Thurston, Gwendolyn 'Gwen'

Gwen Thurston (nee Mary Gwendolyn Knight) passed away gently at Meaford Long Term Care Centre on Friday, April 30, 2021, aged 99. She happily anticipated rejoining her late husband, Willard ‘Bill’.

Predeceased by her siblings Genevieve (McAfee), Carleton, Keith, and Rosemary (Lovett), Gwen leaves her remaining sibling Ron, and his wife Jane, of Windsor.

Born and raised in Meaford, Gwen contributed to the family business, Knights’ of Meaford. Historically, Knights’ factory manufactured doors, windows and hardwood flooring. While Gwen attended her secondary commercial courses, she noted a young man in her shorthand class…. Willard.

Gwen and Willard were inseparable through their long and successful marriage. Willard’s work in Forestry took them to Kapuskasing, Toronto, Stratford, Galt, Lindsay, Kemptville and Toronto again.  Through it all, Gwen was his staunch support and partner in adventures across the province.

Gwen made a happy home wherever they lived, spending endless hours sewing, quilting, cooking. She was an equal partner in all home renovations.  She was meticulous in keeping in touch with relatives and friends right to the end.  The simple beauties of nature delighted her.  Gwen worked outside the home for awhile to help fund their trip to Europe in 1970.  Whatever the endeavour, it always included any family that could participate.

Gwen and Willard retired to Meaford in 1978 where they both were deeply involved with Meaford United Church, Gwen being a devoted volunteer and Life Member of the UCW as well as a regular at the weekly quilting group. As members of the Bruce Trail Association the two became regular hikers and completed their end-to-end on a sunny winter day.  The Rideau Canal, Trent-Severn Waterway and Georgian Bay lured them into boating experiences under power and sail.

Children left with many happy memories are Marylyn and husband Wayne Kipp of Meaford, Gordon and wife Charlene of Pickering, Ann and husband Gary McKay of Pembroke, and Kate (late husband Bob Heron) of Comox, B.C. Gwen will be missed by grandchildren Cynthia Kipp (Robert Sawyer), Cathy Kipp (Martin Tamlyn), Kevin Thurston, William Thurston (Myranda Munshaw), Bethany McKay (Chris McCulloch), and Jonathon (Jennifer) McKay.   Gwen delighted in her six great grandchildren:  Lexie Sawyer; Silas, Orrin and Kezia Tamlyn; Corbin and Ainsley McCulloch.

Gwen’s family is grateful for her caring home at Meaford Long Term Care over the past two years, and most especially during the final day of her life. Our sincere thanks to Dr. Collins for her wisdom and kind support of our Mom on her journey.  We could not have hoped for a better closing to her well-lived earthly sojourn.

Private interment of cremated remains will take place at a future date. For those wishing to make a donation in memory of Gwen Thurston, please consider Meaford United Church Raise the Roof Campaign (Cheques Only Please), or a charity of your choice.  Donations can be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON   N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted.


Private interment at a future date.

Donations: Meaford United Church Raise the Roof Campaign (Cheques Only Please) or a charity of your choice.
Make a donation in memory of Gwendolyn 'Gwen' Thurston

Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. janet marriott
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    Such a beautiful memorial. Thank you for sharing. Keeping you all in my heart and am thinking of you during this difficult time.

  2. Suzanne Linnell
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    Your Mother lived a full and rich life and your tribute to her is wonderful. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. I know that you have many happy memories to sustain you.
    Sue Linnell

  3. Michael Knight
    Monday, May 3, 2021

    We are so sorry to hear about Aunt Gwen. I was always impressed with their love for hiking and nature in general. A true example of the the way a couple should live their life together. I’m sure Uncle Bill will have many plans for hiking, hand in hand, as they are now reunited.
    We want to express our sincere condolences to the entire family and hope you find peace in the memory of a wonderful and sharing lady.
    Carol and Mike Knight

  4. Joan & Rob Antler & family
    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with all the family in the coming days. Aunt Gwen will forever remain in our hearts. She touched “everyone” with her gentle, beautiful manner. Her smile talked to you and made you feel so special. Rob & I have always looked up to her and Uncle Bill with much admiration, to follow their ways; and we will continue to and enjoy life as much as they did… We are going to miss her very much! Hugs!
    p.s… I am writing this in the late, late night hours just as her Mom, & my Grandma Josephine Knight would also have done.
    Sincerely Joan & Robert Antler and family

  5. Richard and Maureen Knight
    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    We have many fond memories of Aunt Gwen, always had a ready smile and time for a chat.
    Family and friends were very important to her and she embraced them with a hug.
    She can now walk hand and hand with her life partner.
    Our thoughts are with all the family.

  6. Ann Wright
    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    My sincere condolences. I have pleasant memories of the many Wednesdays we spent quilting together at Meaford United Church. Also enjoyed the delicious goodies she provided for our coffee and tea breaks! Truly a caring and dedicated woman.

  7. Joan Grierson
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    My sincere condolences Gwen was a wonderful lady

  8. Brian and Trudi
    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

    Gwen will be so happy to be united with Willard. We have always admired their quiet, strong and loving relationship. Gwen was always ready to help out share her knowledge. I loved her smile and the twinkle in her eye. We will miss her!
    Brian and Trudi

  9. Elizabeth Brown
    Thursday, May 6, 2021

    What a nice memorial you have written for such a kind and caring Mom and Aunt. She was always so thoughtful to everyone and made you feel special when you’d have a chance to visit them at home. I always enjoyed hearing stories she had to tell about growing up with her brothers and my mom (Genevieve). I’ll miss our correspondence that we kept up and, thank you Marylyn for helping her this past year when I’d get a message when I wasn’t expecting her to write back.

    Thinking of you all at this time.

  10. Scott Brown
    Thursday, May 6, 2021

    Auntie Gwen was my Great Aunt. She often wrote me on special occassions, whether I replied or not. Auntie Gwen would send me another letter anyway (she never gave up). She always did things that were special for me and my family. She did many things that people never knew about to help them. I know that I want to try and live up to way she lived and do nice things for other people.

  11. Marlene (McAfee) Gareau
    Thursday, May 6, 2021

    We shall miss our beautiful Aunt Gwen. But she will be reunited with her husband, and be happy. I really liked your memorial. She was always writing..was so caring. Last time I visited her, 2003, she was redoing her winter coat…such a good sewer. Condolances to you all.

  12. Jessica Kenyon
    Friday, May 7, 2021

    Bill & Gwen were neighbors of my Mom Cathy Gallinger for many years. Gwen was always so sweet and caring during my mom’s cancer treatments. She would make the most lovely cards. I always admired Bill & Gwen’s love for each other. They were always holding hands and so loving towards each other. Such a sweet woman. Forever with her love Bill. Sending her family ❤️.

  13. Merry McAfee
    Sunday, May 9, 2021

    My condolenses to the family. We will all miss her greatly. Uncle Bill and Aunt Gwen were a lot of fun and were anxious to go anywhere Ron and Jane and I decided to take her for suppers when they were up visiting. I will miss her greatly and will miss all our “window” visits. She will be walking up in heaven with Uncle Bill and her brothers and sisters. Hugs to all Merry McAfee


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