Patricia Saunders passed away peacefully at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton, Ab. on Sept. 2, 2017 at the age of 85. Patricia was born on July 7, 1932 to Harold and Winnifred Wilce of Coleford, Gloucestershire, England. She had an older brother, Gordon and a younger sister, Jean.
Patricia was a determined little girl, through her consistent crying at age three, when her brother got to attend school, Patricia was allowed to follow in his footsteps. This love of learning took Pat to Newent Grammer School at age 16 where she passed the Oxford Certificate, a percursor to university.
During Pat’s childhood, the dark days of WWII fell on the country. Air raid sirens, carrying gas masks, food rationing and blackouts at night became routine.
When spiders cast their shadows in the candlelight, a fear was born in Pat. This fear stayed with her and in turn, was passed on to her daughters.
Visits from Winnifred’s Canadian cousins, the Smith brothers, when on leave from active duty, brightened Pat’s days. She marveled at these tall men who had to duck their heads to come through the doorway.
Attending church was a large part of Pat’s youth. After being christened, she participated in Sunday school, choir, confirmation and two services on Sundays.
Pat flourished throughout her younger days, but the love and respect she had for her parents denied her a university education. Instead, she took shorthand classes at night and worked in the railroad offices in Gloucester.
Patricia met Ronald Saunders in 1954 and they married in 1955. This union lasted 60 years. Ron and Pat moved onto Nursehill Farm, Lydney, Gloucestershire where Ron ran a dairy farm with his brother.
Four children were born to Ron and Pat. Christopher (April 1956), Caroline (October 1957-November 1958), Heather (June 1960) and Kerry (August 1963).
Pat’s days were filled with sewing, knitting, tending to flower beds and a vegetable garden and cooking, all skills she gained from her parents.
Pat had a love for nature, which was evident in the walks down the lanes where she took her children to pick and identify wildflowers, spot birds and wildlife and gather nuts and mushrooms.
With Ron’s relationship changing with his brother, he sold his share in the farm. A new plan was taking shape through a visit from Pat’s cousin, Myrtle Richardson from Alberta, Canada. “Come to Canada”, she said.
While this plan was taking shape, a move was made next door to Pat’s sister in Nine Wells, Coleford.
In April 1974, the entire family immigrated to Alliance, Ab. Canada where Myrtle had a spare home and Ron could travel back and forth to Brownfield, Ab. where he farmed.
While in Alliance, Pat was employed by the newspaper, The Alliance Enterprise, where typesetting now filled her days.
In 1975, after a home was moved onto the land, Ron and Pat moved their family to the Brownfield area.
Patricia became employed by Orval and Nelda Hawthorne, owners of Brownfield Distributors.
Pat enjoyed serving the Brownfield community and lasting friendships were formed through her work.
Pat and Ron now began to welcome the next generation, keeping Pat busy with knitting baby clothes, sweaters and scarves.
In 1984, Ron and Pat sold the farm and moved to an acreage in the Graminia area near Devon, Ab. This new home was closer to Chris and his family. The grandchildren loved going to Nana and Grandad’s, where they could canoe, hunt for mushrooms, explore and enjoy nature, and take trips to West Edmonton Mall.
Over the years in Canada, Pat and Ron enjoyed many visits from friends and relatives. In turn, they travelled to England and New Zealand to see family and friends. On a couple of occasions, Pat travelled by herself to England to attend school reunions.
In 2002, aging and being told to slow down by the doctor, Ron and Pat sold the acreage and moved into the Discovery Place, a new supportive living complex in Devon.
Here Pat enjoyed new friends, keeping in touch with old friends, and other activities within the building. In 2014, Ron fell and had a hip replacement putting him on a journey through various health facilities. Ron and Pat were apart for a year and a half.
Over this time, both needing more care, they were reunited at Lewis Estates Retirement Residence in Edmonton. The caregivers expressed their love of Ron and Pat and their devoted family.
Patricia is survived by: son Chris and his children, Catherine (Michel Martin) and their children Kaya and Luca; Christopher (Annie Deir); Jessica (Ryan Komarnisky); Jonathan; Michaela (Jake McDonald) and their son , Elijah; daughter Heather (Craig Richardson) and their children, Sarah (Spencer Jackson) and their son, Carter; Adam (Karin) and their children, Mackenzie, Serena, Stanley and Maverick; Laura (Mlue Mabaleka); James (Amanda) and their daughters, Sydney, Raynah, Kaci and Aubree; daughter Kerry (Glen Hartel) and their children, Greg; and Kally (Chas Barnes).
She is also survived by brother Gordon Wilce (Ruth) and sister Jean Taylor; four nieces, six nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Pat was predeceased by her parents, loving husband, daughter and a brother-in-law.
Card of Thanks
The family of Patricia Saunders would like to thank everyone for the cards, flowers, gifts, food, phone calls, donations and your attendance at the “Celebration of Life”.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the Brownfield Community for the support in preparing the hall; a special thanks to the ladies that contributed to the wonderful set-up and afternoon tea as well as the delicious meal they prepared for our family to have a special time together.
Thank you to Ed Griffiths for his quick internet support in order to connect with our family overseas in England.
As well, thank you to Al Richardson, you truly helped us in this journey, and Heather Caseley of Coronation Funeral Home for your support and direction.
All your expressions of sympathy was truly appreciated.
Chris Saunders and family
Craig & Heather Richardson and family
Glen & Kerry Hartel and family