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ASHFORTH, Gayle Alverna

March 14, 1928 – January 8, 2014

It is with heartfelt sadness and sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Gayle Ashforth, beloved wife of Blake Ashforth of Calgary, at the age of 85.

Born in Windsor, Ontario and raised in Toronto, Gayle was the eldest child and only daughter of the late Glad and Bert Walters. While attending high school, she met Blake, the love of her life. They attended the University of Toronto together and moved to Lethbridge, Alberta in 1951, where they began married life. Marriage with Blake was a constant adventure, and his banking career led them to live in South America and the Caribbean. During that time they welcomed three children—Kit, Steve and Marijane—and established lifelong friendships. The family eventually settled back in Canada in 1969, and Calgary in 1975.

Gayle was a member of the Calgary Golf & Country Club where played countless games of bridge and golf. She also spent time in investment and book clubs, hiking, cross country skiing, volunteering and attending bible study. Gayle’s day started with Sudoku and ended with Jeopardy. She was a caring, compassionate and loving person, whose welcome smile and open heart was there for everyone. Through time, she and Blake continued to fulfill their love of travel, while enjoying their properties in Muskoka, Canmore and Victoria.

Gayle will be dearly missed by her loving husband Blake, children Steve (Anita) and Marijane, grandchildren Melanie Boken, Jordan Mannas, Matthew Holditch, Miles Mannas, Cayla Ashforth and Blake Ashforth, great granddaughter Katharine Bray, brother Paul Walters (Diane) and brother-in-law Ross Ashforth and many more family members and friends. She is predeceased by her daughter, Kit Holditch and brother Doug Walters.

Miss Me, But Let Me Go
“When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no tears or gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not too long;
And not with head bowed low.
Remember, the love that we all shared;
Miss me but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan.
A step on the road to the Home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
See family and friends we know.
Take time to heal, tho’ we must part.
Miss me, but let me go.”

A Celebration of Gayle’s life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. and reception to follow at the Calgary Golf and Country Club. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Calgary Health Trust – Unit 44 Foothills Medical Centre, Suite 800, 11012 MacLeod Trail S.E., Calgary, AB T2J 6A5, Telephone: (403)943-0615, or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Gayle Ashforth, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. mariijane and steve: mom and i were so saddened to hear of this tragic accident. i am sorry that i do not have private emails for either of you to get in touch properly. you, and your family, are in our thoughts continually. we pray for uncle blake and send heartfelt condolences for the loss of your mom. i hope the prayers of mom, janie, barbie, our family and i reach you. sending you love and light, nancy xo

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  2. Jackie Safran :

    My deepest condolences on the sudden and tragic loss of your lovely wife, mother and grandmother.
    My memories are of her warm personality, wonderful sense of humour and joie de vive.
    My colleagues and staff send our sincerest regrets to you all at this difficult time.

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  3. Dave & Sylvia Gourlay :

    Our deepest sympathy to Blake and family members for the tragic loss of Gayle. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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  4. Gord & Bev Tallman :

    Blake & family
    We were saddened to hear of your accident and Gayle’s death. Our sincere condolences to you and your family. We hope you are recovering well.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
    Sincerely, Gord & Bev

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  5. Janie & Steve Ramsay :

    Uncle Blake, Steve, and Marijane,
    My thoughts tonight are my best memories of Auntie Gayle. Beautiful fashions, lots of bangles, and always so in style. I hope that you are all getting through this untimely passing, as you give thanks that Uncle Blake is recovering. Sometimes death brings a joy that no one wants to acknowledge, but somewhere in my heart I know that she is with Kit. Hold your memories close to your hearts and treasure them.
    With Love from Torrance, Muskoka ~~

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  6. My condolences at this sad time. I didn’t know Gayle well but we had a long aquaintance at the YMCA beginning 15 years ago in a yoga class. Her beauty, grace & commitment to exercise always inspired me. She will be missed by everyone who was a part of her life – no matter how small.

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  7. Graham (Gay) Matthews :

    Blake, although we have not met face to face for 75 years, I still feel an empathy toward old friends and was saddened to learn of the death of your wife. Mary Lou and I have been married for 64 years and I can imagine how difficult it must be for you.
    I send my sincere condolences to and your family. Gay

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  8. Beverly Howell :

    My prayers are with the family. Gayle was a true blessing to me. She spoke so lovingly of her family and friends. Please know we held hands and had a moment of reflection of Gayle while at the YMCA pool. Blake and the family, my thoughts are with you. Beverly (R.T.O.M.)

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  9. Blake& Maryjane & Family Please accept my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of Gayle. My
    prayers and thoughts are with you . Bev (former receptionist Dr Lynn)

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  10. Karen Roach and Family :

    Dearest MJ and family,
    I have been at such a loss as to what to say but I would like to express that your Mom (Wife and Grandmother) was a kind, witty, loving and wonderful woman and through you, I am so glad to have known her. She raised a beautiful family and did so with grace. She always had a kind word and a smile. My family and I have you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time of loss. May the passing of time help your grief become memories of happier times. Love Karen and family

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  11. Maryjane,
    I’m so sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. You are in my thoughts.

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  12. Juane Priest :

    To the family of Gayle Ashforth
    I was shocked to hear of your Mum’s passing. Your parents lived in the same Condo as I do and we would have many interesting conversations on the elevator each time we met. On the day prior to Gayle’s passing, we had talked and your parents were both excited about leaving on their trip to Victoria. Gayle was a lovely lady and I will miss her ready smile and kinds words.
    My condolences to each of you. Your Mum’s love and remembrance will last forever. Take care as you go forward.
    Ms. Juane Priest
    500 Eau Claire Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta

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  13. Blake and Deb Ashforth :

    Aunt Gayle has often been in our thoughts during the last few months. She was so warm and loving – such a vital person that it’s hard to believe she’s gone. Her laugh and wry smile will always be with me. I know words can only do so much, but please know that Deb and I are with you in spirit this day and in the tough days to come. Love, Blake

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  14. Betty and Hugh Weightman :

    Ashforth family.

    So sorry for the loss of your loved one. We had the pleasure of meeting your Mom on a few occasions and she was always warm and welcoming.

    Your in my thoughts.

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