Cover photo for Peter Garnsworthy (June 17, 1955-July 9, 2020).'s Obituary
Peter Garnsworthy (June 17, 1955-July 9, 2020). Profile Photo

Peter Garnsworthy (June 17, 1955-July 9, 2020).

PETER GARNSWORTHY (June 17, 1955-July 9, 2020).

Peter passed away peacefully at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto on July 9, 2020, after a valiant struggle with cancer. He is survived by his sister Kathy (Peter Mitchell), nephew Hugh, niece Penny (Aaron), great-nieces Anna and Julia, and cousins Jill Hankinson (Tim) and John Thompson (Wendy Bond) and their children. His dog Maggie was very close to his heart, and he made sure that she went to a loving home before he died.

Peter had the gift of friendship and had many dear old friends, many from his time in the New Faces drama group at the U of T in the 1970s. His friend Martha Mckee and her family were true and loving friends to him, especially during the difficult time of his last illness. Special thanks to Martha and his good friend Jose who were with him when he died. Thank you as well to the many friends who visited and wrote to him during his last difficult months. Your support meant a great deal to him.

Peter was a Grade 1 teacher with the Toronto board for most of his career, although he also taught in Australia and Italy (just two of the many stops in his world travels). As a grade 1 teacher and in his work with the Reading Recovery program, he helped hundreds of kids to learn to read. His skill and dedication made a huge difference to the lives of many children, especially to those who had been struggling to learn how to read. He loved the kids he worked with and continued to work as a reading tutor even into retirement.

Peter was seriously ill for two years before he died. After he was diagnosed with cancer late last year, his illness advanced quickly and spread to many parts of his body. He was remarkably cheerful and hopeful throughout this ordeal. He showed real strength of character during this time, always gracious, concerned for the feelings of others, and grateful for the care he received. His sense of humour remained to the very end. Many thanks to Dr. Bhella, and to the other physicians and nurses at the Princess Margaret, especially those in the palliative care ward.

During this difficult time of pandemic, there will only be a small graveside ceremony. If you would like to pay tribute to Peter, please make a donation in Peter’s name to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (

Rest in peace, Peter. We will miss you.

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