In Memory of



Obituary for Gail Pfaff

At 10:00 am on December 13th 2022, in the loving embrace of her family, Gail lost her lengthy battle with multiple health issues. She fought courageously, always with a smile and never a complaint. Although her passing has left a hole in our hearts, she is at peace. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.
Gail was born on February 14, 1952 - fittingly a Valentine’s Day baby - as she lived her life with love and had a heart of gold. Gail was born in Quebec, but spent most of her early years in Kitchener-Waterloo, where she met the love of her life, Bob.
Married in May of 1972, after their honeymoon, Bob and ‘his Bride’ started their new life together in Thunder Bay. Gail’s infectious smile, generous soul and warm personality, made it easy for them to make life-long friends and they knew this would be their forever home.
Always looking for a reason to celebrate, Gail and Bob’s home was often a place for their many beloved friends and family to gather for meals, birthday gatherings, card games, and the infamous Boxing Day parties. Filling the home with good memories, music, laughter and love, Gail was ‘The Hostess with the Mostest’.
Being the strong, independent woman that she was, Gail always knew what she wanted and went after it. Whether it was floral design, working as a PSW, or assisting ailing seniors, all of Gail’s chosen careers involved helping others. She prided herself on working with troubled youth and as a teaching assistant working with children with special needs. She loved those kids and they returned the love to her many times over. She had a gift for always knowing what to say, how to help and what kind of help was needed.
Gail’s talents were many, showcasing her endless creativity. There wasn’t a craft she couldn’t master and there are not many who do not own a knitted or crocheted garment from her talented hands. She loved to decorate, whether it was her home or others. She also loved being outdoors, enjoying campfires or resting in the backyard by the pool. Driving in her car, tunes blasting, Gail was in her element. She was always up for a girls’ weekend, poker night or shopping trip - watch out Winners!
Known as the ultimate fashionista, jewelry, shoes, and purses filled her closets – a true French girl. Gail loved life and expressed herself in many colourful ways. She suited her nickname, ‘Lips’, she always had her lipstick on, ready for life’s many adventures. ‘Have lips, will travel!’
After her 2004 lung cancer diagnosis, Gail’s courage, faith and strength gave her the tools to beat the disease and continue to live her life to its fullest, making every moment count. She went on to mentor others fighting similar battles, providing guidance, support, and hope, following in the footsteps of her mentor, Mother Teresa. “It is said that the measure of a person lies not in the wealth they accumulated, but in the friendships they have made in their lifetime”. By this account, Gail was rich beyond belief.
Gail’s faith was strong and pulled her through many difficult days. Her life was rooted in generosity, always demonstrating care and compassion to everyone that had the privilege of knowing her. As a dedicated member of St. Domenic’s Parish, she took pride in countless projects and leadership roles. It was here that she built a life-long friendship with Father Dan Lapolla.
Family was everything to Gail. Her unconditional love was boundless. Gail is survived by Bob, her loving husband of 50 years, her daughter, Kelly-Jo, whom she adored, son-in-law to-be, Tony Afonso, and his daughters Mackenzie and Morgan. She felt blessed to have lived a life with many siblings including sisters Mary Jo Stewart (John), Francine Bruce (Keith), Barbara Kelly Hough (Gary), Catherine Kelly (Blair), Janette Kelly Stanley (Doug), Louise Marcella (Michael), and brothers Paul Kelly (Jill), Jim Kelly (Michele), Alain Beaven (Debbie), and Brian Kelly (Ann Marie). As well as her grand dogs, Max & Maggie, and many nieces and nephews that she loved with all her heart.
Gail is having a joyful reunion in Heaven with those who have gone before her including her good friend Alice, who she cared for many years before her passing, her parents Robert and Lucille Beaven and Joseph and Ella Mae Kelly (Fenlon), in-laws Reginald and Antoinette Pfaff, brothers Michel and Avril, sisters Lucette and Denise and brothers-in-law Chester and David.
Our deepest heartfelt gratitude to the many health care providers that touched Gail’s life throughout the years, too many to individually name. She was blessed to have such gentle and compassionate people care for her, until she took her last breath and was finally at peace.
A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, January 14th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Dominic's Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to be made in Gail’s memory to the St. Joseph’s Care Group or the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
Live simply. Speak kindly. Care deeply. Love generously.