Emily Toker (nee Gacek)

Obituary of Emily Mary Toker (nee Gacek)

August 27, 1941 – Peace River, Alberta

March 18, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Emily “Em” Toker (nee Gacek), of Calgary, AB, passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024, at the age of 82 years.


Em was born in Peace River, AB, on August 27, 1941, before moving to Calgary in 1966. Throughout her career, Em embarked on various paths, including working as a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics from 1967 to 1970. Subsequently, she transitioned to bartending at the Calgary Summit Hotel from 1971 to 1989, followed by a tenure at Trinity Lodge, where she provided care for seniors from 1990 to 1992. Later, she joined Melanie’s Petites and Gloria & Company from 1993 to 2012, before retiring in 2012.


Em accomplished many feats in her lifetime, but she held one achievement especially close to her heart, the courageous journey of a single woman leaving the small town of Peace River, AB, with her two young boys, Warren (four) and Wayne (two), to settle in the bustling city of Calgary in 1966.


Her passions were diverse, ranging from family and shopping to fashion, slot machines, and cooking, though not necessarily in that order. Em found immense joy in her family, especially her grandchildren, Shanice and Harrison. She took great pride in her role as a grandmother, eagerly anticipating visits with Harrison, her first grandchild. While Shanice pursued her passion for soccer in university, Em remained an avid supporter, often watching her streamed games, albeit sometimes losing track and needing to rewind the action.


Em cherished her time spent on memorable vacations, relishing any opportunity to travel with family and friends. Though her travel opportunities were limited, she managed to create lasting memories with trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Toronto, and British Columbia, alongside her sisters, Shirley and Wanda. She will be fondly remembered for her Polish and Ukrainian cooking, diligent work ethic, engaging conversations, and boundless generosity.


Em is survived by her son Warren (Samantha) Toker, her grandchildren, Shanice Alliah Alfred, and Harrison Toker; her sisters, Shirley Stevens and Wanda Gacek; her brothers, Brian (Elaine) and Walter (Darlene); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and their families. She was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her great-grandchild in May 2024. Grandma would have been and will be so proud.


Em was predeceased by her ex-husband William Toker, her son Wayne Toker, her parents, Doris and Joseph Gacek; her brother Ron Gacek, and other beloved family members.


Em was cherished by a close-knit community of coworkers and friends who brought immense joy to her life. Among them were the dedicated crew from Melanie’s and Gloria & Company, including Mel, Rosalie, Carrell, Lana, Patty, and Barbara. She also held dear friends like Brad Francon, Mark Day, and Lisa McKinnon. At her dining table, Maria and John shared cherished moments, with a special acknowledgment to Peggy, a resident at AgeCare, who brought warmth to their gatherings. She found solace and support in the presence of Pastor Patrick from Springs Church, whose guidance uplifted her spirit. A heartfelt thank you extends to the many individuals from Springs Church who offered prayers and comfort during her time of need. Their unwavering support and friendship enriched her life in immeasurable ways.


Special recognition is extended to the compassionate staff, family, and friends at AgeCare Glenmore who provided unwavering support and assistance. Their frequent visits and aid in adjusting to new circumstances were deeply appreciated by Em and her loved ones, including Warren, Samantha, Shanice, Wayne, Harrison, Ryker, Brian, Elaine, Brent, Lisa, Keith, Shirley, Wanda, Ron. Beatrice and her husband Anko were a constant support, visiting her daily at AgeCare Glenmore. Additionally, heartfelt appreciation goes to other family and friends who went above and beyond, including Walter and Darlene, Amanda, Kevin, Daryl Sandhu, Nick Unrau, Rick Kunimoto, and Bill and Shawn Koniby. Special gratitude is reserved for Aunt Olga Gresko and her daughters Lorraine and Debbie for their exceptional support. Countless friends and family members on the Toker side also played significant roles in her life, contributing to cherished memories and meaningful connections. While it may not be possible to name everyone individually, their profound impact will forever be remembered and cherished.


A Celebration of Em’s Life will be held at Goldenrod Community Hall, (20254 Township Road 272, Rocky View County, AB, T4B 4P1) on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. Ukrainian and Polish food and drink to be served.


Warren’s Poem to his mom:



Momma, taken too soon by Cancer and Dementia's grasp.

Our hearts broken, our spirits in clasps.

But we hold onto the memories, oh so dear,

They bring us comfort, in moments of fear.

Your mind “sometimes” in turmoil,

But your spirit remained unspoiled.

You were still our sister, grandma and friend,

And our love for you will never end.


Even when the answers could not be found,

Your strength and determination never wavered, never drowned.

You were always my mom, through and through,

And I’ll never forget the love that came from you.

Now you rest, your mind finally free,

But we know you'll still remember little old me.


You may be gone, but your love will never cease,

For we will always hold you close, your memory we'll keep.

So sleep now, my dear Momma, in peace,

Your struggles and pain have finally ceased.

But your love, your light, will forever live on,

In our hearts, our souls, your never really gone.

………..till we meet again.



Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Em’s family here.


In living memory of Emily “Em” Toker, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.



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