Passings: Long-serving staff Adele Minoli remembered for kind spirit

One of York University’s longest-serving staff members, Adele Minoli, passed away on July 18 after a short battle with cancer.

Minoli was program coordinator at the York University English Language Institute (YUELI) until her retirement in early 2012.

Adele Minoli, employee of York University for 47 years, at her retirement celebration in 2012

She began her career at Glendon College in 1965. Following her early years at Glendon, and a number of key roles over the decades at the Keele campus, she joined YUELI in 1996. Her retirement on Jan. 1, 2012 marked 47 years of employment at the University.

Over those 47 years, she walked the pathways of Keele before they became the hallways of Complex One, and saw a major construction site at the centre of the campus take shape as the Ross Building.

Those who worked with her spoke of the pleasure they took in their dealings with Minoli. Her colleagues remember her as full of spirit, energy and good humour, and that she treated everyone with equanimity and kindness. She personified this characteristic in all that composed her years – love of friends, her home and cottage life, travel and work.

It is this love of life and strength of spirit that Minoli left behind, and which those who knew her will carry forward. These, and her overall contributions to YUELI and York, are best captured by long-serving YUELI Instructor Dayna Aguilera’s remarks.

“Adele would sometimes joke that she’d ‘seen it all,’ but behind the humour was a deep and abiding love for all things York, especially the people who make up the York community,” said Aguilera. “The relationships she had built across campus made Adele the person you went to when you needed a job done, a call made or a string pulled. At the same time, Adele was always the first with a birthday card, sympathy card, pep talk or shoulder to cry on, so she took care of everyone at YUELI, both literally and figuratively. For all these things, and the invaluable lifetime of contributions she made to York, Adele will be forever missed.”

In the coming weeks, YUELI will hold a commemorative event celebrating Minoli’s life. If you wish to attend the event, email Carmela DeAngelis at