Frances Mary Steward, age 91, passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 at Chilliwack General Hospital following a recent decline in her health over the past few months.
She will be lovingly remembered, and greatly missed by her daughter Diane and son-in-law Ian Wicker, grandchildren Sean and Eryn, and great-grandson Cole. She was predeceased by her thoughtful husband of 62 years, Lyle, who passed away in 2003.
Frances was born March 24th, 1914 in Alameda, Saskatchewan. Her family then moved to Medstead in the 1920’s where she completed her schooling. Her father ran a delivery service while her mother operated the telephone office in town, and Frances was responsible for the home and their boarders. She met Lyle, her future husband, in 1933 after his family moved to Medstead, and they became inseparable.
Dances, community socials, and watching Lyle play hockey filled many of their days leading up to their marriage. Frances and Lyle were married May 2nd, 1941 in a small family ceremony in North Battleford. While Lyle was overseas during WWII, Frances worked in the general store, and spent much time writing letters and sending care packages to him. They followed her parents to B.C. upon Lyle’s return, and settled in Chilliwack in 1947. Theirdaughter Diane was born a year later, and Frances wasoverjoyed. Baking, sewing, cooking, and gardening rounded out her days at that time.
Frances enjoyed several pastimes, including square dancing with Lyle for nearly three decades and being Honorary Lifetime members of the Rhythm Reelers. Music was also a passion of Frances’. She taught herself how to play the piano as a teenager, and treasured a lifetime of piano and organ playing. Painting, which Frances came to late in life, was a perfect retirement activity to rival Lyle’s golfing. She valued the hours she spent painting and filled her home, and the homes of her family with the rewards of her efforts. Frances and Lyle also valued the relationship they had as longstanding members of Chilliwack United Church, including Frances’ active involvement with the Willing Workers.
However, the most important component of Frances’ life was her family, and her selfless devotion to them. She will be remembered as a strong, generous woman who was committed to the love, nurturing, and protection of Diane, Ian, Sean, Eryn, Cole, and Lyle. She treated each of us as though we were a treasured gift from God, and in turn, we treasured her.
The family would like to express gratitude to the many Home Support workers who cared for her daily, and to the staff and residents of Chilliwack Lifestyles, where she resided the past 15 months. The family would also like to thank the staff of the Emergency Department and Medical Short Stay at Chilliwack General Hospital, as well as Dr. Stopforth for his compassion. Thank-yous are also extended to Henderson’s Funeral Home, Rev. Doug Ireland, and the United Church Women for their helpfulness and concern.
The funeral service will be held Monday, July 18th, 2005 at 2pm in the Chapel at Henderson’s Funeral Home, with a reception to follow in the Tea Room.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to either the B.C. Arthritis Society, or the United Church Memorial Fund.
We will miss you always, and love you forever.