Cover photo for Karen Celeste Hilfman Millson's Obituary
Karen Celeste Hilfman Millson Profile Photo

Karen Celeste Hilfman Millson

February 24, 1956 — February 21, 2024

Karen Celeste Hilfman Millson

Karen lived an abundant and joyous life grounded in the light of love, present in the moment, connected to the Divine. She was passionate about relationships and her life work of creating Beloved Community rooted in Circle Culture / Authentic Connection Culture which she had the opportunity to explore and develop as an ordained minister of The United Church of Canada. Karen was known as vibrant and dynamic with high energy to engage the people and world around her. She shared her creativity and intuitive wisdom through drawing people together in circles for Small Groups, Meditative Worship, Intergenerational Musicals and as a Facilitator for Significant Conversations for visioning. While working with many Communities of Faith as a consultant and regional minister, she was called to be in ministry with Comber Pastoral Charge (1988-1995) and St Paul’s in Orillia (1996-2013). Two of her great joys were to be worship leader at nine conference/regional annual meetings and to interview Gordon Lightfoot five times. Karen is a published author of The Mended Mirror and three books in various stages of publication of Pilgrimage with Cancer, Writings on Circle Culture, and a collection of her poetry.

Karen had a rich and full family life. She and her husband Alan Millson have been together since August 1977, married in 1980. She has two amazing daughters Sarah Millson Fairchild and Melissa Millson along with four incredible grandchildren Copper, Makenna, Lewis and Zachary as well as the rest of their family of Sarah’s husband Darren Fairchild and Melissa’s partner Collin Copengog and his two sons Xander and Gaige.

Karen is close to her two sisters she grew up with, Janis (and Paul Gillrie) and Wendy (and Rick Roman) along with seventeen nieces and nephews, twenty-five great nieces and nephews and sister in law Barbara Hilfman. She has also had a delightful relationship with Alan’s seven siblings, Murray and Laura Millson, Bob and Elaine Millson, Nancy and Richard Halliburton, Carolyn and Rob Farrell, Neil and Trish Millson, Catherine and Peter Kingsley, Ed and Sandra Millson and eighteen nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Cousins on the Weir side of the family were always significant connections and Aunt Joyce Sylvester and family and Millson cousins on Alan’s side.

It has been a delight to get to know new and unexpected family over the years in sister Bernice (and Stan Hartshorn) and her children and grandchildren, as well as the whole MacDonald clan through the discovery in 2016 of an extra biological father for Janis and Karen.

Karen was predeceased by her Mom Edith Hilfman McDonald, her Dad Lloyd Hilfman, her brother Mark Hilfman and her unexpected biological father Bob MacDonald.

A service to Celebrate the Light of Love and the Life of Karen Celeste Hilfman Millson will be at St Paul’s Center/United Church Orillia (62 Peter St N, Orillia) on Saturday, February 24th at 11 a.m. There will be a half hour of music and pictures before the service and more at the afternoon tea and wine and cheese reception after. People are invited to wear rainbow colours to add to the celebration of light (preference for no clergy collars).

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

There will be a half hour of music and pictures before the service and more at the afternoon tea and wine and cheese reception after. People are invited to wear rainbow colours to add to the celebration of light (preference for no clergy collars).

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