Gwendolyn Victoria Eichhorn Lee, a long-time resident of Stettler, departed this world on April 8, 2019 at her home in Nevis with Jim by her side, four days before her 70th birthday.
She was born in Edmonton at the Beulah Home for young women on April 12, 1949. Soon after, she was chosen by Emil and Gwen Eichhorn as their new daughter, and sister to Bill and Stan.
Five years later, another baby girl, Evelyn was chosen to complete their family.
Gwen attended school in Stettler and church at St. Peter Lutheran.
Growing up on the family farm south of Stettler in the Warden area, she longed for a broader education and life experience.
She was fortunate to complete Grades 11 and 12 in Camrose at the Lutheran College.
The summer between Grade 11 and 12 she returned home to work at the Club Café.
It was there that she met Bill Lee and they were married after graduation on Nov. 4, 1967.
This new chapter of her life took her to Halkirk where they bought their first farm, later taking over Bill’s family farm.
Then, the babies came, Raymond Emil Oct. 8, 1969, Angela Catherine Diana, Nov. 25, 1970 and Jordan William, Dec. 3, 1971.
Ten years later, Gwen and her children moved back to Stettler. She began working for John H. Grant accounting.
They settled in nicely, with many friends and family close by.
Her amazing parents helped her so much during these years and extended family always involved them in gatherings.
Many good times were had with cousins from the Kirtley, Shuckburgh and Eichhorn families.
Gwen was always yearning for a higher education, so, in the summer of 1980, she moved her family to Camrose to attend the Lutheran College to obtain her Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Her dream of a Masters degree took her to Saskatoon University for the next few years.
In 1989 Gwen returned to Stettler. That September she lost her beloved sister, Evelyn and decided to stay in Stettler.
Gwen worked for Campbell Accounting during tax season, then managed Heartland Bowl until it changed ownership.
Gwen had a passion for bowling and continued playing throughout the years.
She then went into retail at Work World in the mall. An opportunity to buy this franchise came, so she did, soon after moving the store to a downtown location.
When Work World was taken over by Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Gwen decided not to buy another franchise and closed the store.
The next chapter of her life took her on to real estate. She easily obtained her license and began working for Francis Nicoll at Sutton Landmark Realty.
Following his retirement, Lynn Engel joined the team. When Lynn left to pursue her dreams, Norma Leslie came to work.
Gwen was extremely proud of her children and loved them so much. She was always there to help and guide them through their adult years.
She passed on morals, honesty and integrity and was honoured, by them, passing on these attributes to her loving grandchildren.
Gwen always wanted to be involved and strived to belong.
This made her a strong member of many groups.
She was an avid believer in a higher power which gave her guidance on her journey of life and new love.
Gwen began dating Jim Ainsworth and eventually moved to their home in Nevis. She finally felt truly at home and loved him so much.
Gwen loved to travel. She experienced time in Maui, Mexico, Costa Rica and many trips to Victoria. Through her involvement with Sutton Landmark Realty broker, Neil Stevens, she was able to experience South Africa.
She saw firsthand how AIDS affected the suffering communities and what little they had to protect themselves.
Many trips were made with Jim, including the Yukon, Comox, Vancouver and Victoria. They travelled to Ft. McMurray to see Janaya, Calmar to visit Kayla and James, Calgary to visit Carma, Jon, Nolan and Daria and Jeri.
They were thrilled to go see Isaac, Ava and Harper in various places as they played hockey and ball. Ariel and Holly welcomed them to their new home in Red Deer.
They were especially honoured to represent Stettler in Alabama for Eastern Star and Atlanta, Georgia for Rotary. She always enjoyed her meetings with the Warden Ladies and being involved where needed.
Gwen’s family was so precious to her. Many gatherings were enjoyed at Angela’s with all her family.
Gwen influenced many people in her lifetime. Her wisdom, love and honesty will be treasured by all who knew her.
Gwen is survived by her loving family: partner Jim Ainsworth of Nevis; children: Ray Lee of Sylvan Lake, Angela (Mike) Blackmore of Stettler and Jordan Lee of Erskine; grandchildren: Kayla (James) Vanderleest of Calmar, Janaya Lee of Fort McMurray, Jeri Blackmore of Calgary, Ariel Blackmore of Red Deer, Holly Blackmore of Red Deer, Isaac Lee of Erskine, Ava Lee of Erskine and Harper Lee of Erskine; Jim’s daughter Carma (Jonathan) King of Calgary and their children Nolan and Daria; brothers Bill (Lillian) Kirtley of Stettler and Stan Eichhorn (Sharon Adamson) of Stettler; nieces, nephews, other family members and many dear friends and associates.
Gwen was predeceased by her parents Gwen and Emil Eichhorn; sister Evelyn Gullickson and first-born infant son, Leonard Lamont Lee.
A celebration of Gwen’s life was held on Fri. April 12, 2019 with Rev. Ross Helgeton officiating. Gwen was laid to rest at Lake View Cemetery, Stettler, Ab.
Donations in memory are gratefully accepted to Rotary International, Stettler Hospice Society or a charity of choice c/o Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium, P.O. Box 1780, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0, 403-742-3422, who were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements.