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Gwen Carol Rowley
February 14, 1957 ~ July 30, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
32 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Gwen's family - View on Tribute Wall
Gwendolyn Carol Rowley was born to her loving parents, Joan Francis Goody and David Frederick Lugar, on February 14, 1957, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She peacefully departed this life on Sunday, July 30, 2023, at her home in Lethbridge, Alberta, in the devoted care of her family.
Gwen spent a happy childhood with her sister Linda Joan Lugar-Boyle (m. Keith), and her brothers Christopher David Lugar (m. Joyce) and Gordon James Lugar (m. Shari-Lee), and many cousins. Gwen was an avid swimmer, having grown up in a house across from Bedford Basin and spending her summers with her family in a rented cottage on a beach. She was always the last one out of the water!
Gwen loved animals all her life. She was very gentle and kind to them and they returned her affection. Once, one of her cats followed her to school, then meowed outside the classroom door until the teacher finally had to allow Gwen to take the smitten kitten back to her home.
Gwen loved the outdoors, Saturday morning cartoons, and taking piano lessons from her grandmother. Her childhood was not without its challenges, but she was happy and loved.
Gwen joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1976. "Her" missionary was Emerson Blackmore and she called him on the phone on the anniversary of her baptism every year. Soon after she was baptized, she met the love of her life, Vern Rowley. Until Vern began dating Gwen, he was a confirmed "back row sitter" at church. Gwen managed to talk him into joining her at the very front of the chapel each Sunday. She loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sitting at the front of the chapel was one of the ways she worshipped. They married in the Cardston Temple on September 10, 1977. They were blessed with two sons, Benjamin Lionel Rowley and Christopher David Rowley. Being a wife and mother was the thing that Gwen wanted more than anything else in this world and she found great joy in it. She raised two wonderful sons and was a true soulmate to Vern. They knew each other so well that many times, words weren't needed for communication between the two of them.
Gwen and her sons shared an abiding love for horses. There were riding lessons and trips to Spruce Meadows and even a move to Okotoks because of their strong affinity for horses. Gwen's health precluded her from riding for many years, but she recently fulfilled a long-time wish to ride once more, something that made her very happy.
Gwen and Vern moved around quite a bit, living in many places in Alberta and also in Squamish, BC. They lived in Raymond for twenty years and made many friends there. They were dedicated in their service both at church and in their community. Gwen was very involved in the Rotary Club and served on their board. She loved going to TOPS meetings and they helped her in her desire for better health.
Gwen loved reading the scriptures and other good books, crochet, cross-stitch, and spending time with people. She had a wonderful way of making everyone she met feel that they were seen, heard, and cared for. She was a beautiful, gentle, authentic person and this allowed others to be their true selves in her presence. Her free spirit and fun sense of humour helped those of us lucky enough to be around her to relax and have fun, too. Gwen was always sensitive and big-hearted and had a way of finding the people who most needed her famous hugs.
Gwen will be sorely missed by her family and friends, but we can find consolation in our memories of her and in thoughts of the wonderful reunion happening on the other side of the veil. We haven't really lost her, she's only gone ahead.
A Service in celebration of Gwen will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, August 5th, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 560 Highlands Boulevard West, in Lethbridge.