In loving memory of
Zander Toulouse 2000-2008
"The Little Professor"

Last update: 9/6/2017. Maintained by Zander's Dad (Chris).

Zander Toulouse (2000-2008) was the son of Chris Toulouse (a college professor) and Bonnie Steinsnyder (an artist) and he lived in Brooklyn, New York. He was struck and killed by a post office truck on September 6th, 2008. He was a remarkable little boy. This page is about him and his very special life. It is updated every year on his birthday, March 23rd, and on the anniversary of his passing, September 6th. When you think of Zander, this place will always be here, to help you remember what a wonderful little boy he was, and always will be in our hearts.

Wednessday, 6th September 2017
This year Zander would have been 17, and a senior in High School.
He was 8 1/2 when we lost him.
Below are pictures of Zander and his sister Elly at the age of 6.

Zander lives on in our hearts!


Zander and Ellie at 6

Zander's sister, Ellie (Eleanor Janean) arrived 7 weeks early on December 16th, 2010. She was born with a rare condition that mixes up your wind pipe and your food pipe and has had to have many surgeries of various kinds. She spent the first 6 months of her life in the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn and was then moved to the St Mary's Nursing Home for Children in Bayside, Queens on June 7th, 2011. She finally came home for good on November 9th, 2011.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2017: Ellie is now 6 1/2. She surgery on her nose to widen her airways in August and is fully recovered and looking forward to first grade.

Now more than ever, doctors call her their "miracle baby". She loves to dance and to sing and to shop, already. Looking after her is a lot of hard work (for our nurses too) but she is a source of great joy.

Our heart-felt thanks for the skill & dedication of the doctors & nurses at the Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; St Mary's Nursing Home for Children in Bayside, Queens; and the nurses of the Jacobs' Home Nursing Service.

FAMILY VIEWS 2006 & 2016

Zander with Nanny & Granded in England in 2006; and Ellie with Grandpa & Grandma in Miami in 2016.

Zander with Aunt Faith & Uncle David, and Bubby in 2006; Ellie at Aunt Faith & Uncle David's in 2016.

Zander with Sophia & Mollie in 2006; and Ellie with Sophia and Mollie 2016.

Uncle Garry

Congratulations to Chris's brother, Ellie's Uncle Garry, who is retiring on September 1st, on his 55th birthday! Wishing you a long and very happy retirement, with Nanny, and in the company of your new labrador puppy, Archie.

Jane Steinsnyder (1936-2013)

Zander's grandma, his Bubby, died after a long illness in April 2013. She was 76. Here she is with Zander in 2006. Oh happy days.

Bubby was a very accomplished and classy lady: she was a painter and a college teacher, an art historian, an art dealer, she ran her own store and her own sewing shop, she travelled widely and loved Paris, she loved to cook and spoke French, and above all else, she loved her grandson. Zander's very favorite times were when he would go to Philadelphia and be feted by his beloved bubby and her retinue of friends who were always so glad to see him. Whenever he came home we were delighted to see him and he was crushed to be back with his dull parents. Now Zander & Bubby are together again.

Bubby with Zander in 2002 and Elly in 2012.

Thanks for everything Bubby! You're the best. Give Z. a hug for us and tell him how much we miss him.

Terence Joseph Toulouse (1926-2012)

Zander's grandad died on March 10th, 2012. He was 86. Here he is with Zander in 2006. Oh happy days.

Zander's grandad worked very hard all his working life to give his sons (Zander's Dad Chris and his brother Garry) the best education possible. He started as a skilled tool maker and ended as a production manager with a defense firm. We weren't always the easiest kids to raise but his hard work really paid off in what we've been able to give back to others in our working lives (Chris teaches at Fordham and Garry is a provost at the University of Teeside in Northern England).

Grandad retired early in 1989 and very much enjoyed his retirement. He was an avid gardener and home handyman and he & my Mom vacationed all over Europe and went to many parts of the United States I have yet to get to myself. It had its highs and lows (esp. his beloved grandson's death) but it was a very full and fulfilling life.

Thanks for everything grandad! You're the best. Give Z. a hug for us and tell him how much we miss him.

The Zander Fund and Yoga

We are still forwarding donations to the Zander Fund to the ballroom dancing program at PS29. We want to thank everyone for their kind generosity.

The last $1,700 of the Zander Fund was set aside to spend on Dad's students at Fordham. Dad set up a Yoga & Meditation Club for the students to expose them to the breathing & stretching exercises that we have found so helpful in adjusting to our lives without Zander. We would like to thank yoga instructor Claire Larsen for her help.

Thank you Brooklyn!

As always we want to thank our family and friends and the people of the neighborhood for their support. We know everyone remembers Zander, and that people are thinking about him everyday, and his famous smile, and the way he talked with his cadences and repetitions, and his particular way of looking at things, and his unfailing politeness. We know everyone misses him, just as we do, and they still love him very much.



Zander's way of seeing...

Check out 25 Stories about Zander.


More of Zander's unique wisdom...

Check out 25 More Stories about Zander.


The "Little Professor" introduces Fordham students to the class Field Trips.

Zander introduces the Jersey City Field Trip. Shot in January 2008.
Dad's favorite. Funny!

Zander introduces the Times Square Field Trip. Shot in January 2008.


Put on your dancing shoes...

Zander dancing on the Long Island Rail Road.

Zander wins the dance competition at the Astrograss concert, January 2006.
V. sweet.

Zander's piano recital, June 2008.

How important was 'Dancing with the Stars' to Zander?
See him here with his birthday presents March 2008


Here is more of Astrograss and their new video which shows off what wonderful FUN they are. Brooklyn Bluegrass was a part of Zander's life thanks to his piano teacher and Astrograss band member, Jordan Shapiro. Our many thanks to Jordan who has dedicated his last two birthday concerts to the Zander Fund and ballroom dancing at PS29. Our thanks, and the kids' thanks, and Zander's special thanks to Jordan!


Zander's way with words...

Brooklyn Poet Laureate, Ken Siegelman, reads Zander's 'There's No One Like Me'.
With thanks to Natalie & Andi.

There's No One Like Me by Zander Toulouse

Nobody's like me For all my special reasons
For example: A board game
To me there is nothing like a nice board game.
I always like my bath water hot.
I always like trains.
I LOVE to dance a lot.
Blue is my favorite color.
I am the pride of the world.
I know I can be a problem.
But I am very useful sometimes.

Check out Zander's Poetry page for additional poetry by and about Zander.


Images of music & dance by Zander...


The Flamenco.

Check out Zander's Art for more art BY Zander.

Check out Art about Zander for additional artwork ABOUT Zander.



Highlights from the Concert at PS 29 December 11th 2009

Our many thanks to the following for their kindness & generosity:

- Ms. Barbara and Ms. Atlanta from the American Ballroom Theater and the 4th and 5th grade teachers of PS29. - PS 29 and Principal Melanie Woods. - The John N. Blackman, Sr. Foundation which paid for the 5th grade dance lessons. - Chris & Bonnie would like to thank Natalie Giles for her help in making the 4th grade dance lessons possible. - The pupils and parents of the 4th and 5th grades at PS 29. - Jordan Schapiro, Zander's piano teacher, and his birthday benefit concerts 2009 and 2010.

It was so much fun to see all Zander's friends again and to see them dance like he wouldn't have thought was possible. As he would have put it, they were so great! We were so pleased and we know he would have been too. Thank you to everyone for putting on such a fantastic show. (Although I think Bonnie's Mom probably had it right when she said he would have complained that there was no paso doble).

So far the fund established in Zander's name has given around $7180 to PS 29 to help with ballroom dance lessons for Zander's 4th grade class and $900 to Fordham University for awards to faculty for service to the eloquentia perfecta requirement in the new Core Curriculum.

You can make an online credit card donation to the Zander Fund for ballroom dancing at PS 29 by registering at and making a donation to "Parents and Teachers Association of PS 29 Inc" in the name of the "Zander Fund".

You can make a donation by check by making out a check to the PTA of PS29 (for "the Zander Fund") and sending it to PS29, 425 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY. 11201 (attention Natalie Giles).

The PS 29 PTA has a line item in its budget for the "Zander Fund" and right now the money is for 4th grade ballroom dancing lessons next year.


To sample Jen's beautiful sound click here for 'Let it Show'.

Many thanks to Jen Chapin for the wonderful moving concert she gave at Jalopy on Saturday 14th November 2009. Thank you also to my student Michael Kaplan for making the arrangements. We raised $560 for the Zander Fund.

Jen Chapin in concert at Jalopy.

Family & friends enjoying the beautiful music.


Zachary goes to live with Mildred & Stella and the denizens of the Lane...

It has been very important to me this long and lonely year not to let the sudden and terrible manner of Zander's passing eclipse the wonderful meaning of his life and the inspiration he gave to so many.

That is why I have worked so hard on my childrens' story. It features a little boy based on Zander as its central character. Zander is a wonderful "straight man" to write funny characters around and this is the kind of ghost story that would have made him laugh because the ghosts are afraid of children and the grown-ups need a lot of help. There are also no end of the bad puns ("frightening the life out of the dead" and so on) that would have made him giggle.

I wanted to do something special that would never have happened had he not been taken from us. The story gives me a way to share in the fun of knowing of him and to celebrate what a special little guy he was - and in our hearts - he still is.

To get an idea of the story go to



On the road with Z...

The Zander Calendar 2008 - Mar 08 - Best shots from 2007-08.

The Philosophy of the Telectroscope - Jun 08 - But what - exactly - are we looking at?

The Mermaids' Day Parade, 2008 - Jun 08 - Creatures from other planets, and what's really important about Coney Island...

A Day Trip to Montauk - Aug 08 - Our mission to ride to end of every LIRR line continues...


How many places have you been to?

Check out Zander's Great Big New York Family Quiz.


With many thanks to all who bore witness to the impression he left...

THE FUNERAL: The funeral service for Zander was on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008, at 1:15pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th St. NYC (Amsterdam and 76th St.) Our sincerest gratitude to all who were able to attend. It was a beautiful service and it seemed like there were a thousand people in the chapel. We were deeply moved to see how many people Zander's life had touched and take solace in knowing that so many people were inspired by him.

OPEN HOUSE: The family received visitors Wednesday September 10th and all day Thursday September 11the, 2008, into the evening. Thank you to all who came to see us. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of neighbors and friends, and thank everyone for all the flowers and hampers and drink they sent and brought with them to entertain our guests. We thank you for your love. Zander lives on in our hearts!

THE MEMORIAL: A Memorial was held for Zander at Fordham University at Lincoln Center on Friday 21st November 2008, 4.15-5.00PM, in Lowenstein Hall in the 12th floor conference room. The Memorial was a great success and we were very pleased and relieved. It was a chance for the Lincoln Center community to share memories of Zander but also to catch up with old friends. People were able to look at the pictures and videos of Zander and laugh and smile and we were very grateful for that.


There was a special memorial for Zander's friends on Sunday 21st September 2008. Butterflies were released in his memory.

Requires Kleenex!


There was a memorial for Fordham students on Friday 21st November 2008. Candles were lit in his memory.

Very soulful.

Click here for the Fordham Memorial Program (PDF)

and find out what an amazing little guy he was.


-> Click here for News Accounts from the day and a Copy of the Traffic Court Judgment.

Beautiful tributes

'Daily News', September 15th, 2008 'Hearts broken at PS29 over death of Alexander Toulouse'.

'The Fordham Observer', Oct 1st, 2008 'Remembering Zander Toulouse'.

Children killed by Drivers:
What's wrong with the Judicial Process in New York State
A Father's Testimony
by Chris Toulouse

The Intersection where Zander was killed.

Click here to read my account


Thank you so much for all the messages we received. They helped us more than you can imagine. We know little guy touched a lot of hearts and we are not the only ones who are heartbroken. With your help we can now see how Zander's light will shine on because he really was a very special little guy.

*** To read all the messages on one long page click here for the Forum Digest Page ***

Zander lives on in our hearts!

Click on any posting to read it and respond. Click here for the Forum Digest Page.

This page has received 26061 hits since September 7, 2008, 88 postings as of Oct 14, 2008 (09:00:38 EDT).