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Mimi Gillies

Mimi Gillies

Sunday, July 8th, 1934 - Wednesday, April 8th, 2020
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Obituary

GILLIES, Mimi (nee Johnston)
Our beloved Mimi died in the early hours of Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at the age of 85. Mimi did not care for euphemisms about death and chose not to use them, so we won't say she passed away - rather, she died peacefully in her own home, as she hoped would be the case, with her youngest daughter by her side.
Mimi was predeceased by her husband of over 60 years, Rev. Donald Gillies, and her parents,
Lillian and Lockhart Johnston. She will be lovingly remembered by her children Stephen
(Deanne), Maureen, Donna (Kevin) and John. Mimi was adored by her grandchildren Erin (Adam), Shauna (Jeremy), Craig (Katrina), Matthew, Kiera, Allie (Tyler), Geoff, Jenna, Sara, Lisa and the late Lily, as well as great-grandchildren Olivia, Henry and Teddy. Mimi was the dear sister of Donald (Helen) and Lock (late Anne) and sister-in-law of Mary (late Paul) and Barbara (Jim). Mimi will also be remembered by her extended family and many friends, including communities in Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto and on Muldrew Lake.
Mimi was the kindest person anyone has ever met, with a loving heart and generous spirit. A gifted soprano, she performed on the radio from the age of 9 onward, singing in countless shows and festivals and winning many awards. Mimi was a much loved kindergarten teacher at Huron Street Public School in Toronto for over 30 years, and a frequent volunteer in the community. In the summer, Mimi was often found swimming at the lake or tending to her large moss bed and gardens. She loved crossword puzzles, contemporary fiction, travel that involved beaches and beach drinks, shopping at flea markets, a nice glass of Dubonnet at 4pm, George Clooney, murder mystery shows and ice cream. Mimi never swore but was highly skilled in using innuendo while feigning complete innocence. She was the best and we loved her very much.
Even in the final hours of her life, Mimi was singing and making people smile. We are grateful for the love and laughter she brought to our lives, and will forever cherish the time we had with her. Memorial services will be postponed at this time. In lieu of flowers, a donation to one of Mimi's favourite charities would be appreciated (The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Covenant House, The Kiwanis Music Festival.)
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Private Condolence

Mark Irwin

Posted at 02:00pm
Mimi was always a constant in our Gilles/ Stapleton/Irwin/Dilworth/Norfolk/Smith/Johnson get togethers. So many names and faces and cousins and aunts and changes. The Smith sisters each had 3 kids so 9 cousins was the limit of my knowledge at an early age but Mimi was able to treat us as individuals, asking about our school, music, sports and, later in life, girlfriends and boyfriend. Our lives were guided by her interest, enthusiasm and example, even though we didn't know it at the time. Thank you Aunt Mimi for your laughter, support and invisible hand in making all of our lives more like yours - honest, charitable and true. You will be missed and you will always be with us. Much Love and great respect for you forever.
Mark Irwin and Matt Irwin.
WM

William Mah

Posted at 05:07pm
Bill & Peggy Mah who were Don Gillies Mimi's husband (Rev.) his first parishioners in the small sub-division of Park Royal. Don & Mimi moved from our little church in Clarkson to Bloor Street United. Church. Mimi taught school as mentioned in the obituary. We did not see to much of them as we raised our families. We moved to Orillia, as we had a cottage on Lake Couchiching. We did the snow bird thing for ten winters in Fort Myers ,Florida. Don & Mimi had a cottage on the Muldrew Lakes. We made contact again, and we exchanged visits from our condo to their cottage at Muldrew Lake twice a year. Spring & Fall.
We send our deep regrets to their family of them both leaving us. We both are richer for having them in our lives.
Sincerely, Bill & Peggy Mah/Orillia.
FH

Frances Hillier

Posted at 03:48pm
Mimi was like a bit of sunshine and could brighten anyone's day just be being near her. Heather says Mimi had a contagious smile and that is very true! She and Don were warm, welcoming hosts at home and at their cottage. One thing I loved about Mimi is that she would break into song at any moment and anywhere... even when she felt very ill. A surprisingly happy moment for me was when I saw her briefly in ICU. Even though Mimi was having difficulty breathing, I said a sentence that ended in the words '...over there' and Mimi broke into the full chorus from the wartime song 'Over There' (and Donna joined her). It really demonstrated Mimi's positive, strong and determined attitude. Sending lots of love to all of you. Wishing we could be there in person for you right now... Greg, Frances and Heather Hillier xox
RE

Ronald Evans

Posted at 06:05am
Last June Mimi attended the 60th Alumnae Anniversary of the Emmanuel graduates of Emmanuel College. It was my privilege to drive Mimi and Myra Breightaupt to the college so they could attend our celebration. Our wives have always been an integral part of reunions. We have been in many ways a family keeping in touch and supporting each other. Even prior to 1959 Mimi and other wives attended special seminars given by our professors. I am pleased to know we have been a part of Mimi's very extended and inclusive "family". We love her and miss her.
CP

Carole Payne

Posted at 10:18pm
Mimi was indeed the very best. I always remember Don repeating the story about your mom, when as a new young minister... yes, I’ve known them both since then! ... expected she would sit down and pray with him, somehow expected her to be your regular preacher’s wife.... not our Mimi. Always herself, generous, kind, open hearted to everyone. Don and all you kids and your kids, and their kids, at the centre of her universe. And always with space to treasure old friends, too. And always with the camera to document and share memories. One pretty special lady. Condolences on her death. I’m glad she left you singing... Your dad will have already cooked up a storm to welcome her.
Carole Payne
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