Gail Barbara Jane Johnson (Carter)

May 25, 1939 - June 22, 2022
June 24, 2022 7 Condolences Print Obituary

Gail was born in Grosse Isle, Manitoba on May 25, 1939 to Charles and Barbara Carter.  She was the third born (2nd daughter) of a family of 6 children.

Mom grew up on a dairy farm.  All the children worked the family business and were active in 4H, the church, and various community organizations.  Mom talks fondly of how hard working and respected her parents were in the community.  She gained her work ethic, integrity and pride in a job well done from the lessons taught with love from her cherished parents.

Mom completed her education and went on to teach at Radway, Manitoba at the age of 17 after taking the Normal School short course. Mom was the teacher, principal & custodian for the one room school house & spoke of starting the oil furnace in the winter & making cocoa for the children who struggled through the snow and cold to attend.

Mom met her husband Ron Johnson at a wedding in the hall at Oak Point, Manitoba and having found “the one”, they married a short time later.  Two people that were made for each other and showed us “forever” love is possible because of the lasting love they shared. Three children followed; their son Gary and daughter Ronda Lee early in the marriage, followed by their daughter Melanie 8 years later.

Ron and Gail made a number of moves throughout their marriage from Manitoba to BC, back to Manitoba, then to Ontario and finally to Alberta.  As it is for most families, life had its challenges. Mom worked alongside Dad holding various jobs from secretary at Blondes Furniture, customer complaints correspondent for Eaton’s, and cooking and cleaning for another family prior to going to work as a Clerk at Land Titles, and then a Supervisor in the Property Taxation department for AB Municipal Affairs, a job she held for over 20 years until her retirement in 1993.

After settling in Edmonton Mom & Dad purchased a small bungalow in Crestwood, and quickly became part of the community, coaching baseball, and hockey, and making many close friends.  Family life growing up was warm and nurturing with lots of laughs, card & board games, camping trips and holiday celebrations. Ron and Gail put their children in a multitude of activities from arts to sports which allowed them to grow and find their wings.  A close and loving family grew with the addition of wonderful daughter and son-in laws, grandsons, and the joy of great grandchildren.

Ron and Gail enjoyed many years of camping and fishing with friends and family.  Gail was a kind, loyal and generous friend. She was always there to lend a hand or an ear.  In her final months,  Mom even found one last partner in solidarity with the woman in the other hospital bed in her room.  They became one another’s confidant, advocate and friend in such a fleeting moment in time.

After the kids had all moved out Mom and Dad moved to a duplex in St. Albert.  Their early retirement years were filled with Mom taking up cross stitching, and at the age of 55 Mom took up golf which she excelled at.   Mom & Dad volunteered for several years at Meals on Wheels, & Mom rang the bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas.  Mom and Dad loved to travel and visited various destinations with a highlight for Mom being Disney World, and New York City.  They became snowbirds, and travelled to Lake Havasu in Arizona several winters to beat the cold and partake in some gambling, golfing and relaxation in the sun.

Mom had a green thumb and flowers blossomed in her care. Mom journaled every day and had beautiful penmanship. Gail was an excellent cook and her butter tarts and date square were a family and Dad’s favorite. Mom’s dill and beet pickles were the best and she continued to put up preserves until the last couple of years which meant making over a hundred quarts of pickles to share with family.  She was an avid walker and prided herself in keeping fit and moving.  Despite breast cancer at age 55, and a heart event at age 80, she never let pain and illness slow her down for long.  Mom’s Fitbit provided motivation and challenge as she pushed herself to get in the required steps each day or beat the previous days tally.

Mom partnered beautifully with Dad, the love of her life, throughout their years together.  Dad lovingly referred to Mom as “Storm” and they were a team.  Sadly, Mom’s breast cancer returned after 25 years, and metastasized to her bones.   Mom lived her marriage vows; in sickness, and in health she lovingly cared for Dad as his memory slowly started to diminish, this despite her own health problems.  Mom fought her cancer bravely, and when it overtook her Mom accepted with grace that her life was ending, and ensured her family knew how proud she was of them all.

We love you Gail, Mom, Grandma, and Great Grandma!

Ron

Gary and Dawn

Ronda and Brad

Melanie and Tobin

Chad, Simar and Rajan

Travis, Kari, Olivia and Evelyn

  1. Uncle Ron and Family,

    Auntie Gail was truly one of a kind. The joy and happiness she brought into our lives will not be forgotten. She always gave the best hugs that made you feel so loved.
    May your memories of her help you through this difficult time.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Love,
    Kristen, Lorne, Aidan & Cameron

  2. What a wonderful tribute to my sister and Ruth’s sister in law Gail. She truly was an amazing woman, wife, mother, and grandparent. Gail and Ron took me camping often when I was younger, and I have great memories of travelling with them to camp in the Whiteshell and to the Rocky Mountains. She always managed to ‘make do’ as money was tight. She was a great cook, fantastic housekeeper, strong willed capable woman who was always determined to do what was necessary for family and community. Condolences to Gail’s immediate family. She will be missed by all. Bruce and Ruth Carter. Winnipeg.

  3. What a beautiful tribute. I always remember being impressed with how ‘chill’ your mom seemed to be with all the hijinks that we got up to at your place Mel when we were teenagers – though I suppose she wasn’t fully aware of the bulk of it 😉
    Given that my mom was in the hospice during same time as yours, I’m confident she received wonderful care at the end and there is definitely some peace in that. My heart goes out to you and your whole family.

  4. Auntie would love your tribute to her. I will always cherish the time I had with her, her positive attitude and especially her laugh. The hospice family were so wonderful to your mom & I know that the care she received from them and family helped make her end journey the best it could possibly be. Love and hugs

  5. Gail was an amazing woman who enjoyed doing for others. I got to know her better after we moved to Edmonton and really appreciated the marvelous person she was. She was so proud of her children, grand children and the greats. Gail led a full life and enjoyed sharing the many stories. Gail was loved by so many and will be missed by so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
    Love
    Diane & Lloyd Cowie

  6. Gail was a delight at the hospice. Cheerful and grateful for all she experienced. In one of our earliest conversations I asked her how she and Ron had met and she told me the story of the wedding and the dancing. I remember asking her if it was ‘Love at first sight” and she said…’it was fun at first sight’…. and it never ended. I’m grateful for her generous sharing, joyous attitude and her gratefulness for her full and happy life. She loved her family, and was at peace with her life and death. If I ever see a hummingbird in my garden, I’ll know who it is! Sending my love and condolences to all the family and especially Ron, Gary, Ronda and Melanie.

  7. It was a pleasure and honor to spend time with Gail and it was easy to discern her steadfast and caring ethics and her love for family, friends and life. I’ll treasure the memory of her unwavering positivity and beautiful smile. My sincerest condolences to all her loving family and those who had the privilege to know her precious soul.

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