Ann Elizabeth Hilborn
May 11, 1953 – February 6, 2020
Ann Elizabeth Hilborn passed to the other side on February 6, 2020 after an heroic battle with cancer. Always a competitor, when it came to academics, athletics or every day challenges, she was ultimately the victor not permitting the disease to deprive her of her love of life, her glass more than half-full mindset or her indomitable spirit.
Ann was born in Stratford, Ontario on May 11, 1953 but spent her early years in Belleville, Ontario and Pierrefonds, Quebec where she attended elementary and secondary school. She graduated from Moira Secondary School in Belleville as an Ontario Scholar. Having spent summers during her high school years working at childrens camps in Muskoka, on the shores of Lake Huron and in British Columbia, Ann left home after high school graduation to attend York University in Toronto. There she enrolled in the university’s Glendon College studying for a dual honours degree in French and English. An avid student and voracious reader, Ann blossomed in the multi-lingual, idea-rich environment. While at Glendon she served as a dormitory don and also took part-time employment at the nearby Granite Club. Between her third and fourth years, Ann travelled to Paris, France to be a jeune fille au pair (nanny).
While Ann enjoyed playing tennis, the sport in which she truly excelled was squash. She was also a ‘water baby’ who swam Haliburton lakes each year until well after Labour Day and for whom kayaking was the ultimate escape.
After graduation from Glendon, Ann went to Teachers’ College receiving her B.Ed. Her first job was with the Durham District School Board where she worked until her retirement some 34 years later. She taught at Valley View, Florence M. Heard, Colonel Farewell, Pringle Creek and Jack Miner schools. Initially Ann spent her time in the junior and intermediate grades but in her final years she taught French (to students who named her ‘Madelle’) and visual arts in the gifted program. Although never having been able to have a child of her own, Ann considered herself blessed to have had in her classes hundreds of whom she considered to be her ‘children’. Ann’s creative and sometimes unorthodox approach to teaching provided a less than routine stimulus for young minds. In later years, in widespread locations and at unexpected times, she regularly encountered former students, all of whom shared with her their stories of the good times they had spent together and, most importantly, told her of the positive influence she had had on their early lives.
It was during her teaching years that the girls’ group of which Ann was a founding member was formed. They called themselves LLAVSH – an acronym created from the first letter of the names of Lea, Lyn, Ann, Vicki, Shelley and Heather. Over the years they were always there for one another, be it in good times or, without fail, in more challenging ones as well.
Later in life Ann met Peter Clute through their mutual interest in photography. Peter became the love of Ann’s life, her soul mate and eventually her 24/7 companion. She became part of Peter’s family and he of hers. There were Peter’s boys – Kevin and his wife Lee and their daughter Edie and son Clyde (Dwight); and Craig and his wife Victoria and sons Grayson and Owen (Newmarket). Ann loved them as her own and they enjoyed being with her and loved her unreservedly. She was thrilled.
At numerous gatherings Peter was introduced to Ann’s special Aunt Ruth, the extended Taylor, Atkinson and Hilborn families and Ann’s siblings – her brother Dave, his wife Terri (Markham) and daughter Melanie (Vancouver) and son Daniel and his wife Meg (East Gwillimbury); sister Linda McDonald and her husband Brian and sons Jordan and Bryce (Kitchener); and brother John and his wife Jessica (London). The love and support from all of them meant so much to their older sister.
Ann and Peter were members of the Oshawa Camera Club where Ann became known to many as the ‘Flower Lady’ because of the subject matter, unique composition and fine detail in the photos that she created. With her artistic talent and unceasing desire to learn, she rapidly developed from a casual photographer into a skilled one. Ann won many awards in club competitions, juried shows, competitions that attracted hundreds of entries from the Greater Toronto area and even in several international competitions.
In 2014 Ann and Peter moved to Peterborough where they could take advantage of a more relaxed lifestyle and the opportunity to be closer to the outdoor environment that they both so enjoyed. In addition to joining the Kawartha Camera Club, where they made new friends, they participated in the annual SPARK photo festival, each year hosting an exhibit of their work.
Peterborough was special for Ann. She was the one who found the home where she and Peter lived. It was situated in a beautiful location adjacent to and buffered by greenspace that is part of the Trans Canada Trail. From the kitchen window Ann could see a white pine in the distance which she called her Tom Thomson tree. Neighbours provided much appreciated support for the newcomers and living so close to the hospital was an unexpected bonus as it turned out.
Special thanks go to Ann’s primary care physicians Dr. Neera Jayabalan, Dr. Jonathan Mallory and Dr. Sonya Swift as well as to Drs. Dixon, Meade, Preston, Dobson, Wilkins and Verma and to the dedicated nursing and support staff of both the Peterborough Regional Health Center Cancer Care clinic and the hospital’s palliative care unit D2 for their commitment to and delivery of quality, compassionate, personalized care. The challenges that confronted Ann would have been impossible for her to face without their professional support and always considerate, caring ways.
Donations in memory of Ann can be made to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation, to Oshawa’s Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre, to the WE Foundation, Toronto – a youth initiative that she admired and celebrated – or to a charity of your choice.
There will be a celebration of Ann’s life on April 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm at Canterbury Gardens, 1414 Sherbrooke Street, Peterborough. That will be preceded, beginning at 1:30 pm, by a 30 minute musical prelude providing an opportunity for personal reflection.
In body Ann may be gone, but in spirit she will live on for all who knew this very special person.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Ann Elizabeth Hilborn
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
February 16, 2020
for Peter & the family
I will certainly miss a very special lady & we will miss her smile every day but heaven will be a better place now!!!!!!
My sympathies go out to you & your family.
February 13, 2020
Peter and family
I wanted to express my deepest sympathy about the passing of your dear Ann. She was so positive and an absolute pleasure transporting from test to test during her stay in PRHC. You both were so nice and it was a pleasure meeting you both I looked forward to our chats and seeing you hence the little visits when I was on her floor.
Peter you could see the love you both had for each other and I am deeply sorry for your loss. Keep the memories close and my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
Patient Transport at PRHC
February 10, 2020
Madelle is the reason I speak French. Her classes always drew out the best in us. You didn't work hard for Madelle's classes because you had to, but because you wanted to. I aspire to have the same influence on my own students someday! If she considered us her children, and I consider my students my kids, it follows that she is survived by untold hordes of grandchildren roaming the schools today.
February 9, 2020
I am so sorry to hear about Ann...my heart aches for you and all of your family. I enjoyed getting to know both you and Ann during Christine ‘s time as Ann’s roommate on D2. No matter what the day / night brought to Ann she always smiled with those bright eyes of hers. I will always cherish those memories. Ann might be gone but she will always be in my heart.
February 8, 2020
My condolences to Peter and family. Ann was an exceptionally talented photographer and a wonderful person. So sorry to learn of your loss.
Bob Bourke OCC
February 8, 2020
Dear Peter I was at the hospital Thursday and dropped by the room. I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending heartfelt condolences to all who loved Ann.