It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother, (Ethel) Gail O’Connor.
There are too many words needed to describe her life and not enough words to say how much she will be missed. She was born in Orillia Ontario. She moved west with her family, John and Ethel Thomson (Smith) and her sister Heather, to Victoria when she was thirteen. Her father began a mink farming operation in Langford, where she lived in the house her father built, until she went to university in Victoria. She married and had four children, whom she loved without reserve.
She graduated from Belmont High School and became a teacher. She taught in Courtenay and Cumberland before moving off Vancouver Island to Cloverdale and later to Salmon Arm B.C. She was multi-talented and always up for a challenge, being “from good farming stock”. She worked in many different occupations while her children were growing up, using her talents of organization, compassion and industry.
Even while she was busy raising her four children she found time to be a Brownie and Girl Guide leader, a leader in the 4-H club as well as a soccer and football mom. She developed many hobbies and skills over her life time. Gail was a gifted seamstress, and her daughters recall, very fondly, the colourful little day dresses she used to “whip up“ in hours for them, when they were little girls. She could sew “haute couture” and even sewed her daughter’s wedding dress with measurements done by mail. When the dress arrived it was perfect in every way, and not one stitch had to be changed on the wedding day. She was a Toastmasters member, a goldsmith, and an amateur radio operator. She could more than pilot a plane and additional to her pilot’s license, could do aerobatics and perform “loop de loops” in the sky. She was an amazing woman, and were and are so proud of her. In her later life she joined many clubs and organizations in Salmon Arm including volunteering at the Seniors Center. She enjoyed many treasured friendships arising from her community participation. In recent years she took computer courses and her favorite thing to do was to work with her computer and connect with others. She was truly a renaissance woman! Above all she loved her children, and they loved her back with the same deep fierce love.
Gail is survived by and deeply missed by her children, Tara, Shelly, Roxanne and Ryan O’Connor, as well as her sister Heather Thomson and will be especially missed by her beloved life partner, Ross Adams. She also leaves behind, her loving grandchildren; Jason Ono-O’Connor, David, Leslie and Jessie Fetsch, Mackenzie O’Connor, and Ciaran, Griffin and Fallon O’Connor. Sharing our sadness are her nieces Shannon Joly and Shaunna Martin and nephew John Wachter Gail was predeceased by her father, John Passmore Thomson, and mother (Frances) Ethel Thomson and is now in their care. Have a good journey mom. Visit us when you can. You will always be in our hearts and our minds and the way we love our children, fiercely and with no reservation.
In accordance with our mother’s wishes there will be no funeral or memorial service.