Advertisement

Gladys Osmond, who wrote thousands of letters to soldiers, mourned

WATCH ABOVE: In this 2011 report from Ross Lord, Gladys Osmond explains what motivated her to write thousands of letters, each month, to Canadians serving overseas. Osmond passed away on Jan. 14, 2015, at the age of 91.

A Newfoundland grandmother, who hand wrote “hundreds of thousands” of letters to troops overseas, has passed away at the age of 91.

Gladys Osmond, who became known as “Dear Gladys,” founded the Granny Brigade to “bring valuable and tangible moral support to the men and women in uniform” serving overseas in the Canadian Forces, the Dept. of National Defence (DND) said in a statement on Friday.

According to DND, Osmond passed away on Wednesday.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Ms. Gladys Osmond’s passing this week in Springdale, Newfoundland,” Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson said in the statement. “She was a dear and true friend of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Story continues below advertisement

Global News spoke with Osmond in 2011, when she said she composed “more than a thousand letters every month,” not to mention countless emails.

“Just because I’m available to do something and I want to make something useful of myself,” Osmond told Global News reporter Ross Lord at the time. “I’ve got time on my hands.”

Osmond began writing to troops in 1983.

She wrote whatever was on her mind, from the weather to what’s happening in Canada. She said she felt like the troops she wrote to were “like [her] children.”

In 2006 she received the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service for her efforts.

Story continues below advertisement

Osmond, who also wrote a book about her years of corresponding with Canadian soldiers, told Global News she had hoped to continue writing her messages until she reached the age of 100.

She will be laid to rest in her hometown of Springdale, where she was born on Aug. 12, 1923, at the Salvation Army Citadel. The date and time of the service had yet to be announced at the time of publication.

With files from Ross Lord