January 7, 1922 – June 24, 2009
It is with great sadness that the family of Iris Cecelia Gladys Ewen announces her passing on Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, in her 88th year.
She is survived by her loving husband Walter, daughters Joy French (Jim) of Cranbrook, BC; Heather Welt of Onoway, AB; and son James (Colleen) of Sherwood Park, AB. She is also survived by grandchildren Curtis Welt (Shirly Felipe), and Justin Welt, both of Edmonton, AB; Matthew Ewen and Michelle Ewen, both of Sherwood Park, AB; and great granddaughter, Sara Welt of Edmonton, AB. Iris was predeceased by her parents, William and Alice Kathleen Ricketts of Great Bookham, Surrey, England in 1963, sisters Daisy Bailey of Metheringham, Lincolnshire in 1999; Dorcas Sayers of Ashstead, Surrey in 1971; Olive McCabe of Brighton, Surrey in 1992; brothers Albert of Metheringham in 1993; John of Leatherhead, Surrey in 1919; Edward (aka Ted) of Leatherhead in 2008; and grandson, Dean Kaplar of Port Alberni, B. C. in 1980. A brother, William (aka Prickle) is estranged from the family. She was also predeceased by James D. Hayward in 1917 and Michael Royal Ricketts in 1942.
Mum was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, the 7th of 8 children. She completed school at the age of 14, which was customary in England at that time and went into service. During the war she worked at various factories making aircraft instrumentation and covered wire. She met Dad, who was stationed nearby, at the Woodsman Pub in Ashstead. On July 28, 1943 they married in the Parish Church in Leatherhead. Mum was one of the first war brides to travel to Canada in 1945 and was met at the Elgin, Manitoba train station by her husband’s family with whom she lived awaiting her husband’s return from overseas. It was quite a rustic life compared to the modern amenities she was accustomed to in England, and to top it off she was not the Scottish Lassie her father-in-law had envisioned for his son. When Dad returned from Overseas, they moved into Winnipeg and began their married life together. In 1950 they moved to Edmonton for better work opportunities and raised a family there. They purchased 20 acres of land southeast of Edmonton. Dad built the house; Mum made it our home. Mum had goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and various other animals she raised on the land throughout the years. We always had dogs and cats; some purebred show dogs, some family pets. Mum was an accomplished knitter and crocheter, making things from pattern or creating them as she went. As we got older Mum and Dad began square dancing and later teaching. She had a largely untapped talent for painting and drawing as well. Mum and Dad retired to Qualicum Beach, BC in 1987, which reminded her of England. A straight talker, unconcerned about propriety, she was a character. About 6 years ago she and Dad moved to Cranbrook to live in a suite in their daughter’s home.
Mum was able to return to England for three visits; one in 1950, the second in 1991 with her daughters and again with Dad a couple of years later.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at Glenwood Memorial Gardens, south of Wye Road,
on Range Road 232, Sherwood Park, Alberta.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association.
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She was a smashing lady.
Glenwood Funeral Home 780-467-3337