Summers, Edith Clara
Peacefully, at Brantford General Hospital, on Monday, October 3, 2022, of Paris and formerly of Owen Sound, in her 91st year.
Beloved wife to the late William James “Bill” (2022); loved mom to the late Robert (1991); Lisa Cruickshank (Bruce), and Susan Simpson (Todd); cherished grandmother to Kurtis (Hillary), Greg (Amanda), Nicole Kerr (Tom) and Jeffrey; and great grandmother to Aubrey, Wyatt, Wesley, Clyde and Cooper. Predeceased by brothers George Bentley (1988), and Pat Bentley (1994), and sister Edna St. Eloi (2021).
Edith was born in Regina, Saskatchewan to Edith Clara (nee Haynes) and William Henry Bentley on February 28th, 1932. She was the youngest of four children and fondly talked about the days when she and her brothers and sister ran across the prairie barefoot, without a care in the world, and as free as the wind.
While still young, Edith moved with her family to Ontario where they first settled in Meaford, and later in Owen Sound. Here, Edith developed her lifelong love of water. It was no surprise that after she married her husband, Bill, on October 4, 1958, that they purchased a property on 1985 4th Avenue West where they built a small brick house with a view of the water and within walking distance to Kelso Beach.
She showed her love for her family by devoting her life to raising 3 children, caring for a home and supporting the dreams and aspirations of each member of her family. To do this, she gave up a much-loved job working at Bell Telephone. She looked after three young children on her own to enable Bill to attend Wilfrid Laurier University to complete a teaching degree. A few years down the road, in 1974, when Bill decided he wanted to be a teacher and a farmer, Edith got on board and supported him in the purchase of Marshall’s Farm in Keppel Sarawak Township. She pitched in with the seasonal farm work of running Garden Acres while simultaneously keeping the household running and canning, pickling, preserving and freezing produce from the farm so that her family would have an abundance of food to enjoy throughout the winter. Nothing was ever wasted, and Edith knew how to pinch every penny!
In addition to ensuring that her children were well fed, and warmly dressed, she raised them to be knowledgeable, hard-working, and self-sufficient. She encouraged them to learn through activities such as swimming, skating, horseback riding and piano lessons. She promoted a strong social life for her children by enrolling them in church choir, summer bible camps, Cubs, Brownies, and 4H. Countless hours were spent in the kitchen teaching her children how to peel potatoes and cook casseroles for dinner. They learned how to separate eggs, to make pastry and bread, and how to make a staggering abundance of cookies and squares at Christmas time to be shared with our teachers, neighbours and friends. And, of course, we were taught how to clean up! Doing dishes, dusting, and other household chores was an expectation, and rewarded with an allowance. A post-secondary education was a priority for her children, and she was very proud to attend convocations at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo to watch her daughters cross the stage and receive their degrees.
Edith had a zest for life. In her younger days, she enjoyed curling and cross-country skiing. She took pleasure in early morning swims during summers spent at the cottage at Sauble Beach. She and Bill were active in church groups and spent many evenings at dinner parties playing card and board games. Many of her afternoons were spent knitting hats, mittens, scarves, and sweaters. She also loved to read, and she passed this love of reading onto her daughters. Later in life, she became interested in tracing her ancestry. She delighted in attending the weddings of her grandchildren, and eagerly awaited the birth of each new great grandchild. She savoured quiet moments with a cup of coffee made by Bill or Tim Hortons. She hosted many, many dinners (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthday) with family and friends crowded around a table laden with food.
Edith took every opportunity to take care, to teach, to nurture and to support those she loved. Edith’s firm, steady presence, and her fierce independence in life will be missed by her family and friends.
Cremation has taken place and a family service will be held. Interment Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound.
Donations to the Alzheimer Society or the Brant County SPCA would be appreciated.
Online condolences and donations may be arranged through www.wmkippfuneralhome.com.
Special thanks to the Alzheimer Society of Brant; Home and Community Care Support Services Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant; Home Instead; Lifeguard and the B6 and C7 nurses and doctors of Brantford General Hospital for all their care and support of Edith.