Marilyn Creighton, wife of Toronto Sun founder, was ‘fiercely loyal,’ supportive

Article content

Marilyn Creighton, wife of the Toronto Sun ’s beloved founder J. Douglas Creighton, has died in Toronto.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

She was 90.

Elegant, formidable, and a proud Canadian, Creighton was a cherished wife and mother, and  not so much the woman “behind the great man” as his equal partner. 

She was instrumental in the creation of the newspaper and contributed to the work environment at the Sun chain — a culture of generosity and familial goodwill that won the company a spot in Canada’s Top 100 places to work.

Marilyn June Chamberlain was born June 9, 1931, one of four children of Arthur and Jane Chamberlain. She grew up in Toronto and eventually studied nursing; she and Doug Creighton were married 50 years, until his death at 75 in 2004, and together they raised three sons: Scott, Bruce and Donald.

She has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Doug Creighton dedicated his biography, Sunburned: Memoirs of a Newspaperman, to Marilyn and his family, writing, “To my wife, Marilyn, especially. Throughout the most difficult time of our lives, she was always with me, always for me.”

Paul Godfrey, executive chairman of Postmedia, described Creighton as a very strong individual, “Who always supported what Doug was doing. She never sought prestige or profile for herself — she was there to support Doug in every way, whether he had a problem or whether he had success.”

Doug Creighton and his wife Marilyn Creighton proudly raised three boys, Bruce, Donald and Scott.
Doug Creighton and his wife Marilyn Creighton proudly raised three boys, Bruce, Donald and Scott.

She was there for him, said Godfrey, when Creighton started the newspaper — at a time when naysayers told him it couldn’t be done.

“She gave him the support to go out and do what he had to do, to make the paper the great success it was and still is today,” Godfrey said.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

On her own time, Marilyn Creighton was an avid golfer, gardener and active volunteer at both the Wellesley Hospital and the McMichael Gallery.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Journalist and long-time friend Joan Sutton Strauss said of Creighton, “She was a fiercely loyal wife and mother and that was her career, and she never apologized for that being her career.”

That said, adds Sutton Strauss, Marilyn Creighton was very much an influence on the newspaper.

“I cannot overstate how powerful she was. Doug discussed every major decision with her. He valued her opinion and her judgment of people. She was so loyal,” she said.

She was a great hostess — “and a great asset to the paper in that regard,” said Sutton Strauss.

Doug Creighton dedicated his biography, Sunburned: Memoirs of a Newspaperman, to Marilyn and his family, writing, “To my wife, Marilyn, especially. Throughout the most difficult time of our lives, she was always with me, always for me.”
Doug Creighton dedicated his biography, Sunburned: Memoirs of a Newspaperman, to Marilyn and his family, writing, “To my wife, Marilyn, especially. Throughout the most difficult time of our lives, she was always with me, always for me.”

“And she made the best butter tarts you’ve ever had.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Creighton had a full life, said Sutton Strauss, playing golf and Bridge and keeping up with the ballet and theatre. And she had a group of very loyal female friends. 

“But she loved men, and they loved her,” said Sutton Strauss. “When we had dinner parties, my husband always wanted Marilyn to sit beside him. She was a great dancer — she loved life and she embraced it.”

Son Bruce Creighton describes his mother as someone who loved the moment she was in, whether that was attending gala parties with her husband or digging in the dirt in her beloved garden.

  1. Don Hunt, Doug Creighton and Peter Worthington, against the advice of many, joined forces to start the first daily tabloid in Toronto.

    BLIZZARD: Fearless spirit has steered the Sun for 50 years

  2. Former publisher Doug Creighton holds the first copy of The Toronto Sun on Nov. 1, 1971 with Ray Biggart, Peter Worthington and general manager Don Hunt.

    BATRA: Our thanks to all of you who make the Sun shine

  3. Former publisher Doug Creighton holds the first copy of The Toronto Sun on Nov. 1, 1971 with Ray Biggart, Peter Worthington and general manager Don Hunt.

    TORONTO SUN AT 50: A trip down memory lane inside a real-life word factory

“She loved her garden fiercely,” he said. “She knew all the Latin names for everything,” he said.

“And she wasn’t afraid to filet a fish.”

He reiterates that his father involved his mother in every aspect of the newspaper. 

“She was there the day the first paper rolled off the presses — she was a Day Oner in that regard. And she was someone who had a big impact on how the culture evolved. She believed in work hard and play hard.

“It was always Doug and Marilyn,” Bruce Creighton said.

Funeral arrangements for next week are being finalized, with details at Turner and Porter.

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    Who hates Russia the most?

    MOSCOW, 26 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute. On January 13, 2022, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was asked the following question during an interview with