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Born: Sep 17, 1921

Date of Passing: Jun 03, 2012

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GLADYS ISABEL CAREFOOT (HENDERSON) Gladys Isabel Carefoot of Virden, Manitoba, beloved wife of the late William (Bill) Talmage Carefoot, passed away peacefully at her home in Virden, Sunday, June 3, 2012 in her 91st year. Gladys was born in Miniota, Manitoba on September 17, 1921 to James (Jim) and Mina Henderson, the youngest of four daughters. Her father was a station agent and telegrapher for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Gladys had many fond memories of herself and her three sisters growing up in Miniota and living above the CPR station and she never lost her love of trains and hearing their whistles. Gladys demonstrated her musical talents with the piano from a young age. She was the Sunday School organist at Miniota from the age of 10 and shared organist duties with her sister Jean until graduating high school and leaving home in 1939. Gladys attended the Toronto Conservatory of Music from 1939 to 1940, studying piano and theory. She earned her Associate (ATCM) degree in piano and theory as a solo performer and teacher. Gladys studied for her Licentiate (LRCM) piano degree but could not take the exam after the Second World War began when examiners could not be sent out from England to evaluate her professional concert performance. She moved to Shoal Lake, Manitoba to be with her parents and taught music there from 1940 to 1943. Gladys was the organist of St. Paul's Church, Shoal Lake for three years as well as teaching Sunday School. After moving to Brandon, she became the organist at St. Mary's Anglican Church from 1944 to 1946. Gladys was the organist at St. Paul's United Church, Virden, from 1947 to 1949 and then again from 1964 to 1973 and organist and choir director at St. Mary's Anglican Church, Virden from 1977 to 1983. She also served as assistant organist at St. Paul's United during the years her children were small. Gladys played for more than 70 Christmas Candlelight services during her lifetime. Gladys continued her passion for music and the arts after moving to Virden in 1946. She was involved in the Virden and Arts Music Festival until the late 1970s, serving on the syllabus committee, as president and secretary at various times and for various terms and was the official accompanist for 29 years. Together with Bernice McDonald, she organized The Naturals choir in 1974 and gave concerts for a number of years, donating the proceeds to community projects. Gladys was the accompanist for the school festival and Christmas concert choirs and for the Virden Collegiate Choir under the direction of Sandra Poole in the 1980s. She was the accompanist for the Broadway the Audway group and for a St. Paul's quartet. One of her favourite performances was the production of We'll Meet Again which included her husband Bill and allowed her to play while her nephew Bob Andrew and his wife Marjorie performed dance numbers from the 1940s. One of her greatest passions and loves was the Aud Theatre. Along with many like-minded citizens, she and Bill were part of the original Save the Aud' campaign and steering committee in 1982 to prevent the demolition of the Virden Aud. She was Secretary of the Restoration Committee and when the Theatre Board was formed at the time of the re-opening, became Secretary in 1983, combining it with the treasurer's duties the following year. Gladys was a Life Member of the Theatre Board and served as a board member for almost 30 years until her retirement in 2011. One of the recent highlights for her was attending the 100th anniversary of the Virden Aud Theatre in February 2012. Along with the other original member of the steering committee, Jim Moffatt, the Aud Couple celebrated the complete restoration and continued success of the Aud with a variety of dignitaries, friends and other guests. In addition to her long career as a musician and music teacher, Gladys kept busy in the workforce, as a homemaker, mother and volunteer. She worked part time as a volunteer in the Shoal Lake Ration Board office during the Second World War. She spent the summer of 1943 as secretary in the Shoal Lake Ag Rep office. Following her move to Brandon, she worked at the Brandon Musical Supply from November 1943 to May 1944 when she transferred to Wright and Wightman Jewellers. In September 1946, Gladys moved to Virden to work for her brother-in-law, Vern Andrew, in Andrew Agencies and she also did the books for the newly formed Virden Credit Union. After marrying Bill Carefoot in 1949, she taught piano from 1952 to 1962. She and Bill lived and worked on the farm in the Pacific District until October 1972 when the family moved to Virden. She then worked part time at the Fort la Bosse School Division secretary-treasurer's office until forced to retire in June 1970 due to ill health. Gladys worked at the Empire-Advance newspaper from 1971 to 1979 and then for the Virden Library until 1981 and as Senior Librarian from 1982 until her retirement in 1986. She also wrote many articles for the Brandon Sun and Winnipeg newspapers. She was a member of the South Circle Community Club while on the farm and worked in one of St. Paul's UCW units and the Health Auxiliary of Virden. She was a member of the lawn bowling club in the 1970s and began golfing while wintering in Arizona and was a member of the Virden Golf Club. Gladys loved history. She compiled the Virden Festival history in 1982 and the St. Mary's Anglican Church history in 1986. She assembled the Legion history for the local branch prepared for its 60th anniversary. She was the keeper of many family stories from all four branches. She began compiling the history of the Carefoot's, Henderson's, O'Hara's and McLean's after she got her first computer in the 1980s, dutifully recording each new birth and marriage. That family history now includes more than 2,500 names and stretches back to the 1700's. Gladys was a past nominee for the Woman of Distinction Award. In 2011 she was presented with the Melvin Jones Fellow for Dedicated Humanitarian Services by the Lions Club International Foundation. After 22 years at 202 Kent Street in Virden, Gladys and Bill moved to Kin Place when it opened in April 1998. Gladys was predeceased by her husband, Bill, March 20, 1999; parents, J.J. (Jim) Henderson on July 1, 1949 and Mina Henderson, March 15, 1977; sisters, Jean Lelond, November 25, 1961, Marion, May 19, 1988 and Irene Andrew, November 9, 2004; brothers-in-law Vern Andrew in April 1961, Roy Lelond, January 1962; and very special nephew, Bob Andrew, December 2003. Gladys is survived by three children, Colleen Armstrong (Richard), Georgetown, Ontario; Jim (Janice), Portage la Prairie, Manitoba; David (Lianne), Oakbank, Manitoba; grandsons, Christopher (Hannah) Armstrong; Michael Armstrong and Natalie Semeekina; Munroe and Dawson Shume; and a number of special nieces, nephews and friends. Family and friends gathered at Virden Legion Hall on Friday, June 8, 2012 for refreshments and remembering Gladys. Interment took place in Virden Cemetery. If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to Virden Auditorium Restoration Committee, St. Mary's Anglican Church (Virden) Parish Centre, or to the charity of your choice in memory of Gladys. E-mail messages of condolence or sign the on-line Book of Condolences at G.R. Carscadden Funeral Chapel, Virden in care of the arrangements.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 09, 2012

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