In Celebration of

The Honorable Paul Hellyer

August 6, 1923 -  August 8, 2021

The Honourable Paul T. Hellyer (1923 – 2021), former Minister of National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, died on August 8th, 2021, succumbing to injuries sustained from a fall on June 19th. He had celebrated his 98th birthday surrounded by his children and family two days before his passing. Paul is survived by his second wife Sandra Hellyer, his three children Mary Elizabeth, Peter (Sass) and David (Kathy) and his five grandchildren Jordan (Isabel), Kaitlin, Joshua, Michael (Harriette) and Emily (Charles). He will be missed by his six great-grandchildren, Aiden, Evelyn, Jacob, Augustus, Wyatt and Alice. He was deeply loved by his stepdaughters Linda (Brian), Lori (Gene) and Wanda (Lusiana), as well as their children and grandchildren. Always surrounded with large swaths of family and friends, Paul will be missed by his many nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, and extended family. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years Ellen Jean Hellyer, who died June 29, 2004. Originally from Waterford, Ontario, Paul was first elected to Parliament in 1949 and was, at the time, the youngest person ever voted to serve as an MP. Through successive elections, he would rise through the ranks of the Liberal party before choosing to sit as an Independent in the House of Commons in 1971.

He was the Queen’s longest serving Privy Councillor at the time of his death. An opera singer, television host, engineer, author, economist, resort owner, UFOlogist and noted philanthropist, Paul’s roles in life were as varied and diverse as the cultural shifts he experienced during his ten decades. Technology savvy until the end, he stayed in close touch with family and friends through email and Zoom. A deeply religious man, Paul was a long-time parishioner of Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. Although he will be remembered by the public for his political accomplishments, those closest to him will forever recall him as the proprietor and ‘captain’ of Arundel Lodge, a rustic cottage resort on Lake Muskoka which the Hellyer family opened to guests every summer for seventy years. It was through this beautiful piece of land that Paul touched and impacted so many lives, sowing friendships and family relationships that have lasted lifetimes and created a unique bond between successive generations. An avid swimmer his entire life, Paul’s favourite view was to look out over the lake as the late afternoon sun created the illusion of ‘diamonds’ sparkling on the ripples and waves of the water. With our captain hats on and a well-mixed Manhattan in our hands, we raise a toast to a life well lived, a life well loved, and a life that will not soon be forgotten.

For those who wish, donations may be made to Help Lesotho or Metropolitan United Church - Community Meal Program

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Metropolitan United Church at 56 Queen St. East, Toronto on Saturday, August 14th at 11:00am. Attendance is limited and registration is required.

In-Person: Space is limited due to COVID restrictions and registration is required to attend the service.

Live-Stream: The service will be live streamed on Saturday at 11:00am EST - please use the following link to watch it on Saturday.


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Jim Maclean (friend)

Entered August 10, 2021 from Toronto

Paul helped prepare me for a career in the news media and, later, communications consulting by hiring me to be the garbageman at Arundel Lodge on Lake Muskoka when I was 18. Not averse to risk, he taught me to drive a standard transmission vehicle at Arundel and survived that experience. He was a dynamic man of many and varied talents and I have enjoyed his friendship for decades. I am among the many who will miss him and cherish his memory.

Leo N. (Fan)

Entered August 10, 2021 from Toronto

An incredible loss for Canada. My condolences to the family.

Karen (Holmes Eisenhauer) (niece)

Entered August 10, 2021 from Ottawa

Uncle Paul was always loved and admired. I remember living with him and Auntie Ellen and the boys (Mary Elizabeth was already away) when I first came to Ottawa in 1969, and of course I remember all the summers at Arundel Lodge, and his many birthdays there. I last saw him and Sandra at Sass's mother's funeral in 2019, but we were in touch during the pandemic too.

jane Siberry (friend)

Entered August 10, 2021 from toronto

I expected to hear thunder when Paul left.
An honour to have known him.

The Rev. Dr. John Joseph JJ Mastandrea (Friend)

Entered August 10, 2021 from Toronto

Paul was and is a Renaissance man for all seasons, a stellar person who led with compassion as the hallmark of his creed. Here's to life, blessings forward


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