Olwyn Horton

Obituary of Olwyn Margaret Horton


June 29, 1928 - Gladestry, Wales

May 24, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta



It is with profound sadness the family of Olwyn Horton announces her passing on May 24, 2023, in Calgary, Alberta at the age of 94.


Olwyn was born in Gladestry, Wales on June 29, 1928.  Soon after her birth, the family moved to a tiny cottage in Glangrwyney, a small village outside Crickhowell. She went to the local school and the local Presbyterian church, where her main job was to provide the air to the church organ from outside. On one notable occasion the organist pounded the keys at the start of a rousing hymn, only to find that a small squeak was all that was available. The mystery was solved when the organ pumper was found outside fast asleep in the sun.


Olwyn finished her schooling at age 16 and moved to London to start a career in nursing that ended when she married her first husband and had her first child, Brian, when she was twenty years old. Her second child, Derek, was born three years later. During this period Olwyn did various piecework jobs to put food on the table including making handlebar rubbers for bicycles.


The family moved to Frogmore in 1957 where her daughter Margot was born two years later. During this period, the marriage ended and Olwyn moved to London with her three children. Olwyn soon fell in love with the love of her life, John Horton, and he became stepfather to Brian, Derek, and Margot.  In 1963, the family was completed with the birth of David. 


In 1964, Olwyn and John bought their first home in Coxheath, a small village outside Maidstone. Margot and David went to the local school and Brian and Derek left home to pursue their future careers. Olwyn began working as a cleaner, then moved to an office job at a department store where she taught herself a punch card system; the precursor to computers. She followed that with a period of time nursing at a home for teenage pregnancies. When needs be, Olwyn could successfully and proficiently turn her hand to anything that was available.


In 1972 Olwyn and John immigrated to Calgary, Canada, with Margot and David.  Derek and his wife Gillian followed soon after. Olwyn continued office work; firstly at the Calgary Town Hall and then at Dominion Life, where John was working, and eventually reached the position of underwriter. They lived primarily in South Calgary, moving and improving properties they bought and lived in.  When they retired, they moved to High River. Olwyn loved flowers and always had a garden. It was her love of plants that led to her last and happiest job, managing the plant section in the local High River hardware store.


It was during their time in High River that Olwyn’s second “love of her life” (John being the first of course), appeared in the form of Pussleigh, a cat who quickly found her way into the hearts of both Olwyn and John and gave them many years of love and companionship.


Olwyn and John enjoyed travelling and made regular visits back to England to visit family. They also attended many annual reunions of the Royal Military Police Association, both in North America and the UK.  Brian and David had both immigrated to Australia during this period, and Olwyn and John made memorable visits to them and their families over the years. There are many fond memories associated with those holidays.  Olwyn often recounted one story of a road trip where she ended up face to face with a snake. She always told this story with a mixture of horror and pride that she had survived to tell the tale.


Olwyn and John made their last move back to Calgary, to the Sunmills retirement community where they lived for 18 years, the longest they had ever stayed in one place. They had a beautiful view of the mountains and made new and dear friends. Olwyn had flowering plants on the balcony and continued her craftwork of needlepoint and knitting. She spent endless hours knitting baby blankets for local charities until very recently.


Olwyn is survived by her son Brian (Gail) Tyler and granddaughter Rachel of Australia; her son Derek (Gillian) Tyler and grandson Colin of Calgary; her son David (Catherine) Horton and grandchildren Eleanor and Edgar also of Australia; and her granddaughters Annette, Teresa, and Jennifer.


Olwyn was predeceased by her siblings, Alec, Elsie, Eva, Marjorie, and Phyllis; her daughter Margot, and her loving husband John who passed a mere two months earlier.


Olwyn will be remembered by her friends and family as a woman of intelligence with a great sense of humour. Olwyn will be remembered by her children for her strength in providing a secure home, especially during the early years when there was not much money, but plenty of love. Lastly, Olwyn will be remembered as a loving wife who cared tirelessly for John in his later years.


She died peacefully on the afternoon of May 24, surrounded by her sons and family. She will be greatly missed.


Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.


In living memory of Olwyn Horton, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.




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