Maritimers are made of special stuff – resilient, strong-willed, remarkably buoyant and steadfast ‘til the end. Born on March 11th, 1925 in Halifax, this chapter ended on Friday, July 17th, surrounded and comforted by family and friends in her adopted home at The Bradgate Arms, Toronto. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, supporter and more, she assumed each role as only she could – intensely, with heart, humour and humility. Beloved wife of Gordon Thom – married in Ottawa, September 18th, 1948 – she loved and supported him throughout their 53-year marriage until his passing, March 12th, 2001. Assuming his business affairs as if born to it, she displayed her adaptability, good sense and considerable acumen until medical challenges forced her to relocate to Toronto, reluctantly leaving behind her treasured perch in Morrisburg, on the St. Lawrence River. Surviving far more than her share of medical challenges, she championed them all – falling victim to none, despite many compromises. She cherished life, held family and friends close and remained a beacon of strength, enduring love and common sense to her children and grandchildren. Predeceased by her parents, Roy and Helen (Gam) McKay and her dear sister Betty (Sykes), she is survived by her children, Barb Gatehouse, Eric Thom, Kathryn Thom and daughter-in-law, Megan Quinn. Loving grandchildren include Ashlyn Miuccio (Joe) and Marc Pepin, Kevin, Shannon and Ryan Thom and great grandchildren, Aiden and Lexi Miuccio. She leaves behind her brother-in-law, Clint Sykes, her nephews Rod (Marilynn) and Andy Sykes (Marielle) and their children.
Long our personal poster girl representing Strong Womankind, she will be remembered for so many other beautiful things, including her undying love for Nova Scotia, her incredible talents as a baker and cook, her gift for gardening, her tenacious sense of humour and her unfaltering kindness to others. Our heartfelt appreciation for so many people along the way must be mentioned – those precious caregivers, nurses, medical professionals – everyone at The Bradgate Arms and her devoted Integracare PSWs – many of whom not only helped keep her going but became true friends along the way.
Her children will happily remember her as Best Mom Ever.
Donations can be made to The Arthritis Society or the Canadian Cancer Society. If you are making your donation online or by cheque directly to the charity, please include the following note with your gift “please notify the family”.
A Celebration of Life will be planned in a few months’ time, when it’s safer to gather. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.