June 25, 2021
In Loving Memory ~ It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sandra Elizabeth Gilbert (Thornton) or Sandi, with an I, she would say. She passed away peacefully in the presence of her daughter Alycia, after being able to visit with all her family June 25 at West Coast General Hospital.
Sandi is predeceased by her parents William “Mac” and Lillian Thornton, as well as many loved aunts and uncles.
She is survived by her loving husband and lifelong partner Ted Gilbert of 49 years, just 36 days short of 50, her loving daughter Alycia Gilbert, Daughter Erin Anker (Steve Anker), her twin 9-year- old granddaughters Emma and Lily Anker, Her Brother Brian Thornton (Meredith), Sister-in-law and friend of 57 years Kathy Gilbert Greene (Bob Greene), Deborah Carere, Michael McClellan, Gail Hoole, Robert Butler, Raymond Harris, Donna Harris, Jim Boss and John Sanderson.
A special thank you to our “other daughter” Laura Mccamley of Northern Ireland for her eloquent thoughts about Sandi to our family.
She was adopted at 2 mos. old by William “Mac” and Lillian Thornton. She was made aware by her family that she had indigenous roots. She took her ancestry seriously and spent time travelling to many indigenous communities so she could help her daughters understand their heritage.
Growing up in Vancouver she went to public school and eventually BCIT where she graduated as a medical imaging technician. She worked all over the province as a relief technician.
When we moved to Port Alberni in 1974, we soon discovered we did not want to live anywhere else. Sandi started working at WCGH, eventually becoming the department manager, until she was forced to retire due to health reasons in 2002. Along the way she met many lifelong friends.
Sandi took a highly active role in the growth and education of her daughters. She spent many years on ball fields, at swimming pools, at dance lessons, as well as giving them a lifetime interest in the Girl Guide movement.
She took them all the way through guiding as an involved parent and eventually their leader to co-commissioner of guiding in the Alberni Valley. Throughout her years in Port Alberni, she was also actively involved in many Sorority chapters and various charities.
Sandi felt the comradery inspiring and made many lifelong friends. A huge thank you to all her sisters for being so loving, generous, compassionate, and supportive through all her difficult life events, both difficult and joyous.
Being her husband of, nearly, 50 years we travelled extensively throughout North America from Alaska down to Southern Mexico. Travelling was one of her many passions. She was an excellent planner as well as an expert navigator. One of her favourite adventures was her annual Christmas shopping trip to the USA with her daughter Alycia, friend Lorna, sister-in- law Kathy, and friend Sylvie.
All in all, anyone who met Sandi had their lives enriched in some way. Her patience and Zen calmness followed her everywhere she went. She will remain an exceptional role model for our family.
Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. D. White for his effort on Sandi’s behalf and the years of care he and Melissa have provided for her. Thank you to the exceptionally competent and caring staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital and WCGH.
The time has come to say goodbye to my sweetheart, mother of my children and grandmother of Lily and Emma.
We will meet again in another life where we will finish what we started.
Kisses, my love.
In Lieu of flowers a donation can be made to Ty Watson House: Alberni Valley Hospice Society on her behalf.
To share a memory or to leave your condolences please go to www.dignitymemorial.com
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