Gwen Lenore Both died in her seventy-seventh year at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center on June 15th, 2023 following complications from heart disease.
Gwen was born in November 1946 to Ross and Betty Hoey, who had settled after the war in the ‘Etobicoke side’ of Weston, followed soon after by her sister Adele. Growing up in Weston in the 1950’s, and summers at the family cottage built by Ross and Betty near Wasaga Beach, Gwen loved Elvis, Rock and Roll, and learning to play her midnight blue Harmony Roy Smeck electric guitar.
As a young woman, Gwen married Ken Young, and Shawn was born soon after. The marriage ended, and after a period of single motherhood, and building the foundation of a successful career in office administration including working at the aircraft manufacturer McDonell-Douglas in Malton, Gwen later married Horst Both. Gwen and Horst worked together to build a successful window manufacturing company, while restoring and renovating an historic century-house in old Weston, and travelling extensively, in Europe and the former Soviet bloc (including Moscow for the second Canada-USSR Hockey series), throughout the US, and vacations to southern destinations. Acapulco was a favorite. And The Rolling Stones were Her Band.
Following the breakup of her marriage with Horst, Gwen re-established herself in a home in the Pelmo Park area in the north of Weston, and saw Shawn off to university. She re-established her office career as a long-valued employee at Facelle, in the south of Weston. Although she often expressed misgivings over the company’s ownership changes, she was satisfied with the work-challenges, and to be working and living among friends in the Weston area. Into this mid-century-modern home she focused her beautification energies. And this home became a focus of family gatherings for Shawn and daughter-in-law Janet, and granddaughter Megan.
In this time, Gwen met Tom Anderson, and they established a loving friendship and companionship that lasted for the rest of their lives. Although Tom eventually retired to his hometown of Canso Nova Scotia, and Gwen remained in Weston, they remained close in heart. With her declining health, Tom’s death last year, followed by the death of her sister Adele, were heavy blows to Gwen.
Throughout her life, Gwen also loved her cats. She cared for an ever-evolving feline family in her home, and some established strays outside. Although her cats sometimes had a different (more chaotic) perspective on home décor from her own, she found joy caring for them – especially a litter of kittens born during the pandemic.
Gwen is deeply missed by her son Shawn Young and his wife Jillian Drage, and her granddaughter Megan Young, and Megan’s mother Janet Young. And many cats.
In lieu of flowers the family request a donation to the Toronto Humane Society be made in the memory of Mrs. Both.
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