November 12 1961 – December 31st 2009
Gillian died peacefully in the
company of her sister Jennifer,
brother Ingmar and father
Ken, from pneumonia, and complications due to Huntington’s disease, a hereditary neuro-degenerative disorder.
Born in Wawa Ontario, Gillian attended schools in Ontario and finally McGill, Guelph, and UVIC. She obtained a
degree in English and a Teaching Certificate from McGill, and later, a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Langara College in Vancouver.
Gillian was a gifted and inspiring writer, a visual artist and a musician who played both the flute and banjo. Always fiercely independent, she travelled widely.
She loved animals and children and was especially devoted to
her niece, Rowan, and her nephew Kane who reside on Denman Island. By an extraordinary coincidence Gillian died on the day of a Blue Moon, a classic that she often asked Ken to play on the piano.
After a family camping trip to Banff Park, she began her long love affair with the Rocky Mountains, and the outdoors. She developed a lifelong interest in tree planting and put herself through all her schools with this toughest of tough jobs, which explains her remarkable fitness and strength.
Gillian spent her final three years at BraeHaven, Salt Spring’s new Assisted Living facility, and finally, in the loving care of the staff at Extended Care Unit of Lady Minto Hospital.
The family wishes to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the doctors, nurses, and all the wonderful support staff and residents at Lady Minto and BraeHaven for the extraordinary care and love that they gave to Gillian as she succumbed to this brutal disease.
At her own request, Gillian has donated her body to the Huntington’s Disease Research Centre at UBC and has asked that no service or memorial be held. Donations to Lady Minto Hospital Foundation