It is with great sadness that the family announces Struchan Gilson, 63, of 1313 King’s Highway, Fort Frances, Ont., passed away suddenly at home on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005.
Struchan was born Jan. 24, 1942 in Coleraine, Great Britain to the late Eric and Elizabeth Gilson. Educated in Great Britain until 1955, he immigrated to Canada with his mother and late brother, Piers.
He graduated from Waterloo Lutheran University with a teaching degree. Prior to teaching in Fort Frances, Struchan taught in Waterloo and Orillia, Ont., where he met his devoted wife, Laura Patricia Steer.
United in marriage on April 17, 1965, Struchan and Pat started a family which included Eric and Jennifer (Banks) of Gibbons, Alta., Garfield and Jane (MacNeil) of Halifax, N.S., and Rylee and Rich Raymond of St. Albert, Alta.
Grandchildren include Andrew, Iain, Melissa, Mackenzie, Kaelan, and Benjamin.
Tragically, Garfield passed away suddenly only a few weeks ago.
Struchan was a loving and caring husband, and a wonderful father. He taught his children the value of honesty, fairness, and selflessness through endless unspoken examples.
Struchan was especially proud of all his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren. He was always eager to describe the latest accomplishment of his family to anyone who would ask.
In 1967, Struchan began his teaching and coaching career in Fort Frances as the school board’s physical education consultant, followed by positions within the elementary and high schools.
While teaching was his profession, coaching was his passion. Struchan devoted countless hours to coaching the Fort Frances High School girls’ soccer and volleyball teams.
Highly successful, many teams made it to the all-Ontario championships.
Most importantly, regardless of skill level, Struchan ensured each player felt they played an important role in the success of the team.
Following his retirement from teaching, Struchan entered municipal politics. At the time of his death, he was serving his third-consecutive term on council.
He felt strongly that government should serve the interests of the people and he strived to practice that belief. He was proud to be a representative of a community which had given him so much opportunity and support.
Some of Struchan’s other passions included running, soccer, and hockey.
Physical fitness and an active lifestyle were cornerstones to his life. He was an active player with the local men’s hockey and soccer leagues, skated daily during the winter, and often could be seen running or biking throughout the town.
Struchan believed that life was precious, unpredictable, and wondrous. He lived life to the fullest, and did not miss the chance to make the most of it. Struchan spoke his mind, lived honestly, and was a man of his word. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005 at 10 a.m. at the ’52 Canadians Arena in Fort Frances. Mr. Jack Cameron will officiate, with a private family interment in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
A reception upstairs will follow the memorial service.
Honourary pallbearers are all those fortunate enough to be coached by Struchan over the years.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, 920 Frenette Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3N4.