Obituary of Richard Garth Wilson
With heavy hearts, we lay to rest Rick Wilson of Ottawa, Ontario.
Rick was the beloved husband to Susan (née Phelps) Wilson. Together since the age of 15, they were married for 56 years. Rick was also a loving father to Laura Gill (Tim) and Erica Butcher (Steve), who predeceased him in 2019. An ever doting grandfather, he loved spending time with his grandchildren Anthony & Jeremy Slabosevicius, Audrey & Bailey Butcher and Tara, Shannon & Molly Gill. He was looking forward to welcoming Tania Labreque and her four children to the family. Born in Montreal to Garth and Elizabeth Wilson, he was the eldest of five children. He is survived by his close-knit siblings, Heather Sheffield (Reg), Nancy Campbell (Gregg), Catherine Davis (Robert) and Peter Wilson (Mary).
From an early age, Rick excelled in academics and eventually earned a PhD in Climatology from McMaster University by the age of 25. After years as a professor, and climbing the ranks of the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, he joined the Canadian Association of Environmental and Analytical Laboratories in Ottawa. An accomplished leader and CEO in his field, he grew the Association into a internationally recognized organization.
Besides his intelligence and fastidious organization, Rick was known for his playful sense of humor and silly pranks . Always joking around, he never tired of hiding your plate full of food in a nearby cupboard whenever you looked the other way. An infamous and enthusiastic storyteller, he knew how to stretch out a story.
Throughout the years, Rick enjoyed a variety of hobbies from woodworking, stained-glass, beer-making & more. Always busy, he could be often found chopping and storing wood for the winter, playing cards, working on a puzzle or supporting his favorite team, the Toronto Blue Jays. An avid and sophisticated traveller, he and Susan explored a great many places around the world with favorites being South Africa, Italy & New Zealand. Rick stayed active throughout his life, and enjoyed walking with Teddy, camping with Susan in their travel trailer, canoeing and riding their e-bikes. A life-long learner, he was always learning new skills and was an early adopter of new technologies.
Family was always a priority for Rick and he was always present as a strong foundation. He was a continual source of support as a big brother and provided steady guidance for his children and grandchildren.
Rick and Susan had the type of marriage that others envy and he made sure to care for her until the very end.
Until we meet again….
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tree Canada.