TRAVERSY, Abigail Margaret Anne (née Stronach) passed away peacefully in Toronto on April 11, 2021 in her 95th year. Gail was a loving mother to her two daughters, Robin (Daniel) and Nancy (Martin), and her son Bruce (Cindy); and a much loved grandmother to Meaghan, Kristen, Erin, Jordan, Heath, Gabriel, Molly, Amelia and Clara. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 58 years, Bob; her parents Ernest and Rhoda Stronach (Knowles); and her sisters Ruth Frost and Joyce Trollope.
Gail was born and raised in Toronto and worked for the Red Cross in her twenties before she met and married Bob in 1958. They lived for 14 years in various military postings across Canada, followed by 6 years in Ottawa, while they raised their three children. In 1978, they moved to Stratford and created a beautiful home together for the next 40 years.
Gail traveled extensively across Canada with Bob in their camper van and also frequently to Europe. She was a passionate theatre lover and enjoyed playing bridge with her sisters and friends. A talented seamstress with a strong flair for design, she was also a wonderful cook and homemaker, a collector of antiques, lover of music and an incredibly astute financial investor.
Perhaps most of all, Gail will be remembered for her extraordinary life as a painter. While she never had formal art lessons, she loved drawing and painting as a young girl; however it was not until 1976 that she took up her paint brushes again. Over the next 40 years, she worked from her dining room table painting what she loved and what inspired her – old houses, landscapes, lighthouses, churches, castles, flowers and fauna, and portraits of interesting people – and also what might fit in the latest picture frame that she had unearthed in a flea market and which Bob had carefully refurbished in his workshop. Her prolific and impressive body of over 500 oil and watercolour paintings was celebrated in a book, “Framing Five Decades”, given to her by her children for her 90th birthday.
Gail will be very much missed by all who knew her for her creativity, resourcefulness, strength of spirit, and unwavering commitment to making her family home a warm and happy place. Her children are especially grateful to Joan Huchuk for being such a wonderful, kind and compassionate companion and caregiver to Gail for over 5 years. A Celebration of Life for Gail will be held at a later date. In the meantime, her family have put together this short video tribute.
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