We Remember

HILLIAN, George Alexander

September 3, 1921 — June 5, 2013

George died peacefully on June 5th at age 91 after a short illness, survived by his wife of 25 years, Reverend Dr. Lorna Hillian, brother Willie in Scotland, children Fraser (Elisabeth), Doug, Suzanne and John (Deirdre), grandchildren Sandra, Fiona, Aisling, Michael, Emma and Matthew, and great-grandchildren Charlotte, Ben, Talia, Sage and Nolan, pre-deceased by his sister Isobel in 1969 and wife Elsie in 1984.

George was a British Army veteran who served in the Intelligence Corps and studied classics at Glasgow University. He emigrated with his young family from Paisley, Scotland in 1956, settling in Kelowna where he taught and eventually headed the English Department at Kelowna Secondary until his retirement in 1987.

A firm believer in public service, George was an active community builder who sang in the choir, ran the church badminton club, coached and refereed soccer, and served on many boards. He was a long serving member of the Mental Health association, providing leadership in the development of activity programs and housing.

George loved to laugh, sing, garden, talk politics and sports, and was a ferocious scrabble player. His fierce intellect and often irascible persona masked a gentle nature and generosity of spirit that endeared him to many. We will miss him tremendously.

A memorial service and reception will be held at 2 pm on Monday, June 10th at St. David’s Presbyterian Church, 271 Snowsell Street, Kelowna. Donations in George’s memory may be made to Outreach at First United Church.  If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your




2 pm on Monday, June 10th

St. David's Presbyterian Church

Share with Others:

Share on Facebook
Share Via Email

Outreach at First United Church, 721 Bernard Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 6P6 or firstunited@telus.net

Watch Service Online


Service Information

Service Details

The service for HILLIAN, George Alexander is scheduled for 2 pm on Monday, June 10th. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

St. David's Presbyterian Church

271 Snowsell Street Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Wendy Pratt Stevenson says:

    Both my brother and I had Mr. Hillian as an English teacher in the 60’s and 70’s at KSS. Lots of good memories. My condolences to his family.

    • Mel Sparrow says:

      To Norna and family
      I am so saddened by the lose of George. He always had time to stop and chat, and at any of our church funcitions he would always help in what ever way he was able to. You would more then likely find him in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes. Thank you George. Mel Sparrow

  • Dave Cousins says:

    Doug & family, your dad, Mr. Hillian, was an icon at KSS in my day and had my totally respect for his commitment to education and the detail(s)of English. Total professional!
    My condolences!
    PS- Just a guess but during the day, Mr. Hillian was a huge soccer fan!

  • Gail Schuck says:

    Mr Hillian taught me English and Social Studies he was a kind man and a wonderful teacher he had a wonderful memory and always had a kind word for everybody. Gail Schuck




  • Debora says:

    Mr Hillian was an icon at KSS. he taught many of us and I for one will never forget him. I see he lived a long and happy life and I am glad. My prayers to his family.

  • Erika Henfling says:

    Sorry for your loss. Mr. Hillian was my Grade 12 Home_room and Literature teacher; he noted ‘A lovely girl!’ on my report card. My hail and farewell for him is “Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
    And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”

  • Sharon Dillard (Wedlund) says:

    Mr Hillian was my grade 12 English teacher when I went back to high school at KSS as an adult student with two kids at home. After about a month of attending class faithfully Mr. Hillian said there was no point in staying in this class and wanted me to leave. I looked at him in puzzlement, then he smiled, gave me an A, and said my work was publishable. I left this class, armed with the belief that I was a good writer. I went on to take a two year Business Admin. diploma in the mid 80’s, as a single Mom. Then I got my Bachelor in Social Work degree in 1998 after my kids left home. I am now getting my Masters in Social Work degree (grad in Dec.) online through USC, am in my early 60’s, and live in Hawaii. I am still a good writer and still getting A’s! Thank you Mr. Hillian. Rest in peace and thank you very much for helping me believe in myself
    . 🙂

  • Kim Bolton says:

    My heartfelt condolenscences go out to you Lorna and to Uncle George’s family. We did share some great times when you came to Ontario to join with our families.
    Love from Kim and Don Bolton

  • Ken Ferguson says:

    I was fortunate enough to have had Mr. Hillian as an English teacher multiple times at KSS in the ’80’s. He was an amazing instructor, and I look back at those classes with very fond memories. I am saddened to hear of his passing and only wish I had a fraction of his command of the language and knowledge of literature, so I might include a worthy quote here.

    Suffice it to say, condolences to his family, who can hopefully take small comfort in the knowledge that he will remembered fondly by the enormous number of people he inspired over his lifetime.

    Regards, Ken Ferguson

  • Alf & Pauline Nickel says:

    We came to know George Hillian when he married Lorna, our very dear and longtime friend. So began a valued friendship with George – a very knowledgeable and true gentleman. There is no doubt that he held strong political opinions and views. One particular memory we have is when visiting in Kelowna 12 years ago George was ably playing soccer with his son and grandson – really wonderful to see for a near octogenarian! Also when we visited Scotland a few years back, we shared memories with George who could well remember & discuss the various sites of Scotland. We will indeed miss those enriching times of conversations. Our heartfelt sympathy to Lorna & George’s family. Love, Polly & Alf Nickel

  • Ken Zarr says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you
    Ken and Keith

  • Bruce, Waily and family says:

    We were terribly saddened to hear the news of George’s passing. George has been a wonderful friend for so many years and the world will be a much poorer place without him. All our love to the entire family.

    Your friends in Sweden

  • Stacey Frayn says:

    I too was a student of Mr. Hillan’s in the 1980’s and have fond memories of his class and of Mr. Hillian himself. He was an icon at KSS and I’m saddened to hear of his passing.

    My condolences to his family, he will be missed

    With warm thoughts throughout this difficult time, Stacey

  • Ken Glen says:

    Condolences to George’s family,

    George was both an English Teacher and a Soccer coach at KSS in the 60’s and is remembered as a having a positive influence on many of us. The only person who ever called me “ginger” on the Soccer pitch due to my red hair.

    Best regards to all

    Ken Glen

  • Joan Fry says:

    I am sorry for your loss and know your faith will sustain you. I want to thank you, Lorna, for your kindness and visits to my mother Dulce in recent years – it was appreciated.

  • Monika Harrison, Germany says:

    George was the granddad of my good friend Sandra. He and Lorna were kind enough to let me and my cousin Vivien stay in their house during a visit in BC. We had such a wonderful time and I got to know George as a very intelligent man with a great sense of humor. We even shared our love for Simon and Garfunkel! 🙂
    My condolences to Lorna and George’s family in Germany!

  • Erma says:

    We share with you the loss of your Scottish knight,now shining in full honour. May The Lord bless and keep you.
    Erma and Roy

  • Cyril and Rose Chalk says:

    To Lorna and other members of the Hillian family:

    I was saddened by the news of George’s passing. I was fortunate to join the staff at KSS in 1972 as a member of the English Department. George was our Department Head and leader. He was also an effective mentor, and I have been blessed to have had his influence and example to follow, not only in education, but also in community service. He was a Christian gentleman in every sense of the word, and we will miss him. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

  • Barbara und Peter Treß says:

    We would like to express our sincere condolences on the death of Gran. We met him at the weddings of Sandra and Florian and Fiona and Felix and we got to know him as a very gentle and warmhearted man.
    Our deepest sympathies,
    Barbara und Peter Treß

  • Sheila (Hone) Witt says:

    My childhood memories consist of our summer trips to Kelowna to see the man I always referred to as my ‘Uncle George”. Our families met years before I was even born and remained the closest thing to family we had in Canada. I have wonderful, happy memories of staying at the old house in Kelowna. There were many gatherings filled with music and laughter. I loved to listen to my Dad and George tell stories with their good, Scottish sense of humor. George was one of the smartest men I had ever met and a bit intimidating at times, but he had a kindness and an infectious laughter to light up any room. I am very sad to hear about his passing. Lorna, my thoughts are with you and the family. Love to you all, Sheila (Hone) Witt

  • Judy Kent says:

    I was fortunate to have Mr. Hillian as a home-room teacher in the late fifties,
    when he was a new immigrant. I remember his kindness and concern for his students and feel privileged to have had such a kind and wonderful teacher and role model. I look back with many fond and sometimes humorous memories.
    My condolences to the family.

    Judy Goltz Kent

  • Robert & Karen Kelly says:

    We were glad we made the trip from Kamloops to attend George’s Memorial Service. Doug, you & Ian did a great job, along with Rev David Stewart. We met George & Lorna when we moved to Kelowna in 1988 when attending the Church downtown. I remember him always busily tidying up things. His generosity of spirit also endeared us to him when we had our small wedding in 1990. George & Lorna and our two witnesses were all we had at our Okanagan Lake Resort reception to share our happy hearts back then. May the love of family and friends and memories you cherish, bring consolation to your broken hearts. Love you Lorna!!

  • Julie Wakelin says:

    My heartfelt condolences go out to Suzanne Hillian and the other members of her family on the loss of her dear father.

  • Susan Baker says:

    I only ever once spoke to Mr. Hillian on the phone, but never met him in person. He sounds a lovely man, and I wish I had. My sincere sympathies go out to my good friend, Suzanne, and to her family.

  • Lynda Slade says:

    Dear Lorna, Fraser,Doug,John and Suzanne I was deeply saddened by the news of George’s passing. As you know our families go way back to the early days of Kelowna. George was a great friend to my parents and he enjoyed many a cuppa at lunch time with my mother Jean. My sister and I grew up with the Hillian children and have know them since they came to Canada. I am glad I was able to celebrate George’s 90th birthday with him in Victoria. I will always have fond memories of him. I can only say “thank you George for being a part of my life”. Lynda Slade (nee Cowan)

  • Vivien Haberern says:

    My cousin Monika from Germany and I know George and Lorna’s granddaughter Sandra. She is a great friend. We stayed with George and Lorna while visiting with Sandra in Kelowna. We really appreciated their hospitality. George gave us a wonderful tour of their beautiful city and we enjoyed Lorna’s great cooking – great memories.

  • Aileen Cowan Pool says:

    My heartfelt condolences to all of you: Lorna, a truly devoted wife; Douglas, Fraser, Suzanne and Johnny. I know your children, as well as yourselves, will have happy memories of your dad and grandfather to share throughout the years. I know I do from all the visiting back and forth that your mom and dad did with my mom and dad (Tim & Jean Cowan). Hopefully,those memories will help to ease the feeling of loss. Your dad (and grandfather) had a full, rewarding life. He was appreciated and loved by many. I have just watched the wonderful service you had for him on my computer and I wish you all the best of everything as you travel forward from this point. I will always remember your mom and dad.

  • Carole (Glover) Eyles says:

    George and Elsie Hillian were fixtures in my growing up in Kelowna, part of the expat group of friends of my parents, Doug and Lilian Glover. After my parents moved to Nelson, I wanted to get married in Kelowna, and they cheerfully offered their home for our base. I have many wonderful memories from those years. George and Douglas came to my father’s funeral and spoke eloquently together through deep felt emotion. George and my mother Lilian are the last of that old guard of friends, a truly special group of people. I met Lorna only a few times but she and George opened their home to my mother and me. George was one of a kind and the world is poorer for his passing although the Scottish quotient in heaven just got a huge boost.

  • Valerie (Glover) Monty says:

    As a young child growing up in Kelowna the Hillian family was an extension of our own. I remember fondly joint family dinners in their home and the kindness that was always extended to all. After we moved to Nelson, frequent trips back to Kelowna always included staying with the Hillians. The friendship of George, Elsie and my parents Doug and Lilian Glover and May and Dan Hone was steadfast and something very special that I always admired. A man who left his mark will be greatly missed.

  • Lilian Glover says:

    George and Elsie were two of the first friends we made on our arrival in Kelowna in 1957 and they and May and Dan Hone became our Canadian brothers,and sisters and we shared many happy times. After Elsie passed away and George met Lorna, we were one of the first people to know of their pending marriage and we were very happy for them. George will be sadly missed, little did he know how many people he had influenced, he was One of a Kind and a very dear man. I think I am the last of that little group to survive, but what happy memories I and my family have of the Hillians. Rest in Peace George.

  • Jean (Anderson) Githens says:

    To Suzanne
    I was posting a condolence to Kay Marshall when I saw your posting. I am sorry, I did not know your father had passed and would like to express my condolences on that. We have lost touch over the years but I also fondly remember your family and playing together at your home. I live in Westbank now and my phone is listed. Thinking of you. Jean (Anderson) Githens

  • Ruth MacLaurin says:

    Dear Lorna and family,
    Just recently heard of George’s passing,please accept our heartfelt condolences from the MacLaurin family. Through the church, St. David’s Presbyterian Church in Kelowna our families met. George was always so kind to our Grandparents,the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dow and our Mother, the late Doris MacLaurin. Many Scottish people were part of that congregation in the mid 1950’s, including my Grandfather. George’s quick wit, intelligence and generosity will always be remembered. Thinking of you Lorna and family.
    Ruth MacLaurin

Leave a Condolence Message for the Family

» To share your condolence on this page please fill out the requested fields.
» If you have a photo to share, please do so as families appreciate it. To share a photo (please note, just one photo per condolence please), click the 'Choose File' button and select a photo from your computer.
» Once you are done, click the 'Share' button.
» Your email is never published or shared. Your name and email are both required.

NOTE: all messages will go through an administrative process before being posted.