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Elsie Roste, age 92, of the Meadows Care Facility, Swift Current, SK and formerly of her beloved Preeceville, SK passed away quietly, peacefully, and gently, as she lived, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 with her daughter by her side. She was hugged , kissed, held, and loved straight into heaven.
Elsie Lenora Roste was born into the loving home of Marshall & Minnie (Preece) Reynolds on February 16, 1927 on what is now community pastureland just outside of Preeceville. Her dad was the “midwife,” a fact she was always proud of. She was welcomed into the family by her siblings — Louise, Ellen, Robert, Richard, Marjorie, and Shirley — who were her best friends for life, as she cherished them and their spouses.
At the age of 16 and armed with a grade eight education from Sunny Brae School, Elsie followed in her sister, Marjorie’s, footsteps and went to Gilbert Plains, MB to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Ellen & Perry Shunk, and look for work. Elsie always wanted to be a teacher, but money was scarce, so candling eggs in Brandon, MB at the egg station became her first experience away from home. She enjoyed telling the story of how within a year, the manager gave her the keys and the responsibility of “opening up,” as she was always at the door waiting for him to let her in! Getting up early was part of her DNA her whole life long.
In 1948, at the age of 21, while working in Leamington, ON Elsie was united in marriage to a fine man from Preeceville, named Walter Roste. The pull back to “home” was strong, and as soon as the Thorson farm went up for sale, they bought it — an ideal location, ten minutes north of Preeceville and two miles south of the Roste homestead, where Walter had grown up. Her sister, Shirley & Bud Strand, were to the west, her brother, Dick & Marge Reynolds, were to the east, her brother, Bob & Florence Reynolds, to the south, and Walter’s brother, Clifford & Shirley Roste, were also to the south. What a location! It would always be her favourite place in all the world.
To say mom loved animals would be an understatement. She cared for countless animals, big and small, and never went too far from home for too long, because chores were always waiting. Having her brother, Dick, close by with his veterinary skills was a priceless asset to mom and dad. No matter what the emergency, Uncle Dick never let them down. Organizing dad’s next semi load of cattle, feeding hired men, doing chores, gardening, baking, and visiting with her siblings and neighbours on the farm filled her days. After sixteen years of marriage, their daughter, Benita, was born.
Mom’s energy and work ethic were phenomenal — you could not outwork her, and many hired men attested to that. Her coffee intake was also impressive. A silver fifty-cup coffee maker sat on the little wood stove in the kitchen for decades, many tins of Koban and Nabob coffee were consumed and savoured there. Coming into the kitchen after school and finding every countertop and the kitchen table covered in fresh buns and cinnamon buns made for a wonderful day.
One day, mom saw the school bus drive in, and she quickly ran into the house, got on her hands and knees, and hid behind the cupboard. Our Danish bachelor neighbor and friend, Tom Anderson, walked into the house before me. Mom, thinking it was me, mewed loudly like a kitten. Tall, thin Tom looked down at her, turned around, and went to the garage, where he proceeded to admonish dad, “Valter, Elsie needs a holiday!” This story never failed to delight us.
After dad’s passing in 1987, mom continued on the farm alone, thanks to the help of her nephews, Lionel Person, Bryan Melsness, and friend, Marvin Curtis. In the fall of 1999, at the age of 72, mom moved to Moose Jaw and lived with Benita & Glen and Justine and Kyle. They celebrated this big transition with a memorable trip to Disney World. Mom accepted this huge change to city life with a smile, just like she had done everything else.
While we worked and the grandchildren went to school, mom gardened, baked and, kept the house spotless. The neighborhood children were kept in cookies and the laundry never piled up — she looked after us all in classic mom style. Justine and Kyle really knew and loved their grandma, and she cherished them right back. She watched them start school, attended their graduations, and watched them head off to Australia and England for Bible school. She was so proud of them for graduating from university as she always valued education, and money towards education was never wasted in her eyes.
When Justine came home with an engagement ring at the age of 21, mom hugged her and laughed and said, “I can’t say a word, I did the same thing!” She loved Justine’s husband, Jeff. Visiting with her great-grandchildren was something she loved to do, her face lit up when Jace and Jemma entered the room. She genuinely loved children. She has nieces and nephews here today to attest to that.
Mom enjoyed spending her summers back in Preeceville in her trailer, with her sister, Shirley & Bud Strand, for many years. Her time spent with them was filled with gardening, canning, baking, visiting, and going for ice-cream. These were very precious memories to her.
Though she was not big in stature — 4 ft 11 ¾” — dad used to say, “And that’s a big ¾!” Her sense of humour, optimism, gentleness, spunk, patience, and kindness of spirit served her well all of her days. Words cannot express our love for her.
Elsie will be lovingly remembered by her daughter, Benita (Glen) Letnes; her grandchildren, Justine (Jeff) Powell and Kyle Letnes; her great-grandchildren, Jace and Jemma; her sisters-in-law, Marge Reynolds, Doris Roste, Hazel Roste, and Sonja Roste; and by many precious nieces and nephews.
Mom had a quiet, private faith. We will meet again in heaven one day.
Our admiration and appreciation go out to the staff at the Meadows in House 9 in Swift Current, who became like family to mom. Hugs, kisses, and kindness were shared with mom literally to the end. Two kittens, which are now cats, were acquired, and made mom’s final years even easier. They slept on her bed and gave her comfort. She fed them off her plate, still making sure an animal did not go hungry.
She had pets until the end, always had a smile, and stayed kind. Well done, mom.
The Memorial Service for Mrs. Elsie Roste was held on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm from the Trinity United Church in Preeceville, SK followed by a luncheon. The Private Family Interment Service was held at the Preeceville Cemetery.
For those wishing, donations to the Meadows Auxiliary would be appreciated by the family.
The Meadows Auxiliary
#308 230 Lister Kaye Crescent, Swift Current SK S9H 0A2