Gwendolen Rose Thomas

1931 – 2020

Gwendolen Rose Thomas passed away after a short battle with cancer, June 24, 2020. She was surrounded by family.

Born in 1931 Toronto, Gwen moved to Vancouver in 1945 where she graduated from Lord Byng High School. She met and fell in love with a young and handsome WWII veteran David Thomas while he was working as a painter, and they wed in 1949. They purchased a farm on Coast Meridian Road, just south of Cloverdale where, starting with one cow purchased with wedding present money earmarked for a china cabinet, they worked together to build up their farm and raised their family. Many young people have memories of haying season and Mom’s epic summer meals and her fresh baked bread. Everyone was welcome in her home and the more around the table, the better. Just take off your shoes before you come in.

Music was a big part of our life. Mom would play the piano and taught her children to sing in harmony. Later in life, one of her joys was hearing the family sing, and as she bravely endured her last days, the singing of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her joy.

They sold the farm in 1994 and retired to Brookswood where they quickly became acquainted with their neighbours often by the delivery of fresh bread. Mom had the gift of hospitality and they loved to minister to people in their home. From her kitchen window one could see the many birds feeding in her garden and she wrote about them in her bird log. Her garden was always full of beautiful flowers, rhubarb, raspberries and herbs but what gave her the most joy was sharing her wealth with others.

Gwen was a devout Christian and was always very involved in ministry. Teaching Sunday school, leading Pioneer Girls and young married groups and finally as a mentor, her life touched and blessed many. One of her favourite stories was sitting with her dad and having him personalize the Bible verse John 3:16—For God so loved Gwennie, that he gave his only son…

Gwen is predeceased by her parents Henry and Ada, husband David, brothers Norman and David, son Jim and great grand-children Kelly and Daniel with whom she is now rejoicing in heaven. She is survived by her sisters Ruth and Grace (Dean), daughters Kathy (Ian), Joy (Bruce), Beth (David) and son David (Leighann), 15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.  

The family wishes to thank Dr. Don McDonald for his care for Mom and the wonderful nurses from Langley Palliative Home Health Team whose kindness, patience and understanding made the journey much more bearable. We also wish to thank Veterans Affairs Canada for their assistance through the past years.

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