Gerald L. OHLSEN
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OHLSEN, Gerald L.
Loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on April 1, 2015 at the age of 69. Husband to Mavaia; father to Meharu, Natalie, Michael, Lita and Jack and grandfather to several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Gerald was a career diplomat whose focus was on the international promotion of human rights, democracy and the engagement of civil society in public policy. Gerald previously led Canadian missions in Africa, Asia and South America, as well as having held senior advisory positions at the Canadian foreign ministry. After he retired from External Affairs, Gerry focused on peace initiatives in Afghanistan. In keeping with Gerry's wishes, his body was donated to medical science. Friends may pay respects at the St. John's Anglican Church on the corner of Elgin and Somerset on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are greatly appreciated to the Stroke Survivors Association and Peacebuild.

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Published in Ottawa Citizen on Apr. 10, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
April 4, 2019
Gerry stays in our memory as a mentor and great friend!
Doris Danler
March 14, 2016
Gerald L. Ohlsen was my grandpa, It's been 11 months and 14 days since he died. I didn't get to see him very often but when I did, I had the best time with him. He would always talk about the amazing things he did and he would always make me laugh. Honestly, I didn't know so many thing happened to him but when my mom told me that, I realized that he would hide his pain just to make me happy. I love him so much and I just wish that I could see him one more time just to tell him I love him. R.I.P Grandpa :) <3
Sophia Ohlsen-Fueger
January 20, 2016
I met Gerry at the yoga studio. At the time, I was completing my Master's in St. Paul's Peace and Conflict Studies Program. Gerry was instrumental in focusing my studies on the Delta and provided me with the opportunity to contribute to the work for the Conflict Prevention Working Group. He really inspired me to find my own agency and not become a pessimist about global affairs. My thoughts prayers to his family.
Janna Rinaldi
November 12, 2015
Gerry and I used to hang out after local NDP meetings and talk about international politics and Guyana, where we both spent some time. He was always up to something, had it in for election signs put up wrong, generally could be convinced to help with most things however silly ;), and would sometimes talk about his experiences in Nigeria in particular, which from the sound of them were fairly heroic. It's been 5 years since we'd spoken as I moved away after graduating, so I'm so sorry to see this. His health had been bothering him for awhile, but I'd hoped things would go better once he simplified things a bit more...sigh. Rest in peace Gerry, I'll always remember the good times and the shenanigans--thinking of you out of the blue is what brought me here today. Thank you for the invaluable support as a young activist, for the campaigns, the arguments, the stories and the company. And to Mavaia and family: hugs, deep appreciation, and peaceful wishes. xx
June 20, 2015
Gerry was a great friend during our time in Nigeria. It was his dedication and commitment to human rights and human dignity, which convinced me to join the foreign service. He was a great role model for me. We only learned today about his passing away. Thank you Gerry!
Doris Danler
May 23, 2015
Gerry was always so helpful in every endeavour. He was a great humanitarian and a steady presence. He will live on in our hearts.
Pam FitzGerald
April 14, 2015
Thanks for your sincere effort to make Nigeria better while working as Canada's number one in Nigeria. Sincere condolences to Mavaia, and your family
Ade Sanusi
April 12, 2015

I had just met Gerald while preparing for our recent fundraising event. We seemed to have lots in common and I was looking forward to getting to know him better. Thinking of you and your family. Jennifer Simpson on behalf of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan - Ottawa Chapter.
April 11, 2015
Saddened to discover Gerry's familiar face among the Obituaries. We worked together as Co-chairs of Glebe C.I. School Council almost ten years ago. Gerry was a tenacious agent of change at the local community level and on the International stage. I admired his continued efforts, despite his own health setbacks, to make the world a kinder and gentler place. Rest in peace Gerry. Sincere condolences to all the Ohlsen family.
Michelle Parks
April 10, 2015
I did not know Gerald by his international development work, but rather as someone who cared passionately about his home turf, Centretown Ottawa. He was a local global guy and the community will miss him.
Catherine Boucher
April 10, 2015
Blessed are the peacemeakers, like Gerry. We shall miss him terribly but be inspired by his dedication and his passion.
Roy Culpeper
April 10, 2015
I only worked with Gerry for a short period in Sri Lanka ......those good old days!!
My condolences to his family members.
Pat Walsh
April 10, 2015
Gerry was a very valued colleague and a fine human being. He will be missed. Condolences to his family.
Eduardo del Buey
April 10, 2015
You never actually leave this earth when the blessings of your great works are enjoyed by others long after you are no longer visible to us.
Canada West
April 10, 2015
Gerry was such a kind and inspirational person. We attended a Yoga class together at JPCC, and often spent time before and after chatting about current events, our families and his interesting career. He worked so hard on regaining his health and keeping a positive and inquisitive attitude. I will miss him. My sincere condolences to his wife and to his entire family.
Rebecca Cooney
April 10, 2015
My best wishes are extended to Mavaia for the loving care she had for Gerry during his active life doing the things he loved to do, and for the more difficult challenging times of the last few years when Gerry needed her constant attention. May both rest in peace ad satisfaction for the good they brought into the lives of so many people.
Paddy and Paul
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