Darlene Thomson (Redfern)

December 8, 1951-May 2, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother, mother in law, grandmother, wife, and friend Darlene Thomson on May 2, 2019.  Darlene was determined to fight Leukemia and she fought to stay with us until the end.  

Darlene was born on December 8, 1951 to John and Helen Redfern.  She was raised in Keewatin and this is where she would grow up, raise her children, care for her grandchildren and spend hours giving back to her community.  Darlene was a Majorette and was always in the Keewatin Kinsmen Parades twirling her baton. She was proud to be from Keewatin and this was reflected in all that she did.

Darlene attended Keewatin Public School and went on to Beaver Brae High School and graduated in 1969.  During High School she was involved in the Can Can Girls and studied office practice courses such as typing, business machines and shorthand which led her to her secretarial career after high school.  After graduation she worked at the Kenora Catholic District School Board Office which was followed by a career at the front end office of the Home

Care Program. 

Darlene met her husband Jim on a blind date in 1971 orchestrated by her lifelong friend Char

Forsberg on a Goodwill Legion Bus Trip to Winnipeg. This started a courtship and Jim and

Darlene were married on February 17, 1973 at the St. Andrews Church in Keewatin.  Jim and Darlene moved into a home on Ottawa Street in 1973 where they would bring home their first born son Brian and would later move into their forever home at 421 Bay Street where they would bring home their second son Blake. Darlene would spend summers with her boys at Keewatin Beach and in the winter she would be at the Arena watching Brian and Blake play hockey.  When Brian and Blake moved away from home, she would keep in touch and would travel to visit them as much as she could.  She was proud of her boys and loved them very much.  Darlene raised her family on Bay Street in Keewatin with her husband Jim for 36 years.  In 2016 they sold their home on Bay Street and moved into Park Place Apartments in


In 2003 Darlene became a Grandma to Madison and Mackenzie.  She had a special place in her heart for them.  She spent time traveling to Fort Frances to visit and take care of them.  Last September they moved back to Keewatin and she couldn’t of been happier.  A trip to

Disney World was planned in February, but unfortunately we did not make it to Disney World.  Darlene ensured that the trip was planned for a later date and that her grandchildren would experience the “Happiest Place on Earth”.  Even when she was ill she made sure everything was taken care of.  Her grandchildren are going to miss her so much.  

Darlene enjoyed spending time with family and friends.  She enjoyed being on the lake with her friend Dolores in the houseboat and spending time camping with Jim in their camper.  Trips were made to see their son Blake in Alberta, family in Saskatchewan and annual camping trips with Jim, Neva, Madison, Mackenzie, Kurt, Barb, Rachel, Luc, Tina, Chloe and Audrey.  She often spoke about the trip that her and Dolores took to visit her son Brian in Fiji while he was working there as a pilot for Turtle Airways. She looked forward to the open houses during Christmas at Becky and Les’s and spoke often of Courtney and Dustin.  She was so proud to hold Courtney’s son Hudson.  This past September Darlene was able to take a trip to Nashville, which she enjoyed very much.  Darlene also enjoyed travelling with Joanne to go visit her friend Janice in Toronto.  She worried about her friend Janice and always wanted to make sure she was okay.  Darlene enjoyed spending holidays with family out at the Cabin on Storm Bay Road even though she disliked the 150 stairs down to the lake.  She always told Luc that he needed to do something about that.  There are so many moments and occasions that Darlene enjoyed and the people that she was able to spend them with.  Family and friends were important to


She gave selflessly in caring for others in their time of need.  Anything that people needed she was there to lend a hand.  She was a caregiver to many, helping them to appointments, bringing them food, helping them clean and with daily life.  She was a close friend to Marguerite Olson and cared for her until she moved to Winnipeg to be closer to her daughter Maureen.  In the past year she had to slow down and take care of herself and this was hard for her to do.  She was the one to have everything in order and tell you what the agenda was going to be.  That was the great thing about Darlene she always told you the truth, spoke her mind and stood up for what she believed was right.  Her voice will be missed always.

Darlene was a member of St. Andrews Church.  She had a beautiful voice that she shared in the choir.  She spent every Thursday night practicing hymns for Sunday’s Service. She enjoyed being with and spending time with her friends from the church. She was dedicated to the church and spent many hours volunteering and giving back to the church.

She was predeceased by her husband Robert (Jim) Thomson, her parents John and Helen

Redfern, father and mother in-law John and Jean Thomson and an infant son.

She is survived by her sons Brian and Blake, daughter in-law Neva Carlson, twin granddaughters Madison and Mackenzie and family and friends, too numerous to mention.

We would like to thank all the nurses on the Oncology Ward in Thunder Bay, Nurses at Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Dr. Davies, Dr. Wiebe, and Nurse Practitioner Carol Murray for all the care and compassion that you provided to Darlene while she fought her battle with Leukemia.  Also, Shelly and Dwight Cameron for taking Darlene to her appointments in Winnipeg she was thankful for your friendship.  Thank you to Penny and Dolores for bringing

Darlene her new phone and setting it up for her while she was in the hospital in Thunder Bay.  There are so many people to thank that weren’t mentioned here, so thank you from Darlene and her family.

A service will take place on Wednesday May 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm at St. Andrews Church in Keewatin with a tea to follow the service.  If friends so desire donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society.