Arthur was the eldest son of Maurice and Ida Gillman; brother of Alec Gillman and Thomas Harold Gillman, who predeceased Arthur and Alec.
He leaves behind his wife of 60 years Louise (Fineblit) Gillman; children Avery Gillman (Winnipeg), and Susan Kayesar (husband Tal, Kfar Warburg, Israel); and beloved grandchildren Eitan, Shaked, Hadassah and Ilan Kayesar.
Arthur was loved and admired by many relatives; and numerous friends across Canada, the US and Israel. He was a true Renaissance man who read widely and thought deeply about public policy, mathematics, systems analysis, music, history, philosophy, politics, education, chess, mind-body integration, economics, statistics, self improvement, Shakespeare, … “the universe and all that”.
Arthur’s great joy was sharing his insights, his wisdom and knowledge with anyone who would listen and hold a conversation about it, especially his grandchildren. “Let me send you a reference about that” was a frequent phrase. He read voluminously. When the Internet came along, it opened huge horizons of knowledge to Arthur. He was a man with no vanity, strong intellectual curiosity, and was interested in people from all walks of life and all over the world. He was always trying to repair the world’s injustices by improving the systems, not just patching up parts. His motto was: “To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Shakespeare).
Arthur was very family oriented. He valued his friendships. He was a violinist and a chess player. He was a strong follower of the Feldenkrais method of mind-body integration. Arthur had many hobbies and interests, too numerous to list here. He was a strong supporter of Israel and Judaism.
After reading the Club of Rome’s Report – “The Limits to Growth”, in 1972 and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”, Arthur was persuaded that we humans are damaging our planet and did what he could to raise awareness. He helped to mitigate some of that environmental damage during his consultant days.
Arthur’s career path had many twists and turns. He delivered two newspapers as a boy. He became a disk jockey at a drive-in movie theatre. He was an itinerant photographer – taking photos of people at their work and selling them the pictures. Of course, he had his own darkroom and did his own developing. When Arthur dropped out of high school before completing it, he became a cook’s helper at the Bay. Eventually Arthur figured out this was not working well for him. His grandfather, Isaac Gilman, persuaded him to become a Chartered Accountant. Upon completion, Arthur worked for the tax office for a while, and then opened an independent office.
After Arthur and Louise married in 1959, Arthur enrolled at the University of Manitoba where he was able to follow his lifelong interests in Philosophy, Mathematics, Economics, and Statistics. His Master’s Degree thesis was on water resources management. After that, he taught Econometrics for a couple of years in the Faculty of Agriculture. Arthur then returned to pursue his PhD.
Before completing his doctoral thesis he was lured away to the Manitoba Civil Service to work at the Economic Development Advisory Board. Those were the glory days of the Ed Schreyer NDP government, which attracted many well educated social reform idealists from across Canada, who perceived an opportunity to improve people’s lives. They developed many new social initiatives.
Arthur started the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics which he used as a springboard to establish a number of innovative projects. Arthur was called the Father of Autopac, now MMPI.
Arthur ran a very successful trial in Dauphin to provide a Guaranteed Annual Income. Sadly, the Conservative government that succeeded the NDP closed the project down before the data were published.
When he left government, he started his own consulting company, Delphi Consultative Surveys and Research (International) Ltd. He developed his own methodology based on advanced mathematical, statistical and econometric foundations. He wrote his own computer software analytical programs for the data he collected. He did significant work for clients throughout Canada, the US and Great Britain. He did pro bono work for social organizations that were in keeping with Arthur’s values.
Many of his clients and people he met while traveling became his good friends over the years.
As Arthur’s health declined from the effects of Post Polio syndrome (he had Polio when he was seven years old) and hereditary diabetes. He traveled less but still continued his research, teaching and networking, closer to home and over the Internet.
Sadly, Arthur developed serious new health problems following surgery on April 2 this year and ended his days in the Palliative Care Unit 3 East at Riverview Health Centre, still trying to impart the importance and excitement of Fuzzy Logic and Bayes Theorem as well as the philosophical aspects of death and dying to his young doctors and nurses and his visitors. Arthur was buried June 2, 2019 at Bnay Abraham Cemetery in Winnipeg
We salute you Arthur! When you were around, life was full of wonder and interesting ideas.
Your ironic sense of humor got us through a lot of challenges.
Rest in peace.
We have so many people that we are grateful for:
Thank you to the Home Care aides who looked after Arthur with such care and kindness while he was at home, especially Rolando, Hailu and Gomeches. Thank you to the Home Care nurses, especially Ksenja, and to his Case Coordinator, BiNa.
Thank you to Arthur’s barber Sharon, and his foot care nurse Lori, who provided cheerful caring services to him at home.
Thank you to the knowledgeable doctors at Health Sciences Centre who tried to save Arthur but couldn’t.
Thank you to family and friends who have surrounded us with love and support and offerings of food, companionship, rides and other things – especially my brother Allan, sister Shirley, and friend Lynne.
Thank you to the friends living far away from Winnipeg who sent messages that I read to Arthur. Your words gave us both great pleasure. Thank you to two Toronto friends who attended Arthur’s funeral – Doug and Nathan.
Thank you to our daughter Susan who brought our grandchildren from Israel for a magical 10 day visit during which we laughed together, sang, told stories, and gave Arthur the chance do his final teaching.
Thank you to our son Avery who had his own health challenges at the same time that Arthur got sick but visited and offered support as best as he could. Thank you to friends and family who helped Avery with transportation.
Thank you to all the wonderful staff of 3 East – doctors, nurses, aides, students. You offered Arthur comfort, compassion, respect and dignity while dying. You helped us immeasurably to make the best of a bad situation. A special thanks to Dr. Robin McClure who really “grocked” Arthur.
Thank you to our new friend Kathy, who provided massages to Arthur in his last days that made him say: My body feels like air.
Thank you to Shelley at Etz Chaim Synagogue who helped us to arrange the funeral and burial; and to Rabbi Kliel Rose who conducted the funeral with great sensitivity.
If I have left someone out of the list, please know that we are grateful for your help and kindnesses.
If you wish to honor Arthur’s memory, please send donations to a fund that we have set up at the Riverview Health Centre Foundation. It will provide financial help to give alternative integrative care to patients on 3 East, the Palliative Care Unit, who could not otherwise afford it. This is comfort care beyond what basic health care offers. To donate, you may phone the Foundation at 204-478-6271 or online at www.give2rhcf.ca or mail to Riverview Health Centre Foundation, 1 Morley Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3L 9Z9