James Allan Day passed away on Dec 27th in Toronto, as a result of postprocedure complications, surrounded by love. Al was a cherished and deeply loved partner and husband to Dr Linda Skrapits and a dearly loved father to Conner Day. He was a much loved brother to Cathie Day and predeceased by his parents, John and Ellen Day.
We are utterly devastated and heartbroken at his passing, but are thankful, for so many extraordinary shared memories and experiences, that we will cherish for a lifetime.
Al was born in Montreal and moved to Waterloo at age 10. In high school, he was an excellent student, who studied very little and spent much of his free time involved in sports. Al studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he formed lifelong friendships with many of his classmates.
From a young age, Al was passionate about social justice issues and after university, spent 1.5 years working at an American Red Cross MCC, refugee camp along the Thai Laos border. He often described his experiences of providing guidance and assistance to traumatized war refugees, as life changing. While there, Al became a devoted marathon runner. He fondly recalled leaping over a massive boa constrictor traversing the width of a mud road, or running along a jungle path and seeing the tree canopy above, come alive with scores of monkeys. To the good fortune of family and friends, Al later became quite adept at cooking many signature Thai dishes at social gatherings.
Three years later, another life changing experience occurred, when Al and Linda were separately invited to join a group of mutual friends for a rustic weekend of cross-country skiing, in Papineau La Belle, Quebec. On a crisp January night, trees heavily laden with snow, under a full luminescent moon, they found themselves skiing together, on a snowy trail. After a few moments, they settled into a steady pace, and then began a conversation that lasted 30 years. Theirs was a relationship of mutual love, support and admiration. Conner’s much anticipated arrival in 2005, completed their close family unit.
Soon after meeting Linda, Al completed an MBA and later established a Management Consulting firm in the government and non-profit sector, focusing primarily on micro-enterprises, homelessness and mental health. In addition to being a devoted runner, Al was a passionate cyclist and later, swimmer and rower. He was an extraordinarily devoted husband, father and mentor, always happily placing the needs of his family above his own.
Well-read and thoughtful, Al had the unique ability to gently challenge entrenched viewpoints. So many friends have since commented on how Al made everyone around him, a more thoughtful and better person. The family would like to acknowledge with deep gratitude, the generous outpouring of love and support from friends and family near and afar, over the 7 challenging weeks of Al’s illness.
We will miss his love, his compassion, his hilarious understated humour, his friendship, his kindness, his gentle spirit, his brilliance, and his bear hugs.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Al’s memory to Covenant House
or the Red Door Family Shelter.
“Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night sweet Prince;
may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, Feb 4th at Mount Pleasant
Funeral Centre. 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto. Visitation Noon-1:40
Service at 2 pm and reception to follow. Masks will be provided.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Centres