Patricia (Wilce) SaundersJuly 7, 1932 ~ September 2, 2017 (age 85)
Patricia Saunders (Wilce)
Patricia Saunders passed away peacefully at the Misericordia Hospital, in Edmonton Alberta on September 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 3, when her brother got to attend school, Patricia was allowed to follow in his footsteps. This love of learning took Pat to Newent Grammar School at age 16, where she passed the Oxford Certificate, a precursor to university.
During Pat’s childhood, the dark days of WWII fell on the country. Air raid sirens, carrying gas masks, food rationing and black outs 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 a doorway.
Attending church was a large part of Pat’s youth. After being christened, she participated in Sunday school, choir, confirmation and 2 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 on to 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 had 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, Alberta, Canada where Myrtle had a spare home and Ron could travel back and forth to Brownfield where he farmed. While in Alliance, Pat became 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 here, lasting friendships were created 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, Alberta. 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, ageing 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.
“Celebration of Life” will be held at the Brownfield Rec Centre will occur on September 30th, 2017 at 1:00 P.M. A private family graveside service at the Fairfield Cemetery will be on September 30, 2017.
Memorial donations may be made to the Fairfield Cemetery, Brownfield Rec Centre, or to a charity of your choice.
Condolences can be forwarded to the family by visiting Coronation Funeral Home’s website at www.coronationfuneralhome.ca