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Lois Gilder

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Lois Jane was born in Chesley on Sunday, November 2, 1952, to Lewis Wilfred Wesley and Yvonne Annie “Bonnie” (Ironmonger) Hemstock. She was the eldest of five children, with younger siblings Carol (1957), Julie (1959), John (1961) and Philip (1969). The Hemstock family operated a dairy farm on the 2nd of Arran. The children enjoyed a rural upbringing and attended public school down the road at S.S. #4 Arran. At the young age of nine, Lois’ mom began to introduce her to the piano. Although appreciative, given her age, Lois preferred a different genre of music, like that of The Beatles. In addition to helping her parents with a variety of chores on the farm, Lois spent several summers during her teenage years working as a tobacco harvester on the B-Line. By this time, she was attending high school in Chesley, where she later graduated.

Following secondary school, Lois moved to Owen Sound where she moved in with her great-aunt and uncle, Dorothy and Dave Graham. She tried her hand at a few different vocations, before she found a perfect fit at Edward’s. Who knew then that she would remain with the company for 26 years. She held many different roles and was finally able to retire at the age of 54.

Lois’ life forever changed, in 1973 when she became the proud mother of Colin. She treasured this role, and excelled at it, and later welcomed Jesse in 1976, before her family became complete with the arrival of Dawn in 1984. Throughout their childhood, Lois remained very active, serving for periods as a Beaver, Cubs, Brownies, and Scout leader. During these busy years, there was little free time, however Lois enjoyed playing baseball in the late 70’s and getting outdoors and trapping in the 80’s.

In 1994 Lois began playing music again, and enjoyed instruments such as the mandolin, guitar, piano, bass guitar, as well as singing. In the mid 90’s, Lois, along with her mother, Lynn and Tony came together to form a band, “Second Line” whereby they performed at a variety of anniversaries and special events at local legions, band shells, fall fairs and steam shows. In time, Jesse also joined them, and they created many wonderful performing memories together

In August of 2004 Lois attended a Fiddle Contest in Shelburne, where she was introduced by a mutual friend, Jim Beech, to a man by the name of Richard Walter Gilder. Although it took Lois a month to return Rick’s first call, their relationship bloomed quickly, and they bought their home together in Chesley two months later. The following summer they became husband and wife under the apple tree in their backyard. The date was Saturday, July 2, 2005. Rick soon joined the band, playing guitar and singing. Together, they also enjoyed camping weekends with their many good friends, always playing music together. They also did some travelling during this period of their lives, driving to Texas, Florida and across Canada to Haida Gwaii for a two week stay, spending the nights in their PT cruiser. Then in September of 2017 they enjoyed a toured trip to England and Scotland. Rick’s philosophy was always “let’s do it now while we still can.” Thankfully, they took his advice, as sadly Rick passed away suddenly in January of 2018. Lois’ world was turned upside down. With the loving support of family and friends, in time, Lois settled into a new normal, making the best of each day. However, tragedy struck Lois and her family again in January of 2020 when Jesse passed away unexpectedly. He was only 43. No one should lose a child; however, Lois again became the rock of her family, looking out for the needs of others before her own. Thankfully, Lois had a beautiful property and lots of hobbies to fill her time. She loved getting outdoors and spending time in her gardens or working away in her garden shed. Lois always loved the opportunity to go camping, and never passed up the opportunity to go for a nature walk, especially in the bush. Every fall, she treasured spending time with her family deer hunting. Lois also enjoyed a variety of crafts, which included taking a furniture refinishing course with Heidi, which in turn lead her to refinish several pieces of furniture within her home during Covid. She enjoyed a good movie and was particularly fond of the series, The Walking Dead. In 1994, Lois began a tradition when she hosted a weekend camp out at her home. It wasn’t uncommon for her to host 100 plus people for dinner on Saturday evening. She was truly a remarkable woman!

Lois’ family, however, was always her top priority. In addition to being the family historian, she treasured her many family heirlooms and antiques. She was always the one to initiate and organize family gatherings, bringing everyone together. She always looked forward to the “Girls Weekend” every May in Port Elgin, as well as her monthly “Sister’s Day,” where the three of them would set out on an adventure and just enjoy each others company. As a mother and grandmother, she was the “rock” and loved spending individual time with each and everyone of them. It didn’t matter if she was learning to line dance with Dawn or teaching Ayden to play the guitar, if Lois was with her family she was at peace. In recent years, she formed a very special bond with Ayden, and although their time together was cut short, I know she will live on in him for years to come. Thankfully, these stories, memories and experience with Lois, remain with us, and she will continue to live on through our storytelling.

Like all of us, Lois faced, and overcame many challenges throughout her life. One such occasion was in 2001, when she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Just like the obstacles before she overcame these hurdles and made the best of each day. Sadly though, just three months ago, in March, Lois was diagnosed with an aggressive form of advanced cancer. Although devastating, she took the news in stride, and put forth a valid fight. Roles soon reversed, as she was being cared for, rather than being the caregiver. She truly valued that time with family and friends, and so appreciated the support she and her family received. Lois passed away peacefully at Chapman House, Owen Sound on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at the age of 71.

Loving mother of Colin Clements of Tlell, B.C., Dawn Capling of Chesley, and mother-in-law of Heidi Clements of Tara. Cherished grandmother of Ayden, Caylen, Ebin, Josiah, Aubrey, Howlan, Weslie, and Hailey and great-grandmother of Malcolm and Myles. Beloved daughter of Bonnie Hemstock of Wiarton and dear sister of Carol Sprung (Jim Hellyer) of Wiarton, Julie (Joe) McCully of Paisley, Philip Hemstock of Port Elgin, and John (Judy) Hemstock of Tara. Lois was predeceased by her husband Rick Gilder, son Jesse Clements, nephew Wesley McCully, and her father Lewis Hemstock.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Tuesday from 6 – 9 p.m. where a memorial service honouring Lois’ life will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at 2 p.m. A private family inurnment will take place at a later date in Sanctuary Park Cemetery, Port Elgin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Grey Bruce Hospice Inc. (Chapman House) would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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