Sheila Gornall

Gornall – Sheila

Peacefully on Saturday, September 26, 2009, in Comox, BC at the age of 92. She leaves her sons William, Douglas, Thomas, daughter Catherine, and their families. Sheila was born and grew up in Halifax, NS, the daughter of Dalhousie University Professor of Philosophy and noted CBC Commentator H.L. Stewart. Despite being afflicted with polio at an early age, as a teenager she excelled as a competitive swimmer. After graduating from Dalhousie University, Sheila moved to Toronto to study music and was employed as a church organist. In Toronto, she started dating another Nova Scotian, Allan Gornall, whom she married in 1941. After almost 65 years of marriage, she was predeceased by Allan who was a noted biochemist and teacher, head of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Together they raised four children, all of whom achieved either PhD or MD degrees at the University of Toronto. For many years Sheila enjoyed figure skating (into her 70’s) and playing tennis (into her 80’s). She was also very artistic. In her later years she completed the Jewelry Arts program at George Brown College and became an accomplished goldsmith. Over the next 25 years she created many exceptional jewelry designs, some of which won prizes in national competitions. The family wishes to express a special thanks to the staff and volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox, BC, for the compassionate care they have provided Sheila over the past year.

A memorial reception will be held at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME – A.W. MILES CHAPEL, 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto 1-800-616-3311 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. Anyone who cannot attend, is invited to send condolences and memories by e-mail to or through In lieu of flowers, if so desired, donations in Sheila’s memory may be made to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, 212 King Street West, 6th Floor, Toronto M5H 1K5, or on-line at

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