'It's unfair,' says grandson of Toronto van attack victim as funerals get underway

Funeral services are being held today for 83-year-old Geraldine Brady and 80-year-old Dorothy Sewell, who were both killed during last week's Yonge Street van attack.

Geraldine Brady, 83, and Dorothy Sewell, 80, were among 10 people killed last Monday

Funerals are being held for Geraldine Brady, 83, and Dorothy Sewell, 80, two of the victims killed in the Toronto van attack (R.S. Kane Funeral Home/Elwood Delaney)

Funerals are being held on Tuesday for two of the 10 people killed in last week's van attack in northern Toronto.

Geraldine Brady, 83, and Dorothy Sewell, 80, were killed last week when a van drove down the sidewalk along Yonge Street, running down pedestrians.

In her obituary, Brady is described as a grandmother to five and great grandmother to one. Known as "Gerry" to her family and friends, Brady was described as a fabulous seamstress. Friends and neighbours say she always knew how to keep a conversation going.

A friend said Brady sold Avon products for more than 45 years and was still going out to visit customers up until her death.  

Sewell's grandson, Elwood Delaney, of Kamloops, B.C., described his grandmother as an avid sports fan who "almost had as much love for the Blue Jays and Leafs as she did for her family."

"Me and her were both really into sports so we talked sports a lot. If there was a big game on we'd usually just talk. I'd call her, she'd call me," recalled Delaney, who was at work when he heard of his grandmother's death.

The 'best grandma you could ever have'

Described by Delaney as the "best grandma you could ever have," Sewell had four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Her obituary says Sewell enjoyed volunteering for several causes and was an employee of Sears Canada for 26 years.

"She meant a lot to me," said Delaney. "She cared. Not just about family but about so many people. She always had that smile."

Being across the country made it hard for him to gain closure, says Delaney. So he wanted to come to Toronto to say his reflect on what happened and say his goodbyes.

Visiting the memorial at Olive Square was important because that's where the attack occurred, he said. Besides, it wasn't just his grandmother who was affected by the attack but so many more, said Delaney.

Elwood Delaney, grandson of Dorothy Sewell, visits the makeshift memorial for the victims of the van attack. (CBC)

"It's not just the 10. It's not just the 16 that were injured... There's all the people that witnessed it, there's the people that helped," he said.

"It's unfair how any of them [died]," said Delaney. "Not being able to go on your own terms and someone taking that away from you, it's not right. It definitely makes it harder for families to grieve over that one."

"To Dorothy the cup was always full. She was a very active lady who thoroughly enjoyed life," her obituary reads.

'It eased the pain'

This past Sunday, a private funeral was held at a Toronto church for Munir Najjar, an 85-year-old Jordanian man who was in town visiting of his sons, according to the Jordanian foreign ministry.

Harry Malawi, president of the Canadian Jordanian Society, said the family wished for the ceremony to be private and described it as "heart-warming."

"After this horrible tragedy, it eased the pain," Malawi said of the funeral and the vigil for the 10 victims that followed it. The family plans to repatriate Najjar's body to Jordan, Malawi said.
A private funeral was held on Sunday for Munir Najjar, 85, who was in town visiting family when he was killed in the van attack. (May Tartoussy)

In addition to the 10 deaths, 16 people were injured and two large makeshift memorials sprang up almost immediately where the people were struck.

In an update Tuesday, Sunnybrook Hospital said seven of the injured are still being treated. Of those, the hospital said four remain in serious condition, three are in good condition and one has already been discharged.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in the incident, with another three attempted murder charges expected.

The 10 people killed in the Toronto van attack. Top row, from left to right: Anne Marie D'Amico, 30, Dorothy Sewell, 80, Renuka Amarasingha, 45, Munir Najjar, 85, Chul Min (Eddie) Kang, 45, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Forsyth, 94, Sohe Chung, 22, Andrea Bradden, 33, Geraldine Brady, 83, Ji Hun Kim, 22.

With files from CBC News