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Gwendolyn (Gwen) Monteith

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Gwendolyn (Gwen) Monteith

December 30, 1936 - September 4, 2023


Gwendolyn (Gwen) Isobel Monteith, née McCormick

Dec. 30th, 1936 to Sept. 4th, 2023

Gwen’s warm smile and lively personality was always welcome. She was a wonderful communicator and always interested in what was happening with you. Well-read and eager to learn more, she loved to share her knowledge and advice. We enjoyed her birthday wish emails that she always remembered every year which contained the latest news from her and Robert’s adventures.

She was born in 1936 on a farm near Wyoming, Ontario. She attended Western University in London, Ontario for Commercial Arts and Education and was the first member of her family to complete university. She married John D. Monteith in 1957 in Wyoming, Ontario. They soon welcomed two daughters into their lives, Helen Christine and Marion Elizabeth. From the mid 60’s to the mid 80’s she was a well-respected teacher of Commercial Arts and Business Studies at Lambton College and high schools in Petrolia and Sarnia.

Gwen loved to travel and experience what the world had to offer. The family visited the Caribbean often and spent an adventurous 14 months in Australia. Gwen also held a private pilot’s license and was a member of “The 99’s” The International Organization of Women Pilots. She flew single engine prop airplanes for several years – just for fun!

In 1980, Gwen moved to Calgary to pursue a new life on her own and to work in the oil transportation industry. It was there that Gwen met Robert Klei. During their 44 year relationship, they enjoyed many adventures together, camping, hiking, biking, as well as two adventures that took her back to their beloved Australia. She often assisted Robert with his business called the Flower Cottage in Calgary, while also privately tutoring in English as a Second Language. In 1999, they moved to Osoyoos where Robert opened Osoyoos Gelato, later known as Roberto‘s Gelato, where Gwen enjoyed greeting customers and taste testing all of Robert’s delicious creations.

Gwen was active on the Osoyoos Water Conservation Board for many years. And was a board member of the International Joint Commission. She was also engaged in the workings of local government and attended many council meetings to stay informed on what was happening in the community. She wasn’t all work though; she and Robert enjoyed many a hot evening enjoying the beaches of Lake Osoyoos. Her daughters were impressed with Gwen’s skill at Tai Chi, which she practiced for many years. For the past dozen or so years, she and Robert enjoyed the warmth of La Paz, in the Baja during the winter.

Gwen and her big heart decided to ‘go on ahead’ on Monday, September 4, 2023. She lived well and loved well. We’ll hear the echo of her laughter in the summer breeze and her light will guide us in the dark. We will all miss her terribly.

According to Gwen’s wishes, she was quietly cremated and her ashes have been scattered. There will not be a memorial but the family invites you to share memories of her here.



Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium Ltd.

The Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Donna & Bruce Mikulecky
Relation: Friend and neighbor

What a lovely tribute for Gwen, and we send our deepest condolences.

Gwen and Robert were our next door neighbors in Osoyoos, and very quickly, they became our dear friends, watching our children grow up over the years. We shared many talks and much laughter while chatting back and forth on our decks, having meals together, and eating gelato at Robert’s shop. We didn’t know she had her pilots license though!

Our family has such very dear memories of Gwen, and have been reminiscing about her and the smiles she brought to our faces. I know she will be so dearly missed by Robert and her family, and we miss her as well.

From: Robert Ganton
Relation: I worked for Roberto Klei and met her there

This piece captures so much of Gwen. I always remember Gwen coming into Roberto’s for her Gelato sitting on the bench found inside the store or out on the patio enjoying the warm summer sun.
I have nothing but fond memories of Gwen and hope that her family and Roberto are doing okay.

From: Rutger & Carien, Dorine and Paul
Relation: She was the partner of my brother Robert.

We send our deepest condolences to Robert, Liz and Christine and their families and are so sorry for the loss of their beloved Gwen.

Dear Gwen has been our sister “not in law” (as she always added) for so very many years – always hospitable, welcoming, interested in us and our familes, and full of stories. Through her many enthusiastic reports we got to know her daughters and their families long before we got to know them personally.
We are so grateful for Gwen having been the dear and loving partner for our brother (in law) Robert, from their first time together in Calgary when setting up the Flower Cottage, to their move to Osoyoos, the time at Tinhorn and – after their Australia travels – to the hard work for Roberto’s Gelato. Gwen has always been so supporting for Robert and took part in many aspects of the work, bringing picnics to be had at the lake together during his few hours spare time during the high season, and taking interest in all of the workers at the Gelato.

We were shocked and saddened by her sudden passing, and were happy to learn that it has been peaceful and at her own house, exactly as she would have wished for, without fuss. Gwen will be greatly missed by all of us, and her bright spirit will live on in our hearts.

From: Judy Dallas
Relation: Through OLWQS and the Gelato locations.

Robert, am so sorry to learn of Gwen’s passing. Such a lovely tribute to her. Yes, her laughter will always come through. Her thirst for knowledge, her ability to evaluate things and provide sound, logical commentary was always welcomed when we were in OLWQS. You and the family will have many wonderful memories and stories to share and know those of us who knew her will be enjoying their own time in Gwen’s world. My thoughts are with you all.

From: Hildegard Schmidt
Relation: A former Book Club Member.

Hello Robert and Family:

I was soooooooooo sorry to hear of Gwen’s passing. She truly was a very special person.
We enjoyed many BOOK CLUB meetings together over and years and of course she always supplied us with LOTS OF GELATO.

And kept BUMPING into each other in various places. She will be missed by so many people that she knew. Condolneces to the Whole Family.

From: Dorine Klei
Relation: She was the partner of my uncle Rob

I remember Gwen as a kind spirit, who was always interested in and enthusiastic about other people’s experiences and stories. She formed a positive presence wherever she was, whether it be vividly participating in conversation or activities, or roaming in the background with a kind word or reassurance ready for whomever. My fondest memory of Gwen is the time I spent at Rob and Gwen’s house, during my travels around Canada after my college graduation. Gwen took care of me in such a sweet and thoughtful way. On one of Rob’s working nights, she took me on a girls’ night out to an Indian restaurant and a Quentin Tarantino movie. We had so much fun together! Gwen will be greatly missed and will be in our hearts and thoughts. Her soul will fly around in a single prop engine airplane in the heavens, opening a beer on the beach after landing. Lots of love, Dorine

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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