POLSON, Keith David
Keith David Polson died peacefully and bravely on Monday, June 17, 2019 with the knowledge that he had lived a rich and fulfilling life.
He had a wonderful family as well as adventures and experiences enough to fill a bestselling book. Keith lived by the philosophy that “life is not a rehearsal “. He was kind and generous; complex and passionate: immensely proud of his military experience but passionate against modern wars. He admired Churchill, the Kennedys and Pierre Trudeau; loved Frank Sinatra singing Cole Porter. His favourite film was “Lawrence of Arabia “, because he knew the history and maybe because he used to be mistaken for Peter O’Toole. Keith skied for the army, ran, hiked and enjoyed tennis. His preferred spectator sport was American football (latest hero being Tom Brady).
Keith was born in Penang, Malaya in 1932 to Cynthia and David Polson. He spent his early childhood with his mother in Santa Barbara and New York while his father fought in WWII. When they returned to England, his mother re-established old friendships and married Sir James Corry. Keith gained a kind and caring stepfather and then a beloved half sister (Amanda). Post war England, boarding school (Malvern), and National Service (Scots Guards then the Parachute Regiment) counterbalanced his American upbringing and provided the basis for lifelong passions and friendships.
He loved the army experience in Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan and found it difficult to settle down to university or an office afterwards, so sought adventure in Canada where he met his first wife Deirdre, with whom he raised 3 wonderful sons, David, Robin (2003) and Michael. In Toronto he found the challenges of advertising suited his personality and started an illustrious career in the heyday of advertising, working primarily at JWT in Toronto, New York and Frankfurt followed by Maclaren in Toronto. It was the kind of career that allowed him to work on Bobby Kennedy ‘s campaigns, witness Jack Kennedy ‘s speech in Berlin, and organize demonstrations against the Vietnam war, Iraq invasion and the plight of the Palestinians. It was also where he found his soulmate Rose whom he later married. They spent almost 4 decades together moving briefly to Jersey (C.I.), and back to Ontario to Campbellville, living a bucolic life with Blackcat, and dogs Toby and Harry. Keith ‘s declining health took them to finally settle in Burlington.
Keith leaves behind his wife Rose; two wonderful and attentive sons David (Rebecca) and Michael (Tammy), and three beautiful and talented granddaughters, Maya, Laura and Sarah. His sister Amanda (Lyn),will miss their weekly correspondence exchanging views, and news on his two nieces’ (Kat and Julia) travels and triumphs. And his many friends will miss his wit, wisdom and fabulous stories.
His favourite charities were Ontario Humane Society, Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. Cremation has taken place. There will be a Celebration of his Life later in July.