Skip navigation

Saturday July 19, 2014


Maureen Dennis, mother and
scholar, died on Tuesday, July
15. Her cancer died with her, so
claims no victory. She is survived
by her beloved and loving
daughters, Sophie Kohn and
Hannah Kohn, their partners,
Kevin Ball and James McKeown,
her nephew, Stephen Dennis
and his family, and a wonderful
group of friends and colleagues
who have long enriched her
private and professional lives
Maureen cultivated her strength,
grit, and courage in the wild and
challenging lands of New South
Wales, Australia, where she was
born, raised, and educated. After
completing her PhD at York
University in Toronto in 1971,
she spent her entire career at the
Hospital for Sick Children. She
was a Senior Scientist in
Neurosciences and Mental
Health, and a Professor of
Surgery and Psychology at the
University of Toronto. She was a
fixture within the developmental
neuroscience community at Sick
Kids, in Toronto, and around the
world. Over the course of four
decades, Maureen changed the
way those communities thought
about the developing brain. She
challenged the established
norms and beliefs of her field
through her joyful and creative
approach to science. By
mentoring countless students
and through her prodigious
publishing record, she will
continue to influence
developmental neuropsychology
for years to come.
   Maureen earned numerous
awards for her contributions to
science. Among them were the
American Psychological
Association's Invited Lectureship,
the Distinguished Women
Scholars Lectureship at
University of Victoria, The Birch
Lecture, and the Lifetime
Achievement Award from the
International Neuropsychological
Society in 2012.
   Maureen was fierce in love,
friendship, motherhood, and
work. She was endlessly curious,
exceptionally witty, and
delighted in opera, travel,
mystery novels, and the Sunday
New York Times crossword
puzzle. She faced hardship
calmly, openly, and with
tremendous grace. Her
daughters were the centre of her
heart, and they carry the best
parts of her forward. Visitation
will be held Wednesday, July 23
at 12:30 p.m. with a service at
1:30 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant
Visitation Centre, 375 Mount
Pleasant Rd (east gate entrance)
Interment to follow. In lieu of
flowers, donations can be made
to the Sick Kids Foundation c/o
The Centre for Brain and Mental
Health in memory of Maureen
Dennis. Please visit
for online condolences.
   'Life is mainly froth and bubble
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another's trouble
Courage in your own.'

Back to top