COLE – Gwendolyn Alice Mary (nee Clarke) ~ Nov.6, 1919 – Dec. 18, 2017
Gwen, aged 98 years, passed away peacefully during a short stay at Strathmore Hospital. She was born a twin at the family farm in Stone District, Saskatchewan (Tompkins). She grew up there with her parents, Florence and Hector, and siblings Marjorie and John (twin). Gwen attended the country school and high school at Shaunavon, Sask. She moved to Hazlet, Sask. To care for her ill sister. They lived in the teacherage creating many fond memories. Gwen married Walter Cole, Aug. 14, 1942 in a double wedding ceremony with her sister (Marj and Percy Crothers) in their family yard. As newlyweds, they honeymooned in Banff and lived in High River, Alta. While in High River, Gwen was employed as a clothing retail clerk while Walter was at the flying school during World War II. They returned to the Cole Family Ranch at Pine Coulee District, Sask where they ranched and raised their five children. Gwen was always involved in community events and clubs. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, picking berries on horseback, canning, being a church board member, refinishing antique furniture, live music, playing cards, and numerous other activities. Her caring nature was appreciated by many. Walter laughingly claimed that she did everything in high gear. Gwen was extremely proud of this part of her English heritage; her grandfather, Dr. John Clarke, was a successful surgeon in Morley, England, where the practice still continues in his name. At 78, Gwen toured England with Walter where they visited the old hospital and church that her grandparents had attended.
Gwen and Walter spent their retirement years at the Ranch, Eastend, Sask; Medicine Hat, Alta; Maple Creek, Sask; and Strathmore, Alta. After 67 years of marriage, Gwen was widowed May 4, 2009. She resided in the lodge where she met her beloved companion, George Fawkes. Gwen was occupied with family, long drives, sweet eats, and always up for a card game…even at 3 am the night before she passed away. She was an amazing person.
Gwen is predeceased by her parents and siblings; son Clarke in 1975; husband Walter in 2009; daughter Robin in 2010; and grandsons Tory and Kurt in 2017.
She was a loving mother to Gayle, Clarke (Ilene(Don)), Robin (Gary), Mary Lou, and Wayne (Shelly); grandmother to Peter (Jackie), Laurel (John), Kurt, Lorne (Adele), Shane (Shawna), Joey (Krista), Jay (Tara), Jeff (Ming), James, Janet (Paul), Nicole, Dwayne (Danielle), Tory (Holly), Carly (Dan), and Micki (Justin); great-grandmother to Mathew (Marina), Eric (Sky), Luke, James, Payton, Jordyn, Jordan, Kianna, Dexter, Colton, Ruben, Karina, Kaden, Owen, Aubrie, Ashton, Wyatt, and Noella; great-great-grandmother to Makayla, Maverick, and Marshal; caring companion George Fawkes and extended family. A Celebration of Life will be held later in Saskatchewan. We love you and will miss your great spirit.
Thank you to Dr. Fanning and Staff, Wheatland Lodge Staff, Strathmore Value Drug Mart Staff, Strathmore Hospital Staff, Wheatland Funeral Home, Paster Dawn Nelson, and the many friends for all your great care and kindness.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations directly to the Canadian Diabetes Association (#204, 2323 32nd Ave. N.E., Calgary, T2E 6Z3), Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation (#200, 119-14th St. N.W., Calgary, T2N 1Z6), Wheatland Lodge Handi-Bus Fund (76, 2nd St., Strathmore, T1P 1J8), or Strathmore Hospital (200 Brent Blvd., Strathmore, AB, T1P 1J9). To send condolences, please visit Gwen’s obituary at http://www.wheatlandfuneralhome.ca.