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Gweneth Yvonne Mabbott (Nelson)

January 23, 1937 - January 31, 2020


Gweneth Yvonne Mabbott (ne Nelson) wife, mother, grandmother and a kind friend to many, was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta on January 23, 1937, and passed away quietly in her sleep on January 31, 2020 in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She was the fifth child and only girl of Hjalmer and Agnes Nelson. Gwen was predeceased by her brothers, Harold (Ruth) Dave (Mae),and Rolly(Lorna). Her brother Cliff (BethGerry) continues to live in Edmonton, Alberta.

Gweneth’s family lived on a farm in rural Alberta before moving to Edmonton, Alberta when she was 12. In Edmonton she spent a year in hospital convalescing from polio. Gwen went on to attend High School, graduating from Strathcona Composite High School in 1955, before earning her BSc. in Home Economics (1959) at the University of Alberta. Gwen earned her MSc. (1960) at Washington State University in Pullman Washington. Ever the trailblazer, she was one of few women in her circles at the time to pursue such an achievement.

At University she was involved in Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship, where she met her husband, James Mabbott. Gwen and Jim were married in 1960 and after living a short time in Enderby, BC, where their daughter Kim (Robert Adria) was born, she and Jim lovingly raised their family in Edmonton where sons, Donald (Brenda Lepp) and David (Susie Reiss) were born. Gwen was a loving and supportive mother to her kids. She encouraged them in their pursuits and challenged them to think critically. She loved her children, their spouses, and grandchildren deeply – she particularly delighted in her eight grandchildren. Michael and Daniel Adria from Kelowna, BC, Connor, Aaron, Jordan and Adriana Mabbott of Oakville, ON, and Simon and Georgia Mabbott of New York, NY, each got to know and love her uniquely as Grandma Gwen, or simply Grandma.

Gwen was challenged with physical disability throughout her life from contracting the polio virus as a child: She used her experience and example to teach her children and others to respect the differences we all have, to appreciate the challenges we each face, and to understand that our limitations do not define us. In her later years she suffered the effects of post-polio syndrome. Despite this, each of her grandchildren remember fondly their many activities with Grandma, including nature walks, mini-golf, cooking together, and the Drumheller Dinosaur trip. All the grandkids enjoyed driving her scooter, and Gwen would happily watch. Gwen’s walking stick rests retired at the back door of her daughter’s house. Grandma enjoyed games

and puzzles and played on-line scrabble with a few of her grandkids – and occasionally she beat them handily.

Gwen was intelligent, interested in others, and a genuinely caring and accepting person. She enjoyed cooking and was an excellent cook. Using her culinary skills and Jim’s great enjoyment in hosting dinners, the Mabbott’s hosted many wonderful dinners for church friends, coworkers, neighbors and most often for family. Gwen was active in the various churches she attended over the years, most notably Braemar Baptist Church and Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church where she served in many leadership roles. Her desire to help others was manifest in her volunteer work at the Mennonite Central Committee – Mennonite Centre for Newcomers where she initially tutored New Canadians in English, and ultimately acted as the Chair of the Board.

While Jim and Gwen faced challenges in later years, there maintained a strong bond between them. Gwen spent the last days of Jim’s life at his bedside before he passed away in December 2018 after a short illness. Gwen shared a strong Christian faith with Jim, and we can be comforted in the knowledge that they are now in their Savior’s presence, at peace and without pain.

There are numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors, sharing in the immediate family’s grief, and the family is appreciative of their care and condolences. There will be a memorial service for Gwen in the Spring of 2020. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Mennonite Central Committee Canada in memory of Gweneth Y. Mabbott (website: mcccanada.ca).


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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: cindy young
Relation: Personak trainer

She was a woderful person . We had many great times together. I was her shoulder when she needed to talk .such a wonderful lady.
She had a strength and a spirit I will miss her

From: Marjorie Anderson
Relation: We were cousins

Gwenneth and I were cousins, grew up in same rural community. A gracious lady who will be in my memories forever.

Service Schedule

  Service Date To Be Determined

Date & Time:
To Be Determined

Memorial Gifts

Mennonite Central Committee Canada in memory of Gweneth Y. Mabbott (website: mcccanada.ca).

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Wiebe & Jeske Funeral Home
202-31314 Peardonville Rd.
Abbotsford BC
V2T 6K8


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