GILLIES, Rev. Donald Arthur –
Passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at the age of 84. Loving and devoted husband of Mimi Gillies (Johnston) for 61 years. Cherished father of Stephen Gillies (Deanne), Maureen Gillies, Donna Gillies Marson (Kevin), and John Gillies (DeeAnn). Proud grandfather of Erin (Adam), Shauna (Jeremy), Craig, Matthew, Kiera, Allie (Tyler), Geoff, Jenna, Sara, Lisa and the late Lily. Adored great-grandfather of Olivia and Henry. Dear brother of Mary (late Paul) and Barb (Jim) and brother-in law of Donald (Helen) and Lock (late Anne). Don will also be remembered by his extended family, colleagues and many friends.
Don was a kind and thoughtful man who lived life passionately and devoted much of his time to causes near and far. He was a true extrovert in every sense of the word; a mentor and friend to all, a civil rights activist and humanitarian, a thought leader in the United Church community, a lifelong learner and educator, and a staunch supporter of the NDP. A minister with the United Church of Canada since 1959, Don later taught at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. He will be remembered for his love of music, books and New Yorker cartoons, progressive political views, charming neuroses (most notably about the English language and how kitchen utensils should be put away) as well as his unwavering dedication to work and family. Don could write a beautiful sermon, help build a dock and bake a perfect loaf of bread. He was happiest spending time with his beloved wife and other loved ones at the family cottage on Muldrew Lake.
Along with Mimi, Don remained connected with communities from Saltfleet High School, McMaster University, Boston University, the University of Toronto, The Canadian Club, The Oakville Opera Guild, The Hamilton Children’s Choir and more. He traveled extensively and enjoyed friendships from all walks of life.
Don loved life and wanted more of it, fighting a short but courageous battle to the end. Special thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at The Carpenter Hospice for the exceptional care and compassion provided in Don’s final days. As per Don’s wishes, private cremation has taken place.
A Service of Remembrance to celebrate his life will be held at Port Nelson United Church on Sunday, September 30th at 4pm, with reception to immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Don to The Carpenter Hospice would be sincerely appreciated by the family.