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WINDLE-THOMPSON, Lillian Georgina (Gena)

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

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.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Frieda and Bill Rogers :

    Our deepest condolences to the family. We will always think of Gena with fondness – not only as a neighbour in High River sharing Happy Hours together, but also enjoying her artistic talent as various paintings are displayed in our home. We also remember the laughter we shared during dinner parties. Please think of us when planning Gina’s memorial as Bill and I would certainly like be part of it if we are still here and not in Florida.

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  2. Vivian Hirsch (Queen Viv) :

    Our thoughts and sympathy to the family of Gena Thompson from all her friends, The Okotoks Rock’n Roses Red Hatters.

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  3. Susan Hemsworth :

    Thank you Gena for helping in getting my first Mink Jacket for my engagement to your loving brother in March of 1980.

    This started a wonderful relationship between you and I.

    You were always kind to me, and treated me like a sister not a Sister In Law.

    I will miss our fudge and wine chats, and your infectious laugh when Dan or I would tell you a good joke.

    You are at peace now, with your dear sister Jane.

    Dan and I love you and will miss you very much.
    Lots of love Your Sister Sue and Brother Dan.

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  4. Kae and Peggy Walden :

    Mum and I are very sad to hear of Gena’s passing. Mum has many happy memories of Gena, her vivacious personality and many talents. Please do let us know how to contact the family to send more formal condolences.

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  5. Our memories of Gena will always be active, for that was Gena. She was a whirlwind and always there to lend an ear, give a bit of advice and a hug. She was a painter extraorndinare with a sense of color we delighted in. She was a fashion plate- and sewed those creations. She and Ron made us feel so welcome at the many Parkdale Art Club summer fetes they held. We would drive up to the house and feel elated that we were going to be entertained, just by being with a friend. Pretty nice, was our Gena. Please let Ron know we are thinking of him. Please invite us to the memorial. When we gaze at our Gena abstract, we know she enjoyed life and bequeths the universe to us.
    Joan North with Allison

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  6. My sincere condolences to Gena’s family. Gena became a friend in her later years through the Red Hat Club. She was always dressed in her red hat and purple clothes and was so much fun. We will all miss her.

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  7. Kathleen McAvoy :

    Gina was such a classy lady, I am so happy I have some of her paintings she did for me. We all will miss her!

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  8. Although I did not know Gina as well as all of the others extending their condolences , it is clear to me that she had and did have a profound influence on all she met and especially those she called family and friends.

    She struck me as a soul who knew her path in life and let few obstacles stand in her way- As Admiral Farraday once said upon facing a much superior enemy flotilla – ” Damn the torpedoes- full speed ahead!” She, I think possessed such gumption and courage.

    While some might think this is the end of a journey for Gina- I believe that it is the beginning of a new venture into the mystical and spiritual plateau of the hereafter , and paradoxically,
    into a new chapter of self-awakening into the communion of grace that is the fulfillment of our mortal existence , and the transformation into the immortality of one’s new and wonderful existence and an integral role in the great and everlasting beyond.

    May her trek be blessed with all the joy
    that she so richly deserves free from the mortal ties that bind us .

    Godspeed Gina – and may you bask in the glow of eternal love and grace as your final destiny is fulfilled to the brim .

    May the love of all speed you to your place in the eternal firmament of God and his bounty.

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  9. Bevan Hemsworth :

    Dear Janie Rae, Terri, Joe, Jum,

    I was saddened to hear of the loss of your mother. Having lost my own mother 30 years ago and my sister 10 years ago, I have experienced the pain of the loss of a mother and sister. The pain and suffering will diminish, in due time. However grieving is its own process, do not rush it. Out of your loss will arise a gratitude for all the things your mother gave you. The loss of such a primary person is profound. Gina’s last gift to you was her leaving behind the pain and suffering of this life. Even the most blessed life has pain and suffering. Your mother is now free of these. Our hearts are open to you in your time of loss. Your own pain and suffering will diminish in time.

    Bevan and Katherine Hemsworth

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  10. Dear Terry,
    My sincere condolences to you and your family members on the loss of your mother, Gena. I have fond memories of Gena.

    Sandra Eisner

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