Deceased June 19, 2019

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In memory

Our friend, Lisa Faden, died peacefully on June 19, having lived with metastatic breast cancer for almost three years. She was 47.

People loved Lisa, especially her husband, Rob MacDougall; her children, Yuki and Eli; her parents and sister, her friends and admirers, some of whom never met Lisa but came to know her through her blog chronicling her journey with cancer, “Breathing In Breathing Out” (  

The blog, like Lisa, is insightful, compassionate, quirky and mordantly funny. It also has good recipes.

Lisa never stopped being quintessentially Lisa. Her illness seemed almost to have a clarifying effect on her already beautiful qualities.  

Lisa had long demonstrated a far-ranging intellectual curiosity; now, it became personal. She pursued an education in cancer (the disease; its treatment; its effects on body, mind and soul) that came with no advanced degree but might as well have provided a second Ph.D.

Lisa had long been a brilliant history teacher, her noble calling. At Newton North, Lisa honed her craft; she followed Rob to the University of Western Ontario, where she completed her doctorate, worked as a research and innovation specialist, made many new friends and fell in love with Canada.

Lisa had long been a good mother. Even in college she was intuitively nurturing, inquisitive and a whole lot of fun to be around. She liked dancing and clever wordplay and The Sound of Music. Now, she focused her children’s total wellbeing with a clarity about what matters and what really doesn’t that comes only, perhaps, from living with an insidious disease.  

Look to the people Lisa has known and loved—her family, her friends, her students—and measure her impact by their gratitude. We, devastated at her untimely death, have yet so many seeds of her love and learning to plant.  

Jonathan Blake ’95