It is with deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Gwendolyn Faith Nelko at the age of 81, of Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 24, 2020, of Covid-19 at the Simkin Centre in Winnipeg.
She is survived by: her husband of 59 years, Dr. Sidney Nelko; children Marni (Aren) Nelko Altman of Vancouver, BC, and Trevor (Rachelle) Nelko of Plymouth, Minnesota; and grandchildren, Ashton Altman, Tristan and Dylan Nelko. She was predeceased by her brother, Sidney Flackman, of Winnipeg.
Gwen was born in Winnipeg to Sonia and David Flackman on August 22, 1939. She was a certified X-ray technician, and throughout her life was actively involved in many charities, most notably the opening of the Seven Oaks General Hospital where her husband Sid was a founding doctor. She assisted in Sid’s medical practice where her exceptional organizational skills, sense of humour, and leadership were a guiding light.
Gwen’s life was defined by love and great joy. Her greatest love was her family, for whom her exhilaration created a life of overflowing happiness and positivity. Gwen and her beloved husband Sid’s love story is legendary. “The Lovebirds”. No words can describe the powerful eternal bond they shared. Her adoring children and grandchildren were her life. She and Sid enjoyed many years traveling to visit Marni in California, Colorado, and British Columbia, and Trevor in Minnesota. She also had a special love for her cherished dogs, Phoebe and Tyler.
Gwen loved to entertain and the beautiful, warm home she created for her family was renowned as an extraordinary place always filled with fun, love, laughter and beloved relatives, friends, neighbours, and lots of kids. Gwen also loved adventure and was fortunate to have traveled extensively. Attending medical conventions with Sid, often in exotic locations, was one of her favourite pastimes.
According to Jewish tradition, Gwen’s passing on Shabbat recognizes her as a “tzaddik”, a person of great righteousness, and her name is therefore now followed by the acronym zt”l, reserved strictly for tzadikim, meaning “may the memory of this righteous one be a blessing”. It is said that God preserves the whole world for the sake of these few hidden saints and that the passing of such a righteous soul is a tremendous loss to all of humanity, leaving behind a vast spiritual void.
Gwen truly did live her life in an elevated state of higher consciousness. She was always the first to help, call, offer, listen, and truly care for anyone in need. She always gave 110% of herself, time and love, never asking for anything in return. She never complained or spoke a word of negativity about anyone or anything. Her eyes were open only to the beauty and blessings around her and the heavens poured down around all in her captivating presence.
Gwen is remembered most for her grace, radiance and her beautiful ever-present smile and laughter. May the infinite light of pure love, never-ending joy and loving-kindness of Gwen’s great, eternal spirit light the way for us all to elevate ourselves and our world in her blessed memory.
“I love you to infinity and back infinity times”
Memorial donations may be made to Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation, Inc.
Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation
2300 McPhillips Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2V 3M3