Kingsmills department store. (Photo from Kingmill's Facebook page)

‘London has truly lost an icon’

The city of London is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved businessmen and philanthropists.

Fred Kingsmill, who was the president of the Kingsmill’s department store for 33 years, passed away on Monday at the age of 90 at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Clarissa, his son Timothy, his daughter Anne, his three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“My thoughts today, like those of many Londoners, are with the family of Fred Kingsmill,” said London Mayor Ed Holder in a statement. “Fred was so well respected and loved by all. He was a gentleman and a gentle man, a fierce champion of our downtown, but also someone who showed tremendous compassion for London’s most vulnerable. London has truly lost an icon.”

Kingsmill was the fourth generation to own and operate the historic department store in downtown London, which is now the site of Fanshawe College’s downtown campus.

During his life, Kingsmill was awarded a number of accolades including the William Mercer Wilson Medal in 1988, the Ontario Citizenship Award in 1991, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and was also inducted into the London Business Hall of Fame in 1999. As well, as a member of the London Health Association, he played a key role in the creation of the London Health Sciences Centre (originally University Hospital).

Kingsmill also became involved in a number of civic affairs through the Red Cross, the Western Fair, the Canadian Club of London, and the Covent Garden Market.

A visitation for Kingsmill will be held on Friday at the Logan Funeral Home, 371 Dundas St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m, and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  A funeral will then be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 472 Richmond St. For further information about the service and donations, click here.