{ "" }
Share ALAN's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
July 24, 1948 – May 15, 2016
After a brief illness, Alan died in his 68th year at the Ottawa General Hospital on Sunday, May 15, 2016 with his loving wife Christine by his side. Alan was one of Canada's leading public servants having served as a Deputy Minister in several federal government departments, including Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Environment Canada and as Associate Deputy Minister of Health. Trained in Economics at Queen's University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, he spent the early part of his career at the International Monetary Fund, the Royal Bank of Canada and was the Policy Director of the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (the Macdonald Commission). As a consequence of his work at the Macdonald Commission, he became the Assistant Chief Negotiator for the Canada - USA Free Trade Agreement that ultimately led to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It was while they worked together at the Free Trade Office that Alan and Christine met, fell in love, married and lived happily with their three girls. In addition to his exceptional working career, Alan was a very active retiree. He served on the Steering Committee of Sustainable Prosperity, a policy and research think tank focused on making markets work for the environment. He was Chairman of The Centre for the Study of Living Standards and more recently, Chairman of the Government of Canada Audit Committee. He also became a certified sommelier and was in the process of completing a second Masters Degree in Film Studies at Carleton University. He was part of Les Marmitons International in Ottawa, a gastronomic and social club of gentlemen who share a common interest in fine food, wine and the culinary arts. Alan and Christine enjoyed their time together in Ottawa and in their splendid home in Tuscany, as well as at the family cottage near Bristol, Quebec. They travelled extensively together and most recently spent time in Barbados accompanied by their family. In addition to Christine, he will be greatly missed by his mother Eva, his beloved daughters, Jessica Nymark (Drew Black), Wellsley Hamilton (Andre Gagnon) and Whitney Hamilton (Kevin Cook), as well as his brother Wayne Nymark of Vancouver, BC, his sister Diane Nymark (Norman Allan) of Ottawa and his much adored grandchildren, Gabriel Zimmerman, Anden and Connor Black, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor) on Tuesday, May 17 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Celebration of Alan's Life will take place at the Westin Hotel, 11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, the following day, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Sustainable Prosperity ( would be appreciated.
Condolences / Tributes / Donations at
Hulse, Playfair & McGarry

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen on May 17, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
26 entries
June 6, 2016
Christine and family,
Please accept our condolences in the loss of Mr.Nymark. May God embrace you in comfort during this difficult time.
violet Goveas Albert Opticians
June 4, 2016
My condolences to the Nymark family. Alan contributed much to good public policy and was a modest man, his achievements notwithstanding. A couple of months after he left HRSDC the organization I worked for, the Alliance of Sector Councils, had a dinner to thank him and honour his contributions. He thanked us profusely and said he was surprised to be remembered!!
Andrew Cardozo
May 24, 2016
I am deeply saddened by the news of Alan's untimely death. He was a great public servant and a wonderful colleague and friend.
Charles Stedman
May 22, 2016
Christine and family
My condolences in the loss of Alan, thinking of you at this difficult time.
Cathy Crilly
Retired from AAFC
Cathy Crilly
May 21, 2016
My deep sympathy to Christine and the family, and my regret at being out of town this past week. Alan always had a smile and a good riposte, especially in tough situations. An exceptionally fine colleague, wise, balanced and so competent. Far too young to be gone.
Victor Rabinovitch
May 20, 2016
It was with great sadness and shock that I learned of Alan's passing. My respect for him as a colleague was enormous. I send my deep condolences and affection to his family during this difficult time.
David Paget
May 19, 2016
Heartfelt condolences to all the Nymark family. He will be missed.
Linda and Craig
Linda Goldsmith
May 19, 2016
We are so saddened by the tragic loss of Alan. I remember him well as being an intelligent, supportive colleague and a great person.
With my deepest sympathy
Moya Greene
May 18, 2016
Condolences and syncere sympathy to the Nymark family for your loss. I remember Alan when he arrived one day to see Ian Stewart at the PCO. A long time has passed since then - he was a remarkable and likeable person and achieved much. I had
occasion to run into him now and then and he told me of his home
in Italy where I was born. He will be missed by many. Blessings,

Sylvana De Bortoli
Sylvana De Bortoli
May 18, 2016
I was very sadden to hear of Alan's passing. He was a wonderful person and an outstanding public servant. He truly did make Canada a better place. He will be missed by all. Christine, my deepest sympathies to you and the family.
David Good
May 18, 2016
Deepest condolences to the Nymark family. It was always really nice to see and talk to Alan at various policy meetings and social gatherings.
Jai Persaud
May 18, 2016
On returning home from a trip abroad, I was shocked and saddened to learn of Alan's passing. He was an outstanding public servant. I particularly appreciated our time together at the Trade Negotiations Office where Alan played a critical role. My deepest condolences to Christine and the whole family.
Gordon Ritchie
May 18, 2016
Christine I was very sadden to learn of Alan's passing he made a great contribution to public policy in this country and will be missed by many my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family HERB
Herb Metcalfe
May 18, 2016
To All of Alan's Family, please accept my condolences. Alan was a very special person. I had dealings with him through the PMO and the MacDonald Commission. He was so even tempered, a pleasure to work with. He was intelligent and funny.
Although, I hadn't seen Alan in years, his passing at such a young age really made me sad.
You are in my prayers
Victoria Chase
May 18, 2016

Christine and family. I am so very sorry for your pain and loss. Hie departure is also a Canadian loss as you know. It was an honour for me to have him as my DM in my last stint in the Public Service at Environment. He had a brilliant mind, was a great deputy and very supportive of his team . I learnt so much from him . Une grande perte pour vous, sa famille, evidemment, mais pour la fonction publique et les canadiens qu'il a servi brillamment.
May 18, 2016
My sincere condolences to Christine and the family. I worked with Alan a number of different times in my career, dating back to the Trade Negotiations Office in the 1980's. He was intelligent, thoughtful and had a wry sense of humour. I was saddened to hear of his passing much too early as he obviously was fully enjoying his family time, interests and leisure pursuits.
Joanne Rae
May 18, 2016
I remember fondly working with Alan when he was at Health Canada. Je garde de très bons souvenirs d'avoir travaillé avec Alan lorsqu'il était à Santé Canada. He clearly believed in the value of the public service. Il croyait sincèrement à la valeur de la fonction publique.
Canadians were extremely well served by his commitment and professionalism. Les Canadiens et les Canadiennes ont été exceptionnellement bien servis grâce à son engagement et son professionnalisme.
On behalf of all his friends at Health Canada, our most sincere condolences to the Nymark family. De la part de tous ses amis à Santé Canada, nots plus sincères sympathies à la famille Nymark.

Paul Glover
Associate Deputy Minister/Sous-ministre délégué
Health Canada / Santé Canada
May 18, 2016
I had the honour of working with Alan in three government departments. He was a brilliant public servant and leader. He listened, was insightful and focused and provided clear direction. He was an action-oriented policy wonk, I know he would have taken this as a compliment. He achieved a great deal in his career, and it would appear he continued to do so in a far too short "retirement". I did not see him often in recent times, but I feel a deep loss. Truly a life well lived. To Christine and his family, my deepest sympathies.

Diane Carroll
May 18, 2016
I was sad to hear of Alan's passing. Many memories of his time in the PS. I am sending thoughts and my sympathy to Christine and family. Cheryl and Ian Fraser
May 17, 2016
Although I only knew Alan for a brief period of time while we did our MAs together at Carleton, he left a great impression on me with his humour and kindness. My thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time. My deepest condolences.
May 17, 2016
I was very honored and proud to have worked for Alan. My thoughts and prayers are with Alan's family in this time of sorrow.
Ria Sena Demos
May 17, 2016
Many fond memories of working with Alan. Our thoughts are with you Christine and the family
Alex and Judy Manson
May 17, 2016
Wellsley, Whitney & Family,
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your Poppy. You are in my thoughts. xo
Chelsea Nesbitt
May 17, 2016
Many fine memories of Alan from our misspent youth and public service careers. He was always doing the most interesting things with great contributions to Canada and Canadians. Thoughts with Christine and the family and all his many friends.
John Watson
May 17, 2016
It was an honor to have had the opportunity to work for Alan at Environment Canada. I was so saddened to hear of his passing. My most sincere condolences to Alan's family.
Deborah Davis
May 17, 2016
Our thoughts are with your family at this time of sorrow. Sincere condolences.

Christine and Jim McKeen
Christine McKeen
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences