TSH remembers dedicated volunteer and philanthropist, Harv Northern
They called 89-year-old Harvey (Harv) Northern the Candy Man. For 25 years he volunteered twice a week, in The Scarborough Hospital’s admitting department. Harv always had a pocketful of candies, and enjoyed offering staff, patients, and visitors a friendly greeting, a candy, and sometimes a peck on the cheek.
Harv died peacefully on September 7, 2015, at The Scarborough Hospital’s Birchmount campus, where he had given so many hours as a volunteer.
Harv was a lifelong IBM employee, and less than two weeks after retiring he started volunteering. “I just wanted to give something back,” he explained. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he would arrive by cab for his 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. volunteer shift.
Harv was grateful to the hospital for more than the chance to volunteer. He appreciated the care his wife Rosella received after falling ill with ovarian cancer. Shortly after Rosella passed away, Harv developed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). At 77, he was the oldest person to survive the outbreak.
Partly in thanks, Harv made generous gifts to the hospital to celebrate his birthday and that of his late wife. He started donating after the SARS outbreak. Although retired, he was delighted to learn that IBM still matched his donations through its employee matching gift program.
Harv also arranged to leave The Scarborough Hospital Foundation a gift in his will.
Harv’s dedication to The Scarborough Hospital was profound. He leaves a legacy of kindness, good humour, and generosity.
But according to Harv, supporting the hospital was straightforward:
“It feels good,” he said, “to help people out.”
Thank you Harv.