BARBARA MAUD THOMSON (HICKS)
It is with sad and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our Mother, Barbara Maud Thomson (Hicks), on Monday, March 20, 2017.
Mum’s life story was quite a journey. She was born on July 10, 1928, in Essex, London, England, to Alice Hilda Hicks (Blake) and Christopher Henry Hicks and had four other siblings sister, Irene (Rene) Hall (Hicks, husband Harry), brother, Christopher Hicks, brother Eric Hicks, and sister Beryl, (and several nieces and nephews still in England).
Growing up in England was a lovely time for her and her family. Tragically, her beloved Father, Chris, passed away at the young age of 46 years, and her Mother, Alice, never re-married and lived the rest of her life in London, staying in her apartment until she was in her early 90’s. World War II broke out and growing up, our family was told many stories of the bombings, the rationing, the constant sea of soldiers marching in the streets, and the day-to-day life of war.
During this time, Mum met her first husband in England – Canadian Soldier, Wilfred Weaver. Mum married at the young age of 16 and immigrated to Canada via steamship with her mother telling Mum that she had better “Kiss her good-bye. She wasn’t going around the corner.”. After her journey by ship to the east coast of Canada, she then boarded the train with all the other war brides for her almost 2-week journey to Winnipeg. Imagine coming over from England, arriving at the CN Station in Winnipeg in the late 1940’s, and stepping outside to see nothing but farmland. That would be scary for anyone, let alone a 16 year-old girl coming from the other side of the world. During her marriage to Wilfred Weaver, she had two sons that she was extremely proud of, Paul (Jennifer) and Gary (Alison) Weaver. Unfortunately, her marriage to Wilfred did not work out and Mum began a new phase in her life.
Through a co-worker she then met and married our Father, Andrew James Thomson, Sr., and went on to have four more children – daughter, Carole Elizabeth (Thomson) Gauthier (Jason Gauthier, Robert Parker, granddaughters Devon and Fallon), son, Andrew Jack Thomson, Jr., (granddaughter Mallory), son, Eric Allan Charles Thomson (Lisa, granddaughters Jessica Careme (Josh Careme), Madison Thomson (Nick Bater) and grandson Adam Thomson), and her youngest daughter, Janine Barbara Thomson (Chris Fredrickson).
Mum worked most of her life as a receptionist/office assistant and did so with flare and panache – Winnipeg Supply in the 1950’s, Community Chevrolet in the 1970’s, Misericordia Hospital, Seven Oaks Hospital – and prided herself on the fact that she was the very best receptionist any company could ever have – and that was a fact. Mum was at her best on the telephone with her professionalism, personable and melodious voice – no matter where she worked, she was considered to be the ambassador to the company – the first impression – and she never disappointed.
She was a terrific Mum in every sense of the word and loved her family dearly. When her Grandchildren were born they became her main focus. Mum saw all her grandchildren grow to adults and she was proud of each one of them. She attended every school concert, play, event, and volunteered on many occasions at the school, much to the delight of the other students who also felt her genuine warmth and caring (and the treats she used to carry in her pockets didn’t hurt). Everyone that met her loved her. Mum loved to collect stuff – any kind of stuff, saying “you never know when you may need it”, which was probably a hold over from the rationing during the war. But if she found out that you needed something and she had it, she would give it to you – no questions asked. She was also an avid knitter, and was constantly knitting scarves, mittens, sweaters, socks, baby blankets, even jackets, and giving them away.
Mum was a quite the dancer, loving all types of music, singing all the time, and game to give anything a try. As children, we were privy to many summertime nights at the lake where the grown-ups were inside playing cards, talking and laughing, the music was going, and us kids were outside playing, the sounds wafting out of the cottage into the night air, and being given the special treat of a chocolate bar each, our own bottle of Pepsi and us all sharing a box of potato chips. Sometimes Dad would come out to the lake late at night after working, bringing the ultimate treat – a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Mum was a constant in our lives, right to the end, and she will be missed terribly. However, she’s sure to meet up with everyone who had gone before her and better have her dancing shoes ready because the gang’s all there now.
In keeping with her wishes, Mum has been cremated and will be laid to rest this summer alongside her husband, Andrew James Thomson, Sr., at a graveside service to be held on Monday, July 10, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, located at 135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, with Rev. Brian Ford officiating. After the Service, anyone wishing to attend a small luncheon for tea/coffee and sandwiches at the Fort Garry Hotel, 222 Broadway Avenue, Winnipeg, Man., will be welcome.
In lieu of flowers and because Mum really loved children, donations would be gratefully welcomed by the Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Department, 840 Sherbrook Street Winnipeg, Man., in Mum’s memory.
Thank you to the Charleswood Personal Care Home, 5501 Roblin Boulevard, Winnipeg, Man., Nurses, and all the Staff on the Floor where Mum was, (that were actually with her on a day-to-day basis), who looked after Mum in the latter stages of her life, when we were unable to meet her needs.