A rugged individual who lived life on his own terms was how an acquaintance described Ambrose MacMillan. Some others described him as being direct, with a strong character and a big heart.
Ambrose was born in Antigonish Nova Scotia into a large family with deep generational roots in the area. He learned to weld in his late teens and plied his trade in and around Antigonish. Later, he and his brother drove west to Alberta where jobs were plentiful at the time.
After several years, he moved east to Toronto where he worked as a construction labourer but was dissatisfied with the work. And that’s when he took up his second career, walking dogs, which was something very new at the time. He was one of the first people to provide this valuable service and he found he excelled at it. Dogs loved him and their owners came to know Ambrose as trustworthy, dependable, and dedicated. He took the job seriously, learning the traits of the breeds and the personalities of each. Hardly missing a day, he would arrive in all-weather because, well, most dogs don’t mind the weather.
When he wasn’t working, ‘Brosie, as his friends called him, enjoyed competition and anyone who knew him knew not to play darts or pool for money as he was pretty good at both. He also became fairly proficient in the art of Tai Chi and Tai Chi with sword.
Ambrose had to give up the job he loved after losing the use of an arm and a leg from gluten ataxia, a rare neurological condition associated with celiac disease. While being hospitalized, Ambrose was interviewed by doctors and researchers from across the country who were eager to learn about this rare disorder. He underwent experimental deep brain surgery to control his irregular muscle movement with some success, but his working years were over. He was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
Ambrose had been living independently and enjoyed the simple things in life including a good cup of tea.
He is predeceased by his father Hugh, his mother Julia Anastasia, (nee Wallace) and brothers Robert and Bernard. Ambrose is survived by his brothers Gerard, Roderick (Marion) and Tommy and sisters Margaret (Andrew) McMaster, Theresa Ann, Darlene, and Donna (Torin), and eleven nieces and nephews Jason, Ambrose, Ryan, Evan, James, Danielle, Kathleen, Astoria, Phaedra, Dylan, and Carson and eleven great nieces and nephews.
Ambrose thanks the staff and PSW’s at his residence for all their help and kind assistance over the years.
Deepest gratitude to the palliative care doctors, nurses, and staff at Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital in Toronto for all the care they provided in his final days.
There will be no service and cremation has taken place.
Please make a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society or Celiac Canada.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Ambrose
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at MacIsaac Funeral Home LTD