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Obituary

SHIRLEY JEAN MEADWELL (published on February 14, 2009)



SHIRLEY JEAN MEADWELL (nee CAMPBELL) Shirley passed away peacefully and comfortably on February 4, 2009, just 15 days before her 82nd birthday. She was born on February 19, 1927 in the Canadian National Railway station at Bruno, Saskatchewan to parents William Russell Campbell and Agnes Mabel Campbell (nee Bourne). She is predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Frederick Charles, and her elder brother, Hudson Cecil Campbell, an RCAF Flying Officer who was lost over Grotaglia, Italy, in 1944, and is survived by her elder sister, Effie Grace McCrea of Erickson, B.C. Shirley leaves her daughter Jane Kesselman; her sons, Hudson, Kenneth and Eric; son-in-law Ted Kesselman; daughters-in-law Anna Duff and Tara Meadwell; and grandchildren, Lindsay, Andrew, Michael and Emily Kesselman, Liam, Logan and Callum Duff-Meadwell, and Kyle Carr-Paterson. Shirley was a loving mother and friend who viewed her life with joy and lived it through the dedication she cherished for her children and by the determination she learned growing up in small towns in Saskatchewan during the Depression era. Her childhood memories of the patterns of wind-swept topsoil in the dry ditches and of her own mother working to keep the effects of prairie dust-storms out of their family home and preparing their many next-new-homes with cleaning, polishing and whitewash painting made Shirley a hard-working, sensible and wonderful person to have for a mother and a wife. Shirley's keen intelligence was admired by her children and friends who marvelled at her interest in and understanding of the world around her. Her values, love, good sense and joys were her life-long gifts to her children. Shirley first came to Winnipeg as a high school graduate to work at the Royal Bank on Main Street during the Second World War. She was a young prairie girl embarking upon life in the big city and the excitement of working in the tallest skyscraper in Western Canada, complete with lunches with linen service, echoed in her voice more than fifty years later as she spoke of her fond and proud memories of this time. She remembered how special the Royal Bank representative made her feel as he gushed over her high school diploma. Later, she entered her training at the Old Vic hospital on River Avenue and became a Registered Nurse. In the late 1940s, she moved to Sioux Lookout, Ontario to begin work in the General Hospital. Here, she forged beautiful, life-long friendships that still existed at her passing with Mary Cole, Peggy Sanders and Kathy Atkins. In 1950, she met and married our dear father, Frederick Charles Meadwell, and settled in a house they built together on a hill overlooking the sparkling blue waters and green islands of Abram Lake. Here, our mother began her cherished family. Our mother was an avid and insightful reader, enjoying contemporary Canadian and British fiction, mysteries and spy novels. She kept a tidy, happy home for us all, populated and fun with birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, and joyous Christmases. As any mother of three boys, she enjoyed watching hockey, football and baseball with her family, especially the Maple Leafs, Roughriders and Dodgers. In the summers, she continued to take care of us at our Sioux Lookout cottage, giving little Eric baths in the sink, spending time with her children and husband out on the lake fishing, and enjoying picnics on Ruby Island and blueberry picking. Witnessing her daughter Jane's nursing school graduation ceremony was a special moment for Shirley. Later in their life together, Shirley and Frederick made a trip back to the country of their families' origin, Scotland, with son Hudson - a great time for them. After our father passed away, Shirley enjoyed her gardens and backyard, taking care of her flowers and shrubs, and feeding the birds attracted to her care. With Kenneth, she travelled to New York City and saw the Brooklyn Bridge, which she marvelled at as a young girl - another wonderful moment for her. All of her children became university graduates, and have since established successful careers as a nurse, professors and chemist. She was deeply proud of her children, and never let us forget this. Jane, Hudson, Kenneth and Eric wish to offer our sincerest gratitude to the staff and nurses at Riverview Health Centre and to the Seven Oaks Emergency facility's medical staff. In lieu of flowers, we would welcome donations in our mother's name to the War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) program (1-800-250-3030).


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