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Elizabeth Sharp

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Elizabeth Sharp Obituary
I lived a long, interesting and healthy life, but on January 16, just before midnight, it became my turn to sail into the unknown. I fought hard, but my body simply could not recover after my recent hip surgery. I was the last surviving member of my immediate family - brothers Gerald, Howard and Bill, and sisters Aura and Marion. We grew up in Trenton, Ontario and were a close and lively family. I remember how our family coped during the Depression, and the impact that these hard times had on our characters. But mostly, I remember the good times - each of us playing the piano, and learning to voice our own opinions and to think about challenging subjects. We subscribed to several duplicate morning newspapers so that we would all have a chance to read of the events and issues of the day. My family loved our evening discussions about world and local affairs. As a sixteen year old, during a polio scare, my older brothers and I took care of Bill and Marion on an isolated but beautiful plot of land on Lake Ontario. That adventurous summer in a tent was the beginning of a longstanding tradition of family uniting at the lake. I attended Queen's University in Kingston, and during that time met my husband, Frederick Sharp. I shared my life with him and our five children, John, Brenda (from Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado), Richard, Barbara and Elizabeth, as well as our precious dogs, Lucky, Rosie and Maxie. Though I was an extremely busy wife and mother I was determined to complete my degree as I had left Queen's to marry Freddie. I was pleased and proud when Freddie and all the children attended my graduation after passing that final French course! On the home front, I was the activity coordinator of the music, swimming, baseball, golf, skiing and tennis lessons for my five children. I wanted each of my children to grow up able to think independently and to be responsible for themselves. Being a parent during the tumultuous sixties and seventies was challenging but we were always able to come back together after both the good times and the bad. We moved frequently over the years, and lived in Trenton, Calgary, Ottawa (at different times), London Ontario, Winnipeg, England, and the states of Washington, Maine and Colorado. For twenty five years, I hosted and attended countless luncheons, dinner parties and official functions. Later, after Freddie retired from the Armed Forces, we moved permanently to our cottage on Lake Ontario near Brighton. We had always kept our family connections to my brothers and sisters and their children by returning regularly to our cottage. I loved being Aunt Betty to all my nieces and nephews. My children lived in different cities and countries but Freddie and I did our best to ensure their families could reconnect at the lake. And they did, year after year. The lake became the heart of my family's existence. I was so happy whenever I sailed my little sunfish on sunny, windy afternoons, and when I slipped into the water for my daily swims along the shore. In the evenings, my family carried on the tradition of discussing the issues of the day or trying to come up with answers to unanswerable questions about our universe. Many parties full of music, dance and laughter highlighted the summers, including family weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. After Freddie died in 1992, I learned how to live on my own. I kept up our tradition of going to North Palm Beach in the winter, and continued to enjoy my friends there. The rest of the year I lived at the lake, and my family and friends would join me there for many good times. I always kept a good book at my side, read the newspaper every morning and went for long walks. Almost every day I played my organ and gazed out over the lake to ponder the big questions and the small. I also traveled with my sister and others to places such as Italy, France, England, Cuba and Alaska. Freddie and I were able to travel all over the world before he died, for business and pleasure, and I did not want to give that up. In 2010 I was crushed and overwhelmed by the death of my dear daughter Barbara. Nothing prepared me for her death and I never got over it. Yet looking back over nearly 100 years I am very grateful for an interesting, rewarding and fun time on earth. But when the end approached, I was ready to sail on. I will be buried beside Freddie and Barbara at Mount Evergreen Cemetery, outside Trenton, Ontario. My children and grandchildren (Sariya, Alexander, Alexa, Michael, Adam, Casey and Justin) will have a celebration of my life at the lake in July 2014. The details will be announced on the Weaver Family Funeral Home's website (www.weaverfuneralhomes.com). In lieu of flowers, donations in my memory can be made at this site to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Wildlife Federation or directly to the charity of your choice.

Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on Feb. 1, 2014
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