In Celebration of

Daryl Roy "Dr. D" Wilkinson

December 15, 1949 -  July 10, 2019

Unexpectedly, at home, on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the age of 69. Beloved husband of Kathryn for 43 years. Loving father of Christopher (Meg). Sadly missed by sister-in-law Lorraine (Glenn), sisters Carol (Hank) and Darlene and honorary son Philip as well as many friends and neighbors.

Daryl had an extensive career as a thermographic consultant which allowed him to travel the world doing a job he loved. He was an accomplished woodworker and renovator as seen by the work in his home. Daryl was also the go to man for many neighbors to assist with projects and supply tools.His inquiring mind led him to be an avid reader and listener to podcasts on a variety of subjects. Other than his family his passions were coffee, Star Trek, chocolate, classic rock & blues music and exercise.

A celebration of Daryl’s life will be held at the house from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday July 21st. All are welcome and encouraged to share memorable stories of Daryl’s life. Please share this event with everyone who was lucky enough to have known him. At his request please wear something red & bring a bar of chocolate.

For those who wish, donations may be made to the Toronto Humane Society.


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Patricia Holdenried (Friend)

Entered July 11, 2019 from Toronto

Dear Kathryn , very sorry to hear about Daryl. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Joanne Galusza (Friend)

Entered July 12, 2019 from Toronto

God’s speed Daryl Wilkinson!

GORDON W GRAIL (Friend & Colleague)

Entered July 13, 2019 from PELL CITY Alabama USA

Gone but not forgotten Daryl was a friend & colleague. My sincerest sympathies to the family.

Karen Lycklama (Friend)

Entered July 14, 2019 from High Park, Toronto

Beautiful picture & words for a beautiful man.
Thank you.
Daryl was special; together Kathryn & Daryl soared. Kathryn, Daryl & Christopher were a trio of love that spread far & wide and are still spreading.

Daryl was Daryl ~ so kind without pretension.
Daryl made me & I’m sure everyone that entered his home for a visit feel special, ready & eager to listen & share with them. The love he felt for Kathryn he not only demonstrated but verbally described without hesitation; his love for Chris unwavering.

You will always be in my heart and mind Daryl, shaping my life by your example. Through the spirit of God may your loved ones be held up as we grieve our loss & celebrate your life.
Thank You for being You.

Liz Jarnicki (Friend)

Entered July 14, 2019 from Barrie

So sorry to hear. Love goes out to the family from my heart.

Life Stories 

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by Allison Vale 

Entered July 16, 2019

Daryl Roy Wilkinson December 15, 1949 – July 10, 2019

Devoted husband and father, cherished friend, exceptional neighbour, woodworker, renovator, world traveller, avid reader, life-long learner, chocolate lover, health and fitness nut, magic card aficionado, Yo-Yo champ, Queen’s Scout, ballroom dancer and Bird Dance enthusiast, classic rock & blues lover, Star Trek fan

At Central Tech, Daryl Roy Wilkinson trained as a plumber. He wore his hair long and rode a motorcycle and one day said to his friend, pointing down the hall, “I want to meet that one.” It was 1969.

“That one” was Kathryn Stewart, a dietary supervisor in training at Central Tech. Although the school was at Bathurst and Bloor, they lived around the corner from each other in Roncesvalles Village. He lived on Pearson Avenue and she on Fern Avenue and she would see him on the way to school at Dundas West station. After years of dating, Daryl moved to Ottawa to take a plumbing job and Kathryn soon followed him in a borrowed red truck. In 1976, they married at Bloor Street United Church, as her parents had before them. Kathryn’s lifelong neighbour, John Weir’s father, Jack, toasted the couple by handing them… a piece of toast. It wasn’t long before they went ballroom dancing and backpacking through Northern Ontario, organizing the campsite so they could make coffee in the morning without ever leaving the tent.

Christopher was born in 1990 on their 14th anniversary. Daryl, who was working with an exotic wood, Imbuia, on a new headboard, had a severe allergic reaction, taking his wife to the hospital half blind with his face bright red and swollen. The doctors were initially more concerned about Daryl than Kathryn, who’d spent her anniversary very pregnant and putting the headboard together with Daryl peeping through a hole in the door – as far away from the wood as possible – and giving her drilling instructions. He didn’t like the sight of blood, but Daryl braved the delivery room, managing to remain conscious for several minutes before passing out on the pillow beside Kathryn.

The baby they left with that day would eventually stand 6’4”, dwarfing his Dad at 6’2” who was used to being the tallest man in the room. Christopher’s nickname was “the ladder” and Daryl became “the shrimp.” After Christopher moved out, Daryl became the ladder, which he both loved and hated.

A career in thermographic consulting took him across Canada, the U.S., Mexico and worldwide to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China and Korea where the schoolgirls would giggle at his curly hair because they thought he had a perm. Kathryn’s jewellery boxes (which he made from exotic woods) are filled with memorable pieces from around the world. In 2015, he tried retiring but it didn’t work. Idleness wasn’t in his nature and he had jobs lined up until the day he died.

As a boy, teachers told Daryl that he wouldn’t excel academically. Boy, did he prove them wrong. During his life, Daryl was his own best teacher. Beyond thermography, he taught himself electrical work, carpentry and advanced plumbing. He understood the science of health and fitness, and he acquired a level of computer expertise that always made him the first call for friends and neighbours looking for tech support. He was a voracious reader, always on the path to self-discovery (a passion he shared with honourary son, Philip), and health (earlier Adelle Davis, then Dr. Rhonda Patrick), and reading (later, adding podcasts) just for the sheer joy of learning.

As a father, Daryl shared his love and passion of all his interests with Christopher who grew to have a deep appreciation of Daryl’s esoteric tastes, including geocaching. Christopher became adept at fixing anything and working with his hands. His father was his role model and friend.

As he was a student, Daryl was also a teacher. This is true as far back as Philip’s grade six Science Fair. With the liquid nitrogen he kept stocked to cool his infrared cameras, Daryl took Philip out back, blowing up plants and Tasha the dog’s hockey balls, all in the name of science. Philip’s liquid nitro science project was awarded third place out of all the Catholic Schools in Toronto. Nothing delights boys like blowing things up and Daryl was as giddy as the 12-year-old kids.

That never changed. When Daryl was excited about something, he had a childlike excitement. He was a committed life-long learner, and his curiosity stretched in all directions. His latest preoccupation was learning to fly. A flight simulator is an odd choice, perhaps, for a man who said, “He’d done it all, seen it all,” and loved nothing more than a ‘staycation’ that meant travelling as far as the verandah on Fern Ave., but for him, it made sense. He always wanted to know how things worked.

In school, his 100% in drafting class marked the beginning of an exceptional woodworker and builder whose talent shows up today on every floor of their home. Daryl didn’t just buy it and put it up. He made it. Their dining room table and chairs (built for tall people and from African Padauk), their headboard of Imbuia that his allergy prevented him from ever drilling into again; the entire Fern kitchen renovation that took several years from start-to-finish with the assistance of Christopher and Kathryn.

Everything was custom built by him; learning how to do it came from trial and error and hours on his goto favourite, YouTube. When he was stumped, he’d double-down on the research. If there was something to build that Daryl could not figure out, he hadn’t found it yet. His recent labour was a new fence and gate for their neighbours – his idea, from sheer kindness, which speaks of the kind of guy he was. He researched and researched, built for perfection, and accepted compensation only in the form of onion soup and potato salad. This penchant for volunteering stretches as far back as anybody can remember. Even as a young boy, he was cleaning cottages on his summer vacation, pitching in to help the Brittain’s, the Wilkinson family’s long-time friends, at their Sand and Surf Cottages in Wasaga Beach, unpaid and unasked, just because he knew they could use an extra set of hands.

Daryl loved chocolate and coffee, made his own yogurt, grew his own sprouts, knew all the back trails in High Park and took them faster than younger runners. He loved music of many genres, a passion Christopher shares. He had a wry sense of humour. Glenn and Lorraine recall the phrases, “What, you again?”, “You still here?” and “You’re my favourite sister-in-law,” – ignoring the fact that she was his only sister-in-law! His mischievous side, the annual Halloween doorbell that sent kids screaming down the steps, the costume party for Kathryn’s 60th birthday that he designed single-handedly. At weddings, he would get everyone up to do his favourite dance, The Bird Dance. He actually owned the K-Tel album Bird Dance by The Emeralds.

With Daryl, you took him as he was. Short and sweet, he said what was on his mind – no filter. The famous “Go Away” mat at the front door was tongue-in-cheek, but he could in fact be a grouch sometimes and he did have an off-switch. If you got in his bad graces, it was usually over. But if you were in, then you were in and that was that. Fiercely loyal, papa bear-protective and exceedingly generous. He gave far more than he took.

We miss his sassiness. We miss him being here, the sheer physicality of him standing out front or at the barbeque or working in the garage, missing, as per Lorraine: “His big hugs good-bye.” We miss just hanging out with him, which was always easy because he was curious and open and accepting and that made for a kind of sanctuary. As Philip notes: “When even I didn’t trust myself, Daryl gave me the key to the house as a place to come to whenever I needed. That was just how he was.”

Wherever he is, maybe he’s thinking: “They got all these stories wrong.” Maybe he’s thinking about the house and how it’s not finished and how he wanted to finish it for Kathryn, and about the two men he was most proud of, Christopher and Philip. Or maybe he’s missing being on the verandah with his coffee, teasing the neighbours walking by, thinking about what needs to be done next around the house, on current projects, for whoever’s on the list of friends and loved ones who need his help at the minute.

Gone far too young and too early, Daryl is leaving very much loved and remembered well with immense gratitude and great affection.

Daryl leaves Kathryn and son Christopher (Meg). He is dearly missed by his sister-in-law Lorraine (Glenn), his sisters Carol (Hank) and Darlene, numerous family members, close family friends Philip and Kathy, as well as many friends and neighbours.


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