Gladys was born Sunday, July 14, 1935 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in The Pas, Manitoba. She was the youngest to be born to Richard and Victoria Fourre. Sadly, she passed away on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at the age of 84, surrounded by her family.
Gladys was a life long resident of The Pas, where she was born and raised. Her dad was a trapper so growing up her family never had much in the way of monetary riches.
Gladys had two children from her first marriage to David Innes; Karen and Cheryl. Later on she remarried to Garry Thorne and had two more children; Rhonda and Russell. Unfortunately, Garry was taken away from us in June 1988. In her senior years, she reconnected with her high school sweetheart and spent many happy days with Papa George as he’s affectionately known as in our family. Sadly, George and Mom’s time together was cut short with the passing of George.
Mom had various names that she was affectionately known as, to her grandchildren she was Granny, to her great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren she was Granny Birdie. This was because she loved the birds that visited her while she was gardening. To her lifelong friends, she was known to many as Dolly. We were told this name was give to her by her dad when she was born because she looked like a little ‘Dolly’. Even her given name Gladys has a story behind it. Mom told us that she was named Gladys after a nurse when she was born because coming from a large family, her mother was starting to run out of names.
Mom worked hard all her life to help provide for her family so we never had to do without. She worked the night shift at St. Anthony’s as a Nurse’s Aide for 10 years on pediatrics. She could still remember when some of the babies were born and their families that live here today. She also worked for Kelsey School Division at Mary Duncan as a Teacher’s Aide up until her retirement in 1988. While working at the school, she got to know many of her students who I’m sure remember Mrs. Thorne as she was known as to this day. Even though Mom had a no nonsense; take no guff demeanor with these students, she showed kindness and compassion towards the ones who were being treated badly, who got picked on or they were experiencing hardship at home, she was always helping them out discreetly to avoid further pain or embarrassment. We’ve been told from some of these former students that she was one of the best. This makes us so proud that she was loved and respected and how she had such a positive influence on these students.
Even though Mom retired, she was busier than ever. She dedicated her senior years to volunteer work. She became a very active member in her community. It is said the greatest gift to give is yourself and Mom did this tirelessly.
Mom was also a member of: Legion Ladies Auxiliary; The Pas Health Auxiliary; OCN Assembly of Elders; Red Hatters; Golden Agers; Anglican Church Vestry; COPP; Community Wellness Challenge Ambassador 2019 and we can’t forget the coffee crew who met at Fat Boy Restaurant regularly. There are probably many other groups that we haven’t mentioned. Mom was a strong advocate for the Aboriginal Veterans. Pushing hard to given them the dignity and respect she believed they deserved.
One of Mom’s greatest accomplishments was being the main driving force behind the campaign “Lift for Life”. She spent countless hours fundraising so a lift could be purchased to assist the physically challenged, so they could access the pool. Another achievement of Mom’s was when she ran for Town Council and won!! This was an extremely proud moment in her life, as well as her family’s. To make it truly remarkable was the fact she was the first Indigenous woman and OCN member to be elected into town council. This momentous event occurred at the same time her daughter Karen was on OCN Council. Another honor bestowed upon Mom was when she was named Citizen of the Year. This was both a humbling and proud moment for mom to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to the community.
Mom was very spiritual with a strong faith in God. She believed in the power of prayer and prayed for God to guide her when she needed him. She loved the church and was part of the Anglican Church’s Vestry. She attended Sunday services faithfully.
Mom had great strength and determination. She was physically active for as long as she could be. She walked many miles at the Wellness Centre, even pushing a stroller for balance, but she never gave up. Even after having surgery to both of her knees, she pushed herself to recover as fast as possible because she always had so much to do. Mom walked as far as her body would take her. Afterwards, she left things in God’s hands.
She loved her flowers and the little garden that she grew. Canning its harvest and sharing it among her family. She fed the birds and loved to watch them make their nests in the springtime.
Mom was the matriarch of our family. She took pride in the accomplishments her kids made in their lives. She instilled in us a strong work ethic. To work hard and excel in whatever we undertook. To pursue our education further; an opportunity she never had. She took great joy in her large family, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren and her great-great grandchildren. Mom was rich with family; she loved each one individually and unconditionally.
Predeceased by her parents Richard (Dick) and Victoria Fourre; brothers Ed, Joe, Jim, John, Robert and George; sisters Hilda, Mary, Alice, Susie and Helen.
Lovingly remembered by her daughters Karen, Cheryl (Brian), Rhonda and son Russell (Marianne). Grandchildren Carmen (Roy), Melissa, Madelaine, Dustin and Nathen. Great Grandchildren, Brenna (Duane), Bryson, Emily, Kim and Troy; Nalita (River), Joe Jr. (Morgan), Cassie; Teneshia, Wesley and Quahaila; Austan, Randy and Payton. Great-Great Grandchildren Easton, Enzlee, Emery, Ezra, Violet and Ezlyn.
Prayers and visitation was held Wednesday, December 11, 2019, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm, at the Chapel of Hemauer Funeral Home, The Pas.
The funeral service was held Thursday, December 12, 2019, 1:00 pm, at Christ Church Anglican, The Pas, with the Venerable Lydia Constant presiding. Music ministry was provided by Isobel Halcrow and the Anglican Church Choir. Karen Innes presented her mother’s eulogy. A reception immediately followed at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall, The Pas.
In keeping with Gladys’s wishes, cremation will follow and a private family interment will be held at a later date.
Pallbearers were Russell Thorne, Allen Ducharme Jr., Dustin Young, Roy Head, Bryson Constant, Joe Bignell Jr., Wesley Beardy, Troy Head, and Rivers Lathlin.
Honorary Pallbearers were all of those that were part of Gladys’ life, please consider yourselves honorary pallbearers.
Mom chose to finish the last part of life’s journey privately with her family by her side. But we know she was loved by many and will be sadly missed by all. To her friends, we thank you for your love and support during this difficult time. It’s hard to put into words how much Mom has given all of us. Our hearts are broken and it feels like they’ll never mend. But slowly as time passes, it’ll get easier and our pain will subside. We’ll always remember how much she loved all of us and she’ll live forever in our hearts. We love you Mom, Forever and Always.
In lieu of flowers, donations to The Christ Church Anglican Memorial Fund, Box 125, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1K3, would be appreciated by Gladys’s family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gladys Yvonne (Fourre) Thorne, please visit our floral store.
Christ Church Anglican Memorial Fund
Box 125, The Pas MB R9A 1K3