On the afternoon of Aug. 30 with her children by her bedside, Mom began her ascent to the gates of heaven, as the gates swung open there stood her beloved son Grant, her mother Beatrice and father Elmer brothers Jack, Forest, Cameron, Gilbert and her sister Dorothy (Dot), all awaiting her arrival with open arms.
Mom fought a brave battle against cancer, always staying positive and her courage never wavered, but in the end cancer won.
It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye from her beloved husband Terry of 65 years of marriage, her only surviving brother Norman (Shirley) Smith of Fort Saskatchewan, her children Gwen (Rob) of Edmonton, Kevin (Deb) of Kamloops and Lala (Carlo) also of Kamloops. Grandchildren: Robbie (Stacy), Anthony (Danielle), Lauren (Kai), Taylor, Connor and Leah, Erika (Chad) and Jiles (Abbey). Great-grandchildren Lily, Jack, Annika, Ava, Paisley, Nixon and Jacob will miss their GiGi and numerous nieces and nephews will sadly miss Auntie Esther, and let's not forget her fur baby “Lily” the dog as lovingly known, will always be waiting for her.
Her life spent here was a gift to all who knew her or got the chance to meet her. She formed lifelong friendships with ease and cared deeply for all those around her. With Mom’s endearing personality she touched the lives of everyone she met in a way that will prove everlasting.
Mom was born in Wingard, Saskatchewan and was one of seven children. She married Dad on a Wednesday, Dec. 16,1953 in Choiceland, Sask. They moved to Lynn Lake, Man. in 1959 then to Kelowna and they eventually made their way to Kamloops in 1961 and resided here ever since. Mom and Dad were more than husband and wife they were best friends and loved doing everything together, many nights were spent in the kitchen dancing and singing and they were joined by many friends and family, the stories that kitchen could tell of all the wonderful memories.
Our Mom worked at the Plaza as a waitress along with her sister Dot for many years, those were the days they both of could carry six dinner plates on their arms and serve with never dropping a crumb, after the Plaza closed Mom went on to Tranquille School and worked in the laundry department. There she formed many close friends. It closed in 1985 and that took her to Overlander Extended Care Hospital again in the laundry department and then she became a bedmaker. She always said that it was the best job she ever had. She retired for a while but was a little too bored so off to work she went again this time at a drycleaners that lasted for a while and finally she worked with her daughter Lala with her housecleaning business for five years.
Mom was also a member of the Elks Ladies Royal Purple and volunteered hundreds of hours over the years to specific charities. Fin,ally Mom retired for good and stayed home caring for our Dad who has Alzheimer’s. Her unconditional love, caring and patience for Dad for so many years was paramount, right up to the very end she always thought of Dad and others first.
Mom was an excellent cook and baker, the cookie jar was always full (Dad has a sweet tooth), and she loved to entertain, she could pull together a five course meal for ten people in a heart beat. Her potato salad, beet pickles, and breaded chicken and goulash was only some of the family’s favourites there were so many more that we will forever miss.
She played many sports throughout the years some with Dad and some not. In her younger years she was baseball back catcher, there was bowling (so many trophies), she was a horseshoe champion, and she also had a custom made pool cue. Mom and Dad curled for many years in a mixed league and went to so many out of town bonspiels, so much fun, so much laughter so many memories they had with their friends. She took up golf too when she retired.
Over the years Mom and Dad went on many gambling trips to Reno, Las Vegas, Seattle, Utah and finally here in B.C. and in Edmonton when it became legal (three-card poker was her favourite and Dad played the slots) they loved every minute whether they won or lost. Every week for so many years Bingo was on the agenda, she was pretty lucky to say the least. She looked forward to playing any kind of card games, board games, dice games (Yahtzee & 456) she was eager and excited to play with family and friends. She was an avid reader and loved doing puzzles and colouring.
In closing Mom loved life and lived everyday to the fullest, always looking her best with a smile on her face and arms wide open to welcome and give you the most loving hug. She was one of a kind being genuine and sincere. She was an amazing Mom and could do anything she put her mind to, so independent, so strong and so caring she has left an everlasting legacy within our family. Mom will be forever remembered by her large family and friends for her humour, hospitality, and her loving heart. She always said, “life is what you make it”.
Our entire family would like to express many thanks to Dr. Mavis Hollman for the loving care, compassion and support shown to Mom not only in Hospice but over the years. Mom loved you.
Special thanks to all the Nurses and Care Aids at Trinity Hospice for their outstanding care and compassion and making Mom comfortable and free of pain. To Dr. Proctor and Dr. Blythe of the Kamloops Cancer Clinic and the Nursing Staff, we appreciate your honesty, care and attention. Our appreciation also goes to Beata Kudokas of the Hospice Palliative Care Program for your knowledge and empathy shown to Mom and the family throughout this sorrowful journey.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Brock Activity Centre 9A 1800 Tranquille Rd, Kamloops.
Should friends desire, donations to Trinity Palliative Care Unit – Overlander in memory of Mom’s name would greatly be appreciated or donate online at www.rihfoundation.ca. Please specify Trinity Palliative Care Unit – Overlander.