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Born: Apr 23, 1946

Date of Passing: Feb 16, 2020

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On February 16, 2020, Sylvia Lois Thordarson, born April 23, 1946, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at Riverview Hospital.
Sylvia is predeceased by her parents, Tom and Alice Thordarson; her brother Wayne Thordarson; and her beautiful daughter Koreen Wood. Sylvia leaves behind her brother Tom (Sue) Thordarson; her daughter Keri (Dave) Taylor; and her son Kent (Marcie) Wood. Sylvia also leaves behind her nephew and nieces, Scott and Kirsten Thordarson, and Bridget Thordarson. Sylvia is also survived by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who brought her endless hours of joy: Paul (Amanda) Taylor, Stephen (Chrissy) Taylor, Meagan (Brayden) Taylor and her children, Kayden, Liam, Colt, Christopher (Emma) Taylor, Audrey Wood and her daughter Willa, Zachary and Tyson Wood.
Sylvia worked at 17 Wing Winnipeg as a civilian flight programmer for the Navigation School. She loved her job and took great pride in helping young navigators' realize their potential. She retired after 26 years in early 2010.
Sylvia was a strong, independent and loving women who was always willing to help anyone at any time regardless of what was going on in her own life. She was loved by many and loved everyone in her life with all her heart. She took great pleasure in spending time with her family whether it be at a family dinner, watching her grandchildren play sports, perform at school concerts, going on an amazing vacation or just going to the lake (Laclu or Lee River); no time was wasted time when she was with her family. Her other passions included gardening, playing cards especially bridge, and watching movies.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Sylvia from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. held at the Viscount Gort Hotel located at 1670 Portage Avenue on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. To honour her request there will be no prayers or speeches, just come share a laugh and say goodbye to this amazing lady.
In lieu of flowers, Sylvia would like any donations be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.
The family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the palliative nurses and the staff at Riverview Palliative Care unit for their care, kindness and support.

Bardal Funeral Home
843 Sherbrook Street, 204-774-7474

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 22, 2020

Condolences & Memories (16 entries)

  • I first met Sylvia when she joined the Nav School as a typist in the Word Processing Centre way back before Microsoft Word became a thing. This was a small group of overworked folks that were always backlogged and it often took days to get your typing back. But, if Sylvia knew you really needed something done, it magically moved to the top of the pile and arrived in your mailbox by the end of the day. And that was Sylvia throughout her time at the school. She always knew who needed a hand, staff or student, and stepped in to help out when she could. It was no surprise when I returned to the school years later that Sylvia was no longer in the typing pool and had moved up to become the chief programmer in Operations. While I had the privilege of occupying the big corner office, there was no doubt as to who was really driving the bus. Sylvia was a wonderful person who brightened the lives of everyone who got to know her. On the worst of days with bad weather and broken airplanes, when all of the wheels had apparently fallen off the Nav School bus, Sylvia was there, calming the crowd and cheerfully picking up the pieces. At the time of her retirement, I think it's safe to say that Sylvia had contributed in her own way to the success of almost every serving Navigator. That's a pretty good life's work! Thanks for looking after us Sylvia! Rest in peace my old friend. We'll miss you! - Posted by: Thomas Watt (Friend and former colleague.) on: Feb 26, 2020

  • I’ve known the Thordarson family in the early 1960s, Sylvia’s younger brother Wayne, God Bless him, was my childhood friend until the family moved to Alberta. I was at Sylvia’s wedding, God Bless her.,Wayne and I were only two and a half months apart, he was older then me. It was nice to have had the opportunity to meet Sylvia’s, Tom's, and Wayne’s family and be part of Sylvia’s celebration of life. Hope to keep in touch. - Posted by: Greg Wayne Andrews (Childhood friend of Wayne and family) on: Feb 25, 2020

  • Sylvia worked her way into the hearts of more people than many really appreciate. Caring and utterly competent she was in many ways the soul of CFANS. In the many times my travels brought me through the 'peg I would always drop into ops to chat and was always greeted with the same warmth and humour as when I arrived as a student there in 1985. I'm sure countless others share the same experience. She was truly a special lady and this world will miss her dearly. - Posted by: Josiah Goodyear (Student then co-worker ) on: Feb 25, 2020

  • I was a Nav student and returned for a tour as an Instructor, and was there in transition from the Herc to Gonzo, which could have been trying times, if not for Sylvia. One of the strongest memories of six years at CFANS was the sound of her distinctive laugh rolling down the hallway. She always had a kind word for those who were down. Her memory will live on with everyone who knew her. My sympathy to her family and friends. - Posted by: Dan Daly (Coworker) on: Feb 25, 2020

  • She will be missed by many. Per ardua ad astra - Posted by: Marlon Klasson (Student) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • Sylvia was a legend at the Navigator school in Winnipeg. She looked out for us students in a very special way that made her feel like family and made us feel at home. An absolute pleasure of a human being, she will be deeply missed. - Posted by: Stephanie Dennis (one of her Baby Navs) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • A sad day, and Sylvia will be missed by the many Navs and 'Baby Navs' who knew her throughout her tenure at the Nav School. She was always the 'bright light', who faced every challenge and situation at the scheduling desk with a smile and pleasant disposition. May she now Rest in Peace. Sincerely, Tom Whitburn. - Posted by: Tom Whitburn (Work Colleague) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • Initially as a Flt Commander and later as Commandant, I found the real day to day manager at CFANS was Sylvia. She was always supportive of the students and staff and went out of her way to make changes when it would have much easier to just say no. One day I was sneaking my five year old daughter, Natalie, into my office late one afternoon and telling her to be quiet in the hallway. Sylvia saw us and said that’s no way to walk. She then proceeded to show Natalie how to make the maximum noise possible from patent leather shoes. That was Sylvia, larger and louder than life, and always with a smile. What a great colleague and an even better friend. My sincere condolences to her family. - Posted by: Ken Kerr (Friend) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • As a UK Exchange Officer, Sylvia made my 3 year tour at CFANS a joy, her humour matched mine wonderfully, she will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace sweetheart, thanks for taking the blundering Scotsman under your wing xxx - Posted by: Martin ‘Taff’ Roberts (Friend) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • I first met Sylvia in 1993 as a young navigator student. She always had a smile and was easy to talk to. When I returned to the navigation school as an instructor in 2009, I was very pleased to see that she was still there. She was one of the people that made the school special. My deepest condolences to her family. Kent Molyneaux - Posted by: Kent Molyneaux (Air navigator) on: Feb 24, 2020

  • I shared an office with Sylvia at CFANS ( Canadian Air Navigation School) from 1989 to 1992. It was a thoroughly delightful experience. She was not only super at her job as a programmer of the flights but was able to spot scheduling conflicts and problems solve with tact when required or no tact when required. She was a dedicated professional. I liked working with her because of her sunny disposition and her smart approach to the daily tribulations. She was always super nice to the students who trusted her and was really adept at lowering the temperature when things became tense. I am proud to say she was my friend and my life was enhanced by having known her. My sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. - Posted by: Don McLeod, retired Major (Colleague) on: Feb 23, 2020

  • I was deeply saddened to hear of Sylvia's passing. I knew Sylvia through my work in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF); specifically through my postings to the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School (CFANS) where Sylvia worked as a Civilian Programmer. Many of us in the Air Force get posted from one job to another every few years, but Sylvia was the one constant at the Air Navigation School; she knew the course program inside out, and she deeply cared for all the young Air Navigators in training that came through the halls of CFANS. There are generations of Air Navigators, young and old, who fondly remember Sylvia's beautiful smile, her wonderful sense of humour, and her caring attitude towards everyone. I have fond memories of working with Sylvia on many occasions during my Air Force career. Initially as a student Navigator in the late 1980s, then again as an Air Nav Instructor during the early 1990s, and again as a Flight Commander in the early 2000s. Each time that I got posted back to CFANS, I was so happy to see that Sylvia was still there running the show. During the early 1990s I was employed as the CFANS Operations Officer, and I was fortunate enough to work directly with Sylvia, in the same office. In fact our desks were only a few feet apart. During that time, I got to talk to Sylvia every single day, and I remember all the fun we had in that office constantly telling jokes, and always making the best of things even though the program was constantly changing due to multiple reasons beyond our control. It was indeed fun coming to work when Sylvia was there. Sylvia was a special lady who was loved and respected by many. This was proven by the huge turnout of Air Navigators that gathered in Winnipeg to attend Sylvia's Retirement Mess Dinner on 30 April 2010. So many of us had come to love the exceptional person that she was, and we all wanted to wish her well. Hers was a life well lived, and she will be greatly missed. My condolences to the family. My prayers are with you all. Glenn Northrup RCAF (Ret'd) - Posted by: Glenn Northrup (Former Co-Worker and Friend) on: Feb 23, 2020

  • This is such sad news. Sylvia, the life blood and soul of the Nav school for so many years and the driving force behind the school's success operationally and spiritually - it is just hard to imagine such a wonderful soul has left us. I thank you, Sylvia, for showing us all how to be better people and live life the way it is supposed to be. I know I am a much better person for having met and worked with you all those years. Rest in peace my friend. Steff Kummel, former Commandant CFANS - Posted by: Stephan Kummel (Work Colleague) on: Feb 23, 2020

  • A pleasure to work with and a joy to know. I still remember her smile and cheerful disposition even after these many years. Far to young to leave family and friends. My heartfelt sympathies to all family and friends. JJ Mercer - Posted by: CWO (Ret) John JJ Mercer (Coworkers ) on: Feb 22, 2020

  • A wonderful, cheery, fabulous women. So very glad to be a friend. - Posted by: Rhue Hayden (Friend) on: Feb 22, 2020

  • My condolences is going to family and friends. I have an amazing memories wether she stopped by to say hi or we stopped by her place. The warm welcome was always special. An easy going soul to be around. R. I. P. - Posted by: Onu (Friend) on: Feb 22, 2020

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