PATERSON, Gillian Dorothy
Jill was born in London, England on 6th March 1931. She was the eldest of three children with one sister Shirley who lives in the UK and one brother Graham living in New Brunswick.
Growing up in prewar England, Jill was a good student, and excelled at everything (well except for gym).
In 1939 things changed for Jill’s family dramatically when war broke out. Her dad William went off to serve in the army while her mum Eleanor who was a nurse, kept her family safe by evacuating her children down to Cornwall away from the bombs in London. Jill can tell some fascinating stories about living with rationing such as when her Mum saved up months of rationing coupons to bake a wedding cake for her cousin Barbara.
With the war over, Jill focused on her studies, and graduated from Kings College Medical school in 1956, one of only a few female graduates in her class. She went on to specialize in Ophthalmology becoming a world-renowned specialist in Glaucoma. Together with her first husband Gavin who was a pharmacologist, Jill was instrumental in the research and development of Timoptic, a drug to assist with the treatment of Glaucoma that is still in use today.
Jill married Gavin in 1956 and they had two children Ian and Fiona. Ian still lives in England with his lovely wife Maggie and their three dogs Martha, Jessie, and Elsi.
In the 70’s, while heading up the Glaucoma unit at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Jill was approached by the CNIB to do research and treatment for Glaucoma amongst the Inuit in Labrador and she visited many isolated communities in Northern Labrador regularly such as Nain and Black Tickle. Some of the artwork pieces in Jill’s room at Fairvern were gifts from Inuit artists that she treated.
Jill moved to Canada to work in Goose Bay in 1977. It was here that she met and later married her second husband Keith. Jill and Keith worked together in Goose Bay for many years until they decided to move to PEI. They bought a hobby farm, and raised cows, chickens and geese. Jill loved gardening and her flower and vegetable gardens were a sight to behold. Sadly, Keith passed away from cancer in 1990.
During her time in PEI, Jill worked as an ophthalmic consultant for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jill and Keith loved to travel and over the years, visited the Far East, the Caribbean and of course Europe and the UK. On her retirement from DVA, Jill moved to Kingston, Ontario to be closer to friends and family and after a few years moved up to Huntsville to be closer to her daughter Fiona.
Jill loved to read, watch tennis, and do crosswords! She was often found doing crosswords and showing her competitive spirit in word games around Fairvern. Jill passed away peacefully at Fairvern on Monday 7th March 2022, one day after her 91st birthday. She will be missed beyond belief.