Lois Lilienstein funeral featured mariachi band, chocolate chips

Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein (centre) and Bram Morrison pictured in Toronto in 2002.
Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein (centre) and Bram Morrison pictured in Toronto in 2002. CP PHOTO/Aaron Harris

TORONTO – A private funeral for beloved children’s entertainer Lois Lilienstein of Sharon, Lois & Bram was an unconventional celebration featuring a mariachi band and chocolate chips.

Lilienstein’s son David says last weekend’s ceremony included tears, laughter and recordings of his mother singing “Little Sir Echo” and Cab Calloway’s “Everybody Eats When they Come to My House.”

He says the Toronto celebration was led off by a mariachi band, which was one of her final requests, and ended with a sprinkling of chocolate chips on her grave “so she can cook her famous brownies in heaven.”

Lilienstein died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. She was 78.

The bubbly blond performer is credited with providing the special spark that helped make Sharon, Lois & Bram one of the biggest kids’ acts of the 1980s.

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David Lilienstein says details of a public memorial are still being worked out but will almost certainly include music.

Reached in San Francisco where he now lives, he described last weekend’s private funeral as “beautiful.”

“We did our best to celebrate and talk and laugh and cry and all of those things. It certainly wasn’t your standard funeral,” said Lilienstein.

“It was very Lois, it was very unique and I think everybody had as good a time as one could have under such circumstances.”

He said longtime collaborator Bram Morrison suggested that “Little Sir Echo” and “Everybody Eats When they Come to My House” be played at the private event, explaining they display “Lois’ range and the spark she brought to the band.”

The chocolate chips were included because Lilienstein “had a huge sweet tooth” and loved food.

“Food was always important,” said Lilienstein.

He said Lilienstein was buried next to his father at Mount Pleasant Cemetary in downtown Toronto. He took comfort in knowing the plot is located near a school.

“She will always hear the laughter of children, children playing,” he said.