It is with profound sadness that the family of Elsie Alice Watson announces her passing on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at the age of 87 years.
Elsie’s memory will be cherished by daughter Jeanette Leinweber; and niece/daughter Charlene Skirten of Calgary; and daughter Lynn Ireland of Prince George, BC. She was the much loved mentor and role model for grandchildren, Laurie, Deanna, Charles and Darryl Ireland, Geoff, Devin and Brien Brooks, Kerri-Anne Leinweber, Lorie Merriman and Rachel Skirten; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great granddaughter. She will also be dearly missed by her adopted daughters and granddaughters, Rina Chase, Rachel Andrews, and Pam and Chelsea Nicholls; sister June Haggblad; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Stanley in 1959 and daughter Mary in 1998.
Elsie is a native Calgarian who traveled to the Northwest Territories as a mission worker in 1948 where she taught young Eskimo and Indigenous girls sewing and cooking. On June 25, 1951 in Aklavik, NWT, she married a young Hudson Bay manager by the name of Stan Watson. Together, Elsie and Stan traveled around the NWT, Yukon and Northern BC as missionaries in various residential schools. It was at one of these schools where they met and later decided to adopt Lynn. Stan left Elsie and Lynn in Carcross while he went to the University of Saskatoon to attend Emmanuel St Chad College then returned to the Yukon to assist in establishing the Parish of St Christopher’s in Haines Junction. During this time, they were blessed with two more daughters; Jeanie in 1956 and Mary in 1958. Tragically, Stan was taken from this young family as the result of a boating accident in June 1959 and Elsie was left to raise the girls on her own.
She continued to use her sewing talents to teach others in Whitehorse, YK and Inuvik, NWT until 1964 when she brought her girls back to Calgary so she could care for her ailing mother. From 1965 until she retired in the mid 1980’s, Elsie taught mentally disabled students at Emily Follensbee and Christine Meikle schools. In retirement, Elsie enjoyed lawn bowling, West Hillhurst Go-getters activities, volunteering at her grandsons school and watching curling and the Flames on TV. She never seemed to let her failing eyesight or health concerns interfere with what she wanted to do. In 1999, medical issues forced Elsie to leave her condo and reside in the long term care unit at Foothills Hospital and Unit 3 West at the Fanning Centre. She took extreme pleasure in teaching young volunteers and staff how to play crib and was always ready for a game of Spit and Malice to ‘keep her brain active’. She continued her Sunday visits home to be with her family until days before her death.
Elsie had a lifetime affiliation with St Barnabas Anglican Church (1407 – 7th Avenue N.W.) where a Memorial Service will take place on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m., with lifelong family friend, Archdeacon Russell Brown of Victoria officiating. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Elsie Watson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.Print This Obituary & Condolences