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GOSSEN, Lillian Margareth (nee Esau)

February 6, 1922, Rosthern, SK
January 16, 2015 – Calgary, AB

Lillian Margareth Gossen, beloved matriarch of the Gossen clan, died peacefully at Sarcee Hospice on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Lillian was born on February 6, 1922 near Rosthern, Saskatchewan. She was the third daughter of Annie Rempel and Jacob Esau. Lillian grew up in Saskatchewan, and graduated from Normal School in Saskatoon in 1941. After teaching primary school for a couple of years, she married her beloved Henry George Gossen on June 18, 1944. Henry’s career as a chemist with Imperial Oil took these two young prairie kids to destinations beyond their wildest dreams, and they lived all over Canada (Flin Flon, Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary), South America (Cartagena, Colombia; Campana, Argentina; Caracas, Venezuela), the Middle East (Marsa el Brega, Libya), and the United States (Miami, Florida; Lake Charles, Louisiana). Along the way they had three children and gained two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law: Randall Garth (Cecilia), Heather Susan (Bevan Laing) and Stewart David (Dianna). As Lillian wrote to her husband on their 61st wedding anniversary, “because of you I have seen the world, gained countless friends, been bedecked with fine jewelry and dressed equal to nobility.” Over the course of their international adventures, our elegant Nana acquired a passion for designer clothes; fur coats, fancy jewelry and luxury travel, and our Nono treated her like a queen. She also took great pride in her family and loved spending time with her grandchildren Maria-Elena (Jose Zaldivar), Christopher (Ciara), David (Evgenia), Donald, James, Susan (Drew McIntosh), Andrew (Aysia), Alexandra, Jacob (Tesney), and Katherine (Colin Mitchell). She was thrilled with the arrival of great-grandchildren Amanda, Olivia, Alicia, Joaquin Henry, Aoife, Alinka, Michelle and Jude. In the past few years dementia made it hard for Nana to keep track of who was who in her large, international family, but she retained her social graces until the very end.

Lillian was predeceased by her parents, her parents-in-law, her step-father Frank W. Epp, sisters Esther and Gladys, her beloved husband of sixty-two years Henry, daughter Heather, and son-in-law Bevan Laing. In addition to Randy, Cecilia, Stewart, Dianna, her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Lillian is survived by her sister Luella Bradley, her brother-in-law Russell Gossen, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, (703 Heritage Drive SW) on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lillian’s memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity. Condolences may be forwarded through

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

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Condolence Messages

  1. My cousin Lillian and I have been life long dear friends as well as relatives.
    I extend my condolences to Lillian`s family, and I share with them a deep sense of loss.

    Lloyd Liesch

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  2. Fred and Betty Callaway :

    Stewart and Diana, our condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother. Seems she was a neat lady and will be missed by you all. We are sure that you have many happy memories to ease the loss. Regards, Fred and Betty.

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  3. Susan Hemstock :

    Randy and Cecilia. I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

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  4. Leslie and Emery :

    Dear Randy and Cecilia, Stewie and Dianna and family,
    We were saddened to hear of your mother’s death. She takes a lot of your history with her but you will still have your memories. We were so glad to be able to meet up with her once again; she has always been a fine woman, a lovely lady and a kind person and I know that she has always loved her children and grandchildren and all her descendants more than anything else. I hope it comforts you to know that she is re-united with your Dad and at peace. God bless you.

    Leslie and Emery

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  5. Ron Watkins and Nancy Brown :

    Our thoughts are with you Stu, Dianna, and family too, on the passing of your Mom. Nancy didn’t know her, but I remember her well from our early get togethers. A fine lady, leaving wonderful memories.

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  6. Sending my sympathy to the Gossen family. I only knew Lillian for the last few years but she always told about her lovely family and what good care they took of her. She often mentioned what wonderful memories of her life she had.
    Pat Lomheim(Lillian’s visitor from St Andrew’s Church)

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  7. Georgia Peters :

    This is more of an acknowledgement of admiration than a condolence. Uncle Butch and Aunt Lil set the bar very high when it came to love of family, and it extended beyond their immediate tight clan. My parents, my mother being Butch’s only sister, and I would visit back and forth routinely, my cousin Heather and I, the same age, would spend many happy times together, even dressed the same on special occasions. Music was a big part of the Gossen clan, and so nice to see and hear on the webcast today the live performance of Aunt Lil’s favourite song. The titanium orchid, what a fitting tribute, much love Aunt Lil, your niece Georgia

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  8. Johnny Thorson :

    Stewart, Dianna and Family:

    So very sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. I remember fondly how honoured my crew and I were to be asked to provide some music for a milestone occasion several years ago for your mother and dad, Stewart. My musician colleagues join me in expressing our sympathy to you and all of the Gossen family.

    …Johnny Thorson

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