In Celebration of

Lynn Michelle Mainland

May 23, 1968 -  April 1, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lynn Mainland. Lynn was the cherished wife of Pierre Gratton and mother of Maya Mainland-Gratton, as well as the beloved owner of dogs Jasmine and Pippa and cats Littlefoot, Shibou and Lily. She was the daughter of Pauline (nee Tilley) and John Robert Mainland (both deceased), beloved sister of Sue Mainland and sister-in-law of Tom Collins. She will also be sorely missed by mother-in-law Irene Tomaszewski, brother-in-law Richard Gratton and family and the rest of the Tomaszewski clan.

Born in Derby, England, Lynn was a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge in history (M.A., M. Phil) and moved to Canada in 1991 to begin a PhD in political science at McGill University where she met her future husband, Pierre. Together, they lived and worked in Edmonton, Quebec City, Ottawa and Vancouver, settling for a second time in Ottawa where they have lived since 2011. For many years, she worked for the Government of Canada, mostly at Health Canada, where she made many friends. However, her “greatest accomplishment”, in her words, was the birth of her daughter, Maya, in 1999. She loved to travel, was an avid reader of mystery novels and history and a lover of animals — she never a year spent without a cat or dog in her life. A trip to Italy in 2013 was dubbed the dead Roman tour, a lifelong dream to visit Roman ruins (supplemented by similar trips to Spain, France and the UK), and in 2018 she travelled to Botswana for an unforgettable visit to Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.

In early 2013, Lynn was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. With a will to live, and thanks to the excellent care of the Ottawa Cancer Program and the support of her family, she fought this horrible disease with determination and courage for over six years.

Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of Lynn’s life at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services, 280 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at noon until the time of the memorial service at 2 pm in the Sacred Space, on what would have been Lynn’s 51st birthday.

Donations may be made to the Ottawa Humane Society or the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.


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Jordan S (Co-worker)

Entered April 5, 2019 from Ottawa

No one could dress-down someone as politely and eloquently as Lynn. I have kept some of this emails as a reminder of how fantastic a person she was. I will be forever grateful for the time I was fortunate enough to spent as her colleague and her friend.

Jodi Brown (Colleague)

Entered April 5, 2019 from Ottawa

I had the pleasure and honour of working with Lynn at Health Canada for several years. She was as compassionate as she was brilliant; genuine, thoughtful and kind. She was instrumental in helping me grow and learn as a public servant, as a person, and eventually as a new mom. Her love and devotion for her family was always present and her ethics paramount. Pierre and Maya, these are challenging days and months ahead but we hope you can find some solace in the many gifts Lynn had and shared, and how she made so many peoples’ lives a lot better for having been such a beautiful person, trusted colleague and advocate for so many. Jodi and Anthony

Randy L 

Entered April 5, 2019

Pierre and Maya,
Sending so much love from the Lutterman-Lippman clan in NYC. Lynn was formidable, funny, and unforgettable. And she loved both of you fiercely, and completely. So sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing.

Jacqui Schofield (Friend)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

Lynn was a great friend. We shared many British commonalities. She had such compassion for family, friends and of course the many animals who were lucky enough to have Lynn in her life. There will be a big hole for all of is who knew and loved Lynn. My heart goes out to Maya and Pierre who were her world. So very sad.

Sylvie Touchette Passiant 

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

So sorry for your loss. I want to offer my deepest sympathy to Pierre and Maya, and all who loved her, including her beloved pets. Lynn and I met at HC, she was kind, such a beautiful person and what a pleasure to be in her presence. I was lucky to meet Lynn with our friend Edith for lunch once in a while, and we could talk about anything and just be ourselves, we felt at ease with each other. She will be missed.

Life Stories 

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Pierre Gratton (Husband)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

This photo is from our “dead Roman tour” (secret: Lynn had a “thing” for Tiberius, which I was never quite sure what to make of), taken on the Amalfi coast. We’d spent a week in Naples, around the corner, touring Pompei, Herculaneum and other amazing if lesser known places, but then headed south to Amalfi. Such an incredibly beautiful place. This was our favourite holiday ever, celebrating our 20th anniversary. It was early on in her diagnosis and she had responded so well to early treatment, we hardly thought of it. We hoped to go back to see northern Italy together, but it was not to be.

Pierre (Husband)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

This photo is of Lynn and Maya when Maya won the award for top fundraiser in Ottawa for Run for the Cure. She was top one year and second in two others, leading her school to be the top school every year she was there. Maya was also joined on the Run every year by many of Lynn’s friends and colleagues from Health Canada.

Pierre (Husband)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

This photo of Lynn was taken on a walk in the Florida Keys, one of the last trips we took together in May 2018. We also went to the Everglades, which we both loved, including a swamp tour to see the alligators. Shortly after this trip Lynn fell sick for the first time, but battled back so well we thought many more years, and many trips, still laid ahead.

Pierre (Husband)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

This is Lynn in St. James Park in London, her favourite park and where she would always go when we went to London for my work. Maya and Lynn would always go there together when Maya came with us to feed the birds and squirrels (no rabies in the UK). It is a beautiful park, with lots of different birds and great, tall trees and flowers.

Pierre (Husband)

Entered April 6, 2019 from Ottawa

A lesser known story to many of Lynn’s friends and colleagues, who mostly hail from Health Canada, comes from when she started her public service career in PCO Communications and developed quite a good reputation as a speechwriter. She became, with time, the only public service speechwriter Stephane Dion, then Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and a very picky writer himself, could tolerate. On what was supposed to be just a regular day at work, an order came down that a speech for Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien was needed in 45 minutes. Lynn was picked to do this. A stressful 45 minutes later, the speech was done and all was well.


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