In Memory of



Obituary for Peter Pickersgill


Born: Ottawa, September 5, 1945; died Gander NL, April 15, 2023

Predeceased by his parents, J.W. Pickersgill and Margaret Pickersgill and by his sister, Dr. Jane Pickersgill.
He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Lisa Rae with whom he shared a life of adventure, the search for knowledge and the appreciation of the beauty of Creation He also leaves his brother, Alan Pickersgill and his partner Jeanette Laaning of Salvage and St. John’s NL, as well as his sister Ruth Pickersgill McKane, her husband Garth and their children, Michael and his family of Montreal and Maddy and her family in Sweden.

Peter leaves his nephews, Dr. Tom Baird of St. John’s, and Dr. Alan Baird in Oslo. who gave Peter great pride and joy in their accomplishments. Their father, Bill Baird was a true and loving brother-in-law and faithful friend since chilldhood.

Also left to mourn are Peter’s sister-in-law Claudia Carver, her husband Neil Carver of Waterloo ON as well as their children Matthew of Paris ON, Fiona and Sarah and families of Toronto, and daughter, Megan and family of Strathroy ON.

Peter was a special person. As soon as he graduated from UBC in Architecture in 1972, he took up a free-lance career as a political cartoonist. He worked at The Citizen, The Ottawa Journal and Le Devoir of Hull, He was the first political cartoonist to produce a daily animated cartoon which ran on the newly established Global Television Network. His association with Global continued when he illustrated Gordon Henderson’s book of poems, Sandy Mackenzie, Why Look so Glum? with portraits of each Prime Minister from Sir John A. to Joe Clark. Global’s news anchor, Peter Debarats and Peter Pickersgill worked to produce an animated version of Halibut York, a gift from Debarats to his daughter.

Peter loved working at the Toronto Star, where he published editorial cartoons as well as a series called Gargoyle Gossip which showed the gargoyles of Parliament making somewhat naughty comments about who and what they saw while looking down on the halls of our government.

Peter also loved working on radio and made wonderful commentaries for CBCs The Sunday Edition as well as CBC Newfoundland’s Fisheries Broadcast.

His book Neither Here nor There demonstrated his deep and abiding love of Newfoundland and Labrador which began when he first visited the island with his parents as a very young boy.

Peter did a magical series of paintings evoking the spiritual union among fish, birds and humans. He produced a series of paintings for the Shipowners Association by celebrating the enormous vessels that ply our waters from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

Peter and his wife, Lisa moved permanently to Salvage, NL in 2004, having summered there for over 42 years on Burdens Point. As they headed toward full retirement in Salvage, they visited France several times to explore this special country and to visit members of the de France family. This friendship started in the 1920s when J.W. Pickersgill met Paul de France in Picardie. It has lasted through five generations with visits to and from France and Canada.

Three of his proudest achievements have been accomplished with Jeff Mierins of Ottawa. They produced The Totem Pole of Canada as a fundraising project for the Ottawa School of Art. It now stands outside the school in the Byward Market as a tribute to the many countries from which new immigrants arrived. Jeff and Peter, along with the John Peters Humphrey Foundation also worked together on an animated version of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights [] In 2009, Jeff sponsored 3 Hondas in the Newfoundland Targa race; Peter and navigator Dan Chesney were appointed Rookie of the Year having won their class on their first time racing the event. Glasses clinked and trophies still hang on the wall.

Many people will miss Peter. However, he has left an enduring legacy of good thoughts, creative action, and a wildly different personality. On va le manquer. We will miss him, but his memory will always bring us smiles.

There will be a service in St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Salvage, on Saturday, April 29 at 2:00.

If anyone is interested in making a donation in Peter’s memory, please consider

The John Peters Humphrey Foundation
The Ottawa School of Art
United Nations Chidren's Fund [UNICEF}

Arrangements entrusted through Stacey’s Funeral Home, Gander – Carmanville.