De Montigny Marchand, distinguished senior Canadian public servant and Ambassador died in Victoria on June 24, 2019.

He leaves in mourning his loving companion and wife of forty years, Marie-Andrée Beauchemin. He is sorely missed by his devoted and much-loved children from his first marriage to the late Nathalie Clift, Julie, Emmanuelle, Charles and his wife Noom, and his adored grandchildren Anne-Sophie, Marie-Claude, Jean-Christophe (Goulet), Adèle, Laurent, Renaud (Chiricota), Sémira, Emilie-Sasi, Prom (Marchand). He will also be much missed by his sisters Marie (Marc Filion) and Francine (Robert Clarenc), his sister-in-law Francine Beauchemin and his nephews, nieces, cousins and many other members of his extended family.

De Montigny was born on March 19, 1936 in St-Jérome, Quebec, the son of Jean-Charles Marchand and Françoise Magnan. A graduate of the University of Montreal where he obtained his law degree, he also attended Boston University where he pursued postgraduate studies in communications.

Having served as Secretary General of the University of Montreal (1967-1969), de Montigny joined the federal public service where he rose rapidly to the highest ranks, serving as the Privy Council’s Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet during the government of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Senior appointments followed as Deputy Minister of Political Affairs at External Affairs, as Deputy Minister of Communications, of Energy, Mines and Resources and as Under Secretary of State for External Affairs. During these years, he served also as the Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for several G7 Summits, including Versailles (1982), Williamsburg (1983) and London (1984). De Montigny also served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (1987-89) and as Ambassador of Canada to Italy (1991-96).

Throughout his career, de Montigny played a key role at the nerve centre of government as both a proud Quebecker and as a defender and promoter of federalism and bilingualism during challenging years for the country.

After living the first phase of their retirement in Tuscany for 12 years, de Montigny and Marie-Andrée moved to Victoria in 2014 where he maintained his life-long interest in international affairs and greatly appreciated the closer vicinity to his family and year-round golfing at the Victoria Golf Club.

De Montigny was an exceptional gentleman, a charming lover of family, music, wine, golf and baseball (especially the Boston Red Sox) and a great raconteur. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered by his family and many friends in Canada and abroad.

Celebrations of his life will be organized in Victoria and Montreal in September.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Brian MacKay
    July 16, 2019


    I have only just become aware of the passing of de Montigny. My sincerest condolences to you and other family members. During your and my time together in Pakistan, you spoke of him fondly, with pride and affection. No doubt he will be missed. It is my sincere hope that the sorrow of his passing quickly becomes fond memories of your time together.

    Brian MacKay

  • Barbara Burns
    July 15, 2019

    Hello Marie-Andree,

    I was saddened to hear of your loss! I remember the days when these dozens of roses would be delivered anonymously to the office and, although you knew they were from de Montigny, you asked that I try to find out who had sent them….but to no avail….do you remember those days in Personnel Operations Division? I do!
    I am thinking of you and send my condolences to you and the family.

    Barbara Burns

  • Darren Schemmer
    July 15, 2019

    Chère Marie-Andrée,
    Heather et moi étions attristés d’apprendre le decès de votre mari. Nos sympathies et condoléances sont avec vous.

  • Peter Tobin
    July 15, 2019

    JULIE:I am sorry to read of the death of your father De Montigny. I have fond memories of my visit to Paris when you and your family were there…a summer in the late 70’s as I recall. Also of your high school years when I was a teacher and your swim coach.

  • Ian Wood
    July 15, 2019

    Dear Marie-Andre,
    Just a quick word from Switzerland to offer you our deepest
    sympathies in this sad time.
    I knew De Montigny only slightly but I do recall his very kind
    words to me when I departed External Affairs for retirement in
    This goes to you and the extended family with our sincerest
    Ian and Barbara Wood

  • Garrett Lambert
    July 14, 2019

    I was saddened to learn that de Montigny had passed. I first met him at while seconded to CIDA, and often traveled with him. He was a most engaging companion. Our paths crossed again when he came to External Affairs, and yet again when he gave up Italy for Victoria. He had the ability to brighten rooms, and he will be missed. Helen and I send our condolences to Marie-Andre and family.

  • Gordon Longmuir
    July 12, 2019

    Very saddened to hear of the passing of De Montigny. After some years during which we had been out of touch, we warmly remember a hilarious dinner with old ExtAff colleagues at a West Vancouver restaurant barely two years ago, when everyone was in fine fettle. Our deepest condolences to Marie-Andrée and family.

    Gordon and Kazuko Longmuir

  • Gaston Barban
    July 12, 2019

    Dear Marie-Andrée,
    Please accept my most sincere sympathies and deepest condolences on the passing of de Montigny.
    He was “my” ambassador in Rome. He was distinguished, most professional and a great representative of Canada. I was very proud to be a member of his team. It was enlightening to see the reference to the Boston Red Sox in his obituary, for one of the few private moments I had with him was over drinks one evening, while on a business trip outside of Rome, during which almost the entire conversation was about baseball! It was delightful!
    May your fond memories of him give you solace and courage in the time ahead.
    Gaston Barban

  • Léonard Marchand
    July 12, 2019

    Chère Marie-André,
    C’est avec une grande tristesse que nous avons appris le décès de De Montigny. Au nom des miens et des Marchand de Saint-Jérôme, nous offrons nos plus sincères condoléances
    Léonard Marchand.

    Dear Marie-André,
    It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of De Montigny. On behalf of my people and the Marchand of Saint-Jérôme, we offer our most sincere condolences
    Leonard Marchand.

  • John Noble
    July 11, 2019

    Dear Marie-Andre and Family,

    My most sincere condolences on the death of your beloved husband, father and grandfather, De Montigny. I first met him when he was at the OECD. As Sherpa at the G-7 Summit in Williamsburg in 1983, he provided me with the unforgettable lines of an exchange between PMs Trudeau and Thatcher: PET: “We should be busting our asses for peace”. Thatcher: “Pierre you are such a comfort to the Kremlin”, which I used in briefing the Canadian press. We travelled together with Foreign Minister Allan MacEachen to the Middle East, including walking around the pyramids. When he was Ambassador in Geneva, I spent a week in your lovely Residence there attending some UN event. But we had time to play a round of golf! I will never forget the honour DeMontigny bestowed on me as Under Secretary when he asked me to go to Paris as Number 2 (the token Anglophone!) in 1990. It didn’t happen then, but four years later. De Montigny had a great sense of humour, served Canada with great distinction in a variety of roles, and I will miss him greatly.
    My most heartfelt sympathies.

  • David Collins
    July 10, 2019

    Marie-Andree – desole avec la nouvelle. De Montigny est un vrai example du gentil-homme. Nos condoleances. David and Jacquie Collins, Victoria

  • Hon. Roy Cullen, P.C.
    July 10, 2019

    We should take this time to celebrate De Montigny Marchand’s most distinguished public service on behalf of all Canadians. His commitment to excellence and duty are an example for all of us to follow.

  • Chuck Barr
    July 10, 2019

    Hello Marie Andre,
    Alice and I were saddened to hear of your loss. It has been a long time since Crichton Street. We hope you are doing well. We are back in Canada now and living in Mahone Bay NS.

  • James Bartleman
    July 10, 2019

    Marie-Jeanne and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of de Montigny. It was an honour and pleasure to have come to know him for so many years in the Foreign Service. Our sincere condolences to Marie-Andree and other members of his family.
    Jim Bartleman

  • Cristina de Yturralde Ronald
    July 10, 2019

    My sincere condolences to the family of De Montigny Marchand.

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