Mrs. Thelma Ingibjorg Bremner (nee Johnson) passed away at Winnipeg, MB on Sunday, September 29, 2019, at the age of 91 years.
Thelma is survived by her daughters, Catherine (Paul) Risk and Jamie Bremner; daughter-in-law Darlene Bremner; grandchildren, Ryan, Ashley (Richard), Samantha, Kevan, Matthew (Sam), Alexandra, Andrew, Kristan (Matt), and Daryn.
She was predeceased by her spouse James in 1998; son Ian in 2015; parents, Helgi and Veiga Johnson; brother Baldur; and sister-in-law Dorothy.
Thelma was born at Selkirk Hospital and lived in the Husavik (Manitoba) area until she was an adult. Her first language was Icelandic. Thelma and her much loved brother, Baldur, spent an adventurous albeit dangerous childhood in the countryside. Together they dodged the family’s crazy ram, played pranks and picked plums at the cemetery. She then moved to Winnipeg to go to Success Business College where she graduated with honours as a legal secretary and worked in the steno pool at Eaton’s. She married James Lewis (JL) on September 17, 1949 in Norwood. For his work as a Regional Engineer for the CNR, they moved to Flin Flon in 1952. After two years, they moved to The Pas where they had their first child, Ian Douglas Munro (1954). Relocating back to Winnipeg they welcomed Catherine Helga (1956). In 1958, they moved to Dauphin where they had their last child, Jamie Eileen (1959). Finally, they landed back in Winnipeg at 764 Cavalier Drive in 1970. They resided here until she moved to Sturgeon Creek 1 Assisted Living in 2013, where she lived for the next five years. It was nice to celebrate a grand birthday on her 90th with her immediate family and relatives. She moved into Heritage Lodge this past March and passed away, after a brief illness, at the Grace Hospital.
For her gender, intelligence and athleticism, Thelma was born in the wrong era. She was clearly ahead of her time falling prey to the mid-century culture of marrying well and standing by your man, not having a career but having babies instead.
Mom returned to the workforce starting at K-Mart in the deli. To gain her confidence back, she returned to Success Business College for a refresher and then worked as a temporary secretary for Kelly Services, where she was Employee of the Month for August 1989 and featured in their commercial. She volunteered her time after retirement at the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities. Thelma B. was very active in AA since joining in 1972 and made many friends there.
Mom was an avid reader of non-fiction and loved anything WWII and historical. As a world traveller, she made many trips to Europe to experience the things she read about. She also took many family and non-family members along with her on her travels (and dad, once). She would often regale us with hysterical stories of her adventures. Who can forget the golden ticket at Livorno debacle?
Mom always had cats and adored animals. She loved music and was self-taught. She played the piano, violin, accordion and mouth organ much to the chagrin of the cats.
Thelma had a great sense of humour and was a fervent teller of stories of olden days quite often sending her grandchildren into fits of laughter. She could be very irreverent and self-deprecating! She was a loving grandmother, attending all of the children’s pageants and sporting activities and usually had the impossible task of dragging JL along.
She loved to play games, especially Scrabble, crosswords and Jeopardy. You would have a hard time beating Thelma in trivia. She also loved arts and culture and her tenors! Mom visited a lot of churches and castles and viewed many famous works of art in her journeys across the globe.
Thelma enthusiastically watched the Winnipeg Jets and the Blue Bombers. When her eyesight deserted her, she would keep up to date by radio.
She enjoyed all visitors, especially appreciating the company, efforts, caring and love of her granddaughter, Ashley Risk. Staff at the various homes often commented to us that our mother was kind, funny and appreciative.
At 81 years of age, Thelma’s last trip was a Mediterranean cruise with her daughters. Mom was game for anything. She was a proud Canadian of Icelandic heritage. She managed to make it to Iceland twice but never quite attained the status of Fjallkona (Maid of the Mountain). After much hardship in her youth, mom appreciated the life she had and served as an inspiration for us all to enjoy the ride.
Mom’s courageous will to live was displayed when she recovered from a stroke within two days earlier this year. She was surrounded by family and love in her final days.
Love you mom.
Thelma has been cremated and will be interred at the Husavik Cemetery next year.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre (ARC)