October 9, 1923 – June 10, 2021
Ruth Gordon of Trochu, Alberta passed away peacefully at St. Mary’s Long Term Care Center in Trochu on June 10, 2021 at the age of 97. Family was by her side to hold her hand and play her a favorite tune and a hymn. She is survived by four sons: Barry (Rhonda) Gordon of Calgary, Bruce Gordon of Calgary, Daryl (Gloria) Gordon of Calgary, Kevin (Cathy) Gordon of Trochu, as well as eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Ruth is also survived by one sister, Phyllis Bramley of Strathmore, and by one sister-in-law Bonnie Gordon of Drumheller, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Ruth was predeceased by husband Don Gordon who passed in 2013 after 63 years of marriage. She was predeceased by her parents James and Amelia King; three sisters (Frances and Bill Hanses, Lucy and Bert Bramley, Edith and Pete Petersen), plus brother-in-law Sydney Bramley. On Don’s side of the family, she was predeceased by sister-in-law Alice Gordon and three brothers-in-law: Clifford and Alma Gordon, Charlie and Inez Gordon, and Jack Gordon.
Ruth was born in Calgary, the second of five girls in the family. She was raised on the family farm a few miles north of Carbon. She attended grade school at Webbs School, about a 2.5 mile ride east of the farm, bouncing along on horseback behind her older sister Frances. Her Grade 10 year was spent at Normal School at Big Valley, staying in a dorm there for $10/month in rent. She completed high school in Carbon, while working for room and board at the Andy and Polly Mortimer farm just south of Carbon.
She spent three years supervising correspondence lessons at Avondale School, west of Carbon. She boarded at the James Gordon homestead, about a mile across the coulee from Avondale school. This is where she met all the Gordon family and subsequently she and Don would bond over common interests in music.
After a three year stint working in the Bank of Montreal in Carbon, she and Don were married on May 18, 1949. They farmed north of Carbon for four years. In 1954, they purchased a farm just north of Trochu and farmed there for 35 years while raising their family of four boys. They moved into Trochu in 1989. Mom has resided at St. Mary’s for approximately 10 years, the last three years in Long Term Care.
Ruth was active in the community as a long time member of St. Paul’s United Church. She and Dad shared an interest in music and they sang in the choir together for many years. After the boys left home, Mom finally had some time for herself and joined the Trochu Royal Purple Elks #71 in 1986, and would have received her 35 year service pin later this year. She became a life member of the Royal Purple in 2011.
Mom always kept herself busy providing for her family, cooking, gardening, raising cattle, a few hogs, chickens and turkeys to fill the huge freezer in the basement. She was always knitting and doing cross stitch, making items for the church bazaar, and making sure that each and every grandchild had a warm blanket for their bed. Everyone in the family has one of Mom’s cross stitch projects framed and hanging on the wall. Memories of her will always be with us.
Mom and her sister Phyl were especially close the last few years, talking by phone every day at 3:15, keeping track of the Flames games and the curling events. Given their respective hearing problems, it must have been an interesting conversation. Bruce took Mom to her first Flames game on her 90th birthday. Mom and Dad didn’t travel that far from home, although we did pry them away from the farm for trips up north to the Peace country, over to Vancouver Island and the Butchart Gardens, over to Saskatchewan, and staying a few days with the granddaughters enjoying the beach at Sylvan Lake.
She was present for all the family social events including graduations, weddings, dance recitals and holiday gatherings. Like clockwork, she never missed sending every family member a birthday card to mark the occasion. Words can’t express how much we appreciate everything that she did for us from beginning to end.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Mary’s Long Term Care for the many years of loving and dedicated care for Mom while she was a resident there. Thank you to all the wonderful neighbors and friends in the Trochu community who have been part of Mom’s life. And thank you to friends and relatives for the phone calls and other acts of kindness extended to the family at this difficult time.
A small family service will be held Sunday, June 20th, 2021 at St. Paul’s United Church in Trochu at 2:00pm. We plan to hold a celebration of life later this year once COVID restrictions are lifted.
If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to St. Mary’s Trochu Foundation, Box 100, Trochu, AB T0M 2C0, St. Paul’s United Church, Box 28, Trochu, AB T0M 2C0, or to STARS Air Ambulance: stars.ca
A livestream link is posted below for those who would like to take part in the service on Sunday.