Whitney Pier

It is with broken hearts that we, the family, regret to announce the passing of our dearest father and husband, Andrew Alexander Gilyan at the age of 86. Andy passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, with his loving family by his side.

Born on February 23, 1933 in Baja, Hungary, Andy was the son of the late Andras Gilyan and Julijana Pinter. Andy is the last surviving member of his immediate family.

Leaving Hungary in 1957, Andy met and married Mary who became the love of his life. They came to Canada in search of a better life, and later became Canadian citizens. Dad brought with him a set of strong family values and was a resilient, self-taught, hard working man. It is these qualities that allowed him to always provide for his family. He never expected anything for free and always put in a hard day’s work to make a living. From the first day he landed in Canada, to his last moments, Dad’s commitment to his family never waivered which provided us the better life that he came searching for so many years before.

Upon his arrival to Cape Breton and only speaking the Hungarian language, Dad was able to secure employment and worked as a shoemaker for several years, later becoming a member of the labour’s union, local 1115. Dad worked for several companies and finished his career with Joneljim as a respected and skilled concrete finisher.

Retirement gave Dad the opportunity to spend more time doing the other things he loved, especially spending time with his grandchildren whom he adored. Dad became an avid gardener and would spend hours daily planting, pruning, and perfecting his garden. He took great pride in his roses and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with anyone who needed a helping hand. Dad was happiest when keeping busy and helping others.

Andy is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Mary Szklenar Gilyan; children, Andy, Ildiko (Paul) Ferguson and Robbie (Tammy); son-in-law, Roger Rochon and his son, Terrance; grandchildren, Paul and Christopher Theriault, Andrew Gilyan, Shari-Lynn, Tyler Gilyan and Stephen Larade (along with their mother Joann Larade), Christina and Kelsie Ferguson; and great-grandson, Christian Theriault.

Besides his parents, Andy was pre-deceased by his daughter Mary, and great-grandson, Mackenzie.

It was because of the care and support from our mother, the VON, and City Homemakers that Dad was able to remain home for as long as he did. We would like to thank the medical staff of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital 4B unit, Palliative Care, and the Cove Guest Home for their care of Dad in his time of need.

Visitation for the late Andy Gilyan will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at the Pier Community Funeral Home, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street), Whitney Pier.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Holy Redeemer Church at 10 a.m. with Fr. Paul Murphy officiating. Interment will take place in Resurrection Cemetery, Sydney Forks, NS.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Andy’s memory can be made to Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton or charity of one’s choice.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.

~ There will never be a day when we won’t think of you~

Online Condolences

Ildiko and family, I am so sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. I will always remember him for his beautiful garden and his garden advice. Hugs and prayers at this difficult time.
From:  Valerie LeBlanc

Mary and family, so sorry to hear of Andy’s passing. He was a pleasure to have known and will be well missed. Thinking of you all. xoxox
From:  Jackie,Bruce,Victoria Matthews and Murdock and Angie Cormier.

We are so sorry to to here of Andy’s passing and offer our sincere condolences to Mary and all of the family.
From:  Michael G MacDonald

Mary, Garf and I are sorry to hear of Andy’s passing. Condolences and prayers to You and your family during this difficult time.
From:  Marilyn and Garfield Strickland