January 28, 1926 – January 28, 2019
It is with deep sorrow that the family of Gwen Sloman (nee Pearson) of Rosewood Village in Trail, BC announces her passing on January 28, 2019 – on her 93rd birthday.
Gwen was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta on January 28, 1926, to Stanley and Agnes Pearson. She was the youngest of 5 children born in the family, and the only surviving daughter. With 3 older brothers to contend with, she became a tomboy with a strong sense of justice, not afraid to defend the rights of others as well as herself. The Great Depression and the Second World War left their mark on her.
Her mother would regularly send her with care packages to the ‘Hobo’ Encampments along the creek. She shared many stories of the hardships many people faced during that harsh time.
The Second World War took 2 of her 3 brothers, a devastating blow that she never really recovered from.
As the only daughter of a successful businessman, she had many privileges growing up too. She loved to wander the foothills of the Rocky Mountains surrounding Pincher Creek with her dog and pony. Although she was forbidden by her mother, she would sneak visits with her maternal grandfather while he worked in his jewelry store. She studied art, dance and piano. She taught tap dancing as a teenager, and at one time hoped to become a professional dancer. Art won, and she studied art at Mount Royal College in Calgary for a year after graduating high school before her father insisted on her getting a more ‘practical’ education. So, she went to secretarial school.
It was while working as a secretary in Calgary that she went to a party at Currie Barracks and finally met the man she was destined to marry. “Pappy” was his army nickname, so when it was announced that Pappy would soon be arriving with the booze, she expected some old guy. To her surprise, when ‘Pappy’ arrived, he was a very young and good looking paratrooper with the Princess Patricia regiment.
Bill (Pappy) and Gwen were married less than a year later. They settled in Peace River for a short time and then Pincher Creek, where their 3 children were born. Gwen used her secretarial skills at various jobs at times to supplement the family income as they were raising their family, working for a bank, then as a school secretary, and, perhaps most interesting, for the local fish and game office in Pincher Creek.
Gwen cultivated a wide circle of friends through the ‘Bridge Club’ in Pincher Creek. This strong group of women extended their friendship well beyond their weekly card events to include their families in many social gatherings in and around Pincher Creek and many family memories were created around the events these families participated in together.
Better job opportunities brought the family to Trail in 1965, and exciting new adventures followed. Skiing became mandatory for the whole family and Gwen joined the Trail Art Club. Both Bill and Gwen loved to dance and joined the local square dance club. Although it was hard for Gwen to leave Pincher Creek, she loved and embraced the Italian culture in West Trail and began to thoroughly enjoy her new life and new friends. Gwenstronglysupportedthelocalfosterparentprogramandconvincedtherest of the family to support her in giving local foster children a home with them. The family built a house in Rossland after 2 years in Trail, and continued to foster children in their home in Rossland. Gwen was never happier than those years spent in Rossland.
The ‘Big Strike’ at Cominco in 1974 pushed them to move yet again for better job opportunities back in Calgary, but reluctantly, because they loved their West Kootenay life style. However, they enjoyed their years in Calgary and Gwen enjoyed artistic opportunities, outdoor adventures, various jobs, and a wide circle of family and friends. After retirement, while reluctantly leaving behind 2 of their children and 5 grandchildren, they happily returned to the Trail area where one of their children and 4 grandchildren resided. Here they remained to live out their long and happy lives. Gwen again joined a circle of artists, the “Thursday Morning Painters” and enjoyed the many outdoor activities the Kootenays has to offer.
Gwen strongly supported the arts all her life, and encouraged this love and appreciation of the arts in her children and grandchildren. She had a very strong sense of family and community and was never happier than when she was surrounded by family and friends. Her love of the arts and her strong sense of family is her legacy to her children and grandchildren.
Left to mourn for her are 3 children, Lance Sloman (Julieanne) grandchildren; Connor (Ashley) and Aidan (Megan), Deborah Detmold (Murray) grandchildren; Christie, Adam, Cara and Janna (Erik) and Lynda, Leslie Kennedy grandchildren; Genevieve, Dawn (Michael), Marina (Rory), great-grandchildren; Cayden, Beckett, Aremis, Scarlett, and Ayrden and many other relatives.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thankyou to all the staff of Rosewood Village for their compassionate care and support of Gwen and her family, especially during the last 10 days of her life, and to Dr. Behrens.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Trail United Church in Trail, BC on Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:00 am with Reverend Ken Siemens, officiating. Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services is entrusted with arrangements. It was Gwen’s wish to be cremated and be interred with Bill in the family grave plot in Pincher Creek. A family graveside ceremony will be held later this year.
Rather than a donation to a specific charity, Gwen would be happy for people to support the Arts in any capacity they felt they could contribute.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca.
Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services