the next seven years, but Ted always managed to prevail and come home.
But three years ago, Ted became a shadow of his former physical self. He needed dialysis five times a week. But despite his challenges, he always looked forward to soup at Steeles Deli and the company of his grandchildren.
To his core, Ted was a family man, and always happiest when surrounded by his loved ones – his wife, Sharyn, children Lisa, Jason and Kylie, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Eden.
He loved pastrami, hated mustard; loved matzo balls, hated gefilte fish; loved jelly beans and hated broccoli. Ted’s resilience and inner strength serve as an inspiration. He will be missed by all.
Sharyn Borovoy is Ted’s wife. Jason Borovoy, Lisa Hoffman and Kylie Dale are his children.
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