It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bertha May Gregory (nee Bowman) on August 4, 2023, peacefully surrounded by family. Bertha was a beloved wife to Charles (Chuck/Charlie) Harland Gregory, mother to three daughters, Tanna Edwards (Joe), Janet Robertson, and Pamela Allsopp (Steve). Her four grandchildren Charles Hollyer (Jamie), Jason Oxford (Melissa), Jinney Oxford (Eugene) and Nicole Hollyer (Brian) dearly love her and she, them. She always treated her “inherited” (1981) grandchildren, Paul (Hazel) and Kyle Edwards (Bonnie), and Adam Allsopp as her own and they will miss her. Her greatest joy was always the “little people” in her life – her great-grandchildren, Zachary, Braedyn and Carter Edwards, Blake & Rian (Alex) Cryer, Hailey Oxford, Octavian Schulder, Faith Oxford, Logan Bauer, and youngest Aubree Lemen-Hollyer, and we will always remember the way her face lit up when any of them were in her presence.
Bertha was the eldest daughter of Dorothy (1969) and Robert Bowman (1950). She is survived by her husband Chuck, three daughters and their offspring, older brother James (Jimmy), youngest sister, Janet Straddeck (Mike), and sisters-in-law Dorothy Bowman, Edith Gregory, and Charlene Ditchburn. She was predeceased by her siblings Robert (Bob Bowman), Isobel Cassar, Jean Bourne, Murray Bowman, sisters-in-law Noreen Bowman (Jim), Mildred Gregory, Betty Oldford (Joe), and brothers-in-law Samuel Cassar (Isobel), Harry Ditchburn (Charlene), Garry Gregory (Edith), Josiah/Joe (Betty) Oldford.
Bertha was born on the family farm in Claireville, Ontario on March 25, 1937, and she moved with her parents to Weston when she was 13 years old (1950). They thankfully survived Hurricane Hazel in 1953 and kept Chuck safe on the Weston side of the swinging bridge that night. Bertha and her family remember many happy times in the Gospel Hall at the top of the hill where they learned important lessons that would carry her through life. Her faith was sustained in more recent years through the community and fellowship at North Runnymede United Church and online through the services at Bridgenorth United since the pandemic. She attended Weston Collegiate until Gr. 10 and went to work at various jobs following high school including a bakery, Franti Electric, and then assuming the role of paste-up Operator at Moore Business Forms until her children were born beginning in 1960.
She followed Chuck to Chambly, Quebec in 1967 for his work opportunity- initially for a couple of years that stretched into a long fourteen for Bertha. One of the hidden gifts of that move was that there they met many friends who remained so for a lifetime, and their girls all learned to speak French. They moved back to Mt. Dennis/Weston area in Toronto in 1980, closer to family which was so important to Bertha.
Bertha devoted her life to her family in every way. Family dinners were most often held under Bertha’s watchful eye in the family home, and later apartment. It brought her such joy to be surrounded by her family, and on many occasions her door was opened wide to welcome family home. Long after growing up (theoretically), her girls received annual visits on their birthdays, and she hosted the Gregorys for Thanksgiving Dinner in Chambly with the small 900 square foot house hosting 25-30 people for the weekend. Hers was the gathering place for Bowman get-togethers when sister Janet would visit from the US to Toronto, and there are many memories among siblings and cousins that bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts.
Bertha was diagnosed initially at the age of 80 with vulvar cancer. She underwent surgery and showed us that she was more courageous and stronger than we imagined. We had six “gifted” years, even though three of them were during Covid. The cancer returned in 2022 and was unfortunately more aggressive, despite a second surgery in April 2023 which Mom flew through with flying colours. However, by early June the tumour had returned. With her health challenges exacerbated by lung issues (unrelated to Covid) Mom had fought since just prior to the pandemic, it made this time around more difficult.
Bertha/Mom/Grandma/Great-Grandma…. you were a trooper, so brave, so strong… you fought to stay with us as long as you could. Your beautiful smile and kindness are always mentioned when we hear stories of you, and we will miss your love and devotion. You taught us well, and though gone physically we know you are with us in Spirit, forever and always in the hearts of those who love you.
Family respectfully requests that donations to the following charities (or one of your choice) be made in lieu of flowers:
Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (Gyne/Oncology research)
North Runnymede United Church
Humber River Regional Health Foundation
Click Here to Donate to Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
Click Here to Donate to North Runnymede United Church
Click Here to Donate to Humber River Regional Health Foundation
The family has provided the opportunity to livestream the service so that you may watch from the comfort of your home.
Click Here to View Service