On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, Lillian Cousen passed away peacefully at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital at the age of 96. Lillian was born in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England on March 7, 1924. An only child, Lillian was sensitive to the suffering of animals and became vegetarian as a girl.
Lillian emigrated to Canada in the mid-1950’s with her husband Les, a chartered accountant, settling in British Columbia. They made many life-long friends in Victoria, and later in Ottawa, where both were federal public servants, Lillian working for Statistics Canada. After retiring, they moved back to England: a happy period cut short by Les’s death in 1984.
Lillian regrouped: moved back to Ottawa, found an apartment, and began volunteer work, first with the Seniors Council of Ottawa, then, starting in 1988, fourteen years with the Ottawa-Carleton Health Department (now Ottawa Public Health). In 2012, OPH established The Lillian Cousen Volunteer Award of Outstanding Contribution, awarded annually in her honour.
Lillian had many health challenges later in life, but none were felt more keenly than the loss of her sight and independence. The care received from many quarters - the Champlain LHIN, agency partners, physicians, nurses and the staff of Villagia-in-the-Glebe was indispensable, and appreciated by her friends, as Lillian was.