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Obituary for Mabel Joan Thomson (Westwood)

Mabel Joan  Thomson (Westwood)
Mabel Joan, age 82 years, passed away at the Rivers Health Centre, on Friday, January 11, 2019. Joan was born on November 27, 1936 in Rivers, Manitoba as the only child of Elmer and Mabel Westwood. Joan was born on the farm just outside of town and loved her farm animals, especially riding her horses, which she continued to do throughout her life. Music was also very important to Joan; she played in the Alex Whyte orchestra as a teen, and continued to play with various local orchestras for many years. She was a great fan of musical theatre and enjoyed many professional and local shows. Joan married John Worden in 1955 and lived overseas as a military wife. They had four children: Pat, Brian, Terry and Jory (JJ). They moved back to Canada and lived in Ontario, then Alberta, where she resided until 1977. Joan then moved back to Rivers with her daughters. There she met and fell in love with Jack Thomson and was married in 1983, creating a large extended family including Jacks children Gord (Elizabeth), Jan (Rick), Joyce, Bill and David (Cindy) and all their children. As a result of her employment with a nursing home in Sherwood Park, she eventually decided to pursue a nursing career as a mature student. After graduation, she worked at several different hospitals, which then led to her involvement with the EMS system. She became an EMR, then later an instructor. She also taught at the fire college and the ARHA, and was the EMO coordinator for Rivers and area. One of Joans passions was working with the Red Cross. She received many awards including the Order of the Red Cross in 2013. Through all her work with these organizations Joan made many lifelong friendships, and touched many lives in a profound way, resulting in her nomination for Woman of Distinction in 2005, an honour that was truly deserved. Joan also had a great love of travel and managed to go on many dream vacations, often with her daughter Terry, but mostly found joy in spending time with her family and friends and especially her grandchildren. She was never happier than when her house was full of people. She and Jack brought into their home Adrian Bleckmann, an exchange student from France for a year, with whom she still kept in touch. Joan never stopped being a volunteer. The last organization she was involved with was the Rivers Palliative Care. She spent many hours giving comfort to patients and family members and making sure no one was left alone. In the end Joan was also a patient there and the family was truly thankful for their kindness and support. Joan is survived by her children Brian Douglas (Lynne), their children Darryl, Douglas and David; Terry Jane (Grant) Gill and their children Wesley, Emily and Cory; and Jory Joan (Steve) Fedak, their children Matthew, Logan, and Jesse; daughter-in-law Darlene, her children Heather and Lissa; lifelong friend Myrtle Danyluk and family; and friends that became family: Anita and Ben Vermaak and Glenna Beauchamp. She also leaves an aunt, Erma Wyness and her family. Joan was predeceased by her parents, Elmer and Mabel Westwood, husband Jack Thomson, and her beloved son Patrick John. A Memorial Service was held in Rivers, Manitoba on Monday, January 14, 2019, with Rev. Glenna Beauchamp officiating. Interment was held at Rivers Cemetery. If people so wish donations may be made in her memory to Rivers Palliative Care, Box 428, Rivers, Manitoba R0K 1X0.
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