February 10, 1944 – January 7, 2021
Gwen Winnifred Regan (nee McKay) was born on February 10th, 1944 at Grace Hospital in Vancouver. She passed away on January 7, 2021 after a long battle with cancer, at the age of 76. Gwen was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 5, but she lived an active childhood playing grass hockey, attending school and completing her conservatory piano degree (ARCT) by 19 years of age.
Gwen met her future husband Keray in grade twelve at Burnaby South high school. They married five years later in 1966, and went on to have three children – Glen, Doreen and Jodie. Keray and Gwen spent ten years transferring around BC for Keray’s work and then settled their family in Vernon in 1976.
Along with being a busy wife and mother, Gwen pursued her certificate as a seamstress and taught at NAIT and the Vernon Alliance School. She enjoyed playing piano for many church congregations and for the Prince George Symphony. In the late 1970’s, she sold Tupperware and became the top sales person in BC.
In 1984, she joined Keray’s financial planning business and managed the office until her retirement. Gwen spent many years skiing, hiking with her family, and enjoyed golfing with Keray. She faithfully attended First Baptist Church for forty years, and dedicated her time volunteering to organize social events and playing the piano at church services.
In addition to being a dedicated, soft hearted mother, Gwen had a soft spot for wildlife and her poodles. She was passionate about organizing family gatherings, gardening, flowers and bird watching. When she wasn’t busy caring for her family and home, she could be found painting and became an accomplished artist. Gwen was also very competitive; she loved playing card games which she seldom lost.
Gwen and Keray started traveling in 1991 following Gwen’s heart operation, after being told by the heart surgeon that she had only a short time to live. Since their retirement, they’ve enjoyed traveling to over forty countries throughout the world, meeting new people and appreciating new experiences. Starbucks became Gwen’s favourite place for socializing after retiring.
Despite many health challenges that evolved from her diabetes, Gwen always remained driven and determined to live life to the best of her abilities. Her health issues never slowed her down, and she became one of the longest living diabetics in the world.
Gwen’s most cherished accomplishment was her family and grandchildren. She was unendingly proud of her children and always did her best to support them. She created many wonderful family memories for her children and nine grandchildren.
Gwen was very organized and always strove to celebrate holidays with family and homemade meals. She always encouraged her children and grandchildren to do their best and love each other despite differences. Throughout her entire life, she had an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those around her. She will be dearly missed by her family and those who knew her well. We love you and already miss you greatly.
Gwen joins her parents, Neil and Winnifred McKay, her brother Neil and her sister Joan in Heaven. She is survived by her husband Keray, her children Glen, Doreen and Jodie, and her grandchildren Jessica, Ashley, Victoria, Alora, Jenna, Alyssa, Brittany, Lexi and Cole.
A Celebration of Life funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church on Saturday, January 16th at 11 am. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, only invited family members will be allowed to attend in person. However, the service will be live streamed and made available online via the website of First Baptist Church (www.firstbaptistvernon.net) for those unable to attend.Obituary
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