Green Funeral Home

600 Reid Ave, Fort Frances, ON


Mrs. Patricia Gilson

May 23, 1941March 19, 2020

It is with sadness that the family of Laura Patricia Gilson (nee Steer), 78, of Ottawa, Ontario announces her passing away on March 19th, 2020. Born May 23rd, 1941 in Collingwood, Ontario, Laura, better known as Pat, grew up in Midland, Ontario as an only child of Garfield and Laura Steer. Known as ‘Patsy’ by family and friends during her younger and wilder years, she loved to sing and dance and had a passion for life. Pat was a Registered Nurse, graduating from Orillia’s Soldiers Memorial in 1963. After graduation, she lived and worked in Orillia as an operating room nurse. It was during this time that Pat met her husband and love of her life, Struchan Gilson, a teacher. Shortly after their marriage on April 17th, 1965, Struchan took a job as a physical education consultant for the Rainy River School Board in 1967 in the small northern Ontario town of Fort Frances. This job was only to last for a few years. During the 40 years they lived in Fort Frances, Pat worked at LaVerendrye Hospital as well as Rainy Crest Home for the Aged until health issues led to early retirement in 1996. Professionally, she was an active member of ONA (Ontario Nurses Association). Pat took great pride in her work; she provided compassionate care for all and made many friends throughout the years with colleagues and patients. Pat and Struchan raised three children: Eric, Garfield and Rylee. They built a loving home in the west end of Fort Frances. While the mother of three children, many of her children’s friends loved her as a ‘second’ mother. Pat enjoyed rally car racing when she was younger and later spent many wonderful summers at the family cabin located on Crow Rock Inlet on Rainy Lake. Pat was renowned for making colourful theme cakes for her children’s school events and was an avid sewer and knitter. In her 40’s, she could often be seen ‘bombing’ around town on her little white scooter. She collected frogs, made quilts, dabbled in painting, woodworking and loved people watching. After their retirement, Struchan and Pat loved to travel. If they were not visiting their children, they were trekking across the country in their RV or travelling to Alaska or Europe. After celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in April 2005 with their entire family, tragically, Pat and Struchan lost their second child, Garfield, in July 2005. While grieving the unexpected loss of her son, Pat suffered a heart attack. She recovered only to suffer the devastating loss of her love, Struchan, who passed away unexpectedly on August 18th, 2005. It was after her husband’s passing that Pat left Fort Frances to move to St. Albert, Alberta to be close to Eric and Rylee. Always a supportive and loving mother, in 2010, she moved to Ottawa to help her daughter and spent a couple of years helping to raise three of her grandchildren. In 2013, Pat returned to her roots in Midland, Ontario where she reunited with childhood friends and family. Of particular note, her first cousin Sharon and friend Patti remained close friends and confidants throughout her life and gave her much comfort and support while living in Midland. Pat moved back to Ottawa, Ontario in the fall of 2018 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. A beloved and cherished grandmother to Andrew, Melissa, Iain, Mackenzie, Kaelan and Ben and step-grandmother to Charlotte and Simon, Pat took special pride in all of their accomplishments and successes. Always willing to help and give advice along with colourful commentary, she often provided extended babysitting sessions, lent her car to one of the new drivers in the family, and was always concerned about everyone no matter where they were or what they were doing. Her grandchildren will miss her dearly. Pat is survived by her children and spouses: Eric and his wife Jennifer (Sturgeon County, AB), Rylee and her husband Dan (Ottawa, ON) and by Garfield’s wife Jane (Halifax). She is predeceased by her husband Struchan (2005), and her son Garfield (2005). Her wishes were to be cremated and laid to rest with her husband in Fort Frances, Ontario. A celebration of life will take place in August. If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Online condolences may be made in care of www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com.


  • Service will be held at a later date


Mrs. Patricia Gilson

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Margaret Ellen Jackson

March 30, 2020

Eric and Rylee and Families,
Paul and I send hugs to you...your Mom and Dad had a place in our Fort Frances time...
Dad was always so helpful to me in sports and he surely loved his soccer...I still love soccer...such a great game for kids.
Thinking back on staff parties, retirements...all fond memories...
Your Mom was in hospital with a setback and Dad visiting....thinking that is when our grandson William was born and we visited with them both as we had moved to Rainy River.
Rylee you always had a sparkle ...enjoyed you as a student.
You had an accident enroute to TB...my sister Kathy helped you out...maybe enroute from Dad's funeral???
Your Mom had a good sense of humour and always enjoyed her company.
We are in Kingston since 2014...our son Brent and wife Lynel and two grands 11 and 14....Paul was born in K. and lived here until he was 10 and his parent had a cottage here which his brother has now so Kingston was not a stretch for us to move...we were here each year and sometimes many times.
Take care and know you are in our thoughts.
Margaret Ellen Jackson

Catherine & Roger Goguen

March 23, 2020

To the Batista and Gilson families. Roger and I want to express our deepest condolences for the loss of your mother, grand-mother, mother in law and a sweet loving person. She was such a grand lady that we thoroughly enjoyed chatting with on our visits to the Batistas. We are sad that she’s no longer with us but know for a fact that Pat will be deeply anchored in our hearts. We loved and still love her wit, smile, and magnetic presence. Rest In Peace lovely Pat xo