Wilson McLean, who has died at the age of 81, was a long-time resident of the area for many years on Sugar Hill Road and more recently in Knowlton. A well-liked man in the community, Wilson and his late wife Betty were generous benefactors, in particular to the BMP Hospital. When he was on the Zeller’s charitable foundation board, Mr. McLean directed a million-dollar donation to the hospital in Cowansville. His wife, a registered nurse, donated funds to help with the comfort of nurses at the BMP.
“Both Willie and Betty were generous in a very quiet way,” said Martha Feilding, a friend and neighbour. One of the last donations he made was to the Pettes Library.
Wilson, whose friends knew him as Willie, was born and raised in Montreal and worked in the insurance business, eventually running his own agency. People who knew him say he was a gentleman of the old school, always well turned out no matter the occasion.
“Dad was the kindest, most generous person, a true gentleman,” said his daughter Heather.
Mr. McLean always organized a Christmas lunch for his friends in Knowlton, though it was cancelled due to COVID for the past few years. His long-time friend Pat Blanshay said he was an even-tempered man. “He was a good friend to people. I am sure he never said a cross word to anyone.”
Wilson McLean enjoyed outdoor pursuits, from golf and fishing to gardening. For many years he and his family owned a property on Sugar Hill, where he kept a large vegetable garden and made maple syrup on a small scale. He always had dogs, and his two white West Highland terriers stayed with him to the end.
Wilson ‘Willie’ McLean was born in Montreal on April 27, 1940. He died at home in Knowlton. He is survived by his children, Heather, David and Victoria and seven grandchildren