LETHBRIDGE- An autopsy has confirmed former MP Jim Hillyer died of a heart attack.
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Hillyer’s body was found at his desk in his Ottawa office in the early morning hours of March 23. The Ontario coroner’s office said Monday Hillyer died instantly of cardiomyopathy that could be related to an undiagnosed, pre-existing heart condition or from the intense chemotherapy he underwent in 2003 to treat leukemia.
There were some questions as to whether an infection stemming from a recent ski accident might have played a role in his death, but the coroner said it was unrelated. The coroner also advised that in the coming weeks, further test results will confirm which of the two identifiable factors is the cause of death.
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Hillyer’s wife Olivia issued this statement:
More than words can express, I am moved deeply and comforted by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers my family has received since Jim’s sudden and tragic death.
Jim is my high school sweetheart. My heart is broken to lose him. He loved me so much in our 25 years together that I know I will feel it for the rest of my life.
Jim cherishes our children. He has cheered for them, counselled with them, and cuddled them. London, Taylor, Nation, and Asia are faithful and strong because of his example and love.
Jim loves the Lord. He faced the challenges of illness, accident and the pressures of life and civic duty with a strength which came from his faith and his desire to serve God.
Jim loves his country. It was his lifelong dream to serve as a Member of Parliament. He would often tell me that, even after all this time, his heart still swells with humility and gratitude when he walks to work and sees the Canadian flag waving from the Peace Tower.
He believes Canada is the greatest country on earth. He believes Southern Alberta is the best place to live and raise a family. The golden prairies, vast enough to see the Sweet Grass Hills on the east and Old Chief Mountain on the west, are a delight to his soul.
As Christians, the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs. I am honoured to be the wife of a man, who gives his love so freely to the Lord.
A funeral service will be held for Hillyer in his home town of Raymond, Alta. Friday at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Centre (2 North – 200 West Street Raymond, Alta.) Arrangements can be entrusted to Christensen Salmon Generations Funeral Homes, in Lethbridge.
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Watch below: In his home town of Raymond, former Lethbridge MP Jim Hillyer’s family and friends say he died where his heart was. Kimberly Tams reports March 23.
MPs shocked by death of Conservative Jim Hillyer