With sadness we announce that Eleanor F. A. Wilson (Toni) passed away peacefully at her home with her family and Captains Ben and Isobel Lippers by her side on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the age of 71 from a long battle with cancer.
Toni was born in Drumheller to James and Eleanor Gaschnitz on December 28, 1948 and was raised on their farm in Verdant Valley. Her family was very musical and her love for music was seen throughout her life.
Toni married Jim Wilson on March 23, 1968. They did not find love from far away as their farm families only lived down the road from each other. They began their life together living in Cambria, soon moving to the farm where their business and family grew, having three children: Derrick, Loretta, and Gloria.
Its tough to narrow down Toni’s accomplishments. She graduated from the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. Throughout her life she taught many students piano lessons in her home. She was a volunteer and member of the Women of Unifarm, Verdant Valley Home and School Association, 4-H Leader for the Verdant Valley Snipettes Sewing Club, Secretary/Treasurer of the Verdant Valley Agricultural Society, Treasurer of the Homestead Museum Society and Secretary Treasurer of the Big Country Antique Museum Company. Toni spent countless hours contributing to these organizations.
Toni started playing for church at the Salvation Army and after some years she moved to the Knox United Church to play the pipe organ. Over 28 plus years she played for countless church services, weddings, and funerals, learning special music as requested. This past Christmas she found the energy to play for the Salvation Army Christmas service, which was the last time that she played.
Diving into every aspect of the farm and community kept her busy while being a wife and mother of 3 kids. On the farm Toni operated combines, grain trucks, tractors, lawn equipment and more. She gardened and took care of her animals which included dogs, cats, goats, horses, and her beloved donkeys. When the farm diversified into cows, she took great pride and care for the cows and calves and enjoyed the evening shift where she could check cows and look at the constellations of stars.
Toni was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, cousin, friend, and community member. She had an infectious laugh and a sense of humour. Each grandchild (Dalan, Avril and Kasen) spent many hours with her learning her ways of doing things right.
Toni was predeceased by her father Jim Gaschnitz, mother Eleanor Gaschnitz, father in law Arnold Wilson, mother in law Alice Wilson and daughter Gloria Wilson Anderson. She leaves to mourn her loving husband of 52 years Jim Wilson, son Derrick Wilson, grandson Dalan Wilson, granddaughter Avril Wilson, daughter Loretta Wilson, grandson Kasen Wilson, uncle Ken and aunt Phylis Chambers, and numerous cousins, in-laws, and nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Homestead Museum Society, Box 3154, Drumheller, AB, T0J 0Y0.
The family wishes to thank all the attending physicians, nurses, palliative care team, homecare, The Tom Baker Cancer Centre, The Drumheller Cancer Centre, the Duncalf family and everyone that has supported her though this journey. Due to Covid 19 arrangements are currently unknown. We plan to try to have a Celebration of Life when we feel the restrictions on numbers is in our favour.