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and read by Connie’s daughter Cathy Dick
was born on February 13, 1932 to Ivan and Rose Simpson. She grew up in Renfrew
and was a wonderful big sister to Joan and Judy.
though Joan settled in St. Catharines and Judy in Sault St. Marie, mom was
always there for her sisters.
young girl, two of mom’s favourite pastimes were skating at the Renfrew rink
and sliding down Old Man Pete’s Hill.
of her first jobs was at the Renfrew Creamery where she met Dad at the young
age of seventeen. They were married on October 10, 1951 and would settle on the
South McNaughton Line. Mom was just 19 when she married and had five children
in seven years Jim, Doug, Jeanne, myself and Bob.
she had no experience, this small town girl quickly embraced farm life. She was
soon spotted driving a tractor, bailing hay, tending her garden, canning food
and caring for all sorts of farm animals. And as mom would say, “Sweatin’ like
a hen drawin’ rails.”
the baby chicks arrived to the farm she would keep them warm in the kitchen
before they went to the barn. We would collect, wash, candle, box and get the
eggs ready for sale. Once the hens were no longer laying eggs ... and found
themselves laying on the chopping block, mom didn’t stop there. She’d collect
the feathers to make us pillows and have the bird ready for Sunday dinner.
of our fondest memories were swimming in the creek, climbing in the barn and
playing baseball with the Donohue’s. She would warm our clothes on the old wood
stove and make us porridge for breakfast and welcome our friends with open
was always so classy, as she strolled into this church with five kids in tow.
kids, we spent many Saturday nights at the Renfrew Drive In Theatre where she
would smuggle in popcorn and juice for us to enjoy as a family.
growing up on the farm, nothing ever seemed to faze mom. Jim was hit by a
truck, Doug went through the ice, Jeanne fell off the hay elevator, I got run
over by a car and while trying to burn the wings off a fly, Bob nearly burnt
down the house.
We kept her busy tending to our cuts, bruises, broken
bones and possible concussions to which she would say, “Just go lay down and
have a rest.” This probably would not pass today’s medical standards, but, by
some miracle, we all managed to survive.
Many a Saturday night, you would find mom and dad, and
their close friends, Murray & Marj and Alec & Helen playing cards at
the kitchen table. As the always gracious hostess, mom would have a luncheon
prepared with sandwiches and squares.
Mom and dad enjoyed travelling to many places such as
Nashville, Portugal and Argentina, just to name a few. They also spent many
winters in Florida. Even after dad passed, she was up for any adventure her
sisters or friends would suggest they go on.
Mom is fondly remembered by her ten grandchildren –
Mandy, Janet, Erin, David, Nancy, Ken, Megan, Amy, Brandon and Courtney.
They have shared many special memories of mom. They loved
swinging on the tire swings, playing bingo to win prizes, learning how to play
cribbage and euchre, and running around the yard to find items that she had
hidden for a scavenger hunt.
The grandchildren always looked forward to Christmas gits
that would be made up of beautifully knit socks, embroidered pillow cases and
Mom had the longest telephone cord in the history of all
time. This was to ensure that she could multitask while chatting to her friends
and family. She would be seen with the phone perched on her shoulder while
ironing, peeling potatoes or mending a sock stretched over a mason jar. And at
the end of every conversation we would hear her say, “Bye for now.”
before recycling was popular, mom had it all figured out. She wrapped gifts in
the funny pages, reuse paper bags, save jars, cans and margarine containers.
She also saved the baby bonus for a whole year, just so we could go to summer
camp. Once a saver, Always a saver – For instance, I recently discovered 13
frozen bananas in her freezer that she had planned on using for making banana
muffins. She also saved every newspaper clipping, picture and card that
involved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mom
continued to live on the farm after dad passed away in 2000. She always said to
us, “I’ll know when it is time to move into town, when I’m no longer able to
manage the place.”
when she drove the ride on lawn mower up the trunk of a maple tree, she
realized that the time had come.
she moved into her apartment in town, the calendar on her fridge door was
always filled with activities from playing cards with friends, volunteering at
the hospital and the food bank and family birthdays.
was a lady who wore many hats, but vibrantly sported her red one while chumming
with the Red Hat Ladies. She enjoyed participating in many of their fun
activities and outings.
was also a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church, part of the Ladies Aid
and a Sunday school teacher.
Farquharson family gets together to celebrate every holiday and milestone
is usually enough food to feed a small army & mom always made the most
delicious pies. For some reason, there always seemed to be one left over, with
Doug’s name on it.
took such pride in her precious great grandchildren. Jack, Ethan, Dylan, Ainslee, Jacob, Aislyn,
Lilyann, Tia and Emerson Rose. They referred to her by many names, “Great
Grandma, Super Grandma, Mrs. Grandma and GG.”
of mom’s classic phrases was “Off in a Cloud of Heifer Dust” and she was
thrilled when author Brent Connelly borrowed her catch phrase to title one of
his most recent books.
years ago, mom underwent double by-pass surgery. She had six stents put in her
arteries and for the past two years she suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. As a
result, she was unable to leave her apartment and take part in the many
activities she enjoyed.
the past three months, Hospice Renfrew was her home. She touched the staff and
volunteers with her wonderful wit and sense of humour.
are so grateful for the outstanding care that mom received.
was a very special lady who will be greatly missed. We
love you mom.
Read by daughter Cathy
Memorial Service, July 26/14