Gwen Harding

Gwendolyn Mae Harding, 91, passed away peacefully in her sleep last Friday, May 15th, in Sooke, BC. Gwen was born in Portland, Oregon in 1924.

As a teenager in the 1940s, she was passionate about sewing. To help economize during the war effort, Gwen began making all her own clothes, dresses and stockings. Dressmaking became her lifelong talent along with photography. During the 1950s, Gwen worked for Pendleton Woolen Mills as manager of their sewing department. She travelled all across the States to help train seamstresses for the new mills during America’s Golden Era. In 1959, Gwen moved to Canada with her husband, Richard Harding, a logger. Despite the rugged conditions of camp life, Gwen’s pioneering spirit and creativity endured. From the mid 1970s – 2007, Gwen lived in Campbell River, BC.  In the 80s, she developed her own alterations business, The Pin Cushion. She was loved by many and valued for her kindness, compassion and exceptional talent as a dressmaker.

She is survived by her five daughters, Joann Cauldwell, Norene Schmuck, Irene Shane, Charlene Blair and Leeta Harding. Her legacy will be remembered and cherished by her daughters, twelve grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the dedicated staff of Ayre Manor in Sooke, BC and Glacier View Lodge in Comox, BC for their exceptional care and love for Gwen in her final years.

Gwen’s parting words were: “Oh Happy Day! Que ser sera, what will be, will be.”

Condolences may be offered to the family at

McCall’s of Victoria, BC, 1400 Vancouver Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3W3, Ph. 250.385.4465.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.