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June 20, 2024

In loving memory ~

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Gail Thomas, aka Mama Joe, on June 20, 2024, who died peacefully with her children at her side following a brave, eight-month battle with leukemia.

A devoted and loving Mother, Nana, Sister, Aunt and friend, Gail lived a full life with many adventures that took her from her birthplace in Calgary, Alberta, to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, to south Wales in the UK, back to Calgary and on to West Vancouver before finally settling in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. A strong head for numbers, Gail studied accounting and spent her early career in banking before getting married and starting a family in the late 1960s. She would later develop and operate her own organic ginko biloba and chestnut business in Kelowna and volunteered as treasurer for the BC Herb Society.

Gail was equally admired for her creative side and enjoyed sewing, knitting, cooking, candle making, painting and pottery. Bridge became an important pastime in her later years, and she also enjoyed sudoku puzzles and a good game of cribbage. Second only to her love for her family was her love of animals and Gails' home was always filled with a variety of furry friends including numerous dogs, cats, birds, horses, guinea pigs and even a pot-bellied pig.

Gail was also a passionate advocate for the arts. She loved music, was a life-long fine art collector, committed to supporting local Canadian artists in particular, and was an active member of the Summerland Arts Council. Her community service extended to numerous other volunteer efforts throughout her life including several school boards, the Soroptimists, BC Cancer and Grandmothers for Africa.

Ever curious, she traveled extensively in North America, Europe and southern Africa but her center of gravity always remained her home base in the Okanagan where she loved to host family for any and all holiday occasions celebrating together with a traditional, home-cooked feast followed by a card game of "May I" where she invariably cleaned house.

Gail will be remembered for her quick mind, strong opinions, determination, generosity, and devotion to family. Survived by her four children, ten grandchildren, four siblings, numerous nieces and nephews and loving dog Remi, Gail will be greatly missed and remains forever in our hearts.

In Lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the BC Cancer Foundation. Condolences may be left at (250-494-7752)

 Providence Funeral Homes & Crematorium

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