Dear Laurentian Friends:
I write to share the news that Trustee Emeritus David L. Torrey ’53, P82, GP’07 died on Tuesday, July 16, at age 87, at his home in Montreal, Quebec.
No one loved St. Lawrence and its traditions more than he did. And no one, including his Laurentian parents, Arthur ’24 and Josephine ‘24, were more openly generous to the University in every possible way, most notably expressed in the Diana Torrey ‘82 Health Center. When I told David over lunch one day about the strong possibility of renewing Appleton Arena, he never paused to ask for details before saying he would happily and readily become involved at a leadership level of support. He also was clear that he wanted to do it for his beloved brother and closest friend, Bill.
I admired David immensely for his breadth of interests—opera, hockey, economics, sailing, and everything St. Lawrence—and for his repartee, humor, and kindness. He read seven newspapers daily and was fond of sending Lynn news and opinion clippings about matters that would possibly stir lively conversation later.
There is so much more to say about this man, this well-lived useful life of a man whose family was the center of it all. His children Heather, John, Bruce, David, and Diana (1982 St. Lawrence alumna, deceased), and his granddaughter Katherine Murphy ’07 were his joy. His remarkable career, his devotion to his home and native land, and his expansive circle of friends regardless of borders or different political philosophies, are the details of the larger picture.
David was president emeritus of Torcanus, Inc. in Montreal, Quebec and was formerly vice chairman of RBC Dominion Securities. He was past chairman of the board of directors of Phillips Cables Ltd. and was a board member of a number of international corporations. He served as chairman of the Montreal Stock Exchange in the 1970s and has been a member of the Montreal Board of Trade, Investment Bankers Association, and Securities Industries Association.
He earned his BA in economics from St. Lawrence in 1953 and Diploma from the University of Western Ontario, Graduate school of Business, in 1954. As an alumnus, he has been a career conference panelist, fundraising volunteer, Reunion Development Committee co-chair, and vice chair of the Campaign Steering Committee. David was elected a Term Trustee in 1987 and Trustee Emeritus in 2002.
He accepted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2011, recognizing that perhaps more than any living Canadian, he shaped the investment banking industry of the United States’ closest ally and trading partner.
As is our custom, we have created a Memorial Web site for your reflections on David’s many contributions to St. Lawrence. Arrangements for a memorial service are pending, but most likely will occur in September or October. Lynn and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Torrey family, and to all who loved and admired David Torrey.