Dec 27, 1926 - Jun 19, 2021
Our dear mom, granny, and friend, Olga Cookson, died peacefully at the Red Deer Hospice on June 19th,2021. Mom was born in Kent, England, in 1926. Her early and teenage years were spent in Yorkshire. "Dolly" grew up in a large extended household: the Howard family of Barnsley. Mom's formative years were much influenced by the Second World War. She had hoped to attend business school, but work was mandated, and all were expected to help in the war effort. Her jobs included working in a paint factory, a shirt factory, and as a night-shift employee at Woolworths. Some evenings, she worked as a dance instructor in her family's dance hall – that was one job she enjoyed! After the war, Olga and her friend Marion headed for the big city: London. Mom worked as a nanny, and then as a clerk at the Friendship Society. Soon she met a young medical student, Sid Cookson. They married, and started a family. The years after the war were not easy. Money was scarce, and food was rationed. The 1950s were a difficult time for doctors in Britain. In 1957, the decision was made to immigrate to Canada. Mom was energetic, optimistic, busy, and made good friends, but, oh, those flat Saskatchewan plains, dirt roads, dust storms and blizzards! One summer, Sid did a locum in Central Alberta, and they both fell in love with the area, moving to Sylvan Lake in 1962. As well as caring for her family, mom had several part-time jobs culminating in working at the Sylvan Lake Library for 20 years, until she was nearly 90! She was the library's "expert" on good British mysteries. Mom never lost her Yorkshire accent, and had a lovely, animated way of speaking. She could (and would) talk to anyone, especially about their cats and dogs. Mom always got up early, got dressed, and was ready to start each day with enthusiasm and purpose. She loved listening to classical music and CBC radio, sitting outside in the sun, the colour blue, and all animals.
Mom/Olga was a loving mother and wife who worked hard, never used sarcasm, rarely got cross, and was always a true lady. Mom enjoyed good health until she was 91, which she probably
attributed to her beloved cats...and chocolate (in moderation). A heartfelt thank you to all of mom's caregivers (including Jo) – words cannot express our gratitude to the amazing, caring staff at the Red Deer Hospice, who made such a difference in mom's final weeks.
Olga was predeceased by her husband Sid Cookson, parents; Charles and Olga Johnson, brother Howard, favourite cousin Rita, and many wonderful friends.
She is survived by her daughters: Jo Cookson and Heather (Rick) Cookson-Hills; grandchildren: Peter, Suzanne, Robin, Claire, Carmen, Pippa, and Molly; great grandchildren: Dylan, Jackson, Josephine, Mary, and Mariposa; one great-great grandson, Aaron; friends Edith, Vi, Kathy the Vet, Janice, David, Jean, Jane, Diane, Eleanor, Esther, Kathy K, John, and Harla; furry felines: Polly and Mintoo.
If you would like to make a charitable donation in Olga's name, please consider Whisker Rescue.
No formal service is planned at this time, though an intimate celebration of Olga's life will take place at a later date (and attendees will be expected to wear blue – never black).
Ann Nielsen ( Turner):
Condolences to all of you. Was walking past your mom’s home recently and I reminisced about all the wonderful times we crossed paths. She was a delightful lady! Always taking the time to stop and visit in the grocery store, parking lot, on the street, or in the library. She was a true gem!!
I had the privilege of working with your Mom for a number of years she was a true Gem. She was such an active lady I only gave your Mom 3 rides ever. Two were to visit your Dad in the hospital then one time it was super cold and she was getting liver for the cats. I am so fortunate to have had a visit and a cup of tea in the backyard with Jo and Olga and brought her a picture of the Ritz ladies. She will be truly missed such a lady. My condolences to Jo and Heather and families.
Pippa we are sorry hear about your Granny’s passing she was a special lady. We’ are sending our condolences to you and your family
Barbara Hanson (Bowman):
Olga was such a sweet person. She was our neighbour when I was growing up in Sylvan, and worked afternoons at Ritz Drug Store I had the privilege of working with her and she would talk to me about anything from pets to plants . She kept a beautiful English garden. Olga put on many miles walking. She was a lovely lady and she will be missed.
I was sorry to hear of your moms passing. She truly was a great lady. I enjoyed her accent, playing bridge with h
her as well as having the occasional chat.
My sympathy to the whole family.
My sincere sympathies to you Heather and Jo and families! Your mom was such a wonderful honest lady! I loved visiting whenever I could with her! Her walking everywhere in town and back and forth to work or anywhere, I always admired!
I remember mrs Cookson as one of the kindest, classy ladies that ever graced our town. There was a reason EVERYONE loved her! She will be missed!
My mom (Shirley)loved working with Mrs Cookson. Always such a delightful lady. So sad to hear.
Ethel Wilde and family :
She was a beautiful lady ,she will be missed by many . Our prayers to her family .
Our family is committed to caring for your family regardless of race or religion. We provide attentive, compassionate service from the first phone call until long after the funeral is over.
We will help you plan a service, assist you with the many choices and provide support for you and your loved ones in your time of grief. We know every family is unique, and we strive to help you make each service a personal tribute.
Visit our Rocky Mountain House Funeral Home website.