Gwernydd passed away quietly on October 19, 2017 in the GOAL Unit of the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre at the age of 102 years. He final weeks were spent under the compassionate care of the unit staff that made it clear, through their actions, just how highly regarded he was. Uncle Gwern was born on August 24, 1915 on the Brynmair Farm in the Wood River district east of Ponoka. His parents had recently (1912) emigrated from Gomer, Ohio with two of his older siblings. Gwern would reside on the original home quarter, farming with his younger brother Ogwen and Ogwen’s family until Ogwen’s passing in 1973. Shortly after, Gwern purchased a small house in Riverside in Ponoka, residing there until moving to Rimoka Lodge in 2005. Gwern was the epitome of the “Gentle Man”. Gwern was quiet but enjoyed expressing his political opinions. He loved music. He enjoyed singing in the glee club, the annual Ponoka Gymanfa Ganu, the Mecca Glen community choir, the Zion Church choir and more recently the Ponoka Sunshine Singers. In his youth, he could be found playing league soccer for the Wood River squad. He stated that music made his feet tickle, so dances were well attended and he was an in-demand partner for twirling to the old country songs. Gwern was a self-taught harmonica player and provided a tune or two for various family functions or at the St. David’s Day suppers. Gwern was proud of his Welsh heritage and supported the Welsh community in all their functions and managed to maintain his first language (Welsh) throughout his life.
Gwernydd was predeceased by his parents John H. and Annie Reese; his brothers Trevor (infant), Stanley, Ogwen and Emrys; sisters Mwynwen (Roberts) and Olwen (Astill); nieces, Glenys (Roberts) Jorgensen and Edna (Roberts) Javorsky; and great-nephew Cam Crandall. Uncle Gwern is survived by eight nieces and nephews: Ivy (Roberts) Wilson, Wayne Reese, Carol (Reese) Williamson, Darlene (Astill) Stills, Darwin Astill, Sheila (Astill) Connell, Daniel Reese, and Sheryl (Reese) Cale; and his cousin Ethel Gardner.
Uncle Gwern wished to identify the following for their involvement and support over the years; great-nephew Randy Mohl and his children, Katrina Kraft and Eric Mohl and his grandchildren, Evan and Karlee Kraft, and great-niece Judy Brownlee.
A Funeral Service will be held at the Ponoka Funeral Home at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Memorial donations are gratefully accepted to any charity of your choice.
November 4, 2017
Ponoka Funeral Home
Ponoka, Alberta T4J 1R5