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Monday April 30, 2012

TOUGH, Allen M.

Died peacefully in Toronto on April 27, 2012 at the age of 76. He is survived by his wife Cathy Rand and his children Susan Tough (Russell Wardell) of Renfrew, Ontario, and Paul Tough (Paula Shapiro), and his grandson Ellington of Montauk, New York. He is predeceased by his parents Marnie and David Tough, and his sister Margie O'Regan.
Allen earned his first two degrees at the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. For 33 years, he was professor of Adult Education at OISE, University of Toronto. He pioneered research into self-directed learning and personal change. In mid-career, he also became involved in futures studies and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the latter which he continued as Professor Emeritus during retirement. He founded the Invitation to ETI ( He wrote seven books, as well as dozens of articles and oral papers that are listed on his website ( He was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2006.
He enjoyed hiking and walking, reading, international conferences, and engaging in meaningful conversations with family and friends, students and colleagues. He will be remembered for his quiet and gentle ways and wit, and for his ability always to see the best in everyone and to build on it. For the past eleven years, with exceptional grace and dignity, he dealt with the effects of Multiple System Atrophy, a relentlessly progressive neurological condition. The family would like to thank Elmer Tamargo for his three years of devoted care at home. The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES CHAPEL LIMITED, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1. A service will be held in THE DONWAY COVENANT UNITED CHURCH, 230 The Donway West, on Wednesday, May 2 at 11 o'clock. If desired, memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through

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