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Born: Nov 05, 1922

Date of Passing: Jul 17, 2021

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November 5, 1922 - July 17, 2021

It is with sadness we announce the death of The Reverend Richard James Gillanders on July 17, 2021 at River Park Gardens.
Born in 1922 and raised on a farm near Kinistino, Saskatchewan, he is predeceased by his parents, James Gillanders and Maria (nee Wilson); and his five siblings, Ernie, Eileen Welsh, Isabel Agar, George, and Wilson. He is survived by his spouse of nearly 68 years, Noreen (nee McIntyre); his brothers-in-law, Robert McIntyre (Marilyn), Jim McIntyre (Sharon); his children, Cathy Larsen (Wayne), Bill (Diane), Jeanne (Mark Celarius), and Colleen Gillanders-Adams (Robert), along with seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Educated at the University of Saskatchewan and at Knox College in Toronto, he served as a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada for over 60 years. Richard served as a student minister at Rosetown and upon completion of his studies at Knox in 1948 served continuously in pastorates across the west and in Ontario, including in Salmon Arm, Calgary, Yorkton, Perth, and in Winnipeg from 1974 until retirement in 1988. Wherever he served he was a strong advocate for camping ministries, a faithful pastor, and was passionate about improving the quality of life for the community in which he resided. He was instrumental in starting a daycare in Perth, and in Winnipeg he encouraged his congregation in the care of refugees and newcomers to this country. In his younger years he served as military chaplain in the Reserves in Vernon, BC and Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Richard ensured his children learned to skate and swim (things he didn't get to do in the 'dirty thirties' in Saskatchewan) and were well educated. He was kind and generous to one and all who came across his path. He believed the resurrected Christ empowered us to advocate grace. Often Richard sent letters to the local newspaper editors expressing concern for the betterment of the community as a whole. In his retirement years he pursued his passion of curling, took woodworking courses (making many items for family), and continued to help with the work of Presbytery, for a time providing assistance in managing the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery.
He was forever 'busy' making or doing something so that all was in good order.
Richard enjoyed good health. He enjoyed growing tomatoes and potatoes and spent time going for many walks until only a few years ago when cognitive decline took its toll and he required greater levels of support and care.
A special thanks to Noreen, his wife and the mother of his children for all her love, support, and patience, and to the staff at River Park Gardens and their care of him in this difficult 'COVID year'.
A private family funeral will take place.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation in Richard's name to the Presbyterian World Service or Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

"Nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:39b NRSV


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 24, 2021

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • I am saddened to hear of the passing of Rev. Gillanders and wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Gillanders, Jeanne, Cathy, Bill, Colleen and family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Rennie Benedict (Friend of Jeanne) on: Jul 26, 2021

  • Those of us at St Andrew's who can remember the early to mid-70s can remember the Gillanders family, Rev Gillanders in the pulpit, Mrs. Gillanders in the choir and their children in the local schools. At some point in the more recent past, I recall a visit to Perth and a Sunday morning service in St Andrew's, where Rev Gillanders was heard to say that he was glad to see the younger people taking leadership roles in the congregation. Mrs. Gillanders, you may remember that, a couple of years ago, I contacted your household and spoke to both of you, but particularly to Rev Gillanders - it was good to hear your voices. At that time, he was that only former minister still living - a long, productive life. Please accept condolences from those of us at St Andrew's, Perth - Posted by: Rob Allan, Clerk of Session, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Perth, Ontario (Rev Gillanders was a former minister of the abovenamed congregation) on: Jul 26, 2021

  • On behalf of Kildonan Community Church (Presbyterian), please accept our heartfelt condolences to all the family. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.’ Regards from Darlene, Clerk of Session & the congregation - Posted by: Darlene Overby (Friend) on: Jul 25, 2021

  • Rev. Gillanders truly has live by faith Holy Spirit, has influenced many families who have crossed his ministries. Lee family truly blessed to knowing him our mentor, wonderful preacher who love biblical truth shown to us. Thank you Rev. Gillanders and Norleen, families. - Posted by: Harry Lee (Lee family mentor ) on: Jul 25, 2021

  • So very sorry for the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you Jeanne. - Posted by: Patricia Kuz (MTS colleague) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your dear father-in-law Diane. Sending deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. Love Dave and Faith Haack. (school friend of Diane) - Posted by: Faith Haack (Friend of Diane) on: Jul 24, 2021

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