Cover photo for Caroline Neville's Obituary
Caroline Neville Profile Photo

Caroline Neville

March 13, 1924 — June 27, 2024

After gifting us with a century of her no-nonsense wisdom, wit, and infectious smile, our beloved matriarch, Caroline Neville (née Hooper), passed away peacefully on June 27th 2024 in Toronto, Ontario.

Born in England in 1924 to the late Majorie Isabella Hooper (née Rose) and the late Reginald Stewart Hooper, she grew up alongside two siblings, the late Patience Bosanquet, and the late Rodney Hooper.

She trained as an actress at the Webber Douglas Academy of Drama in London, which led her to perform at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre where she met and eventually married the love of her life, the late John Neville (C.M.) in 1949. Together they raised six children: Sarah Neville (John Dungey), Stephen Neville (Aneesha Neville), Emma Dinicol (the late Keith Dinicol), Rachel Neville-Fox, Matthew Neville (Joy), and Thomas Neville. In 1973, John and Caroline immigrated to Canada—first to Edmonton, then Halifax, then Stratford, and finally, Toronto. John and Caroline also spent many winters over several decades at their second home in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico.

In addition to her six children, she is survived by her nephew Simon Bosanquet, a trove of grandchildren who adored her: Sam (Tabitha), Rebecca, Joe (Maya), Ben (Veronika), Sophie (Michael), Becca (Matt), and Alyssa (Jack), and three precious great-grandchildren: Arden, Iris, and 6-week-old Louis, whom we are grateful she lived to meet. 

The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff at Christie Gardens—especially Allison, Devica, and Cristina—for their extraordinary care.

For years, John and Caroline were nightly fixtures at Mullins Irish Pub near Bay and Wellesley. They would arrive promptly at 6:00 p.m., coinciding with the church bells at St. Basil’s. This led fellow patrons to dub them the “Neville bells”. As a tribute to Caroline’s fun and irreverent spirit, the family encourages those who knew and loved her to raise a glass—ideally, at 6:00 p.m. and with church bells ringing —to a legendary woman and a life well-lived.

 Funny, observant, and wise, Caroline was a straightshooter, and a woman very much ahead of her time—particularly on civil and human rights of all kinds. She gave generously—always helping to pay for a plane ticket or a new computer or offering sage advice (even if you didn’t ask for it!). A calm, dependable presence, she will be so dearly missed.

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