Kirkwood, Hilda – 1917-2017

Hilda Thompson Kirkwood Green passed away peacefully at Fairview Manor in Almonte, Ontario, on January 27, 2017. She was in her 100th year.

Hilda was born in Beer, England and came to Canada with her parents Roy and Ada Thompson as a small child. She grew up in Peterborough, where her lifelong passion for literature and poetry led to her writing book reviews for the Peterborough Examiner under editor Robertson Davies.  Associated with the Canadian Forum for more than 40 years, Hilda served on its editorial board and contributed scores of articles, reviews and travelogues to it and numerous other publications. In her 70s, she authored two books: Phoenix Time, a compilation of her poems, and Between the Lines, a collection of her interviews with such notable Canadians as Margaret Laurence, Northrop Frye, Leon Rooke and William McElcheran. Hilda was also an accomplished painter.

In 1940, Hilda married Jack Kirkwood, who would spend much of their early married life away from home while serving with the Canadian Forces during the Second World War. In 1949, Hilda and Jack moved with their son, Bill, to Brampton, where they welcomed their daughter Katharine. In addition to her writing, Hilda was a vibrant presence in the Brampton community. She was involved in local theatre, with the Peel County Historical Society and the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives. She served as a trustee on the Peel Board of Education and on the local, county and provincial library boards.

Jack died in 1973 and in 1975 Hilda married John Green. Hilda and John shared a love of music and travel and lived in Toronto and Peterborough before moving to Almonte in 1999. John died in 2004.

Hilda is survived by her son, Bill Kirkwood (Susan Hanna), daughter Katharine Kirkwood (Ron Bell), stepdaughter Debbie Green, stepson Chris Green (Christina Sass-Kortsak), grandsons Andrew, Cameron and David Kirkwood, granddaughters Rosamund, Megan and Emma Dunkley, grandsons Sam, Will, Andrew and Matthew Green, great-grandchildren Thompson, Sarah, Quincy, Gavin, Matthew, Jamie, Felix, Hayden, Bridget, Zoe and Paisley, sister Patricia Young, brother Jim Thompson and many nieces and nephews. Also predeceased by brothers Bill, Bob and Lang Thompson and stepdaughter Virginia.

Hilda’s family wants to thank the staff at Fairview Manor, who provided such excellent and compassionate care to her for almost 10 years, and Heather Sword, who was a faithful visitor.

A celebration of Hilda’s long and well-lived life will be held at a future time. For those who may choose to honour Hilda with a memorial donation, please consider the Almonte General Hospital/Fairview Manor Foundation.

Arrangements are entrusted to


127 Church Street Almonte, Ontario. (613) 256-3313,

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