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Michael Charles Frederick Gillan (1938 - 2002)

Michael Charles Frederick Gillan
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1930s - unknown)]
[children unknown]
Died at age 63 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canadamap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Feb 2018
This page has been accessed 122 times.



Marriage to (Senator) Joyce FAIRBAIRN 28 Oct 1967


Michael Charles Frederick “Mike” Gillan

Birth 5 Jul 1938 Hamilton, Hamilton Municipality, Ontario, Canada

Death 29 Jun 2002 Ottawa, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada

Burial St. George's Anglican Church & Cemetery Sutton, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada[1]



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Michael "Mike" Charles Frederick GILLAN passed away in comfort and good spirits at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, holding hands with his teammate, Senator Joyce FAIRBAIRN and surrounded by the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff of the Intensive Care Unit. He had fought a mighty battle against liver disease, diabetes and heart disease, beating the odds for 23 years. Mike was a fifth generation Canadian and proud of it, the son of the late Mariane and Michael GILLAN. He was raised in the beautiful town of Sutton on Lake Simcoe, Ontario, where he became an avid participant in, and a lifelong fan of, sports, particularly baseball, hockey, curling and golf. He also played a mean trombone and loved Frank SINATRA. His youthful passion was to become a first class news reporter and he developed a gift for photography that lasted to the end. As a teenager he worked part time with the Toronto Telegram which led him to study journalism at Carleton University, where he ran into Joyce, who was travelling the same path. The two of them worked on the Ottawa Journal at the beginning of the 1960's, and then moved up to the Parliamentary Press Gallery in 1962, where Mike had a rollicking career as a political writer for United Press International, the Canadian Press and the Globe and Mail. His political life began in 1968 as Special Assistant for Communications with Finance Minister Ben BENSON; 1972-73, with Hon. Herb GRAY on a Special Task Force on Foreign Investment for the Prime Minister's Office; 1973-79, Executive Assistant to Alastair GILLESPIE, Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce and then Energy and Resources; 1979-80, Office of the Leader of the Opposition Pierre Elliott TRUDEAU, acting director of the Liberal Caucus Research Bureau, Director of Communications for the Liberal Party of Canada, and he partnered with Tom AXWORTHY on Mr. TRUDEAU's campaign speeches in the 1980 election; 1980-82, Special Assistant for Communications with Finance Minister Allan MACEACHAN; 1982-84, Director of Communications in Prime Minister TRUDEAU's Office. Mike then moved on as Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, 1985-93; BMR Communications on direct mail and fund-raising for the Liberal Party of Canada, 1992-93; Communications Advisor to Agriculture and Agrifood Minister Ralph GOODALE, 1994 and a senior consultant to National Public Relations, Ottawa, 1995. As Mike's health concerns accelerated, he retired to pursue free-lance writing and photography. His friendships remained constant and he fought with optimism to the end, led by the remarkable skill and commitment and friendship of his doctor of 23 years, Doug BISHOP, and the special efforts of Dr. Arni SEKAR, Dr. Linda SCULLY and Dr. Mark SILVERMAN. The family offers their most profound thanks for the care Mike received. He was survived by Joyce, his wife and best friend for 35 years; his admiring and loving sister, Betsey MCNEAR (Terry) of Fort Frances and their children Elizabeth, Christina, Michael and Tim and their families. He will be missed profoundly by his niece, Patricia MCCULLAGH (Martin BROOMFIELD) and their children Jessica and Natalie HOA, nephew David MCCULLAGH, sister-in-law Lyn GARLOCK (Brent) and Aunt Kathleen YOUNG of Lethbridge, whom he adored and followed as an example of grace, humour and courage in living life to the fullest. Cremation took place in Ottawa. Interment services and receptions took place at a later date at St. George's Anglican Cemetery, Sutton, Ontario and Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge, Alberta. Joyce and Betsey invited friends and family to an open house at the McGarry Family Reception Centre of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street, Ottawa, 613-233-1143 on Thursday, July 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The family asked that In Memoriam donations be made to the Intensive Care Unit of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, any association for abandoned and abused animals, or the charity closest to the heart.

Bio adapted from online obit at

posted 12 Feb 2018 by Allan Van Duzen   [thank Allan]
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