A Personal Remembrance of Mom, by Gary Westbury

alice

Mom was born in Fairview, Alberta on July 24, 1919. Her family moved around and at age 14, she went to live with her Aunt Gladys Black (Johnson) in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  At age 16 she rejoined her mother and stepdad in Flin Flon, Manitoba. She worked at house cleaning jobs and in her spare time, she skated at the local rink.

The rink was where she met the love of her life, Ernie Westbury. They were married on June 17, 1939. Ernie had been employed at HBM&S and then had the opportunity to go to Island Falls, Saskatchewan.

Mom and Dad had two children. [Gary, who married Jan, and Barbara, who married Keith]. Both were raised in Island Falls until their mid-teens.
 
Mom spoke of her journey to Island Falls as a terrified young woman over the portages in the summer of their move there. She did seem to have this anxious way about her for all the years of her life, so put to rest the thought that “worry” might shorten ones life!!!!!

It was not long before Island Falls grew on her with the many friendships and good times. Her cleaning skills continued in our home, where any dirt was a no-no. It could be “filthy dirty” was sometimes her choice of words.

She loved her garden as long as can be remembered, which led to preserving many vegetables and wild fruit. Surprisingly she headed out, often, on her own, with babushka or mosquito net hat turning over every bush with a berry. Blue berries were the favorite, strawberries. High bush cranberries, wild and tame raspberries, you name it.

Later in the summer B.C. Fresh Fruit was brought in, Mom went crazy in the kitchen again getting peaches, and cherries preserved. 
 
All the ladies could cook with the best. They put together an Island Falls cook book, Barb continues to use some of Mom's favorite recipes.

During all these chores she had the ability to “whistle” like a Canary, she was amazing.

Mom continued skating, took up badminton, curling, bowling, bridge and became involved with the Girl Guides. They also had a cabin on the river and spent many great times there camping, water skiing and enjoying friends visits. Barb and Keith still have this cabin.

They remained there until automation (1967) required moving, which was back to Flin Flon.

Their stay in Flin Flon was just over 10 years, then retirement was in order. They decided that would be in Kelowna B.C, where upon a holiday there, they met up with some of Mom's relatives and a mecca  of former Flin Floners. So many folks that Flin Flon gatherings were always on the go and are still in progress today.

Well there was no shortage of fruit to be preserved there! So the preserving process continued, only it would appear on a bigger scale, “hey” there was more choices of fruit and the season was longer.

Mom and Dad had just under 30 years of great retirement in Kelowna.

Gary & Jan and family were a 4 hour drive from Kelowna so many trips were taken, Kelowna and Rossland direction with some trips we met in between for picnics and suppers.

Mom didn't require many visits to the hospital until her mid-80's. Only because she was running herself to a frazzle looking after Dad who struggled with heart and diabetic problems. She worked so hard looking after Dad, we would get into discussion times after, where she didn't realize all that she had done.

We lost Dad in March of 2007. Mom chose to stay in Kelowna, where she did OK with still many friends about and new ones in the Sun Point Village their last residence in Kelowna.

Upon several ambulance journeys to what seemed to be mostly related to anxiety we suggested Mom come in our direction to Trail B.C. We gave her a couple days to think about it where she shared, “Whatever you think is best”. We had her moved here into Chateau Manor by the end of the week. She had a residence very similar to what her and Dad had in Kelowna. She fit in very well and soon was enjoying her new place and four years ago Gary & Jan moved to within two blocks of her residence.

Mom & Dad had become somewhat familiar with Trail as they had come to catch the grandchildren, Jason and Stacey busy with their sports in Trail, baseball, and figure skating. Mom continued to walk by the ballpark where Jason played ball, she sometimes stopped,watched and chatted with friends there.

This final year was more of a struggle, the latest a fall breaking her left hip. The struggle became tougher. Her final days were 10 weeks in hospital with the final 10 days in extended care. We visited most every day, with Barb coming to spend time with Mom, with hugs, kisses, leg rubs, hand rubs and some Eskimo kisses, sometimes we got a bit of a swat, or a wise crack.

Love you dearly Mom -  sshhhhhhh you will be OK   
    
All your family.

Mom and Dad were blessed with two children Barb (Keith), Gary (Jan), five grandchildren: Shelly, Ken, Chris (Pauline), Jason (deceased), Stacey, seven great grandchildren: Blaine, Stephanie, Roxanne, Ashlyn, Anna, Nathan and Harlow and one great great granddaughte: Brynlee. 


Alice Maude Westbury passed peacefully, on Jan.24, 2018, at Poplar Ridge Extended Care in Trail, B.C. at 98 years of age.