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FRENCH – Selma Eno (nee Smith)

April 10, 1907 – April 17, 2010

With family by her side, our beloved Mother, Grams, and G.G., passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at the age of 103 years. Inspirational matriarch of the French family, Selma Eno French (nee Smith) was born into humble beginnings on April 10, 1907 in Nanaimo, BC.

Her mother Elizabeth Eno died shortly after Selma was born, yet she had a wonderful relationship with her “little Scottish step-mother” Jinny, her father Arthur, sisters Elsie and Wynn, and brother Art. Selma graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital’s School of Nursing in 1929 and went on to nurse both in the States and Canada. She met the love of her life, Basil V French in 1932 and they married later that same year. Grams often reflected on their amiable forty-nine years of friendship and marriage and their life together in Trail, Cranbrook, and Calgary where they founded Universal Sales and Service.

Her children Bas and Jan and their ensuing families were a constant source of pride and joy and provided her with much strength and energy. She measured her wealth by the richness of her family fabric, often quipping that she was one of the luckiest people on Earth. In addition to her deep love and appreciation for her family, Selma was a voracious reader with a keen intellect and her concern for mankind was genuine. She was courageous, tenacious, kind, and generous with a fun-loving spirit who enjoyed a fine glass of wine, a Labrador retriever, and a good giggle. Despite her discomfort in her final years, she often found humour in her circumstances and laughter always came easily. She maintained a sharp memory until the end, and we will all deeply miss her numerous stories as well as her wisdom, generosity, grace, and humour.

Selma is survived by son Bas and his wife Anne and daughter Jan and her husband Guy. She was well-loved, respected, and greatly admired by her seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Basil in 1982 and great-granddaughter Jennifer in 1983.

A private family celebration will be held to honour Selma’s life. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society, 5000 – 11 Street S.E., Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5 Telephone: (403) 253-2059, www.calgaryfoodbank.ca. The family would like to thank the staff at McKenzie Town Care Centre for the care that they provided in Selma’s final years.

In living memory of Selma French, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jim & Lynne Campbell :

    Bas & Ann
    We were so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing Bas, our condolences to you and your family. It is a difficult time for all.
    Sincerest Sympathy
    Jim & Lynne

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  2. Dr. and Mrs. D.E.Upton :

    Dear Bas and Ann,

    We are sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing, but what a wonderful life. Remember all the many good times and take comfort from them.

    With Sympathy,
    Don and Jane

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  3. carole(haworth)peteherych :

    Janice and Baz
    Your mom was a gracious, kind and gentle lady. You and your families will miss her, but have many fond memories of special and happy times. Thinking of you.
    Carole

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  4. Gord and Carol Peter :

    Our thoughts are with you and your family Jan and Nib.

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  5. Shirley Doncaster ( ex of Stewart Thompson) :

    Bas and Jan; I was so sad to hear of your Mom’s passing and send my deepest
    sympathy to you and your families. I phoned Stewart and he also sends his condolences. I have never forgotten how wonderful your Mom & Dad were to their staff. My years I spent working at Universal were the happiest times of my life. It is a shame how we lose contact
    with such good people. With Love, Shirley 403-457-1718

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  6. Hugh and Gail McQueen :

    To the French Family. Hugh and I would like to extend our heart-felt sympathy on the loss of your dear mother. She really was a special lady and we know Pat and Frank McQueen did like her so. I know they had some good times together.
    We hope your happy memories will help you get through the sad times you are now experiencing. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time. Sincerely, Gail and Hugh

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  7. Barry and Jean McDonald :

    We express our deepest sympathy to all the family in your loss of the family matriarch. I have always had good memories of the bygone days at Universal and the association with the French’s. We know that all of you have cherished memories of a very fine beautiful lady. Sincerely Barry and Jean McDonald

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  8. To: Bas and Jan French,

    When I was small, my family lived on Summer Street across from your Mother and Father.

    We did not have television then, but “Mrs. French” did. So I would walk across the street to watch Howdy Doody, pet Buddy the dog, and chat up Mrs. Monday.

    I also remember when you moved to Elbow Drive and I would visit Mrs. French with Mom. I thought the house was enormous. It had a model of an airplane over an ashtray which could be plugged in and the lights would go on.

    Your mother was very nice. She and my Mom were great friends.

    I was astonished to see that she was 103 years old. That is an accomplishment.

    My brothers and I extend our sympathies to you and to your family.

    Don Watkins

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  9. Don McDonald :

    Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, Selma was a real lady and a pleasure to know.

    Don and Myrna McDonald

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