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50 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1B6
Phone: 416-423-1000
Fax: 416-424-2074

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Obituary for Peter Wilfrid Nightingale

Peter Wilfrid  Nightingale
Nightingale, Peter Wilfrid

Peacefully passed away on Thursday December 21st 2017 at Toronto General Hospital at the age of 85 surrounded by the love of his family.

Loving husband to Elaine Regan Nightingale. Beloved father to May (Dave Gearing), Ronald and John (Daniel Picheca). Loving Papa of Sarah (Jean-Francois) Boucher and Michael (Ashley Hall) Gearing. Loving Great-Papa to Luca and Chloe Boucher. Lovingly remembered by his sister Hilda Cross, brothers George (Mary) and Bud (Bunty). A favourite uncle and Godfather that will be missed by many nieces and nephews. Survived by brother-in-law Keith Regan. Predeceased by his wife Marjorie and sister Joan Baltare.

Peter’s life work was in education and formation. He worked in various roles trying to help others change for the better in the ways they thought, felt and acted. He worked with children, teaching elementary school in Penny, B.C. and junior high school in Burnaby, B.C. He worked with youth, teaching high school English at Cochrane DHS and Owen Sound CVI in the North and then in Toronto at Harbord CI, Parkdale CI and Emery CI, then later at Fr. Brassani CHS in Woodbridge. He also worked with adults teaching at Woodsworth College, U of T. In 1970 he was one of eleven teachers from across Canada who were chosen by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation as recipients of their Hilroy Foundation Award.

He worked to help teachers as an instructor at the Ontario Teacher Education College in East York, and as a curriculum consultant in the Central Region of Ontario. He was one of the writing team for the Ministry of Education’s curriculum guidelines for Screen Education in 1971, and for their guidelines for Intermediate Division English in about 1975. Peter took his family to New York City in 1977-78 to live while he went to Columbia University where he received his Doctorate of Education. Upon his return, he worked to assist the Ontario Government as an education policy analyst, and as manager of contract research for the Ministries of Education, Skills and Trades, and Colleges and Universities. He worked as an administrative assistant for two Assistant Deputy Ministers, but retired when his health deteriorated with attacks of Myasthenia Gravis. After his retirement he worked with his wife, Marjorie in her tutoring business until her death in 1998.

Peter had become a Christian in the Anglican Church when he was eleven, and became a Roman Catholic when he was twenty two. In his twenties he was a member of the choir at St. Mary’s Church in Owen Sound, and corresponding secretary of the Knights of Columbus there. In his middle age he was a reader at St. Timothy’s Church in North York, a member of the liturgy committee, and then chair of the parish council. After his retirement he was financial secretary of the Council of the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph the Worker parish in Sault Ste. Marie and started a branch of Results Canada, a Canada-wide organization that writes to local newspapers and lobbies the federal government about social justice issues.

On a retreat at Loyola House in Guelph in 2000, he was glad to find that he could continue his life-long mission when he discerned that he was called to join Christian Life Community (CLC), a 400 year old, world-wide lay community that synthesizes Ignatian spirituality, communitarian small group structure, and discerned social justice mission. At a CLC meeting in 2000 he met Elaine Regan and they discerned to marry in 2001. In 2002 they both went to Loyola House for a year and trained as Ignatian spiritual directors. In the years that followed he gave spiritual direction, mostly in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola in his home, at various parishes, at Manresa Spiritualty Centre in Pickering, at Loyola House in Guelph, and at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. He helped start new Christian Life Communities in Pickering, Toronto, Oakville, London, Forrest, Barrie, and served on the formation team for CLC’s Central Region.

Peter was a bright and beautiful man, a true gentleman, with the biggest heart and kindest soul. He had a wonderful sense of humour, witty and wise, a man who loved to laugh. He was a man of very strong faith who loved to share that faith with everyone, especially his Christian Life Community (CLC). Peter loved expressing himself through his poetry and sharing his poems with all. Peter’s life work was in education, a field he felt passionate about.

A special thank you to the Doctors and Nurses in the CVT ICU at Toronto General Hospital and his family doctor, Dr. T. Goldenberg. You went above and beyond with your care and compassion, an amazing team of Healthcare professionals.

Family and friends are invited to gather in Celebration of Peter’s Life at HERITAGE FUNERAL CENTRE, 50 Overlea Blvd. (416) 423-1000 on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 from 2-4 & 6-9 pm. Funeral Mass will be held in Corpus Christi Parish, 1810 Queen Street East, Toronto, M4L 3M8 at 11 am on Thursday, December 28th, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Myasthenia Gravis Society of Canada ( would be greatly appreciated by the family. Directions and online condolences may be found at
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