MILNE, Rose Eleanor
C.M., D. Litt., D. Hum., S.M., LLD.
May 14, 1925 - May 17, 2014
Eleanor died peacefully at home, with loving family, friends, and care-givers by her side, three days after her 89th birthday. Born in Saint John, NB, daughter of William Harold Milne and Irene Eleanor Mary Gilhooly, and sister of the late William Joseph Milne, she is survived by her sister Barbara Lambert, and by many nephews, nieces and very dear friends.
A happy and generous nature coupled with artistic ability flowered into a life inspired by intellectual curiosity, spiritual depths and a love of helping others. Deeply interested in the nature of all things, from the almost invisible to the grandeur of the universe, she expressed that fascination in works of art in many media.
Her education began in Saint John and Montreal, with secondary education at Convents of the Sacred Heart (the City House and the Sault). Professional training followed at the Montreal Museum School of Fine Arts, McGill University Laboratory of Anatomy, Central College of Arts and Crafts in London, England, l'École des Beaux Arts, Montreal, and Syracuse University, U.S.A.
She was a Member of the Order of Canada. She also received many awards including four Honorary Doctorates (Carleton, Windsor, York and Queens Universities).
Eleanor Milne was widely known as Dominion Sculptor (1962-1993). One of her major works is the carved stone frieze entitled the "History of Canada Series" located in the lobby of the House of Commons, Parliament Buildings. Eleanor explains the origin of the design, the method of work and the meaning of each part of the frieze in the illustrated book "Carved in Stone"/ "Saisi dans la Pierre." She designed the stained glass windows in the House of Commons which depict the provinces and territories of Canada. Other public works include the first Chair for the Speaker of the Northwest Territories and carved soapstone sculptures on side arms; bas-relief and free- standing stone sculptures on Parliament Building walls and Senate lobby; restoration and supervision of works of art and of the buildings' fabric; and repoussé copper abstract sculpture for Public Works.
After retiring as Dominion Sculptor, Eleanor accepted private commissions and experimented with computer art. Intellectually active throughout her life, she continued to unravel the mysteries of the universe, spending her last days playfully debating issues such as the ethics of teleportation.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held on June 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 400 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa, with a Reception to follow in the Church Hall. (The Church only is wheelchair accessible.)
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen from Jun. 6 to Jun. 7, 2014.