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Date of Passing: Oct 20, 2021

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Following a brief stay at Victoria Hospital, with a full moon lighting the morning sky, Hilton McGregor (Mac) Wilson passed away peacefully on October 20, 2021, at the age of 92. Jean, Gail, and Don were at his side during this difficult period. Mac had experienced a long and wonderful life with many accomplishments and wonderful memories.
He was predeceased by his wife Elaine in 2007 and brothers, Gordon and James. He is survived by his three children, Jean (Glen) Williams, Gail (Wayne) Atamanchuk and Don (Debra) Wilson, and brother Robert (Bernice) Wilson. Mac was a very proud grandfather to his seven grandchildren, Ryley, Josh, Stephanie, Robyn, Scott, Danika and Makayla and ten great-grandchildren. He will also be lovingly remembered by his many nieces and nephews.
Mac was born and raised in Minnedosa, Manitoba where he started his career with CP Rail as an operator (in telegraphy) right after high school and later as a dispatcher in multiple small communities until his move to Kenora. There he met and married his wife, Elaine (nee Appel) Wilson in 1957. Mac and Elaine raised their three children in Kenora. He was an active part of the community participating in the Lake of the Woods Band, coaching and volunteering at Central Community Club and curling. In 1974 the family moved to Winnipeg where Mac completed his career in the CP Rail dispatch office.
After Mac's retirement in 1986, Mac and Elaine travelled the world including several destinations in Europe and Australia. They had 50 wonderful years together and his favourite photo of Elaine rested on the wall above his bed both in Winnipeg and at camp.
Mac began his Masonic service in Kenora in 1960, served in the officer's chairs to Worshipful Master, progressed through the York Rite and the Scottish Rite, and landed in the Shrine as a proud member of the Winnipeg Shrine Fife and Drum Band. Being a central figure in most organizations he served, Mac very much enjoyed the comradery and engagement with voluntary work. The Masons, Meals on Wheels, helping at Immanuel United Church with the fall dinners and cutting the grass on the church grounds, he was someone many counted on.
After acquiring a small island in Smugglers Cove on Lake of the Woods in 1956, Mac spent the next six decades building an incredible family gathering place. Family reunions became an annual event with Mac thoroughly enjoying the family games, food and fun.
Perpetually the optimist Mac had an adage or idiom to quote his friends and family when they came up against challenges; one such adage was "where there's a will there's a way". Every meal made for him was "the best one he ever had!" which included any sandwich and hospital food.
Hilton McGregor Wilson was a unique man. A natural leader, driven by principle, demonstrably altruistic and generous, and admired as a role model by many. His devoted friends and family will miss him deeply for his capacity to bring a lighter mood to any situation.
For the last several years, Mac made his home at Concordia Village where he developed many friendships and enjoyed the diverse community activities. A special thanks to all those at Concordia Village for creating such a special and safe place to live, particularly during Covid. Also, thanks to Dr. Adam and the staff at the 4th floor of Victoria Hospital who cared for Mac in such a respectful way and treated the family with heartfelt compassion.
There will be no formal service. Mac's wishes were to have a celebration of his life next summer.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to causes that meant a lot to him: Khartum Shrine Patient Transportation Fund, Ducks Unlimited Canada at, Canadian Wildlife Federation or a charity of your choice in his memory.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 23, 2021

Condolences & Memories (9 entries)

  • My husband Jamie, and I, were very saddened at the news of "Mac's" passing. He and Elaine were close friends of Jamie's parents, Bill & Merle Plohman. We saw him & Elaine many times over the years at my in-laws' place and each time we did, Mac was always happy, and consistently had a funny story to tell. My in-laws and the Wilsons spent much time at each other's "camps" over the years, and those times were very special. Mac was an engaging, well-liked and well-respected man and he will be dearly missed. Our deepest condolences to all of his family. - Posted by: Brenda & Jamie Plohman (Family friends) on: Nov 05, 2021

  • Wonderful memories of Uncle Mac, but the ones that stand out are him wanting me to swim without nose plugs, and learning the Canadian anthem and the Centennial song (1 little 2 little 3 Canadians) in 1967. I did - and I still remember it! Not bad for an American - thank goodness I didn't have to learn it in French! (I'm sure that was next) What wonderful memories, and a wonderful family. Love, hugs and prayers to Jean, Gail and Don and their families. - Posted by: Rhonda Tweedy (niece) on: Oct 30, 2021

  • I grew up on Park Street where our family were neighbours with the Wilson’s. I remember Mr. Wilson always being a friendly and kind man. He shared the best strawberry rhubarb roots with my parents to which I since have transplanted in my own yard. I was happy to visit with him in Kenora’s Safeway parking lot just over 2 years ago. I hadn’t seen him in years. I was shocked with his memory of me as a kid being short with blonde hair. May all the good memories you shared as a family bring comfort and healing. My Mom who doesn’t have the internet also expresses her condolence to you all at this sad time. - Posted by: JoAnn Marek(Baxter) (Kenora neighbour’s) on: Oct 27, 2021

  • So sad to hear of Mac's passing. My condolences to family and friends. I knew Mac in the early 80s as a CPR train dispatcher, he was one of many who trained me. Mac was an incredible mentor and the most calming figure in the room, all the while dispatching three hundred miles of main track, before computers. And he was the nicest guy in the room. So long HMW. DPH - Posted by: Don Hemminger (Coworker) on: Oct 26, 2021

  • Condolences to Family of Mac Wilson. We have some great memories of time spent with Mac and Elaine in Kenora. - Posted by: Sheila & Ray Howard (friends) on: Oct 26, 2021

  • Even the mention of Mac's name will always make me smile. He and my Dad enjoyed each other's company so much, they knew how to have a good time that's for sure. We should all be so lucky to have such a good friend as him in our lives. My Dad always called him Hilty:) I am so sorry for your loss, both he and your Mom were such lovely people. Diana - Posted by: Diana Cameron (Family friend) on: Oct 25, 2021

  • Thanks for the Memories on the island at the camp. we will miss you - Posted by: Henry Appel (Nephew) on: Oct 24, 2021

  • I have met Mac a few times in our lifetime past, as I played in a band with his son Don Wilson and he was always friendly and witty. Mac also was a fine man and awesome father, and the proof is in his life and children, who he was there for whenever he was needed. - Posted by: Laurier Chabot (Friend of Don Wilson who is the son.) on: Oct 23, 2021

  • With Deepest Sympathies to the entire family! So very sorry for your loss! - Posted by: Bruce and Janet Anderson (Friends) on: Oct 23, 2021

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