In Memory of




Obituary for Ethel Grace Whillans

Whillans, Ethel Grace
(March 29, 1921 – Jan 11, 2021)

Passed away peacefully at the Elisabeth Bruyère Centre on January 11, 2021 in her 100th year. Predeceased by her loving husband Dr. James Anderson Whillans. Mother of Nancy Ann Whillans (Pierre Siklos) of Waterloo and James David Whillans of Ottawa. Grandmother of Patrick Siklos, James Siklos-Whillans and Morgan Whillans.

Born and raised in rural Quebec (Charteris/Campbells Bay) she trained and graduated from the Cornwall General Hospital as a registered nurse in 1943. Following a brief period of additional training in Montreal, she returned to Ottawa, where she met her husband of 53 years at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. She was married in 1946 and accompanied her husband to Yellowknife NWT, where they worked for a year, and then to Hartford Connecticut and Chicago Illinois where her husband “Jim” completed his specialization in Pediatrics. Settling in Ottawa, she was actively involved in managing her husband’s office and business (the Pediatric Center). She worked side-by-side in his office, while at the same time, raising her two children.

In the late 1970s she launched a new career with her husband, successfully building and managing a growing portfolio of real estate investments in which she maintained an active interest and involvement until her recent passing.

She is remembered by all who knew her as an independent, straightforward, capable woman, whose no-nonsense approach saw few barriers to success that could not be overcome with persistence and hard work. At the same time, she felt it was important to help, encourage and support all those around her and those with whom she worked. She was appreciated as someone who gave “good and sound advice” on life’s important decisions and, as a result, formed many lasting and close relationships that endured throughout her life.

Due to current COVID restrictions a private graveside service was held.

Special thanks for the kind and compassionate care she received in her final days at the Elisabeth Bruyère palliative unit.