THE HONORABLE MICHAEL HOLCOMBE WILSON P.C., C.C. November 4, 1937 - February 10, 2019 It is with great sadness that the family of Michael Wilson announce his passing peacefully at home after a battle with cancer. Michael is survived by Margie, his devoted wife of 54 years, sisters Wendy Lawson and Tricia Younger, son Geoff (Joanne Poulin), daughter Lara O'Brien (Sean) and grandchildren, Patrick and Thomas Wilson, Ciara, Kalin and Eamon O'Brien. He was predeceased by his son Cameron. Michael inspired so many of us across a great spectrum of initiatives. In business, he was determined to help his clients grow to achieve potential beyond their vision, and lend a perspective of experience and support to evolving technologies. In public life, he was devoted to tackling issues that were plaguing our country, and he was committed to finding solutions that set us on a path to success, particularly in trade. Whether as Finance Minister or Ambassador to the US, he had a full agenda. Educating the future generations of great Canadians was another important effort. As Chancellor of Trinity first, and then University of Toronto he inspired a great many graduating students as he gave them their diplomas and reminded them of their potential to achieve and suggested they might 'give back' to their communities. Perhaps his greatest impact has come in the advocation for mental health. Underfunded and misunderstood, it was a difficult to talk openly about a disease that affects so many people. For Michael Wilson, it was a challenge that was not insurmountable, as many felt. Much has been done to shed light on this issue and to create positive energy to find better treatments. Remarkably, he ensured that had a great deal of time to spend with family and friends. If he was able to work in a golf game, fishing or skiing trip, it was a fine way to relax. He had a gift to be able to mentor so many that he has touched in his years. Michael was deeply honoured to be appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, which recognizes those that 'have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.' Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam ('They desire a better country'). A visitation will be held at the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West, on Thursday, February 14th, from 4 - 6 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Paul's Bloor Street, 227 Bloor Street East on Saturday, February 16th, at 11 a.m., followed by a reception. Memorial donations may be made to CAMH, PMCF or Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Feb. 13 to Feb. 17, 2019.