Gaylene was born in Nipawin on October 15, 1944 to Frank and Dorothy Spence and passed away in Saskatoon on May 12, 2019.
Gaylene grew up, went to school and, with the exception of a few years, spent her entire life in Nipawin. Although she was affected to a degree by cerebral palsy, this never held her back. (In fact, she would probably not be pleased that this was even mentioned.) From a very young age she demonstrated dogged determination. She went on to complete an accounting course at Saskatoon Business College and spent several summers working on the archeological digs at Francois-Finlay and Fort Carleton. Gaylene was employed for a time at James Richardson Securities in Saskatoon, and then at Agra in Nipawin. It was on her return to Nipawin that she met and married Leonard Toothill in 1973. Together they raised three children: James, Anne-Marie, and Liam. In her later years, she worked as a courier in Nipawin.
Throughout her life Gaylene enjoyed bowling and was known for her needle work but, most of all, she loved to drive and loved to travel. She made several trips to the British Isles but it was being on the road with the trailer and the family that she enjoyed the most, travelling across Canada and into the US, visiting old friends and family along the way. In more recent years, no excuse was too small for Leonard and Gaylene to set out on a road trip.
Gaylene was predeceased by her mother and father in 1986 and 1995, and her husband Leonard in 2016. She is survived by her children Jim (Heather), Anne-Marie (Dave), Liam (Leila), her grandchildren Lincoln, Darren, Jackson, & Lexie, her brother David (Joel), and many cousins.
Gaylene suffered the effects of Alzheimers the last few years. It was sad to see, but she remained good-natured: her quick ‘Irish’ was always tempered with a ready smile and a laugh.