December 16, 1926 – September 17, 2011
Gena passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the Foothills Medical Center. From humble beginnings in Central Butte SK., Gena lived a full life.
The daughter of Edwin and Jessie Hemsworth she was a big sister to Dan Hemsworth (Susan) of Vancouver BC and was pre-deceased by her cherished little sister Jane Rome (Bruce) of West Kelowna BC. The Hemsworth family moved from Central Butte to Rose Valley SK. as Ed followed employment opportunities in the lumber business. Eventually, they made their way west to Turner Valley where Gena finished high school and met Jack Windle. Jack and Gena were married in Black Diamond in 1947 and soon set off chasing Royalite – Imperial wildcat drilling rigs in the north with stops in exotic locales such as Girouxville and Dawson Creek. Jack’s father Patrick and mother Mildred were along for the ride through the oil patch as was Jack’s younger brother Pat. They had four children together; Janie Rae Crowley (Sonny) – Edmonton, Terri Devlin-Parmley – Calgary, Joe Windle (Valerie) – Calgary and Gena Marie Clarke (Dave) – Calgary. Originally settling in south Edmonton in the late 50’s, the family followed Jack’s oil field equipment sales job and moved to the then new Calgary community of Westgate. There and in addition to her role as mother, Gena became actively involved in the Calgary fashion scene; organizing fashion shows at the Westbrook Mall, The Allied Arts Center and later at The Inn on Lake Bonavista. Gena was actively involved with the Oil Wives organization and the Progress Club. As a milliner, she represented and sold a line of fashionable ladies’ hats, was President of the Flair Fashion club and modelled for national wholesale clothing merchants at The Palliser Hotel. She started up and ran her own clothing store, named what else but Gena’s Furs and Fashions. Soon after the loss of her first husband Jack in 1987, Gena renewed acquaintances with another Central Butte native named Ron Thompson who had also recently been pre-deceased by his wife Lorna and with whom he had two children Bonny England (Marty) and Rhonda (Wayne). Gena and Ron were married in Palm Springs in 1991 and lived together happily in High River and Okotoks for the next 20 years. Ron was the master woodworker and Gena was inspired by a newly rekindled passion for painting. She loved to paint, taking many classes and putting her work in art show after art show. She also found yet another organization to allow her to exhibit her substantial flair for fashion and socializing in the Red Hatters Club. In the end and true to her roots, a victim of fashion, she was anxious to get out of the hospital so she could buy a new pink suit. Gena leaves behind six deeply loved grandchildren, Sean and Jo-Leah Crowley, John and Jennifer Devlin, Jessica Windle and Ryan Windle. Among many other things, Gena was a painter, pianist, model, business woman, mother, wife, sister and friend.
A celebration of Gena’s life will be held for family and friends at a later date. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Gena Windle-Thompson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences