Obituary of Colleen O'Hara Gildner
Passed away peacefully on Monday, November 20, 2023 at the age of 98.
Colleen will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her son Dave Gildner (Pam), daughter Jane Gildner, grandchildren Kaitlin Freitag and Andre Freitag, daughter-in-law Cordula Hacke (Nancy), and many loved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was predeceased by her husband Earl Gildner, daughter Nancy Gildner, parents Minnie and Frederick Maines, and several of her extended family members on both the O’Hara and Gildner sides of the family.
Colleen was born in St. Catharines, Ontario on October 18, 1925. In 1947 she graduated from the University of Toronto (Victoria College) majoring in languages, where she was known by her friends for wearing green and blue nail polish! She then went on to work as a translator at Sunshine Waterloo Company. She also taught languages at Waterloo College where she caught the eye of one of her students, Earl Gildner who was more interested in his tutor than his studies! After having their first child, Colleen thereafter stayed at home and dedicated herself to raising her children and becoming a fabulous cook. She had many interests including music, gardening, University Women’s Clubs in Kitchener and Woodstock, volunteering (driving for the Cancer Society and fundraising for the Heart and Stroke Association), tending to the horses and cats at “the farm” and spending many summers at the family cottage in Port Elgin. She and Earl had many friends with whom they played bridge, hosted dinner parties, and travelled the world. Colleen has 2 grandchildren, Kaitlin and Andre who were the quickest way to light up her smile and her heart.
Special thanks to the River Gardens Retirement Residence, Earls Court Village, Stratford General Hospital, University Hospital Palliative Care staff, and Dr. Paul Bartlett and Dr. Derek Lui.
A private Graveside Service has been held at Woodland Cemetery. Friends and relatives are invited to a come-and-go Celebration of Colleen’s Life on Sunday, December 17, 2023 from 12pm – 3pm at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S, Waterloo.
In lieu of flowers, condolences for the family and tax-deductible donations to the O’Hara Mill via the O’Hara Volunteers Association, or the Stratford General Hospital, may be arranged through www.erbgood.com.