The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23: 1 – 6)
Lilian loved the 23rd Psalm! She lived out a quiet life of faith and always put her trust in the Lord. Her life work, stories and memories will now live on in and through her family and friends for generations to come.
Lilian and her twin sister, Elizabeth Margaret were born to parents William and Eliza (Cameron-Mackintosh) Fraser on Monday, May 17, 1937 in Killearnan, Scotland. Lilian’s birth was unexpected following the arrival of her sister. The story goes that the Dr. Bruce, Dr. Davidson and nurse Lillian assisting with the delivery and told her mum that they didn’t think she would survive. Granny Fraser nursed her through the night with drops of whiskey and the rest is history. Lilian was later named after those assisting in the delivery. The girls joined older siblings Shona Catherine (1933) and John William “Iain” (1934). Sadly, Iain passed away on June 12, 1941 at the young age of 6. Joan Wilma, the last addition, completed the Fraser family in 1942.
Lilian’s father worked as a gamekeeper at the Redcastle estate in Killearnan, Black Isle, Scotland. Here the girls attended primary school before enrolling at Dingwall Academy. Upon graduation, Lilian went on to teacher’s college at Moray House Teacher Training College in Edinburgh for an additional three years. At the age of twenty-two Lilian began teaching primary grades at Dingwall Academy, and did so for the next three years. It was also during this time that Africa was in need of teachers and Lilian felt called to go. She left for Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where she taught for two years as head teacher at the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland mission. It was in Africa that Lilian met Donald MacLeod Campbell and the couple were married August 30, 1963 in the village of Zenka in the Province of Matabeleland.
While in Rhodesia, Donald and Lilian welcomed four of their children, Donald Iain (1964), Mairead (1965), Karen (1968) and Fiona (1970). Life was pretty basic in Rhodesia with no phones, no power and no running water. 1972 saw the beginning of a seven-year long guerilla war. It was then that Lilian, Donald and family left Rhodesia.
Lilian and Donald returned to Scotland and the community of Killearnan. Here they welcomed Fraser in 1973 before relocating to Shieldaig, Scotland where Allan was born in 1979. While raising her family Lilian found employment supply teaching, as well as acting as Shiedaig’s postmistress. Lilian was also an active member of the Shieldaig Community Council and had the responsibility of registering all births, deaths and marriages in the community. It was during this time that Lilian often headed to the sea to collect winkles (small edible sea snails). She often had to do some convincing to have the kids join her, promising them spending money. This task was hard work, and Lilian hauled many a 100 lb. bags of escargot up from the coast for export to France.
In 1982 the family moved to Chesley and in time Lilian began working with Community Living in Owen Sound as a personal support worker. She thoroughly enjoyed her work and the time spent with residents in their homes. She continued to work and volunteer well after her formal retirement, finally giving up the part-time job with full-time hours in 2017. Lilian was always very determined, devoted and an inspiration to her co-workers.
One would think that Lilian’s life was already busy enough as a wife, mother, and working outside the home yet she still found time to enjoy a few favourite hobbies. Lilian LOVED reading, primarily poetry and non-fiction, with history, religion and biographies being her favourites. She often had several books on the go at one time. Lilian was also a prolific knitter. She made countless baby clothes and blankets for her grandchildren and later great-grandchildren as well as being well-known for her dish scrubbies and dish cloths. Everything was made of love! Lilian knew her way around the kitchen as well, with her trifle (from scratch), potato soup and rice pudding being only a few of her family’s favourites. Lilian also enjoyed collecting old books, stamps, coins and of course antiques. She loved attending thrift shops and auction sales, always looking for the next deal. In her down time Lilian enjoyed a good game of Scrabble with family, listening to CBC radio and internet research. When it came to television, Lilian was usually following the latest in world politics and was happy to see a transition in power south of the border in recent months.
Lilian was drawn to the Royal family throughout her life. In addition to being drawn to their history, Lilian was friends with one of the queen’s ladies in waiting, who originated from the Black Isle. This friendship allowed her to obtain a piece of Queen Elizabeth’s maternity dress. A piece of history that she still has to this day! Lilian was also very fond of genealogy. She did countless hours of research on the internet over the years and even volunteered her time digitizing genealogy records.
Lilian also enjoyed travelling, with trips to New Zealand and a European Reformation Tour being highlights. She also made several trips home to Scotland and England. In 1999, a memorable family trip was taken back to Scotland to celebrate her mother’s 100th birthday. Ask the kids about their climbing expedition with Lilian! She also returned to Scotland in 2017 so that she could celebrate her 80th birthday with her twin sister, Elizabeth.
Lilian loved her family dearly, and particularly enjoyed time spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Stories were told of her competitive arm wrestling matches with her grandsons (which grandma won well into the boys teenage years) and countless knowledge passed down to the younger generations. She was a gracious woman, who was very organized and had a great sense of humour. Lilian always looked for the good in people. Her work ethic and compassion will always be remembered by her family and friends.
Lilian passed away after a brief illness at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in her 84th year.
Beloved mother of Donald Iain (Claudi) of Cold Lake, Alberta, Mairead Fitzsimmons of Embro, Karen (John) Winkels of Chesley, Fiona Cameron-Mackintosh of Toronto, Fraser (Ljiljana) of Terra Cotta and Allan of Toronto. Cherished grandmother of Chris (Heather), Andrew (Jinjer), Caitlin (Kurtis), Laura (Gatlin), Stephen, Sarah (Karsten), Kieran (Debbie), David (Jen), Phillip, Simone and great-grandmother of Brennan, Cameron, Charlotte, Leah, Owen, Noah, Lily, Jonah, Olivia, Sara, Ezra, Zemira, Iris and Nora. Lilian will be dearly missed by her sisters Shona MacLeod of New Zealand, Elizabeth Huddart of England and Joan (Iain) Livingstone of Scotland. She was predeceased by her husband Donald, brother Iain, and her parents William and Eliza (Cameron-Mackintosh) Fraser.
A public visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Monday, March 15, 2021 from 6 – 9 p.m. All visitors attending will be registered upon entry to the funeral home, must wear a mask, and respect physical distancing protocols. A maximum of 25 people will be allowed in the funeral home at any given time. A private funeral service honouring Lilian’s life will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. Spring interment in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Community Living Owen Sound & District, Presbyterian Reformed Church or Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.