frances elizabeth thorman


Born – Sunday, August 17th, 1930     Died – Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The first time I met Frances and Tim Thorman was in the spring of 1989 at a great restaurant – Oro – in downtown Toronto. Jo’ and Dave were getting married in June and this was the first time the two families were meeting. (Interesting that I was the only other sibling there. Guess I was there to help my parents navigate the meet-and-greet and to help translate the menu.)

The next time I saw Frances was at the back of St. Veronica’s Church, in Sault Ste Marie, waiting to go down the isle at Jo’ and Dave’s wedding. I remember her comment about having reached an age where her oldest was getting married. “I never saw myself as the mother of a groom, that’s for old women.” We laughed.

At the service on Saturday, Dave and Bridget remembered their mom’s life. A recurring theme of the speech was Frances’ belief in the importance and power of family; her belief in the importance of transformation and of moving forward regardless what life hands you. That idea got me thinking of how Frances and Tim, how my parents, how the parents of most of the people sitting in that small chapel were and are part of a generation that created modern Canada. A generation of adults that worked hard; that worked long hours so that their children could have a better life in a new country.

Frances and her generation were pioneers building a new land for their children; determined pioneers, moral upright pioneers. And all of us sitting there honored her hard work, her determination her strength. We are who we are, because Frances and her generation made sure to raise children who could continue the hard work she and her group started. We are who we are, because Frances and her generation sacrificed to make a better world for us sitting there at her memorial service.