Gwendolyn Amos Johnston
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JOHNSTON, Gwendolyn Amos - Peacefully at Leisure World on Monday, May 4, 2009. Beloved wife of the late Leonard. Loving mother of Carol (Doug) McGrath and Clayton. Will be sadly missed by her grandson Parker McGrath and 'all those still on the planet who were affected by Lennie and Gwennie', formerly of Third World Books & Craft. Family will receive friends at GIFFEN-MACK 'DANFORTH' FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE, 2570 Danforth Ave. (at Main St. subway) 416-698-3121, on Wednesday, May 6 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service on Thursday, May 7 at 1 p.m. Interment to follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.



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Published in Toronto Star on May 5, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
May 10, 2009
I've just heard the news!! What a loss for those of us who were blessed by Gwen's warm presence for all these years. I remember Bay and Bathurst Streets. I remember the graciousness of Gwen. I remember the house filled with art and books. Gwen will live on in our hearts along with Lennie. Mitchell adds his condolences to friends and family.
Jackie Claxton
May 7, 2009
My deepest sympathies to the family on their loss of a wonderful person. The whole community has lost an important person and a link to our history.
I remember as a young person my father and uncle always going to visit the old Third World Bookstore on Bay Street and picking up magazines and cards and books that couldn't be found anywhere else.The Johnston's paved the way for all of us and deserve our respect and remembrance.
Brenda Parris
May 7, 2009
I was introduced to Gwen Johnston and her mother in 1938 by my sister Mary Ross. Throughout the years, I found Third World Book Store a remarkable source of Black History. Gwen wasa beautiful person with a lovely personality and faced life with a smile. My condolences to all her family.
Rella Braithwaite
May 7, 2009
I remember the books and certainly the children books. Gwen was always able to make great suggestions to add to my personasl collection.

Many years previous my uncle, Roy States, would come in from Montreal and take away paper shopping bags filled with books on Black history. This was at a time when people did not even think of such a thing. No doubt Gwen and Lennie greeted him with warm smiles and great discussions before he went home.

My deepest condolences go out to the family at this time. Your loss is felt by many who remember Gwen and her incredible warmth.
Jo-anne Parris
May 7, 2009
deepest sympathy,Officers and members of Naomi Chapter #8 o.e.s.p.h
Worthy Matron..Sis. Barbra Chensu
Worthy Patron Bro. George Crawley
May 6, 2009
My earliest memories of Gwen and Lenny are from the Bay St. shop. Like many, I will remain grateful to them always for the care they took in educating me. They were titans.
Kurata Chris
May 6, 2009
Mrs. Johnston was the reason I kept coming back. She was the kindest. She always was ready with a suggested read for me. Our community will miss her dearly. And heaven gets just a little more crowded.
Kwame Younge
May 6, 2009
In recollection of so many wonderful hours with Gwen and Lenny in Third World Books, and especially Gwen's incomparable warmth, grace and caring, and "you'll really like this book!" My condolences to her family, and all who loved her.
Leslie Sanders
May 6, 2009
I have fond memories of going throught the doors of Third World Books on Bay and then on Bathurst. Gwen was always there to welcome you with a big hello and a smile as soon as you entered. Jazz would be playing and Lenny would be engaging in a passionate discourse on the subject of the day. Third World Books stands out as an important landmark in our community. A place where we gathered after demonstrations to restore our energies and conduct informal debriefings. I recall my last personal visit with Gwen at her home in the Beaches, eating ice cream, looking at great art and family photographs and dancing to Louis Armstrong. Rest in peace Gwen, your kindness will never be forgotten. Claire Carew
Claire Carew
May 5, 2009
It is so sad to know that we have lost an icon from the African Canadian family. Gwendolyn and her husband Lennie contributed so much to the African Canadian community and to Canada over the decades, and now she is gone from us forever. However, You will always be missed.
E. Oscar Brathwaite
May 5, 2009
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Gwen Johnston. Both Gwen and Lennie had a positive affect on me as a young person and always showered me with support and genuine interest in all that I was doing - others, particularly community-focused youth of the '90s, who found a place of nurture through Third World Books, would concur. My warmest and deepest sympathies go out to the Johnston family and those who cared about her. I am sure she is being well-received by the ancestors.
Karen Miranda Augustine
May 5, 2009
Sincere sympathy and condolences to the family of Mrs. Johnston. I miss 3rd World Books and will always remember Gwen and Leonard as icons in our community. When I last saw her in the nursing home a few years ago she was still her gracious, smiling self.
Patricia Crawley
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