Four Generations of Devoted Service
In the Selkirk area and Interlake Since 1935
September 23, 1928 - February 28, 2018
It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of John Thorsteinson, of Gimli, Manitoba at 89 years of age. Although John left us unexpectedly, after a short stay in Gimli hospital, he was surrounded by family and friends during his final days, and passed with his devoted wife Mabel at his side.
Born in Winnipeg to Freda and Ross Thorsteinson on September 23, 1928, John was welcomed into a loving and hardworking family. He was raised in his beloved homeland of Hecla, Manitoba with his six brothers and sisters. There he attended school, learned to fish and trap, and was imparted with a sense of family devotion that he would carry with him throughout his life. As a boy John moved to Brooklands (Winnipeg) where he continued to support his family. He often recalled starting work as a young teen delivering groceries for the corner store, and the joy it brought him when he was rewarded by the store owner with shortbread cookies. He recalled silly pranks such as loading the street trolley with goats, and locking the community officer in the outhouse. As an older teen John began working with his father, and honed his natural carpentry skills. While on a construction job in Mather, Manitoba John met the love of his life Mabel Bridal, and proposed to her before leaving town. In February of 1948 John returned for Mabel and they were married in Mather. John and Mabel then settled in Winnipeg where they raised their daughters, Violet and Marilyn, and where he worked tirelessly to provide for them. John worked long days as an auto body man at Peterson’s Auto Body, later at North West Motors. John felt forever grateful for the position he then gained as a Millwright at Grace Hospital, where he retired after many years of dedicated service. Although John was a loyal employee, he will forever be remembered as a family man. Days prior to his passing Mabel and John celebrated their 70th anniversary, and it was a marriage of true love and devotion. With their young family they enjoyed camping, and as they aged they traveled coast to coast, and were snowbirds for many years. After raising his daughters, and to make his wife’s dreams a reality, John moved to Woodlands, Manitoba, and after a return to Winnipeg, he settled and retired in Gimli. He enjoyed his time connecting with fellow Icelanders in Gimli, had many friends there, and will be laid to rest there. John was blessed with four grandchildren with whom he had a special bond, and was a magical great-grandpa to eight. He would give his last dollar to help someone in need without the expectation of receiving. Kind words were what he spoke, genuine love is what he gave, and a lasting legacy is what he left.
John was predeceased by his parents, sisters Margaret and Helen (Skuli), brother Frank, and son-in-law Kirk. He is survived by his wife Mabel; daughters Violet and Marilyn (Bob); grandchildren Michael, Brad (Jana), Janis (Daryl), and Cameron; sisters Helga (Larry) and Diane (Elmer); and brother Ray (Joan). As per John’s wishes he has been cremated, and a private family service will be held. His family wishes to thank the staff of Gimli hospital, the many friends and family who visited, and his niece Colleen (Wally) for their support in his final days.