Eric Dowd, who died from cancer on Christmas Day, was never a Toronto Sun Family member but he helped mentor many of us along the way.
As competitive and professional as Eric was, he always had time to share his journalistic experiences with others who were keen on learning the ropes.
Ian Urquhart, editorial page editor of the Toronto Star, says in a Star obit Dowd mentored him as a cub reporter.
The CTV story says Wendy McCann, CP's Ontario, bureau chief, also remembers Dowd's willingness to help younger reporters.
"He really helped the next generation put politics into context, and without that context we wouldn't have been doing our jobs," said McCann.
Eric's passion for the job never faded, covering the legislature from the 1960s to 2010, putting in long days even during his cancer treatments, says CTV. He was on the job two days before he died.
Former Toronto Sun editor John Downing has posted a tribute to Eric on his Downing's Views blog. His comments include regrets that the Sun never hired Eric after the Tely folded.
Downing, one of Eric's former editors at the Tely, writes:
"Boy, he could bug you. And then charm with a gentle observation. Tough but fair. And with an inner strength that had him write about his adopted province right up to the final days of his battle with cancer that took him at 79 on Christmas Day."
Our condolences to his family.