Aitken, Georgina 'Gail'

Georgina Gail Aitken affectionately known as “Gail” passed away peacefully at her residence, with Jen and Paul at her side, Don, Laurie and 4 grandsons present.

Born in Winnipeg to George and Winnifred (nee Kinley) Aitken. Predeceased by her older sister Diana (Cam Eckert), will be very deeply missed by her younger brother David (Janie), son Paul Varah (Nghia Phan), daughter Jen Varah and her extended Bellamy family.

After graduating high school in Winnipeg, Gail obtained her R.N. degree at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (HSC) (1954-57). Sick Kids sent her to U of T for a Diploma in Nursing Education 1958-1959.

After teaching at HSC, she moved to Burlington, ON with her first husband Bob Varah where she adopted her children Paul as an infant and Jennifer 22 months later, also an infant. While raising her kids she travelled extensively internationally.

She was on 9 boards and many committees including Joseph Brant Hospital and Troubled Child Committee. After years of community work in Burlington, attended McMaster obtaining a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s in Social Welfare and Policy 1974-75.  Afterwards she worked for the Ontario Welfare Council.

Achieved her PhD Philosophy from The Faculty of Social Work at U of T. Subsequently hired at Ryerson to teach Social & Health Care Policy and other courses. She wrote many articles and contributed to many papers relating to adoption policy & child welfare.

In 1981 Gail married Donald Bellamy and gained Laurie (Rajiv Manucha) and Kevin (Ria) as stepchildren. (Predeceased by Kevin).

Worked for many years with the Children in Limbo Task Force, achieving some successes in improving conditions for children in care and changing Adoption policy. An active member of U of T Lifelong learning association.

Enjoyed Wonderful winters spent in Algonquin, the Algarve in Portugal, and more international travel.

Summers spent in Meaford on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Enjoyed her last 5 years at Hazelton Retirement Home with Don and arranging speakers and events to entertain her and the residents for several years upon her arrival.

She will be greatly missed by her grandson Minh and extended family grandchildren Christopher, Adrienne, Mark, Bellamy and Ryan, Lucas, Bradley & Sean Manucha.

A Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel of the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Ave. W. (2 stoplights west of Yonge St.) on Friday, December 2nd at 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception.


An additional celebration of her life will be held in the Meaford area at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders ( or Dying With Dignity (


A Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel of the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Ave. W. (2 stoplights west of Yonge St.) on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 2 p.m.

Donations: Doctors Without Borders ( or Dying With Dignity (
Make a donation in memory of Georgina 'Gail' Aitken

Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. David and Nancy Fraser
    Sunday, November 27, 2022

    We are so saddened to hear of Gail’s passing. She was a treasured friend, particularly during our overlap at the cottage in Meaford where we often feasted together and shared excellent books to read. Gail was the kindest, most considerate friend with a broad spectrum of interests and a “doer” of good works. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. We extend our deepest sympathy to Don and Jen and Paul, whom we know, and the rest of the family whom we have not met personally.

  2. Paul & Sharon Dunn
    Sunday, November 27, 2022

    Dear Jenn: Sorry to hear of your mothers passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time, cherish all the wonderfull memories that you made with your mom.

  3. Margaret Tirpkoff
    Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    Jenn, I am so sorry to read about your Mom. Please know that you are in our thoughts. You have so many wonderful memories to cherish of all the terrific times that you and your Mom had together.

  4. Isabelle Ridd
    Wednesday, November 30, 2022


    My deepest condolences on the loss of your Mom. She was a bright light and I always enjoyed our
    chats at the bank. She truly cared and was always engaged in the conversation.
    Thinking of you at this difficult time.



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