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May 2, 2014

Farewell to a Fellow Genealogist

Farewell to a Fellow Genealogist
J. Brian Gilchrist passed away in Ontario on May 1 2014. He was a good man and a very learned genealogist. In fact he was scheduled to speak at the OGS seminar this weekend. I met Brian virtually several years ago when I was trying to find the exact location of my father's grave.

I knew what Cemetery my father was in (St. James Crematorium in Toronto) and at the age of 19 I tried to find him so I could visit. Cemetery office staff  told me that he was in an unmarked grave in what is known as Potter's Field and they did not know the exact location.  Many years later I mentioned on a mailing list that I desperately wanted to find his grave and visit. Lo and behold, Brian stepped in and offered to help.

Within 2 days I had the exact location of my father's grave and a name of the person I should contact about having a memorial marker placed or my father's ashes moved. Within a month my father's ashes were sent to my home and I arranged for re-interment in a Cemetery in Guelph where his mother, father and brothers are all buried.

And so 49 years after my father died suddenly at the age of 47, we held a Memorial Service for him in Woodlawn Cemetery in Guelph Ontario.

I cannot explain how much finding my father's ashes meant to me. I am  deeply indebted and grateful to Brian for his generous spirit and for helping a complete stranger find peace.

Farewell Brian and may you Rest in Peace. 

Brian's funeral will be held at The Cathedral Church of St. James
Diocese of Toronto - Anglican Church of Canada at 11 am, May 5th, 2014
65 Church Street, 

Toronto, ON 
M5S 2E9
and will be conducted by Sub-Dean & Vicar The Reverent Canon David Brinton OGS

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