Gertrude Dorothy Ann Gillespie
December 8, 1932 – July 14, 2018
Gertie was born on December 8th, 1932 in Esther, Alberta. She was the third youngest in a family of eleven girls and two boys. Her parents Ignace Oszust and Catherine (Kate) Beleski farmed. Her youngest sister passed away in 1937 and in January 1947, her mom Kate passed away from pneumonia. They were a hard working Catholic family. In Gertie’s younger years, she wasn’t one to be cooking and looking after the house. They had to walk or ride horses to the one room school. She would walk over the hill then roll up leaves and smoke them. She loved being outdoors and she enjoyed riding and looking after her horse. On November 1st, 1954, she married Allen Gillespie. Their witnesses were Allen’s brother and sister in law Stan and Edith Gillespie. They moved to Landis, SK where Allen was the Canadian National Railway station agent. Their only child Susan was born in 1955, a day before their first wedding anniversary, pretty nice gift. That day it was storming and Allen drove Gertie to Wilkie but had to rush back to copy the train orders for the sectionmen. They lived in Landis for four years then moved to a few Alberta railway CNR stations, Warspite, Forestburg and Alliance. In 1961 at Forestburg, where Susan attended grade one, Allen was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1962 they moved to Alliance and Gertie worked in the hotel café as a waitress. She always had her hair in curlers, wore a skirt and owned a great many aprons for work. In 1965 the family moved to Loverna, SK, to a small hamlet with no running water. The train from Saskatoon would haul water once a week. We were closer to Oyen so we were able to visit family there. In 1969 we moved back to Landis where Gertie did house cleaning and drove school bus. In 1978 they purchased a house in North Battleford. In September 2013 she entered assisted living at River Heights Lodge then long term care in the spring of 2014. Gertie enjoyed curling and helping at the booth socializing with people. She played softball at sports days and enjoyed Christmas concerts and dances. Her love of animals continued throughout her life. A dog was her best friend and there were a few throughout the years. In the late sixties, we’d go camping at the Battleford’s Provincial Park which continued until about five years ago. When seasonal camping started by luck she had the same site for a great many year’s, site #91 in the north campground. There were baby trees planted years ago and many campers would tell you she was watering those trees looking after them. To this day they are growing from the tender loving care they received. She was a social butterfly visiting whoever and having a beer with them. She’d be walking her dog with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and a cap on her head searching for bottles. She believed in recycling. She enjoyed watching the North Stars play hockey. She enjoyed watching all sports on tv plus the rodeos. Heartland was a favourite TV show. On September 7th, 1980 she became a Baba to her first grandchild Kerry. On July 19th, 1983 Alaina arrived. On January 23rd, 1987 Kendra arrived and June 28th, 1989 Michael arrived. She loved her grandchildren immensely. She would attend whatever school function and sport they were involved in. She'd pick them up after school and stop and buy them a bag of candy each. She taught them the love of camping also. When they got older, she’d have a beer with them. She attended her granddaughter Kendra's wedding November 7th, 2016, we had her swirling around the dance floor in her wheelchair. She is survived by her daughter Susan, grandchildren Kerry & his wife Edna, Alaina, Kendra & her husband Luke and Michael and his fiancée Haylee and one precious great granddaughter. She has only two remaining sisters Julia and Theresa who live in Oyen, AB. She was predeceased by her husband Allen in 2013, son in law Keith in 2008 and a great many of her family. Thank you to the staff at River Heights for their special care. The hugs while we cried and they cried along with us. To see how many people sent messages and calls have been appreciated immensely from the bottom of our hearts, such love and devotion for our social butterfly.
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Gertrude Dorothy Ann Gillespie
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