ObituaryDr. Tibor Ferenc Heim, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C), FACN. Tibor passed away on June 4, 2019, aged 84, peacefully in his sleep, free of pain. His family surrounded him with love, tears, kisses, music and laughter throughout his final days. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Tibor was born April 26, 1935 in Sarmellek, Hungary. He was the first born son of Iren Makk & Lajos Heim, both teachers. He grew up with his three siblings Dr. Zsuzsanna Heim, Lajos Heim (pre-deceased) and Laszlo Heim. He reminisced often about what he referred to as an idyllic childhood. There was adventure with family and friends, a grand escape and hiding out during WWII in Metten, Germany, then back to Hungary with his family after the war ended. His childhood shaped him into the man he became and the values he passed on: putting family first with unconditional love (we all tested the bounds of that mantra throughout his life); securing a solid education; cultivating a curious mind, an unbending work ethic, a penchant for travel and adventure, and a love of sports. He was immensely proud of being a father and grandfather and always boastful about his grandchildren’s accomplishments. He supported his children’s and grandchildren’s endeavours, savoured their successes and continuously cajoled them to reach ever higher. He met his wife, Dr. Hilda Donhoffer, at medical school in Pecs. She was reading “Cheaper by the Dozen” in English at the back of the classroom and that was his excuse to strike up a conversation. From that moment on, he never looked back. They both graduated from medical school together in 1959 and were married on August 11, 1960. They went on to have four (fabulous!) daughters, Lucia Weiler, Karla Prager, Orsolya Heim and Angelika Heim who are all married to sons-in-law who Tibor respected and loved: respectively, Dr. Peter Weiler, Peter Prager, Joe O’Toole and Cameron Wong. Tibor loved every visit with his 12 grandchildren, Petra, Liara, Liam, Adam, Madina, Nicole, Keenan, Austin, Ryan, Josette, Jackson & Schaefer. Tibor graduated from the University of Pecs Medical School. His ground-breaking research landed him an invitation to work at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He leaped at the chance to pursue his research dreams at a world-class hospital and get his family out of communist Hungary. He moved to Toronto in 1976 as staff physician and researcher, later becoming a professor in both the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Tibor was an award winning, internationally recognized expert in energy and lipid metabolism in newborns. His research was published in over 100 original papers and he authored several book chapters. Tibor had an expansive career as a pediatrician and never lost the passion for his work. Moving to Canada was a momentous change for a 43 year old man, his wife and four children. After arriving with one suitcase each, Tibor insisted that the family embrace everything Canada had to offer. During the family’s first winter, the owner of a small ski shop in Huntsville hit the jackpot when Tibor went in and bought brand new alpine AND Nordic ski equipment for all six of them. In addition there was skating, swimming, tennis and cottaging around southern Ontario. Tibor continued to ski, play tennis and ping pong into his late 70s. He was an avid reader and was often seen with a book when walking to and from work. The enhancement of his mind to learn anything and everything was of utmost importance. He particularly enjoyed reading the most recent medical textbooks and religious philosophies as he was a man of faith. He was a lover of sports and “floor exercises”. When he retired he began cooking with intense enthusiasm. The stove was on day and night. He considered himself a gourmet cook and loved to feed everyone who came through the door. People who knew Tibor often experienced his love of cooking – and soup in particular – firsthand. He slept sporadically and would appear late at night when his children and grandchildren and their friends came home and they would eat his food and drink his wine while carrying on lively and unusual conversations in the middle of the night. Two years ago, he was thrilled to have his cinematic debut in the short film “Tibor” created by his granddaughter Petra O’Toole (viewable on YouTube), where he combined his love of science and soup. He was eccentric, passionate and larger than life in everything he did. He followed his intuition, did what he loved and encouraged others to do the same. Tibor’s family would like to thank all the people who cared for him, including his doctors, Spectrum Nurses, CBI Personal Support Workers and the wonderful staff at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, who dazzled us with their compassionate and generous care in his final weeks. Memorial donations can be made to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation (Palliative Care Centre) or St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Toronto East (Parish Building Fund). Celebration of Tibor’s life is on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3055 Bloor St. W. Reception to follow where memories and lunch will be shared. Tibor / Dad / Papa, be at peace. Thank you for everything. For teaching us how to live and how to die gracefully. We love you.
June 08, 2019
Our Lady of Sorrows Church