Nerene Virgin, best known for her role on the cherished children’s television series Today’s Special, passed away on January 15, 2023, at the age of 78. She breathed her last at Joseph Brant Hospital, leaving behind a legacy that touched the hearts of many and a family plunged into sorrow.
Nerene Grizzle was the daughter of Kathleen V. Toliver and Stanley G. Grizzle. Her educational journey included attending Toronto Teacher’s College, and she furthered her expertise by becoming a certified special education teacher at Brock University. Virgin commenced her professional journey as a teacher with the Toronto Board of Education.
In the late 1980s, Nerene Virgin transitioned to the realm of media as the weather and community reporter for CBOT, the local CBC Television station in Ottawa. Her career trajectory soared as she assumed diverse roles, including hosting Eye on Toronto and co-hosting the entertainment show Showbuz at CTV station CFTO in Toronto. Additionally, she served as a host for CTV’s annual Miracle Network Telethon, a charitable event benefiting the Hospital for Sick Children.
In 2012, Nerene Virgin received the Rev. John C. Holland Award, a prestigious accolade celebrating her outstanding professional achievements. The award held a special significance, being named after her great uncle, John Christie Holland. Adding to her commendations, Virgin was honoured with an Illuminesence Award in 2014, further solidifying her impact on the community.
The news of Nerene Virgin’s passing has left family and friends in mourning. As of now, the exact cause of her death remains unknown, leaving a void in the hearts of those who admired her.
A Celebration of Life has been scheduled for Saturday, June 15, at Stewart Memorial Church in Hamilton. This holds a poignant connection, as it is the same church where her great-uncle, John C. Holland, once served as a pastor. The event promises to be a tribute to the remarkable life of Nerene Virgin, bringing together those whose lives she touched in various ways.