Phyllis SPEERS

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Phyllis Amy Speers (nee Dawson)
January 17, 1915 - December 9, 2012
We announce with sorrow the passing of Phyllis Amy Speers. Phyllis was born on January 17, 1915 in Saskatoon SK, the second in the family of 10 children who were all born at home. She attended Princess Alexandra School, Bedford Road Collegiate Institute and Normal School, graduating in 1934. For 4 years Phyllis taught in rural one-room schools namely in Chatham, near Kenaston, Rouse School near Imperial and Willow Heights near North Battleford. Her initial salary was $300/year which she did not receive until 1 years later. In 1940, Phyllis joined the Saskatoon School Board staff at King George School. In 1947, she went to teach for one year in Birkenhead near Liverpool, England. Upon her return to Saskatoon, she taught at Westmount School for 10 years, specializing in creative writing and reading. Supplementary classes from Columbia University in New York City in the summer of 1958 enabled her to become a reading consultant for the Saskatoon Public Board of Education until her retirement in 1970. Throughout Phyllis' teaching career, she upgraded her education earning a B.A. in 1952 and a B.Ed. in 1954 both from the University of Saskatchewan. Phyllis and Jim were married in 1960. From then on, their time was spent between Saskatoon and the Speers farm in Battleford. In 1970, both Jim and Phyllis retired and settled in Yuma, Arizona for the winter. The Frolek family managed the farm land until it was sold in 2008. Along the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River, within the boundary of the Speers farm and The Town of Battleford was a strip of land which represented the southern-most outcropping of the Boreal Forest. Phyllis donated this land to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation in memory of her husband and his parents. The title to this land belonged to the Speers family between 1902 - 2008. The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation erected a stone monument on the high bank of the North Saskatchewan River identifying this legacy. Phyllis was predeceased by her husband Jim; parents, Cornelius and Ada Dawson; sisters Evelyn Richardson and Hilda Byers; brothers Thomas Edison, Jack and Victor Cornelius; sister-in-law Win Dawson and brothers-in-law Forest Byers, Howard Bidwell. Ted Gunn and Ray Richardson. She is survived by her sisters Gwen Bidwell and Doris Gunn both of Burnaby, BC, Audrey (Buck) Olsen of Alberta Beach, AB and one brother Willard "Bud" Dawson of Kelowna, BC as well as her sisters- in-law Audrey Dawson of Saskatoon and Millie Dawson of Kanata, ON and numerous nieces and nephews. Phyllis was a women of unwavering faith in God and trust in Jesus. She was a very interesting, caring, and generous person and will be greatly missed by her family and friends. The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 15, 2012 at St. Thomas -Wesley United Church (20th Street and Ave. H, Saskatoon) conducted by Rev. Brian Ast. Memorial donations may be made to Oliver Lodge in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are entrusted to the SASKATOON FUNERAL HOME, 244-5577.

Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2012