Smithard, Gillian Renée
It is with great sadness we announce the death of Gillian, December 28, 2019. Gillian died at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus after a brief illness. Her son, Oliver was by her side during her final hours. Gillian was born in Oxford, England on October 17, 1944, the younger of two daughters. Shortly afterwards, Gillian, her mother Joyce (née Edwards, deceased), and her older sister Jean (deceased) were whisked back to their tent home in the countryside where they sheltered from the London bombings during the war, while their father, Herbert (deceased) worked at an aircraft manufacturing facility. Gillian is the mother of Simon Horn (deceased) and Oliver Horn (Patti Murphy). Gillian was a devoted Nana to granddaughters Penelope and Liv Horn. She is also survived by her niece, Theresa Dawson, in Bedford, England, great nieces Heather and Rebecca, and many great-great nieces and nephews. Gillian had a strong and supportive group of friends with whom she enjoyed camping, live music, and weekends at the lake. She particularly enjoyed going to Jerry’s cottage for the annual Cottage-stock music festival and Trish’s cottage for rustic getaways. Gillian described herself as a timid Hertfordshire, England housewife who blossomed in later life. She and her husband at the time moved to Colorado and then Ottawa for his work in the high-tech field. In her 30s, Gillian opted to go back to school at Algonquin College and worked for the Ottawa Regional Housing Authority for 19 years. In her 50s, Gillian taught ESL in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Puerto Angel, Mexico. She fell in love with Mexico and spent many winters there. Gillian also honed her adventure travel skills and ventured to Vietnam, Thailand, India, Nicaragua, Bali, and Peru. She bought her ticket to travel to Mexico after this Christmas, but the universe had other plans. Gillian was a devoted member of Unity Church of Ottawa Spiritual Group, an enthusiastic learner of Spanish, and a recent convert to Qi Gong. Special thanks to the ICU team at the Civic hospital who went above and beyond, in every way possible, to make her last week as comfortable as they could. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at the Ukrainian Banquet and Convention Hall at 1000 Byron Ave. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Service from 3 to 4 p.m. Refreshments from 4 to 5 p.m.
Gillian was a passionate advocate for mental health services and the needy; donations to the Youth Services Bureau or the Ottawa Food Bank would be appreciated.
Hulse, Playfair & McGarry