Victor and Irene Ross raised Linda Jaye (née Ross) in Mimico. Little Linda had many interests: dance and piano, later learning of her Polish Heritage through Polish young peoples’ dance groups & organizations, and Polish Girl Guides.
Life for Linda was set out on a path for travel. The first trips she remembered were adventures to her grandparents’ farm. Wow! A whole 2 hour drive! Yet in preparing, the car was checked, oil changed, pillows, blankets and sandwiches packed for this epic adventure along a two lane highway to St. Catherine’s -- a whopping 72 miles!
She also remembered details about picking the grapes. Well, not picking them, but shooting them… you see, she would ride on the wagon behind the tractor. And of course, concord grapes were special: if you squeeze them just right, they would ping your victim with gusto. This was followed by Uncle Bert yelling in the kids’ general direction: “Stop that! Who’s kid are you, anyway?!” So much for the perfectly picked baskets. Oh, memories!
Linda also spent her summers with the Polish Scouts at Barry’s Bay. As a younger Brownie, she would stay in the small lodges equipped with 30 to 40 bunk beds for up to 2 months at a time… eventually graduating to floorless tents later, as a guide. Her fondest memories were of the big bonfires (the ogniskos). This may have had less to do with the bonfire itself, and more to do with the boy’s camp visiting!
With the young peoples’ groups, Linda travelled between various cities – i.e. Oshawa, Windsor, Sarnia, Hamilton, London, etc. where she would be found with peers, dancing the night away.
As a teenager, her love of travel deepened on the Batory cruise ship to Poland where she met her future husband Chet, who swept her off her feet. After a beautiful wedding, they landed in his home town in Michigan, resulting in many 4 hour trips back and forth to Toronto. But it wasn’t destined to be a permanent residence, and soon after they moved to New York, just outside of the city, where Carolynn was born. Those trips were now lengthened to 10 hour drives to visit family, with the baby. In the end, the gravitational pull to family brought them back to T.O. and to their forever home in the Kingsway.
From that day forward, Linda planned epic road trips about every five years. Trips included Western Canada Rockies and glaciers & south to Hollywood & Vegas; Eastern Canada through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Maine and Washington D.C.; and Central USA through Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico; and of course trips to visit family and friends in Texas and Florida. Linda firmly believed the difference between a good or great road trip stemmed from attention to detail. Her jam-packed itineraries left nothing to the imagination (except maybe SLEEPING IN! We sure did learn a lot, though!).
Linda always was a jack of all trades, working in various industries – tourism, finance, event management, and real estate, prior to her well-deserved retirement.
Linda’s creative influence could be seen throughout her life in her love for interior design and renovating, cake decorating, flower arranging, and painting. Work alone didn’t keep her busy enough - she formally published a cookbook… and who else would be crazy enough to voluntarily decorate a 53’ float for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?!
Survived by her daughter Carolynn, Sister Diana, sister-in-law Lucille, and niece and nephew Jennifer and Brendan, and cousins, she has made it easy for family & friends to celebrate her rich and fulfilling life.
Special thank you to the staff at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, and Dorothy Ley Hospice for making her last days with us extremely pleasant.
Flowers can be sent to Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, or donations can be made in Linda’s name to Sunnybrook Hospital or Dorothy Ley Hospice. All are welcome to the visitation, mass, and interment at Park Lawn Cemetery.