Eileen (Nee Thornton)

Sept. 26, 1927 – Jan. 15, 2012

Eileen Mary Ellen Carless (nee Thornton) passed away peacefully on the afternoon of January 15, 2012 in Red Deer, AB. Eileen was born in Cereal, AB. on September 26, 1927 to Ralph and Anna Mae Thornton (nee Uffken). Eileen graduated from high school at the age of 17 years and attended Normal School (teaching college) in Calgary through the University of Alberta. She graduated from the program in 1946 and began her career teaching at rural Alberta schools including Horseshoe, Broadview, Butte Valle and New Brigden over the next seven years. During this time of her life she was also involved in music, playing the piano with the Thornton family band.

In 1954, she married Edwin John Carless at Consort, AB. and lived in a number of places throughout the province including Edmonton, Stettler and Cessford. In 1965 she moved her family to Red Deer and resided there until her health declined. During her time in Red Deer, she made a living by baby-sitting in her home. Eileen was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish (proclaimer and hospitality minister). She was also a member of the Catholic Women’s League (since 1960) and a community volunteer. Throughout her life, Eileen was musically and artistically inclined – playing the piano, drawing and writing poetry.

She is survived by her children, Carole (Bernie) Goruk of Calgary, Barbara Travis of Drumheller, Diane (Merv) Strome of Calgary, Eddy (Dianne) Carless of Red Deer and Susan (Rick) Pankiw of Rimbey. She is also survived by her sisters, Elaine Durksen of Calgary and Shirley (Don) Sortland of Red Deer and her brother Ralph (Jean) Thornton of Sedalia, Alberta as well as many nieces and nephews. Eileen was the proud and affectionate grandmother to Jared, Lisa, Dana, and Jordan Goruk; Kelcy, Kirby, and Connor Travis; Courtney Juurlink (Strome) and Brianne Strome; Morgan, Justin, and Spencer Carless; Colton, Logan and Taylor Pankiw and great-grandmother to Maya Johnson and Oaklyn Juurlink. Eileen was predeceased by her grandson Byron Goruk; brother in law, Henry Durksen; and niece Dallas Craney.

Prayer services were held at Eventide Funeral Chapel, 4820-45 Street in Red Deer, AB on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM followed by a Funeral Mass on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Parish, 6 McMillan Avenue, Red Deer, AB. Interment took place at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Red Deer, AB.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Eileen’s honour may be made directly to The Red Deer Hospice, 99 Arnot Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta, T4R 3S6. Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting www.eventidefuneralchapels.com.

Arrangements entrusted to


4820 – 45th Street, Red Deer. Phone (403) 347-2222.

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