Dorothy Audrey Williams (nee: Syme) of Lethbridge, passed away peacefully on November 10, 2019, at the age of 93 years.
Audrey was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Evan Williams.
Audrey is survived by her two daughters, two sons, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren: Carol (George) Ewashen, their daughter Sarah; James (Rose) Williams, their children Gregory (Andrea), Julia (Ahmad), Stephanie (Rick); Randal (Nancy) Williams, their children Justina (Jason), Ryan (Karen), Michael; Diane (Cameron) McKenzie, their sons Jonathan (Gillian), Bryce (Ellen), Ian (Regan). Audrey is also survived by three sisters, Shirley (Jack) Fleming, Pam (George) Johnson; Pat (Wayne) Davis and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Clare and sister-in-law Ruth Syme; her sister Lorraine and brother-in-law Howard Hagg; brother-in-law Bob Johnson; and, by her parents Mary (Lang) and Tom Syme.
Audrey was born February 24, 1926 in the Claresholm General Hospital. Until age five, she lived with her family in a log house at the top of Willow Creek hill – the McKinney farm. Then at age 5, with the family now seven in number, they moved to the Frank farm, just east of Granum, and rented a section of land with a house Mom described as “like a palace.” Following completion of high school, she headed to the Calgary Normal School and began her teaching in Alston (1944-46); Stavely (1947-48); and Champion (1948-49). In July 1949 she married Evan. Audrey and Evan farmed and lived on section 33 of the Alston community, Kirkcaldy district until 1975 when they moved to the Little Bow coulee of 05-15-25 – JEDCAR Ranch. In 1995, Audrey and Evan retired to Lethbridge where they remained actively involved with family and especially with their grandchildren, thoroughly enjoying watching them grow and succeed. They were regular participants in the almost daily Tim Horton talk fests! Whenever Dad would get going a bit too strong, you could always count on Mom to intervene with a calming caution: “Now, Evan.” Mom also enjoyed her game of tennis and I do recall Agnes as a regular tennis mate.
Although there are former students of Mom’s who continue to express their appreciation for her as an excellent, dedicated, and caring teacher, the bedrock of Mom’s existence was her faith and her family. She loved when all the family could be together, and we could all sit down to reconnect and to feast on yet another of her many famous family meals. (My boys always wanted to know if Nana-buns would be included on the menu). Indeed, after becoming a grandmother, she compiled a recipe book of favourite foods and each of us received a beautiful hand-written copy “lovingly dedicated by Nana.” She was a topnotch babysitter always willing to provide a helping hand with grandchildren. Some memories expressed by grandchildren include: “She showed a lot of love through her cooking; it was always fun playing games with her and with my cousins at the farm house; I loved how her eyes sparkled when she got excited about something; and, she was a walking encyclopedia” – and, indeed she was. Over the years, whenever some perplexing question required solving, she would pull out the encyclopedia or history book to search for the answer. Despite her efforts to treat everyone equally, to this day Bryce is convinced he was her favourite grandchild!
For many years, Mom was an active member of the Kirkcaldy Women’s Institute, taking her responsibilities very seriously. For even more years she was the chief cook and bottle washer including grain truck driver for Dad. During harvest time this meant Mom had to run to the house and check on dinner while the truck was unloading, not infrequently finding the potatoes were yet again boiling over! Mom also enjoyed playing games especially Scrabble, and for years completed the crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper. Bridge nights were extra special with the torments of “not bidding right” or playing the wrong card! We cannot imagine how many pans of pies, squares or jelly salads were made for the many community events she attended including the Alston hall dances and potlucks. She also was kept busy as organizer, hostess, and skit/poem writer for many community bridal showers. She was very talented, intellectually and creatively. Her many paintings of special places and moments in farm life provide us with a lasting legacy.
I remember asking Mom at one point after I had left home and had a child of my own, of what in your life are you most proud? And she replied, “I am most proud we had two girls and two boys and each one grew to be someone beyond my wildest dreams. Each has awoken a love in me that passes all understanding because it is so great.” Our mom, our nana, was the most beautiful woman in the world. We will always love you Mom (Nana).
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm, on Friday, November 22, 2019, at the LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, 2406 11 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, with Pastor Kathy Calkins, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of choice.
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