The Reverend Michael Dunnill, age 76 years, fell asleep in the Lord on May 8, 2010 in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre following a long, courageous and dignified battle with health issues. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife Marilyn, all his children and their spouses.
Michael attended St. James Public School and PACI and worked for a number of local firms for 5 years before entering studies for his ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada in the spring of 1956. Michael was trained at the monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Bracebridge, Ont. On the feast of St. Michael and All Angels, September 29, 1959 he was ordained to the diaconate at St. George's Church, Thunder Bay, and was ordained priest on September 11, 1960 at St. Luke's Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie. He served in White River (Missanabie, Franz, Lochalsh and Renabie)1959-1963, Cobalt (Latchford, Temagami) 1963-1966, and Gore Bay (Kagawong, Silverwater) 1966-1969. It was while in Cobalt that Michael met his wife, Marilyn Revoir. They were married in 1965. In 1969 Michael moved with his family to Toronto to take a position with the Department of Trade and Development of the Government of Ontario, serving as an advisor on socio-economic planning for Northern Ontario. In 1970, the family moved to Oshawa. While living in Oshawa, Michael served as an honourary assistant in St. Matthew's parish and at Christ Memorial Church. Michael joined the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario in 1977 and in 1979 opened the first regional Office of the Ombudsman in Thunder Bay. Here he was an honourary assistant at St. George's Church. In 1986, Michael was made an honourary assistant at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, a position he held for a number of years. At the time of his death he was an honourary assistant at St. Paul's Anglican Church. Health problems caused an early retirement in 1986.
In September of 1988 Michael was sworn in as volunteer chaplain for the Thunder Bay Police Service and Thunder Bay Police Association. He also served on an informal basis as chaplain to the Ontario Provincial Police and honourary chaplain of the R.C.M.P., Thunder Bay Detachment. He was a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains and the Canadian Police Chaplains Association, having been elected to the Executive of the International Conference of Police Chaplains in 1995 and served as President from 1999 to 2001. He received many awards in his chaplaincy, having been awarded the John A. Price Award for Excellency in Chaplaincy in 1992 by the I.C.P.C. In 2002 Michael received his certification as a Master Chaplain and in 2003 he was awarded the Order of Merit by the I.C.P.C. In honour of Michael's 70th birthday in 2003 he was made a life member of the Algoma Church Society as a gift from his wife. On October 1, 2003 he received what he said was the highest honour of his life, the naming of the Briefing Room at the Thunder Bay Police Station in his honour as The Reverend Michael Dunnill Briefing Room.
Michael also served as Chaplain and District Commissioner to the Port Arthur District of Scouts Canada, Padre to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #113 (Ortona), Padre to the Port Arthur Curling Club, served on the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Heart and Stroke Foundation, served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Sleeping Giant and was a presenter at Northern Hearts Retreat.
Michael enjoyed reading, spending time with his grandchildren, camping at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and travelling in Canada and the United States with his wife Marilyn in their 5th Wheel Trailer. He often stated that his greatest satisfaction was derived during the time he spent as Police Chaplain.
Survived by his wife Marilyn, sons Christopher (Beverley) of Thunder Bay and Timothy (Marcie) in Mississauga and daughter Michelle Demerse (Lorne) of Burlington. He is also survived by his two grandchildren Connor and Kes Dunnill. Also surviving are two sisters Mary of Thunder Bay and Bernice Rogers of Camrose, Alberta, three brothers Peter of Thunder Bay, David (Pat) of Toronto and Patrick (Marloe) of Pickering and several nieces and nephews.
Predeceased by his parents Ralph and Dodo Dunnill and a brother John.
Funeral services for the late Reverend Michael Dunnill will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:00 AM in St. Paul's Anglican Church celebrated by The Right Reverend Dr. Stephen Andrews, Bishop of Algoma with The Reverend Deborah H. Kraft officiating. Interment to follow in Riverside Cemetery. Visitation for friends will be on Wednesday evening (Tonight) in the Church from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM with Prayers offered at 7:00 PM and also one hour prior to service time on Thursday morning.
Should friends so desire, donations may be made to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Foundation (Cardiac or Cancer).
EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL,299 Waverley St. at Algoma in care of arrangements.
Please sign the online condolences at www.everestofthunderbay.com