1925 – 2016
Gwendolyn Erina Hewlett (nee Donogh) was born to Reverend Wallace and Mabel (Ashworth) Donogh on May 11, 1925 in Vita, Manitoba and passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
In 1944 Gwen married R.C.A.F. pilot (SNIP) Alfred Hewlett. Shortly after, they moved to Red Deer, Alberta to begin a life of adventure in the seed business.
Active in Gaetz Memorial United Church since 1948, Gwen served as Sunday school teacher, messenger leader, board member, and was in the choir for fifty-three years. She was also a member of the WMS and WA, later known as United Church Women, and the AOTS. She and Al were also founding members of the Couples Club. In later years she spent many laughing hours with the Gaetz Red Hatters, where she was dubbed “Lady Radiant Grasshopper.”
A seasoned traveller, she and Al drove from one coast of Canada to the other, strolled the streets of Tuscany, walked in the footsteps of the Inca, and explored markets in the Philippines. In her eighties, she fulfilled the dream of visiting Greece with her good friend Jean Elvers. Gwen’s interest in other cultures included sponsoring refugees to Canada, along with the church, and she became an honorary elder in several Vietnamese families.
She gave to others throughout her life, from childhood, when she removed her shoelaces to give to a child who had none, through to her recent hospital stays, when she extended the hand of friendship to other patients and was fascinated by their stories of distant homelands.
Most of all, she was a devoted mother and grandmother. Nothing gave her more joy than having the family gather around. She will be missed and she will be celebrated every time her jokes and words of wisdom are repeated, her recipes re-created, and her kindness is paid forward.
Gwen was predeceased by two sons, Donald and Jimmy Hewlett, her parents, brothers Roland (WWII), Gordon, and Norman, sister Lorraine, and her dearly beloved Al (1997). She is survived by her daughter Kathryn (Claus), sons Douglas (Sharon) and Kenneth (Glynis); grandchildren Mark, Nadine (Simon), Thomas, Amour (Michael), Shamus (Danielle) and Kelsey (Lorrine); and great-grandchildren Josh, Morgan, Roarke, Griffin, Sam, Aidan, and Leo.
A Memorial service will be held at Gaetz Memorial United Church 4758-50 St, Red Deer, at 1 pm on Saturday, November 19, 2016. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Fund or a fund of donors’ choice would be appreciated.