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Stephen James Charles Trumper

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Stephen James Charles Trumper

October 26, 1953 - January 4, 2023

Stephen Trumper’s life was one punctuated by moments of intense joy and extreme sorrow. Alas, the best person to summarize his life would be Stephen himself; he would have the brevity and good sense to know what to highlight and what to leave out. Such was his tremendous skill with pen, keystroke, and voice, a gift he shared with readers of some of Canada’s leading magazines and media companies, including a column in Abilities magazine about his thoughts and experiences on life with a disability. He was also a brilliant teacher and communicator. He shared his passion for the craft of journalism with countless students over his decades-long tenure at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University). Many will fondly remember breakfast meetings at the Senator or the quiet Starbucks tucked in the old Sears at the Eaton Centre. But to truly understand Stephen’s life is to know about his true love, his “girl,” Judith Wilson, the woman who captured his heart and soul from that first moment they met on “the most gorgeous day in the summer” of 1979. Luckily, she felt the same. They overcame Steve’s many health complications and surgeries (a life-altering spinal decompression in 1997 meant that long drives in the red Honda were no longer possible), and Judy’s devastating Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2013. Through it all, they continued to talk, connect, and provide care, support, and comfort to one another. Their love extended with the birth of daughter, Hannah Judith, in 1985, despite Stephen’s fear of becoming a father with a physical disability. (When he asked Judy, “can we afford to do this?” she replied, “Can we afford not to?”) Stephen instilled in Hannah early on that “patience is a virtue,” as well as the value of cherishing, in words and actions, those we care about and for. Hannah is her father’s daughter, sharing not only the same, sometimes dark, sense of humour, but also working in media. (She admits she isn’t the writer her dad was; she currently works in audience development at Newcom Media). Stephen’s personal and professional life was supported not only by Judith and Hannah, but the many PSWs, nurses, doctors, specialists (it was often joked that Steve had a doctor for every organ, ailment and body part) who came through his home, workplace, and other medical settings. Special thanks is given to those who listened to Stephen and supported him in the ways he preferred, and to those who provided both comfort and humour. So often in the winter, he refused to wear a coat, finding it too hot and cumbersome. This would attract jeers and comments from strangers, not toward Stephen, but to the wheelchair-pushing PSW. A favourite retort remains: “Steve is the toughest guy I know, and if he doesn’t want to wear a coat, he doesn’t have to!” followed by a clear explanation of the pillars of independent living – an ethos that Steve believed in passionately. Stephen advocated for disability visibility and inclusion not just through his words, but also through his time, sitting on the board of Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehab (a centre that he attended as a child), the Ontario Science Centre, and the Canadian Abilities Foundation. He will be severely missed, but his legacy is everlasting.
For those who would like to make a donation in Stephen’s memory, consider causes supporting the freedom of the press and independent journalism (Journalists for Human Rights, PEN), the future of Journalism (The J-School and The Review at Toronto Metropolitan University), mental health supports (CAMH), or the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, or other organizations that support disability and inclusion.
This is a broad overview of Stephen’s life, prepared when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 2013. Condensed and edited for clarity.
A distinguished editor, a beloved teacher, a renowned master of display copy and a mentor known for giving generously of his time and expertise, Stephen Trumper was a pillar of the Canadian magazine industry for more than thirty-five years.
In 1977, Steve joined Toronto Life, where he enjoyed a fourteen-year tenure, including nine as managing editor, during which time the publication was twice named Magazine of the Year. As a handling editor at Toronto Life and, later, at Harrowsmith Country Life and National Post Business plus freelance assignments for, among others, Saturday Night, Chatelaine, Elm Street and This Magazine, Steve’s deft touch and rapport with his writers helped produce more than sixty awards and nominations from the National Magazine Awards and other regional and industry associations.
In the mid-nineties he became a part-time instructor at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, where he taught magazine editing and feature writing while also guiding students through the production of several issues of “The Review.” As a teacher and mentor, Steve was an inspiration to a generation of Canada’s brightest journalists.
A wheelchair user who was on the boards of CBC-TV’s Disability Network, Ontario Science Centre, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canadian Abilities Foundation and a member of the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s ad hoc committee on improving job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Steve’s principal goals in his career as an editor, a teacher and an advocate for people with disabilities: to make media and journalism better, and to make them accessible to all Canadians. In 2012, Steve received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing his contributions to community and public service.

Message Of Condolence

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MESSAGES OF CONDOLENCE / DONATIONS

Sara Laux (formerly Sara Chappel) - January 23, 2023

I was the lucky recipient of Steve's wisdom during at least one breakfast at the Senator and coffee at that subterranean Starbucks during the last years of the J-RAD program at Ryerson/TMU. He was a supportive professor, both in teaching us the craft of writing and also helping us figure out a career path that made sense. (Spoiler: I never did become a bona fide journalist, although I've now worked in communications my entire career.) He made a difference to so many people, and he will be missed.

Katherine Tam - January 21, 2023

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences. Stephen taught me back in 2000-2001 at what is now TMU, during what was then a challenging period in my life. I think Stephen suspected that, but he never gave up on me or on my classmates, and I'll always appreciate how he took the time to go through our work and to encourage us, no matter what. We'll miss him.

ben mcnally - January 20, 2023

A fine and memorable man. Exemplary in every way. Smooth sailing, Steve.

Alexis Kuskevics - January 20, 2023

Stephen was one of my favourite professors during my time at Ryerson University. He was a mentor in both my professional and personal life that I'll never forget. Rest in peace and thinking of his family and friends.

Emma Johnston-Wheeler - January 20, 2023

Stephen was my professor for my Capstone thesis class in my final year of university at Ryerson, in 2021. In fact his was my very last University class. I had struggled with my mental health all throughout University and lacked confidence even in this final stage, doubting my prowess as an inspiring Journalist. Stephen was a lovely teacher. He was kind, and supportive. He believed in my idea and motivated me to bring my piece to fruition despite my hesitations. Since I never endeavored to publish that piece outside of class, Stephen remains one of the only people to have read it. I'm grateful that he did, and that I was able to leave my University writing career on such a nurturing note. He will surely be missed by countless students.

Cameron Graham - January 19, 2023

Members of the board of the Canadian Abilities Foundation were privileged to learn so much from Steve over the years. His incisive comments and his joy were absolutely crucial to the organization. He will be missed so much.

Nadine Arseneault - January 19, 2023

Hannah and Judy, My sincere sympathies for your loss. I worked with Stephen at Saturday Night and National Post Business magazine. He was always accompanied by Judy. It was always a pleasure working with him.

RonniLyn Pustil - January 16, 2023

Stephen made a very big impression on me in a very short time. As a Ryerson student in the mid-90s, I benefitted greatly from Stephen’s encouragement, advice and edits as he worked with our class on the Ryerson Review of Journalism. He was brilliant and witty, with a self-deprecating sense of humour that immediately put me at ease in the presence of such a seasoned and accomplished writer and editor. He was incredibly kind, warm, generous and respectful. He made me feel like he had all the time in the world for me…and I know many of his students felt the same way. I have the fondest memories of working with Stephen on my profile of then-Chatelaine editor Rona Maynard. I remember meeting Judith and you, Hannah, when you were a little girl, on more than one occasion and seeing how Stephen just beamed when he was with you. I can’t imagine the loss you are feeling. Sending my deepest condolences. What a guy your dad was and he will be greatly missed.

Scott Gibbs - January 16, 2023

I am so sorry to hear that Stephen has passed away. My condolences to the family. I have fond memories of working with Stephen at Saturday Night magazine and National Post Business magazine. He was always a great editor to work with. Rest in Peace Stephen.

Paul Kilbertus - January 16, 2023

I had the getting to know Steve and his family at the Ontario Ministry of Health in the 1990s. I learned so much from him both professionally and personally. I will always remember his laugh that always put a smile on my face. I am saddened by this news and am thinking of all his family as well.

Annika Forman - January 16, 2023

I am sorry to hear about Steve passing away. I only knew him for a short while at The Review but liked him and he was smart.

Annika Forman - January 16, 2023

I am sorry to hear about Steve passing away. I only knew him for a short while at The Review but liked him and he was smart.

Bryan Demchinsky - January 16, 2023

Stephen was a smart, talented, dedicated journalist. We will miss him.

Matt Hilliard-Forde - January 16, 2023

What a man. Our interactions were memorable for his wit and passion, and the clarity with which he approached life. Donation made to Holland Bloorview

Angela Long - January 16, 2023

When I was in my mid-40s, I started the MJ program at Ryerson (now TMU). Because of my age, I often felt like I didn't belong. Stephen assured me I did belong, encouraging me to continue writing when I was ready to give up. Writers always need a Stephen in their life – someone who is there at just the right time and knows exactly what to say. I never had a chance to thank him for this, thinking I would be able to visit him again someday. My condolences to his wife and daughter. He always spoke of both of you with so much love.

Justin Dallaire - January 15, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Chelsey Burnside - January 15, 2023

Steve was so special. An unforgettable professor who meant so much to so many. I loved learning from him.

Alison Skyrme - January 15, 2023

My sincere condolences on your loss. I was privileged enough to work with you Stephen on a couple of occasions and his dedication to his students and knowledge of and joy in the field of journalism was clear immediately. His memory will live on in his students and colleagues. My heart goes out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

Tammy Thorne - January 15, 2023

My deepest condolences Hannah and Judy. I am one of the many privileged people to have had the joy and good fortune to receive mentorship from Steve. I didn’t get to have him as a Ryerson prof (I took the broadcast stream) but he provided guidance on my career and my magazine, dandyhorse, and I loved guest lecturing in his class — my first meeting with Steve was also at the Starbucks in the old Sears. Steve radiated goodness that he spread generously and without any pretence. I know I was just one of many, many people positively influenced by this great teacher. I can’t believe he was able to make time for us all. I am so sorry for your loss.

Eric Zaworski - January 15, 2023

Rest in Peace to my beloved journalism school professor, Stephen Trumper. I took Stephen’s Magazine Editing course in 2013 and it quickly became my favourite class at Ryerson’s (now TMU) J School. His impressive career in editorial leadership roles at Toronto Life and the National Post was a reputation that preceded him within the school, and after spending two years on the craft of reporting, learning and un-learning how to write, and studying the history of journalism, I was ready in year 3 to finally dive in to my true passion of media, which was magazines. Stephen recognized my passion, but also my position within the school — It took me three years just to get in to Journalism school, and by the time I was in his course, I felt jaded by the black cloud of uncertainty looming over any young person foolish enough to dream of a job in editorial journalism (the foolishness of such a dream was regularly vocalized by instructors, being an extremely transitory and tumultuous time in media). Stephen dismissed all that and got right into what real editorial takes, and why it’s so important. Immediately, I was drawn to his perspective of the industry, and his optimism. He actually respected and asked me more about my dream of starting a magazine one day, and where my passions in music and culture could expand within the Canadian journalism industry. The entirety of his course revolved around the production of a magazine in groups, and I ended up working alongside my classmates Megan Jones, Marilee Devries and Meaghan Yuen to produce a magazine called Nerd. about film, video games and art. We ended up winning a scholarship based off of our work on Nerd., and it was a lot of work. Stephen’s encouragement, infectious energy and unwavering assistance and guidance when needed made the hard work something I genuinely looked forward to. Stephen’s presence showed me that the force you present to the world has so much to do with what you do for others. He was a large and commanding presence, and his disability (Stephen was in a wheelchair and had a PSW with him wherever he would go) had little effect to his impact. Indeed, Stephen made you want to get back to work, harder. Here was a man who had such a decorated career in media, who spoke so eloquently and with authority that made you interested in whatever the topic at hand was, he made you believe your voice, too, deserved to be heard. I took so much from Stephen, who recognized my place in the hyper-competitive J school, and told me plainly to “fuck the bullshit” (his words!) over coffee at The Senator just off campus, and figure out what I had to say, and how I would say it. He had a no bullshit rule, himself, and stood on firm principles and expected you to do the same, something I really admired. He helped me gain confidence in writing and working, and demonstrated the true meaning of persistence in everything he did. He walked what he spoke, and it was obvious to everyone. I’m going to remember Stephen most for how he would give young writers like me confidence with firm criticism that was always fair. He encouraged debate and open dialogue within class, and always maintained a position of critiquing the work, not the writer. I am truly, truly in debt for the lessons he instilled within me in that class. Shortly after his class ended, I began freelancing, getting my first real byline in VICE, an accomplishment that transported me into a very small group of students who were getting published whilst still studying, and it opened real doors for me. Stephen helped me finally believe I could write, and that I deserved to be at Journalism school. His demonstrable lessons on perseverance and cracking on, no matter what cards you are dealt will continue to reverberate.

Janice Neil - January 15, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Janice Neil - January 15, 2023

Hannah, I feel so privileged to have known your dad. He was a force with a most gentle touch. He was a compassionate instructor, understanding more than anyone how he could nurture-but not coddle! - students to produce their best work. After 27 years, he was still passionate about every student story, every issue of the Review of Journalism (formerly RRJ). I saw Steve as imperturbable; while he faced obstacles every day, he demonstrated how to choose grace and flexibility. My deepest sympathies🙏

Kari Silver - January 13, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Nicole Blanchett - January 13, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Nicholas Bideell - January 13, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Journalists for Human Rights

Ann E. Rauhala - January 13, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Journalists for Human Rights

Ann E. Rauhala - January 13, 2023

My sincere sympathies to Stephen's loved ones and the many who loved him and learned from him. I had the pleasure of friendship as a fellow prof at TMU's J-school. His kindness, warmth and sense of humour always shone through.

Rick Elliott - January 12, 2023

From our earliest days as cousins, through being St Aiden's choirboys, and as our lives continued on, I was always in awe of Stephen's accomplishments and positive attitude. He was always a joy to get together with when we could make one of our infrequent trips back to Toronto. He'll be greatly missed, and will always be remembered with great fondness.

Bibi Khan - January 11, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Bibi S Khan - January 11, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Lora Grady - January 11, 2023

I am so sorry to hear of Steve's passing. He was a wonderful professor and I will never forget his compassion, sense of humour and consistent wisdom. He taught me feature writing at Ryerson ('08 to '09) and he was always available to lend encouraging advice when I was struggling. I loved meeting him for coffee in the Sears Starbucks after I graduated. He often spoke about Hannah and beamed with pride every time. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, Judith and Hannah.

Hooley McLaughlin - January 11, 2023

I was so sorry to hear of Stephen's death. My wife, Danielle, and I fondly remember having breakfasts with Stephen and Judith at The Senator many times where we would argue, laugh, and make plans to shock the world. He was a natural trouble-maker, which was such a welcome attitude when he was in the Board at the Ontario Science Centre. He was there during some pivotal moments of my career at the science centre, and I greatly appreciated his clarity of thought. Never took any prisoners, Stephen, fought to the bitter end. Such a refreshing approach to life. He will be missed.

Catherine Holland - January 11, 2023

I grew up with Stephen in the same apartment building as a child in the 1960’s. Stephen’s sister, Naomi was one of my best friends. I was 8 when I met him and he was 16. I remember playing cards with him and Naomi in their apartment and was fascinated at his ability to shuffle the cards with his automatic shuffler! I also remember being driven to school by him in his car with his fancy steering wheel. To me he was as able bodied as anyone else with a sharp wit but such a gentle spirit. Years later our paths crossed again, as I worked in media and Stephen was working at Toronto Life. He was still the same strong, gentle spirit I remember 30 years later. So sorry for your loss. He was a remarkable man.

Nancy Lockhart - January 11, 2023

I was very sorry to hear of Stephen’s passing. Stephen served as a board member at the Ontario Science Centre while I was chair. He never failed to offer good, solid advice and had a great sense of humour. We all enjoyed working with Stephen and he earned the respect of all those who came in contact with him. Please accept my deepest condolences. Nancy

Jowita Bydlowska - January 11, 2023

Steve was a wonderful teacher and I'm lucky to have been one of his students who were invited out for a coffee in that quiet Starbucks tucked in the old Sears at the Eaton Centre. Back then, I had very little faith in my dream of becoming a *real* writer--being a non-native English speaker and struggling with my mental health--but Steven encouraged me to pursue my passion. I couldn't believe he wanted to just talk to me, that he took the time to sit with me like I was actually interesting. And although I don't remember what we talked about exactly, I remember feeling, for the first time, like I mattered. I think that was one of his greatest attributes, making people feel that they were important. Today, I teach one of the courses he had taught in the past (I've adapted his excellent outline) and I am a published, bestselling author and I try, to the best of my ability, to make my students feel seen and heard because although writing, editing, structure and clean copy are what makes stories sing, the most important thing Steven has passed on to me--and to many others, I'm sure--is that people matter. This is a tremendous loss. My condolences to his family and friends.

Marsha Barber - January 10, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Journalists for Human Rights

Anne Francis - January 10, 2023

I was sorry to hear of Steve's passing. I was the publisher's assistant for about five years at Toronto Life, when he was managing editor, and he encouraged me in my first, tentative forays into magazine writing. (I left the business for many years, but I came back, and I've been the editor of a national special-interest magazine for almost three years... thanks, Steve.) I recall being curious about his driving, assuming (foolishly) that he used hand controls, til one day when he was pulling up at 59 Front St. E. I discovered he drove just like anybody else. I remember Judith, ever smiling, pushing his wheelchair, and occasionally Hannah (who was a little kid at the time) sitting on his lap. My sincere condolences.

Aria - January 10, 2023

I am so very sorry for your loss. I was a student of Stephen’s, taking his magazine writing class. I remember looking forward to going to his class every week. His personality and teaching style was so engaging and genuine. I really appreciated the way he always made time to answer questions after class and got to know his students. After taking his class, I was actually really inspired and ended up going on to create my own magazine using many of the skills he taught me. I am very thankful for the lessons and kindness he showed me. Sending love and light.

Farnia Fekri - January 10, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

CAMH Foundation

Erin Wright - January 9, 2023

I was a magazine student in the journalism programme when Stephen first started teaching there in 1994/95. He helped edit my submission to the Ryerson Review of Journalism and I remember he was kind and encouraging and I also remember his edits made my piece infinitely better. It was a story about the CBC radio show "Ideas" and I recall he added a line that went something like "CBC's Ideas is a like an island oasis amidst a deadening sea of talk radio..." I'm paraphrasing but he was very good at analogy and metaphor. My condolences to the Trumper family. What a lovely man he was.

Maja Begovic - January 9, 2023

Steve was a wonderful person and professor. His guidance and kindness will not be forgotten. Thinking of his family during this difficult time.

Maija Kappler - January 9, 2023

I was lucky to have Steve as a teacher. He was smart, empathetic, kind. And beyond the material, he had a deep and sometimes startling insight into the ways his students interacted with one another, the way they treated one another. It meant a lot to me, and I learned so much from how he ran his classroom about fairness and kindness and what a positive work environment really looks like. He set a great example and so many of us are better for having known him.

Anne (McRae) MacGillivray - January 9, 2023

Dear Hannah and dear Judy, Hannah, through my long-ago friendship with Judy, I have had the great pleasure of knowing Stephen and you. I am very sorry indeed for your loss. Through Judy's letters, I know that she loved both of you with all the passion, devotion, courage and joy she was capable of, and because Judy was who she was, I loved both of you too. I last heard from Stephen on December 14, when he wrote: "Stay warm and keep in touch, please. Talk soon, I hope." How I wish I could. I will treasure my memories, Stephen's wonderful memoir of love and happiness with Judy, and my knowledge of the great joy you brought into his life.

Brad Faught - January 9, 2023

I was very sorry to read of Steve's passing. He was a wonderful tutor when it came to turning me into a (short-lived) journalist at National Post Business magazine from a discursive academic some twenty years ago. 'Bolt the words together', he told me. Wise advice, which I've tried to follow ever since as a professional historian. Thank you, Steve, and RIP.

Daniel Calabretta - January 9, 2023

As a former student of Stephen’s, I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his passing this past week. He was, undoubtedly, one of my favourite professors at Ryerson/TMU. He was not only a great teacher with a wealth of knowledge about feature writing and magazines, but an even better person. My condolences to Stephen’s family and loved ones.

Lauri Sue Robertson - January 9, 2023

Stephen was a shining light in the activist/advocacy world of disabilities. He was known for his great sense of humour and sharp wit, and he'll certainly be missed by all of us who travel 'in the same boat.'

Anna-Christina Di Liberto - January 9, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Anna-Christina Di Liberto - January 9, 2023

I was fortunate to have Stephen as one of my magazine journalism instructors at the former Ryerson University, now TMU. He was an incredible mentor. Several years later, our paths crossed again, when I started working with his daughter Hannah. Just like Stephen, Hannah is kind and always brightens my day with her witty comments. I fondly remember a time when Stephen came to visit Hannah at the office. It was so nice to reconnect with him. He even remembered my prototype magazine assignment. That’s the kind of dedicated teacher he was. Hannah, thinking of you during this difficult time. My condolences.

Harry van Bonmel - January 9, 2023

I never met Steve but read his work over the years always finishing an article or column with information I hadn’t had before with an added laugh or two and/or a tear or two. He was a great teacher and I am grateful to have been a ‘student.’

Leigh Davidson - January 8, 2023

I knew Judy before she and Steve were even an item. She was amazing enough on her own but wow, together those guys were a wonder to behold, a romance for the ages. Judy and Steve gave "power couple" a new meaning, bringing light and beauty to this tired old world while quietly and bravely lifting each other through sorrows and challenges most couldn't dream of. I hope everyone reads his account of their marriage in The Walrus. (Read Steve's articles at abilities.ca, too.) Steve was clearly as proud of Hannah as of Judy. He glowed when speaking about either, and loved being a husband and father. When we took a "What Is this Internet Thing?" workshop together 30 years ago, Steve's face lit up as he asked the instructor, "You mean I might find a newsgroup to connect with other fathers of daughters?" I loved the Trumpers' joy and creativity around quality time together and with friends. Besides wonderful breakfasts with S&J at The Senator, I cherish the memory of chatting from the back seat of the red Honda, the grown-ups keeping warm and sipping coffee curbside while young Hannah twirled around Lake Devo on her ice skates. I especially loved hearing about father-daughter dates in IKEA's parking lot, comfortably guzzling milkshakes while enjoying the spectacle of shoppers' frantic attempts to cram flat packs into their cars. Everything Steve did/said/wrote was infused with love, talent, humour, courage, dignity, generosity. He was a great man.

Lynn A Fournier-Ruggles - January 8, 2023

Dear Hannah, Doug, Danielle, David and I are so very saddened about your father's passing. We are sending you our heartfelt condolences and hugs. Lynn

Kathy Vance - January 8, 2023

Life force. Continue to talk, connect, and provide care, support, and comfort to one another. The essence of a man's life taught to me through words, actions, imbued by his daughter Hannah who embodies the luminescence offered up by Judith and Stephen.

Kathy Vance - January 8, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Journalists for Human Rights

Chris Jancelewicz - January 8, 2023

Stephen was one of my instructors in the journalism program at TMU. He was always friendly, jovial and made feature writing fun. He was devoid of that bitterness that somehow infected most journalism profs of the time. Instead, he made you want to succeed and his clear passion for it was really inspiring. On a personal note, Stephen was very supportive of me during a difficult time. He helped me pull through. I will also never forget his devilish giggle when something tickled him. A great teacher, a wonderful person, remembered and loved by so many. RIP.

Maria Iqbal - January 8, 2023

Steve was my instructor for the RRJ during my second year of the MJ program. He always made time to see his students, to talk about both their work as well as whatever was on their mind. It was clear that he cared deeply for our careers but even more so for us as people. I remember being late emailing a draft of my feature story and feeling anxious about missing the deadline and also worrying that the draft wasn’t any good. But Steve replied with a simple, big "Thank You!" in rainbow colours, setting my heart at ease. It was a small reminder of how much he cared for his students, and how Steve always put them before their work. God bless you, Steve. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered.

Anita Dermer - January 7, 2023

I was so sorry to learn that Stephen passed away. I taught him history at Midland Ave. Collegiate where he was a bright and delightful student. We had just acquired an elevator (thanks to the efforts of the mother of former Lieutenant-Governor David Onley, another of our students) and soon had a sizeable group of teenagers with various disabilities. They formed a club which they named "Los Magnificos" because they didn't wish to have P.A, announcements about their dances and other events focus only on those disabilities. That positive attitude certainly typified Stephen. Sad as I am that he died too soon, I am also happy to hear how successful and productive his life has been, and especially glad to know that he enjoyed marriage and fatherhood.

Joyce Smith - January 7, 2023

What an amazing life Steve lived, wrote about, and shared, deeply with his family and friends, but also with students and colleagues. I always enjoyed chatting with him at the journalism school, and looked forward to his insights at meetings. My sincere condolences to Hannah and your family and his friends. I hope your loss will be softened by knowing how much he was appreciated and will be remembered.

Joyce Smith - January 7, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Anne McNeilly - January 7, 2023

So sad to learn that a fine editor and gifted teacher is gone. Was fortunate to know and work with him at the former Ryerson University, now TMU.

Maryam Siddiqi - January 7, 2023

My deepest condolences. I got to work with Steve for a few years at the National Post and wouldn't be where I am today without his guidance and compassion. Grateful to have known such a special person.

Asmaa Malik - January 7, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

The Tolev Family - January 7, 2023

Hannah there are no words to express our sadness. Steve was always a very kind man, and to you and your family we extend our deepest condolences.

Jacob Dubé - January 7, 2023

Stephen was a tremendous teacher, mentor, and friend. I’ll always remember his honesty and thoughtfulness, and our time together working at the Review. On our last day, with the magazine done and dusted, his last request to us was, “Don’t be a stranger.” He always cared about everyone he came across and his influence will spread to countless others. My condolences.

Jemma Dooreleyers - January 7, 2023

Steve was one of the mentors for me during my time at The Review. During the long pandemic winter, writing and completing a magazine from our lonely corners of the world, it was Steve who kept us laughing and motivated. His knack for magazine and conversation is unmatched. Thank you for all of your love and care you put into our issue of the magazine. Even though we never met in person, the impact you made on my writing and life is immense. Sending love to Steve's family.

Janice Zealand - January 7, 2023

Hannah, I’m so sorry for you loss. In knowing you with your quick wit, and dry sense of humour—you must have inherited this from wonderful parents. Thinking about you and you family. Janice 🤗

Jon Mitchell - January 7, 2023

I met Steve during my first of two years at Trent University. Steve coached our intermural hockey league team "the Peter Robinson Reds" He was a great guy then and to learn of his later accomplishments warms my heart. Farewell to one of the best. RIP Steve

Linda McLaren - January 7, 2023

The loss to this world is immeasurable. I met Steve in high school. A long time ago. I grew up with Steve, and learned how to appreciate and share the things that really matter. How to accept with grace. I shared his joy when the beautiful Judith came into his life. Then, the beautiful and precious Hannah came along. No one deserved or appreciated these treasures more than Steve. There is a hole in my heart, but we heal. Steve taught me that.

Stephanie Davoli - January 7, 2023

Although I didn’t know Stephen for very long, he made a huge impact on my life and career. Stephen was my instructor for a magazine course at Toronto Metropolitan University last winter and, despite never meeting him in person, he was one of the best professors I’ve ever had. Every day, Stephen’s passion, enthusiasm and drive for journalism and magazines made our hours long lectures over Zoom go by so quickly. His talent and commitment to teaching was so clear and he would take so much time to ensure that every student was feeling comfortable with the content and always went the extra mile if someone needed help. Even outside of the classroom, Stephen was always so helpful to support me with career advice and gave me so much insight into the journalism industry. Stephen gave me the confidence to pursue this career further and I am so grateful for that. He was a truly amazing man and he will be dearly missed.

Liz Primeau - January 7, 2023

Oh Trumper, how can you be gone? I remember so well our days together at Toronto Life, at the beginning of both our careers as editors. It was a close-to-the-bone operation, and our desks were pushed together facing each other in a cubicle only large enough for them. I had to squeeze around yours to get to mine, but of course you needed the one with easiest access, and you were there before me anyway. We couldn’t get away from each other, so it was a good thing we hit it off. You used to flirt with me relentlessly, sometimes growling that you were going to have your way wth me one day. This, of course, was long before you met Judy, your amazing and lovely wife, and you were teasing, anyway, which you loved to do. Let’s face it, you had a razor wit that sometimes stung. You drove like a madman— I feared for my life the few times you drove me home after a long day of meeting a deadline, but you told me that behind the wheel was where you felt completely in control of your movements. That seemed logical to me, so I just gritted my teeth. You had a never-give-up attitude—I remember you dragging yourself up the three flights of stairs to the Toronto Life office, refusing any kind of assistance, even company on the way. It probably took you half an hour. I have many more memories, and one big regret: that I never got in touch with your after your piece about the onset of Judy’s Alzheimer appeared in Walrus magazine. It was beautiful, it was touching, it was totally loving, and it revealed the very best side of my friend Trumper. May your memory endure.

Casey Robinson - January 7, 2023

I am deeply saddened by this loss. Steve was truly one-of-a-kind. He had such a unique way of bringing thoughtfulness, kindness and humor to any situation which was admirable. I feel grateful for having had the opportunity to work with Steve as part of his Healthcare team. He will always have a special place. My sincerest condolences for Hannah and his family at this time.

Sahara Mehdi - January 7, 2023

Stephen was the instructor for my magazine class at TMU and was one of the kindest teachers I’ve ever had. I met him shortly after I was diagnosed with a chronic disability, and although I never told him this, having him as a teacher comforted and inspired my own journey with accepting my disability in ways I’ll never be able to explain. He always brought humour to our long days of class and knew how to give firm criticism without making his students feel stupid or silly. I learned so much from him on a personal and professional level and I feel so sad that other students will not be able to know him and witness his talents. He will be dearly missed.

Mark Witten - January 7, 2023

Very sad to hear the news of Steve's passing. He was a gifted and creative editor and a warm, witty friend. He will be dearly missed.

Sue Bartholomew - January 7, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Lisa van de Geyn - January 7, 2023

I’m so very sad to read this. Stephen was a lovely guy and one of my favourite professors at Ryerson (1998-2002). I always enjoyed keeping up with what he was doing. Thinking about his family at this difficult time.

Amit T - January 7, 2023

I'm heartbroken to hear of Steve's passing. He was my manager and mentor at NBRS and was an important figure in my life as I moved from Toronto to Vancouver. For a few years we spoke nearly every day - he helped me in every aspect of life and saw me through a few important transitions - marriage and fatherhood. A man with the kindest heart, he was full of great advice and much needed perspective. We kept in touch over the years and I consider myself fortunate to have had our paths cross many years ago. Thanks for everything Steve

Anthony Carlson - January 6, 2023

One of the strongest yet gentlest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. A great loss to all who knew him and, indeed, to all who did not have that opportunity.

Peter Bakogeorge - January 6, 2023

I am saddened to hear the news of Steve’s death. We worked together for many years at Ryerson’s school of journalism. He was a very good journalist, a dedicated and caring teacher, and a wonderful colleague.

Robert Reid - January 6, 2023

Canadian journalism is diminished with the passing of Stephen Trumper, an esteemed magazine writer & editor, as well as beloved teacher & mentor to generations of journalists. Those who knew Steve, as I did for half century, are deeply grateful to have called him friend. I met Steve at Trent University in 1972. We shared a love of English Literature. He was known as 'Gumper' when he patrolled behind the bench as coach of Peter Robinson College (PCR Reds) hockey team. Over the four decades I spent reporting & editing at various Ontario newspapers, everyone I met who was taught by Steve at Ryerson agreed he was the best prof they had. Steve lived a difficult life, with challenges that would defeat all but the strongest and the bravest, by exercising love, courage, grace, intelligence, humility, patience, forbearance, humour and a dark piercing wit. Rest peacefully, dear friend.

JoAnn Kropf-Hedley - January 6, 2023

Although I never met Stephen personally I am certainly familiar with his work .To his family, you have my sorrows.

Sherry Li - January 6, 2023

Steve, thank you for being the kindness I needed when I was going through my hardest moments. Thank you for pushing me forward and believing in me and giving me the strength to keep going. I remember the chats we had in your office fondly and am always grateful I got to have you as an instructor. You made a lasting impression on me, and Im sure many of your other students, and taught me so much more than just journalism. Though I was often frustrated with the program when I was in school, I always thought you were one of the best and brightest parts of my experience. You will be greatly, greatly missed. Thanks for all you did, may you rest in peace knowing how many lives you’ve touched and how many stories you’ve helped tell.

Kyla Dewar - January 6, 2023

Stephen was one of my favourite teachers during my time at Ryerson. He encouraged me to be a better writer, editor, and human being. His advocacy for disabilities was inspiring, and he truly touched my life by encouraging me to share my personal stories and struggles with mental health in a time I wasn't sure I could. He will always and forever be an influential figure in my life, and I am incredibly saddened his light and humour will no longer touch those around him. You will be greatly missed, Stephen. Thank you for all the fond memories.

Skyler Ash - January 6, 2023

I was so terribly saddened to hear the news of Stephen's passing. He was a kind, caring, hilarious teacher and mentor, and always pushed me to do my best work, and was quick to lend an ear for support beyond the classroom. He will be so dearly missed, and all my love to those who need it.

Ben Waldman - January 6, 2023

I will spend the rest of my life trying to summarize how important Stephen Trumper is to me. Nobody set a better example, and nobody taught me as much about writing as you did. I love you, Stephen. I will miss your laugh and I will never forget your caring heart. You were born to be exactly who you became, and I am so grateful to have met you, Love, Mr. Waldman

Adam Chen - January 6, 2023

This is such shocking and horrible news. He was so thoughtful, kind, yet honest in a way that made him such an amazing editor. And he always encouraged me to follow my passion and challenged me to be better. He would chat with me at length about my own life and family, giving me advice and guidance in a way that shows how much he really cared about his students. I'll miss him a lot, and I'll never forget him.

Katherine Singh - January 6, 2023

I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear of Stephen’s passing. He was such a wonderful and thoughtful editor and mentor to me during my time at TMU, always with a cheeky comment and words of encouragement while we edited the many, many versions of my final project. He will be missed.

Katherine Singh - January 6, 2023

I’m so sorry for your loss and to hear of Stephen’s passing. He was such a wonderful and thoughtful editor and mentor to me during my time at TMU, always with a cheeky comment and words of encouragement while we edited the many, many versions of my final project. He will be missed.

Brennan Doherty - January 6, 2023

I'm so sorry for your loss. Stephen was a mentor to me in my final year at Toronto Metropolitan University. He wrestled with unruly drafts, life advice, and my ridiculous schedule with a serene patience anyone who knew him would recognize. Canada has lost one of its best journalists, and the most kind-hearted teacher any student could ask for.

Farnia Fekri - January 6, 2023

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Steve was a wonderful teacher and an incredible human being. There are no words that could sum up the impact of his endless kindness.