ESSEX, Gwenda Lynne (nee Spackman)

Posted: March 9th, 2020

December 30, 1948 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

February 21, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta

Gwenda Essex, beloved wife of Gordon Essex of Medicine Hat, passed away on Friday, February 21, 2020 at the age of 71 years. She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Michael (Gloria) Essex of Calgary and Michelle Taylor of Edmonton as well as her 4 grandchildren, Tyson, Jayson, Kaitlin & Ethan. She was predeceased by her parents Fredrick & Phyllis Spackman and her nephew Daniel ‘Danny’ Spackman. Gwenda is also survived by her brothers Raymond (Shirley) Spackman and Wayne (Celine) Spackman and also by her nephews Tim, Ken, Marvin & Brian.

Gwenda was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 30, 1948. She met Gordie Essex while living in Calgary, and married him on August 19, 1972. After Michael & Michelle were born and Gordie was discharged from the Canadian Air Force, they settled in Medicine Hat in 1975 and together they raised their family.

After completing her Secretarial Science program, Gwenda worked as a legal steno, for the Medicine Hat School Board at Connaught School, as the office manager for R + W Electronics, for Hydraco Industries and also as a Real Estate Agent before retiring with her hubby ‘Gord’ and travelling to Mesa Arizona for many years becoming a ‘snowbird’ by wintering in the Good Life RV Resort.

An “exceptional” drummer in the Cresent Heights Band, the Legion Pipe & Drum Band, and several local bands playing in and around Medicine Hat. Playing in bars starting before she was of legal age, she would often ‘sit on stage’ during breaks in those days. She met Mary Kahl, during her time playing with the Equal Rights Band in the 1980’s and they were kindred spirits and the best of friends. In the early 2000’s Gwenda joined the worship team at Hillcrest Evangelical Church and was active in the church community becoming a Steven Minister.

Gwenda was loved by so many people and her love, compassion, fortitude and strength will be missed by all that knew her. We miss you ‘Gretch’

A funeral service for Gwenda will be held at Hillcrest Evangelical Church, 3785 13 Ave SE, on Saturday, March 21 @ 11:00am. A Celebration of Life & Musical Jam will follow at Whiskey Creek, 937 13 St SW, from 12:00 pm to 4:00pm also on Saturday, March 21. Memorial gifts in Gwenda’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta (

Condolences, memories and photos may be shared with her family through the McInnis & Holloway website (

In living memory of Gwenda Essex, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th STREET SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4E6, Telephone: 403-203-0525.


Leave a Condolence