A meaningful life

In memory of Mr. Richard Ivey
Elderly couple holds up a thank you sign given to them by three children
A photo of Richard and Beryl Ivey taken in June 2001 at the launch of The Beryl & Richard Ivey Research Chair in Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care. Photo credit: London Free Press.
“The opportunity to preserve what is good on earth, to support what feeds the soul or stimulates the intellect, to encourage a talent or save an endangered species or keep alive the dreams and aspirations of others is not only a privilege but a sacred responsibility. For (us), that responsibility is the source of incalculable satisfaction.”
— Richard M. Ivey (1925-2019)

On Saturday, December 28, Richard M. Ivey passed away at the age of 94.

Mr. Ivey was known for many things — including a successful career in law and business — but it was his compassion and strong community values that left the greatest mark on London and beyond.

Born in London, Mr. Ivey earned his HBA at Western in 1947 and his law degree at Osgoode Hall in 1950. It was at Western that he met Beryl, who would become his beloved wife of 58 years.

Mr. Ivey came from a family of lawyers. He joined his father's firm Ivey and Dowler and became a partner from 1960 to 1980. He also served as President and Chairman of Allpak Products and served on many boards including Bank of Montreal, EllisDon, F.W. Woolworth Co. and Union Gas Ltd.

Throughout the years, the Ivey family looked to where they could make the greatest impact and touch the lives of others through the arts, environment, education and health care.

Though Mr. Ivey’s interests were broad (and far reaching), he understood the importance of community giving and in 2001 St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation established The Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery at Parkwood Institute. To this day, it’s still the largest and only endowed research chair of its kind in Canada.

A photograph taken during the chair announcement shows the smiling faces of Mr. and Mrs. Ivey being presented with a homemade card from the children in Parkwood Children’s Centre, who thanked them for their gift. This framed photo sits in Michelle Campbell’s office, the President and CEO of the Foundation.

“[The photograph] is a great reminder of the impact Mr. and Mrs. Ivey have had on innovating health care. One that, because of its long-term endowed nature, would even look after them well into adulthood,” says Michelle.

Their generosity is also seen in their support of St. Joseph’s Ivey Eye Centre and the Beryl and Richard Ivey Rheumatology Day Program, as well as Mr. Ivey’s volunteerism as Chair of St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Directors from 1969-1971.

In 2014, Mr. Ivey wrote his memoirs A Meaningful Life, a personal documentation of his life’s journey for his children. Those that knew him personally – and those touched by his generosity – would consider the title apropos for a person who lived his values each day of his life.

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