Edna Sutcliffe Laidlaw
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Born Edna Sutcliffe McWhirter, October 31st, 1920, long-time resident of Summerberry and Grenfell, passed away peacefully at Lakeside Home, Wolseley, Saskatchewan January 23rd, 2013 at the age of 92. Predeceased in 1990 by her husband of 39 years, Duke Alexander Laidlaw and two children Robert William (Bobby) Laidlaw in 1959 at age 9 and Dawn Elizabeth in infancy in 1957. Born on the Lewis farm at Stalwart, Saskatchewan, the second child of William and Frances Grace (Sutcliffe) McWhirter she was predeceased by her parents and siblings Ellen (Bill) Hoffman of Strasbourg, Sask., Isabel (Norman) George of Carlyle, Sask., Pat (Charlie) Shaw of Blyth, Ont., Mabel (Archie) Willis, Bill McWhirter, Jack (Kay) McWhirter and Elvin McWhirter all of Brussels, Ont., Bobby McWhirter and Andy McWhirter of Stalwart, Sask. Left to cherish her memory are sisters Elsie (Ralph) Olson of Edmonton, Alta., Evelyn (George) Kerr of Yorkton, Sask., and brother George (Bernice) McWhirter of Kitchener, Ont., brothers- in-law Charlie Shaw, Blyth, Ont., and Norman George, Carlyle, Sask. Edna will be greatly missed by her many nieces and nephews on both the McWhirter and Laidlaw sides of her family. Raised in the Imperial-Stalwart area, Edna attended the Ohio school to grade 6 and then completed the remainder of her early schooling in Regina, graduating as a teacher. She taught school in rural Saskatchewan for three years before enrolling in the Hamilton General Hospital School of Nursing in Hamilton, Ontario, graduating as a Registered Nurse. Returning to Saskatchewan, she began her nursing career in Grenfell where she met Duke Laidlaw who farmed in the Summerhill District. In 1951 Duke and Edna married and took up residence in Nelson, BC. Their son Bobby was born at Nelson in 1952. In 1953 Duke, Edna and Bobby moved to the Canim Lake – Hundred Mile House area of British Columbia. Baby Dawn was born at Kamloops in 1957 but died in infancy. Bobby passed away in 1959, both children victims of Cystic Fibrosis. During their years in BC, Duke was employed as manager of a ranch, while Edna took work in a local market where she learned and developed her meat-cutting skills. In 1961, Duke and Edna returned to Saskatchewan settling in Summerberry near Duke's family. Edna resumed her nursing career at the Grenfell Hospital where she continued to practice until retiring as the Director of Nursing in 1985. Duke was hired as the Maintenance Foreman for the hospital where he remained until retirement. During their retirement years together, Duke and Edna pursued their hobbies and interests, Edna developing her genealogy interests by documenting the family trees and history of the Laidlaw and McWhirter families, while Duke raised Registered Siberian and Malamute Husky dogs and fabricated equipment in his workshop. Highlights of their retirement years were trips to Scotland to research family history and re-establish family connections with relatives in the UK. Edna was a dedicated member of the Royal Canadian Legion and remained active in the Grenfell Branch where she coordinated the Legion sponsored Seniors Foot- care Clinics and provision of wreaths for the annual Remembrance Day Services. Retirement did not slow Edna down. She continued to live on the Summerberry acreage until moving to the Seniors Units in Grenfell where she resided until making her final move to Lakeside Home in Wolseley in January of 2012. The family wishes to acknowledge the kind care provided to Edna by the staff of Lakeside Home. Memorial donations to Cystic Fibrosis Canada will be greatly appreciated by the family. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service and interment ceremony will follow at a later date. Public notice will appear prior to the service. Online condolences may be made at www.tubmanfh.com
Published in The Regina Leader-Post on Jan. 30, 2013