Obituary: Ron Moeser, a 'real gentleman,' fought for the Rouge Park

News Apr 25, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Ron Moeser, a councillor who knew every corner of his East Scarborough ward, fought to establish the Rouge Park along one of Toronto’s last green river valleys.

This Saturday, April 29, after losing a battle with lymphoma at 74, he’ll be buried in land surrounded by that great park, which finally has the national status he wanted for it.

Moeser was a master electrician who ran the Boston Marathon three times.

Born in wartime Germany, where a childhood infection burst an eardrum and left him with permanent hearing loss, he became a Canadian citizen at 13.

He believed property taxes should be fair, and in preserving what Scarborough politicians call single-family-home neighbourhoods.

After moving to West Rouge in 1981, Moeser and wife Heather founded the Coalition of Scarborough Community Associations, working side by side with Save The Rouge Valley System for a park preserving the Rouge River.

When COSCA brought 42 associations to Scarborough’s city hall, politicians who dismissed “tree-huggers” took notice.

“People at that time were just starting to get environmentally sensitive,” Heather remembered this week. “It was surprising how many people got on board.”

Moeser started a company, R and H Electric, with Heather doing the books but, she said, the lure of politics soon made a full-time business impossible. “Something bit him along the way, and people really pushed.”

Moeser served as a City of Scarborough councillor from 1988 to amalgamation with Toronto in 1998, and a Toronto councillor afterwards. Apart from three years following a loss to Gay Cowbourne in 2003, he was in the job continuously.

He prided himself on listening to people, and getting all information he could before making decisions.

Ask about a divisive issue - what he was going to do, say, about Highland Creek’s many illegal rooming houses - and Moeser would pause and say something like, “It’s a really tough one,” and not pretend he had an answer.

There was an essential honesty about the man, who never contemplated running for Queen's Park because he didn’t want to be under any party’s control.

Arguably, he gave too much to his community when his health was poor.

Infection after joint replacement surgery made the previous council term a difficult one, and nearly caused him to lose a foot.

But Moeser attended meetings on crutches - even when his ankle was fused and held in place with metal rods - and continued to meet staff and take calls in his bedroom.

“I told him sometimes to slow down, but I knew he was happy doing it,” said Heather, who went to so many meetings herself residents thought they elected a team.

Moeser registered for re-election on the last possible day in 2014, a controversial decision he said he made after weeks of speaking to ward residents who, overwhelmingly, wanted him to run again.

“I’m fine now, I have the energy, I feel I have the commitment,” he said at the time.

Moeser also wanted to help the proposed Scarborough Waterfront Trail along the Lake Ontario shoreline take shape.

This week, Angie Sheridan, longtime West Rouge resident and volunteer, said Moeser “was always very passionate and a good listener” on ward issues.

West Rouge neighbours gathered several times to barbecue, and replant beds in Kirkdene Park, using flowers, hotdogs and pop he provided, she remembered.

“He made the city proud of his dedication and accomplishments throughout his career.”

David Adamson, Highland Creek Community Association’s acting president, remembered Moeser as “a staunch advocate on matters pertaining to redevelopment and housing issues.”

Moeser attended many meetings on these issues and strongly supported the Highland Creek Heritage Festival, restoration of the Morrish House and the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care, said Adamson.

Jennifer McKelvie, who ran against Moeser in 2014, said his “passion for the environment inspired residents and led to the preservation and creation of many wonderful green spaces for our community to enjoy.”

Scarborough-Rouge River MPP Raymond Cho, a councillor in Scarborough for 25 years, described Moeser this week as “a man of integrity, transparency, accountability.”

Ron Watson, a former City of Scarborough councillor, called him “a real gentleman.”

Former Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Margarett Best extended her condolences online, saying Moeser “embodied what it meant to belong to a community and working diligently to improve it.”

A woman named Lisa McGhee wondered in the late 1990s whether a local industrial site could have caused her son’s breathing problems. She relayed this to Moeser, who “within the hour” was at her door.

“I was not only struck by his immediate attention to my concern but also by his incredibly sensitive, caring nature,” McGhee wrote.

“I am so sad to hear this great man is gone.”

The councillor’s funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Morrish Road, followed by burial at Christ the King Cemetery on Steeles Avenue.

Obituary: Ron Moeser, a 'real gentleman,' fought for the Rouge Park

Funeral for East Scarborough councillor is on April 29

News Apr 25, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Ron Moeser, a councillor who knew every corner of his East Scarborough ward, fought to establish the Rouge Park along one of Toronto’s last green river valleys.

This Saturday, April 29, after losing a battle with lymphoma at 74, he’ll be buried in land surrounded by that great park, which finally has the national status he wanted for it.

Moeser was a master electrician who ran the Boston Marathon three times.

Born in wartime Germany, where a childhood infection burst an eardrum and left him with permanent hearing loss, he became a Canadian citizen at 13.

He believed property taxes should be fair, and in preserving what Scarborough politicians call single-family-home neighbourhoods.

After moving to West Rouge in 1981, Moeser and wife Heather founded the Coalition of Scarborough Community Associations, working side by side with Save The Rouge Valley System for a park preserving the Rouge River.

When COSCA brought 42 associations to Scarborough’s city hall, politicians who dismissed “tree-huggers” took notice.

“People at that time were just starting to get environmentally sensitive,” Heather remembered this week. “It was surprising how many people got on board.”

Moeser started a company, R and H Electric, with Heather doing the books but, she said, the lure of politics soon made a full-time business impossible. “Something bit him along the way, and people really pushed.”

Moeser served as a City of Scarborough councillor from 1988 to amalgamation with Toronto in 1998, and a Toronto councillor afterwards. Apart from three years following a loss to Gay Cowbourne in 2003, he was in the job continuously.

He prided himself on listening to people, and getting all information he could before making decisions.

Ask about a divisive issue - what he was going to do, say, about Highland Creek’s many illegal rooming houses - and Moeser would pause and say something like, “It’s a really tough one,” and not pretend he had an answer.

There was an essential honesty about the man, who never contemplated running for Queen's Park because he didn’t want to be under any party’s control.

Arguably, he gave too much to his community when his health was poor.

Infection after joint replacement surgery made the previous council term a difficult one, and nearly caused him to lose a foot.

But Moeser attended meetings on crutches - even when his ankle was fused and held in place with metal rods - and continued to meet staff and take calls in his bedroom.

“I told him sometimes to slow down, but I knew he was happy doing it,” said Heather, who went to so many meetings herself residents thought they elected a team.

Moeser registered for re-election on the last possible day in 2014, a controversial decision he said he made after weeks of speaking to ward residents who, overwhelmingly, wanted him to run again.

“I’m fine now, I have the energy, I feel I have the commitment,” he said at the time.

Moeser also wanted to help the proposed Scarborough Waterfront Trail along the Lake Ontario shoreline take shape.

This week, Angie Sheridan, longtime West Rouge resident and volunteer, said Moeser “was always very passionate and a good listener” on ward issues.

West Rouge neighbours gathered several times to barbecue, and replant beds in Kirkdene Park, using flowers, hotdogs and pop he provided, she remembered.

“He made the city proud of his dedication and accomplishments throughout his career.”

David Adamson, Highland Creek Community Association’s acting president, remembered Moeser as “a staunch advocate on matters pertaining to redevelopment and housing issues.”

Moeser attended many meetings on these issues and strongly supported the Highland Creek Heritage Festival, restoration of the Morrish House and the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care, said Adamson.

Jennifer McKelvie, who ran against Moeser in 2014, said his “passion for the environment inspired residents and led to the preservation and creation of many wonderful green spaces for our community to enjoy.”

Scarborough-Rouge River MPP Raymond Cho, a councillor in Scarborough for 25 years, described Moeser this week as “a man of integrity, transparency, accountability.”

Ron Watson, a former City of Scarborough councillor, called him “a real gentleman.”

Former Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Margarett Best extended her condolences online, saying Moeser “embodied what it meant to belong to a community and working diligently to improve it.”

A woman named Lisa McGhee wondered in the late 1990s whether a local industrial site could have caused her son’s breathing problems. She relayed this to Moeser, who “within the hour” was at her door.

“I was not only struck by his immediate attention to my concern but also by his incredibly sensitive, caring nature,” McGhee wrote.

“I am so sad to hear this great man is gone.”

The councillor’s funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Morrish Road, followed by burial at Christ the King Cemetery on Steeles Avenue.

Obituary: Ron Moeser, a 'real gentleman,' fought for the Rouge Park

Funeral for East Scarborough councillor is on April 29

News Apr 25, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Ron Moeser, a councillor who knew every corner of his East Scarborough ward, fought to establish the Rouge Park along one of Toronto’s last green river valleys.

This Saturday, April 29, after losing a battle with lymphoma at 74, he’ll be buried in land surrounded by that great park, which finally has the national status he wanted for it.

Moeser was a master electrician who ran the Boston Marathon three times.

Born in wartime Germany, where a childhood infection burst an eardrum and left him with permanent hearing loss, he became a Canadian citizen at 13.

He believed property taxes should be fair, and in preserving what Scarborough politicians call single-family-home neighbourhoods.

After moving to West Rouge in 1981, Moeser and wife Heather founded the Coalition of Scarborough Community Associations, working side by side with Save The Rouge Valley System for a park preserving the Rouge River.

When COSCA brought 42 associations to Scarborough’s city hall, politicians who dismissed “tree-huggers” took notice.

“People at that time were just starting to get environmentally sensitive,” Heather remembered this week. “It was surprising how many people got on board.”

Moeser started a company, R and H Electric, with Heather doing the books but, she said, the lure of politics soon made a full-time business impossible. “Something bit him along the way, and people really pushed.”

Moeser served as a City of Scarborough councillor from 1988 to amalgamation with Toronto in 1998, and a Toronto councillor afterwards. Apart from three years following a loss to Gay Cowbourne in 2003, he was in the job continuously.

He prided himself on listening to people, and getting all information he could before making decisions.

Ask about a divisive issue - what he was going to do, say, about Highland Creek’s many illegal rooming houses - and Moeser would pause and say something like, “It’s a really tough one,” and not pretend he had an answer.

There was an essential honesty about the man, who never contemplated running for Queen's Park because he didn’t want to be under any party’s control.

Arguably, he gave too much to his community when his health was poor.

Infection after joint replacement surgery made the previous council term a difficult one, and nearly caused him to lose a foot.

But Moeser attended meetings on crutches - even when his ankle was fused and held in place with metal rods - and continued to meet staff and take calls in his bedroom.

“I told him sometimes to slow down, but I knew he was happy doing it,” said Heather, who went to so many meetings herself residents thought they elected a team.

Moeser registered for re-election on the last possible day in 2014, a controversial decision he said he made after weeks of speaking to ward residents who, overwhelmingly, wanted him to run again.

“I’m fine now, I have the energy, I feel I have the commitment,” he said at the time.

Moeser also wanted to help the proposed Scarborough Waterfront Trail along the Lake Ontario shoreline take shape.

This week, Angie Sheridan, longtime West Rouge resident and volunteer, said Moeser “was always very passionate and a good listener” on ward issues.

West Rouge neighbours gathered several times to barbecue, and replant beds in Kirkdene Park, using flowers, hotdogs and pop he provided, she remembered.

“He made the city proud of his dedication and accomplishments throughout his career.”

David Adamson, Highland Creek Community Association’s acting president, remembered Moeser as “a staunch advocate on matters pertaining to redevelopment and housing issues.”

Moeser attended many meetings on these issues and strongly supported the Highland Creek Heritage Festival, restoration of the Morrish House and the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care, said Adamson.

Jennifer McKelvie, who ran against Moeser in 2014, said his “passion for the environment inspired residents and led to the preservation and creation of many wonderful green spaces for our community to enjoy.”

Scarborough-Rouge River MPP Raymond Cho, a councillor in Scarborough for 25 years, described Moeser this week as “a man of integrity, transparency, accountability.”

Ron Watson, a former City of Scarborough councillor, called him “a real gentleman.”

Former Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Margarett Best extended her condolences online, saying Moeser “embodied what it meant to belong to a community and working diligently to improve it.”

A woman named Lisa McGhee wondered in the late 1990s whether a local industrial site could have caused her son’s breathing problems. She relayed this to Moeser, who “within the hour” was at her door.

“I was not only struck by his immediate attention to my concern but also by his incredibly sensitive, caring nature,” McGhee wrote.

“I am so sad to hear this great man is gone.”

The councillor’s funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Morrish Road, followed by burial at Christ the King Cemetery on Steeles Avenue.