Born in Woodford, Essex, England February 17th, 1933 Ursula was predeceased by her parents, Dorothea Agnes and Thomas William Osborne. Educated by the Ursuline Order of nuns at the convent school in Harrow Weald, she was determined to pursue an independent life. Joining the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Ursula commenced her nursing training which would become her signature profession. While stationed in Hamburg, Germany she had the opportunity of travel in Europe, camaraderie of nursing colleagues and an acquaintance with a British Army soldier, Philip Edward Holt that evolved into romance and marriage. Returning to London, Oz, as she was known to friends was focused on acquiring her Registered Nurse’s credentials, successfully completing Charing Cross Hospital’s nursing programme and UK RN examinations.
Charismatic, dramatic and always engaging she established many lifelong friendships with classmates. Times in London were spent at the theatre accompanied by her beloved brother, Petrus, the National Gallery, dazzled by the art of the Impressionists and Monet’s water lilies in particular and in the shops of Knightsbridge and Regent Street. Ursula and Phil were married in August 1957 and emigrated to Canada in 1958 aboard a Cunard transatlantic ship. Toronto was home thereafter: a first apartment on Avenue Road, a first house on Risebrough Avenue, Willowdale where they welcomed twin children, Cameron and Alison. Prior to staff positions at Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospitals Ursula was a private duty nurse for Lady Eaton at Eaton Hall in King City. She will be most remembered for her years as a Nursing Unit Director of Cardiology, D3, Sunnybrook Medical Centre. An exacting role model and mentor to her nursing staff she was a compassionate caregiver to countless patients and their families. She was a consummate sewer and designer of unique silk fashions. Her jackets were distinct for the colours and styles that she created. She was fortunate to travel extensively, exploring many parts of the world and of Canada. Ozzie was a grandmother to 3 granddaughters: Arden, Charlotte and Emma. She remarried in 2016 to George Akleh. They continued to share her love of travels and Toronto theatre. Ursula died at home on December 24th, 2020.
She is survived by her loving husband George; her twins, Cameron and Alison and Alison’s spouse, June and granddaughters Arden, Charlotte and Emma. The third in a family of eight children she is survived by her sisters Camille in Toronto, Cynthia in the Channel Isles and brothers Raymund and Paul in England.
Cremation to be held and a memorial service will follow at a future date at York Cemetery, 160 Beecroft Rd, North York, ON M2N 5Z5. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Odette Cancer Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5. If you wish to donate you can use either PH207-33 Empress Ave, Toronto, ON M2N 6Y7 or firstname.lastname@example.org