It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lynn Mainland. Lynn was the cherished wife of Pierre Gratton and mother of Maya Mainland-Gratton, as well as the beloved owner of dogs Jasmine and Pippa and cats Littlefoot, Shibou and Lily. She was the daughter of Pauline (nee Tilley) and John Robert Mainland (both deceased), beloved sister of Sue Mainland and sister-in-law of Tom Collins. She will also be sorely missed by mother-in-law Irene Tomaszewski, brother-in-law Richard Gratton and family and the rest of the Tomaszewski clan.
Born in Derby, England, Lynn was a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge in history (M.A., M. Phil) and moved to Canada in 1991 to begin a PhD in political science at McGill University where she met her future husband, Pierre. Together, they lived and worked in Edmonton, Quebec City, Ottawa and Vancouver, settling for a second time in Ottawa where they have lived since 2011. For many years, she worked for the Government of Canada, mostly at Health Canada, where she made many friends. However, her “greatest accomplishment”, in her words, was the birth of her daughter, Maya, in 1999. She loved to travel, was an avid reader of mystery novels and history and a lover of animals — she never a year spent without a cat or dog in her life. A trip to Italy in 2013 was dubbed the dead Roman tour, a lifelong dream to visit Roman ruins (supplemented by similar trips to Spain, France and the UK), and in 2018 she travelled to Botswana for an unforgettable visit to Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.
In early 2013, Lynn was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. With a will to live, and thanks to the excellent care of the Ottawa Cancer Program and the support of her family, she fought this horrible disease with determination and courage for over six years.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of Lynn’s life at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services, 280 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at noon until the time of the memorial service at 2 pm in the Sacred Space, on what would have been Lynn’s 51st birthday.
Donations may be made to the Ottawa Humane Society or the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
No one could dress-down someone as politely and eloquently as Lynn. I have kept some of this emails as a reminder of how fantastic a person she was. I will be forever grateful for the time I was fortunate enough to spent as her colleague and her friend.
I had the pleasure and honour of working with Lynn at Health Canada for several years. She was as compassionate as she was brilliant; genuine, thoughtful and kind. She was instrumental in helping me grow and learn as a public servant, as a person, and eventually as a new mom. Her love and devotion for her family was always present and her ethics paramount. Pierre and Maya, these are challenging days and months ahead but we hope you can find some solace in the many gifts Lynn had and shared, and how she made so many peoples’ lives a lot better for having been such a beautiful person, trusted colleague and advocate for so many. Jodi and Anthony
Pierre and Maya,
Sending so much love from the Lutterman-Lippman clan in NYC. Lynn was formidable, funny, and unforgettable. And she loved both of you fiercely, and completely. So sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing.
Lynn was a great friend. We shared many British commonalities. She had such compassion for family, friends and of course the many animals who were lucky enough to have Lynn in her life. There will be a big hole for all of is who knew and loved Lynn. My heart goes out to Maya and Pierre who were her world. So very sad.
Sylvie Touchette Passiant
So sorry for your loss. I want to offer my deepest sympathy to Pierre and Maya, and all who loved her, including her beloved pets. Lynn and I met at HC, she was kind, such a beautiful person and what a pleasure to be in her presence. I was lucky to meet Lynn with our friend Edith for lunch once in a while, and we could talk about anything and just be ourselves, we felt at ease with each other. She will be missed.
Lynn made it so easy to be her friend. She had a genuine smile and a kind, caring nature. It’s rare to meet someone with such high levels of intellect and emotional intelligence blended seamlessly with humility and grace. She never stopped surprising me with her keen observations about life and the world around us.
Some of my heartiest laughs stemmed from her commentary on the most mundane of topics, whereby ordinary moments quickly dissolved into hilarity. It was as though she had been funny accidentally, but nothing Lynn said was by accident. Her wit was quick and sharp, and sometimes laughter escaped my lips before I realized that that I, myself, was the butt of the joke.
I didn’t know Lynn for very long before she received her cancer diagnosis, but the woman I grew to be close friends with was someone who refused to be defined by her illness. She faced every difficult situation with courage and determination, conjuring hope, fostering gratitude and somehow just finding a way to make the best of every day. I learned so much about how to live life authentically by being around her.
Pierre and Maya, I am very sorry for your loss. You two were her everything. Please accept my deepest condolences. I know that Lynn will live on forever in our hearts.
Carol Payne and John Collins
Dear Pierre and Maya,
We were so very sad to learn of Lynn’s passing. Her intelligence, wit and warmth lit up every conversation. Lynn will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Above all, Lynn’s love and devotion to you, Pierre and Maya, was inspiring. Even in the midst of this horrible loss, her love is with you and will remain with you forever.
With sincere condolences,
Carol, John, Meg & Alice
Pierre and Maya, I am so sorry for your immense loss. I am glad that I was able to get to know Lynn over the last couple of years during my visits to Ottawa. Her courage, strength and will to live were an inspiration. I will remember her with great fondness. I wish you both strength during this terrible time.
Dear Pierre, Maya and extended family:
Lynn and I had many email exchanges and she was a knowledgeable, funny and well-read correspondent. Gone too soon. Condolences to all in your time of loss, Christine
Irene and Vic Ledsham
We first met Lynn when she visited our Art Gallery in Edmonton. She and Pierre were newly weds and had not been long in Edmonton.
Besides the art which she loved and appreciated, I think she enjoyed that we were from the UK.
Very soon we became like family with this beautiful lady. She was wonderful to be with, great sense of humour, interesting, intelligent, strong, loving and caring.
She will be sadly missed by all whom came in contact with her and we feel honoured to have known her.
Pierre and Maya ..... know that you are surrounded by love and compassion and the memory of Lynn will live forever.
Irene and Vic