SPEERS, Ann (Gilbert)


With family by her side, Ann passed away at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice on Saturday, June 23, 2018. She was one month shy of her 88th birthday.

Ann is predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Garnet. Daughter of the late Rose and Hector Gilbert. She will be greatly missed by her five children: Jerry (Bianca), Rod, Brian (Marilyn), Debbie Moffatt (Ron) and Donna Rossi (Mike).

She was the very proud grandma of Jason, Natasha, Jennifer, Rick, Gary, Daryl, Tom, Karl, Janice, Matthew and Ralph.

Ann’s family was her pride and joy and she was fortunate enough to call herself a great-grandmother to: Halie, Vann, Paige, Danika, Austin, Taelyn, Victoria, Sophia and Tristan.

Sister-in-law of the late Robert Speers (late Georgina), late Violet Steinke (Gilbert), late Jack Speers, late Bill Speers (late Barbara), Shirley Causley (Cliff), Jean Snell (late Dorian, late Tom), Donald Speers (Rosemary), Margaret Powley (Edward), Ellen Bonsor (late Bram) and Betty Elliott.

Ann was born in Searchmont on July 20, 1930. She loved the water and was a fearless swimmer. This was also the place were, at age 17, she met her husband while he was working on the train. He threw her a few pieces of coal from the train and the rest was history. Ann always considered Searchmont to be her home and often took drives out to see her birthplace.

Ann and Garnet were pioneers in the racing community in the Sault with Garnet acting as president for many years of the Algoma Stock Car Association, and Ann helping out at the race track and assisting Garnet with his duties.

If there is anything that defines Ann, it’s her selflessness. She was a caregiver to many throughout the years. Her home was always open and she loved her family unconditionally. Her capacity for forgiveness and her ability to see the best in others was endless.

She was a gift and a saviour to some very special people in her life. Her life was purpose driven and it was a rare day if she was not helping someone in need. In her later years, Ann took care of her sister Julie Gilbert who will miss her dearly.

She will also be missed by her sister Mary McKinnon with whom she loved to catch up with. She is predeceased by her sister Clara Tweedle (Arnold) and brother Jim Gilbert.

Ann was full of energy up until a month ago, when she suffered a heart attack, while out for a walk with her son, Rod. Prior to that, Ann could often be seen zipping around town, running errands and keeping busy. If you would have asked a month ago, we would have said Ann was the picture of health and ready to go on her next trip.

Ann enjoyed travelling with her son, Jerry and daughter-in-law Bianca. She travelled to more than 20 countries including: Russia, Norway, Scotland, France and England and coast to coast Canada (her favourite Country) to name a few.

Just recently Ann enjoyed a cruise of Eastern Canada. It was her dream to see the Anne of Green Gables homestead, which sadly she did not see due to inclement weather. Ann was read to from this book on her last morning and we hope that brought her some comfort.

Ann never missed a Sunday dinner at her granddaughter, Natasha’s home and recently started requesting her favourite vegan meal…and rhubarb muffins when she came. She always left happily with a few containers of food to share with others.

Ann loved the simple pleasures in life: a cup of tea and a baked treat, Lake Superior, her former camp on Haviland Shore Drive and her previous home on Island Lake, which she spoke of daily. Most especially, Ann loved spending time with her family. If she was not calling you “Lambie” or dear, then she was most likely calling you another family member’s name (usually a generation removed). She was quiet and unassuming, gentle and so very patient.

A Come and Go Celebration of Life to honour Ann will take place on Friday, June 29, 2018 at the Water Tower Inn “Library Room” from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friends and family are welcome to stop by to pay respects and remember Ann.

Memorial donations to ARCH or the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

In lieu of flowers, spend time with a loved one, be extra kind to someone, go for a dip in Lake Superior or help out a family member. That’s what Ann would have wanted.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Booth, Dr. Apostle and Malinda from ICU.

Arrangements entrusted to Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Rd, 705-945-7758). www.northwoodfuneral.com