A lifetime resident of the area, Edith Whittaker passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Friday, November 7, 2014. She was 97.
Edith was born in Williamsburg Township, on November 27, 1916, to her parents Thomas and Dora Black (nee Brown).
On October 11, 1938, she married Lawrence Whittaker and together they had three children Albert, Gordon & Wayne.
After raising her children Edith went back to school in 1964, to realize a life-long ambition to be a nurse. She had an independence and strength of spirit to reach out and realize her dreams.
Her career choice meant shift work at Winchester Hospital where she worked as a Registered Practical Nurse for 17 years before retiring.
Innumerable people recalled that Edith never said anything negative about others and treated people like they were her own family.
The communities where Edith resided, whether Colquhoun, Williamsburg, Morrisburg or Iroquois, greatly benefited from her kind heart, never-ending spirit and covenantal, giving relationship.
Edith was an active supporter and canvasser for the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) for over 50 years. As a volunteer, Edith gave of her time as a driver for visually impaired persons while living in Iroquois; she volunteered on Life Line and gave of her time to make quilts with proceeds donated to the Dundas Chapter of the Canadian Red Cross.
A life-long member of the United Church, Edith served as a member and secretary of the Stewardship Council.
Not only did she volunteer, Edith also took on leadership roles. She was president of many organizations including; the Women’s Institute of Colquhoun, United Church Women in Colquhoun, Seniors Friendship Circle in Morrisburg and most recently, President of the Tenants Association while living in Iroma apartments, Iroquois.
Edith’s talents and gifts were evident at a community level, but also on an inter-personal level. She was kind, selfless, and ever giving to others.
Her home, whether on the farm in Colquhoun or at the trailer in Mariatown, was always open to family, friends and neighbours.
As a homemaker, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt, she entertained her family, played euchre with the neighbours, and attended the grandchildren’s school concerts, competitions and hockey games. She had an ardent love of animals, especially horses, and was an accomplished horsewoman and rider.
As an athlete, she curled in winter and golfed in the summer.
Edith had the gift and ability to transcend generations. Always looking and acting more youthful than her years, amazing was an adjective that Edith’s family often used to describe her. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do!
Into her seventies, Edith could beat her grandchildren in a game of golf. She was unbelievably thoughtful and as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend she shared her many gifts with everyone. Her quiet strength, energy and determination were evident to all who knew her.
Up until the age of 95, she was the Meals on Wheels Coordinator for the apartments and as the resident gardener at the Iroma Apartments, Edith could often be found outside in the front gardens, meticulously weeding and tending to the flowers.
In her journal Edith wrote “I have treasured the beauty of nature and its creatures provided by our Heavenly Father and have enjoyed good health and good friends which I have been grateful”.
Edith is survived by her sons Albert of Quatsino, B.C. and Gordon (Mary) of Iroquois. She will be fondly remembered by grandchildren Catherine VanVliet (Larry) of Kemptville, Michael Whittaker (Vanessa) of Toronto and great-grandchildren William, Amelia, Owen and James.
She was predeceased by her husband Lawrence, her son Wayne, her sister Dorothy Tuttle and her brothers Thomas, Charlie, Grant, William, Stanley and Murray Black.
She is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service was held at the funeral home on Thursday, November 13th at 11 a.m., with Rev. Valerie VandeWiele officiating. Interment followed at Maple Ridge Cemetery, Chesterville.
Pallbearers were Gary Gallinger, Glen Cunningham, Dale Whitteker, Ron Whitteker, Don McMillan and Jack Barkley. Gerald Gallinger was an honourary pallbearer.
Donations to Iroquois United Church would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.