Beverly McGill

Obituary of Beverly John McGill



October 5, 1918 – July 3, 2022

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Beverly John McGill in Toronto in his 104th year.  Bev is survived by his daughter Helen Elizabeth McGill and his niece and nephews.  Bev was born on October 5, 1918 on a farm at Ice Lake, not far from Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island. He was the eldest child of the late Elizabeth Marguerite (Wright) McGill and the late James Roger Beverly McGill. He was predeceased by his wife, Jessie (Coulthurst) McGill, and his sisters Myra Marguerite (McGill) MacVicar, Alice Jean (McGill) Purvis, and Ruth Elizabeth McGill.

Raised and educated mainly in Gore Bay, Bev left Manitoulin (“What other island is there?”, as he would say) in 1938 to join the Royal Bank of Canada in Sault Ste. Marie. He transferred to Aylmer in southwestern Ontario, then to Geraldon in northwestern Ontario where, in 1940, he decided to enlist in the Canadian Army. He received military training in Winnipeg as a member of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and was sent overseas.  He served in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. In 1946, he returned to Canada as an army Captain. After being discharged, Bev rejoined the Royal Bank of Canada, this time in Montreal.

After meeting in Vancouver and a long (according to Jessie) courtship, Bev and Jessie were married on November 10, 1951. They were truly the love of each other’s lives. Through good times and hard times, they were devoted to one another. They shared a love for family and friends, a desire to do good, and a wonderful sense of fun. Although they had very different senses of humour (Jessie’s quick and dry, Bev’s pretty corny), he revelled in making Jessie laugh - even if it was because he laughed so hard at his own jokes that she could not help herself.

His RBC career was so much more than a series of positions: it was about serving clients and colleagues, seeking to help them realize their potential. Personal, human relationships were at the core of how Bev defined success. He and Jessie had postings in Canada from Vancouver to Montreal, and internationally, including to Port of Spain, Trinidad and New York City. Bev’s daughter, Helen, would joke that growing up she thought her last name was McGill-Royal-Bank for all the times she heard her father introduce himself as “Bev McGill, Royal Bank.”

Bev was glad for the experiences earned from every position he held. Being the head of the International Division was perhaps his favourite. In 1978, he retired as Senior Executive Vice President of Royal Bank. In the last ten years of his career at Royal Bank, he logged more than half a million air miles and had business trips to some 50
countries. That same year, he joined Canadian Pacific Hotels as Chairman of the Board and became a director of the Bank of Tokyo.


After retirement, Bev and Jessie made their home in Delray Beach, Florida for several years, returning to Toronto in 2015. Bev loved to travel because it introduced him to new people, cultures, and the vast array of topographies of our world. He had an insatiable curiosity and was known to ask great questions and listen actively. He believed everyone had a unique and important story to tell and he experienced both delight and gratitude in learning those stories.

The words most often used when people would describe Bev were “a man of integrity” and “a true gentleman”, as well as commenting often about his strong handshake! That integrity, his kindness, and sense of fun will be sorely missed. It will be hard not to be the subject of his good-natured joshing. Bev knew times of want and times of plenty. Throughout his life, he had a profound sense of thankfulness to God and for those around him, which in turn sparked a generosity of heart especially for the disadvantaged. His life is an inspiration to many.  Now may he go in peace.

The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday July 13, 2022.  The family requests that masks be worn at the visitation.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Bev's memory to Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada or the Salvation Army, or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.  Condolences may be forwarded through


He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24


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