Wednesday 21 March 2018

Open Forum: Spring/Summer 2018

The beat goes on, but with fewer TSF blog insiders, the pulse is much weaker. 

Sunday 18 March 2018

At 30 - Jean Houghton

Jean Houghton
Jean Houghton, a no-nonsense Toronto Sun newsroom secretary from 1976 to 2002, died recently from a heart attack. She was 80.
Jean being Jean, she was “adamant” in her instructions to her children not to have a funeral or publish an obit on her passing (Jan. 31). She was quietly cremated.
For six weeks, there was silence except for grieving among family and close friends. But daughters Elizabeth and Sarah knew her other family, the Toronto Sun, should be told of Jean’s passing.
Elizabeth emailed me via the Toronto Sun Family blog, sent a photo of her mother and worked with her sister to write a tribute to Jean because “it means a lot to us. The Sun was a very big part of her life.”
Jean, as remembered by Sun vets, “always said it like it was,” said Elizabeth. “She never minced words. She really enjoyed working at the Sun and the many people there.”
As for the photo, “she would have been less than thrilled, but I think she would understand.”
The is what Sarah wrote for the Toronto Sun Family:
 Jean Houghton started at the Toronto Sun in 1976, as a secretary on the city desk. Over the years, Jean was a key personality in the newsroom until her retirement in 2002.  You always knew where you stood with her, good or bad, and she'd swear at you either way. Then laugh.
Jean will be remembered for her big glasses and her even bigger personality - and the menthol cigarettes that she loved so much.
She spoke incredibly highly of her friends, co-workers and bosses at the Sun. There were times that her 'family' at the Sun helped her out immensely. There were also times that Jean helped people out. As her kids, we could see the quality of her character and the quality of the people that she knew.
After she retired from the Sun, Jean spent her time trying new recipes, new crafts, seeing old friends and so much more. Jean lived close to her eldest daughter, Elizabeth and her two grandsons, Noah and Jacob.
Jean taught her grandkids to make her famous chicken supreme - and they provided computer trouble shooting, as Jean was an avid user of Pinterest and other social media sites. Jean and Elizabeth walked their dogs together, daily, and Jean was a well-known fixture in the dog park community. 
Jean loved making meals for her family and every holiday and birthday would have eight (or more) people gathered in her apartment, eating the best food and laughing a lot. 
Jean passed away from a heart attack on January 31, 2018. She is greatly missed by daughters Elizabeth and Sarah (Andy); son Drew (Corina); her wonderful best friend Robin; and her very favourite people in the world, her grandsons Noah and Jacob.  Big thanks to the staff at St. Mike's for their stellar care of Jean.
Memories of Jean Houghton can be emailed to 
John Cosway (TS 1975-1994): "I never knew a woman who could curse you up and down as Jean did before breaking the ice with a smile. The tiger lady, Les Pyette’s main woman in the 1970s, was really a teddy bear in disguise. Condolences to the family."