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Jean Beryle Bridge

Oct 15, 1931 - Apr 7, 2023

Service

Friday, April 14, 2023
2:00 pm
A funeral service for Jean will be held at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Sylvan Lake on Friday, April 14, 2023, at 2:00 PM. Interment will take place at the Fairfield Cemetery, Brownfield, Alberta.

Interment

Fairfield Cemetery, Brownfield, Alberta

Obituary

Jean Beryle Bridge
1931 - 2023
With great sadness the family of Jean Beryl Bridge announces her passing at 91 years of age in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Jean was born at the Coronation Hospital to Ella and Jack McLarty.
With her husband and family, she lived in many places across Alberta. From her childhood home in Silver Heights to the oil fields of the Northern Alberta including Peace River Country, Sexsmith, Stettler, Big Valley, Ester, and then closer to home at Talbot, Brownfield, Coronation and finally settling in Sylvan Lake in 1976.
Jean was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, and historian. Our mother loved her career in teaching and then her “retirement career” where with the help of her good friend Bunny Virtue started and worked at the Sylvan Lake Archives. She also was very involved with her church in many roles including belonging to the Ladies Guild. She loved to read and play cards so participated in a local book and bridge club. Mom and Dad loved to hit the road with their good friends Erin and Janet Walters and put on many Travel Miles.
She is survived by her five other children: Debbie (Les) Elliot, Lyle (Laurie) Bridge Linda Bridge, Jacqule Bridge and Tam (Ron) Winder; 8 grandchildren: Sherri (Danny) Leong, Steven (Treena) Elliott, Joshua Bridge, Nathan (Lindsay) Bridge, Katelyn Hunter, Gregory (Shannelle) Winder, Jared Winder, Cheryl Mason and 7 great grandchildren: Alexis Leong, Katie Leong, Wilder Bridge, Hannah Bridge, Ray Elliott, Austin Elliott, Griffin Hunter; Sister-and Brother in-laws: Elizabeth (Bill) Bullick, Shirley (Gordon) McLarty, Kaye (Errol) McLarty, Tom (Lynn) Robinson, and Norma Robinson. As well as many numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.
Jean was predeceased by her husband Stan in 2016; her son Bruce in 2021, her brothers Gordon McLarty and Errol McLarty and her sister Janet Bay.
A funeral service for Jean will be held at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Sylvan Lake on Friday, April 14, 2023, at 2:00 PM. Interment will take place at the Fairfield Cemetery, Brownfield, Alberta.
Sylvan Lake and Rocky Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes entrusted with cremation arrangements. 403 887 2151.

Eulogy


GRANDMA’s EULOGY
We are gathered here today to celebrate & remember the life of a wonderful woman we all know as Jean Beryl (nee McLarty) Bridge.
Some of us have called her mom, auntie, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, cousin, friend, co-worker, grandma or great-grandma. I have been lucky enough to call her grandma for 47 years. I am her eldest grandchild and I am very honoured to speak about this incredible woman & the life she lived. However, I must admit there is SOOOO much to say I could write a book ....in fact Grandma has written a number of family books .... With family history & photos that I reference all the time. I even used them for her Eulogy too:). Thank you Grandma for being so Organized!!
I want to highlight some of Grandma’s upbringing as I believe it really showcases how Grandma became the amazing person that she was. She came from very deep roots that were steeped in rich family traditions (from both the Scottish & Norwegian sides) & steadfast values. Her parents & grandparents were homesteaders and she was raised with much love & family around her. Both the McLarty’s & Prestlien sides lived close. Life was full of hard work and quality family time. This was part of Grandma’s ‘fabric’.
Grandma was born on Oct. 15th, 1931 in the Coronation Hospital to proud parents Ella & Jack McLarty. She was the eldest child who soon had a sister Janet and two younger brothers Gordon & Errol. They lived with her dad’s parents, Hugh & Laura McLarty, on their homestead for a few years before they moved to their own farmstead all around the Silver Heights area. In 1943, grandma’s parents bought the Silver Heights Store and ran it until 1954. After this they returned to farming while Ella was teaching.
During those preschool years grandma spent a lot of time with her grandparents & parents - From her grandma & mom she learnt to bake, cook, sew, iron clothes, pick & can berries and how to tend a garden. Grandma helped her grandpa Hugh with feeding the pigs which she always liked because he would often give her a nickel for her ‘help’ so she could buy some Cracker Jack popcorn. Her grandpa also and I quote from grandma’s writings that he ‘acquired a love of learning which lasted him all his life and he encouraged us all and was proud when we went on to high school........I stayed with them & went to Aberdovey School for grade 1 and Grandpa spent many hours giving me words to spell from Hughie’s old Speller, telling me words I didn’t know in the books I read and he gave me a book every Christmas”. This warmed my heart dearly as I would say this is where Grandma had her love for learning fostered. She did the same thing with her own grandchildren as she gave us a book every Christmas in our younger years.

Grandma took all of her schooling, Grades 1- 9 at the Aberdovey School
(close to Silver Heights/Brownfield area) and then in 1946 she left to attend high school at the Camrose Luthern College. Grandma loved her time in Camrose. She soon returned to the Silver Heights area and began teaching at Talbot in 1950 where she caught the attention of a local young man named Robert Stanley Bridge - known to most as Stan. Also an amazing father & grandfather!!
Grandma & Grandpa were married on July 4th, 1952. And so began their adventures. Grandpa was working in the oil industry at the time and back then the families moved with the oil wells instead of travelling back & forth to their homes like nowadays. So ‘trailering’ became their life. Grandma even wrote a small book for our family to read and enjoy their ‘Gypsy Years’ or as she titled it ... “Prairie Gypsies’ to chronicle all their experiences. Their 4 youngest children lived this life with Grandma & Grandpa. Bruce, Mom (Debbie), Lyle & Linda all spent a good portion of their early years living in their holiday trailer, living in different areas around Alberta and meeting a wide variety of new people. Grandma & Grandpa embraced these years & loved all the people they met and kept in contact with years after. Some people would not be able to take on this lifestyle so graciously but they did! The only area that Grandma wrote &/or spoke about that was hard were the trials & tribulations of trying to cook &/or bake in the trailer. I had told Grandma that I ‘bowed down’ to her & grandpa - as the idea of keeping 3-4 toddlers occupied & happy in a holiday trailer would have made me pull my hair out. She just giggled and said it wasn’t that bad & it was part of the fun!
Once they decided to leave their trailering days, Grandma & Grandpa moved back to the Talbot area where they bought an ‘old house’ (in grandma’s words) on a farm and fixed it up every year until it was very cozy & new. This was Grandpa’s Grandfather’s farm and they were happy to be part of this community again. Here Jacquie & Tammie were born and completed their happy family of 6 children. They lived here for 7 years while grandpa drove the school bus & did some farming and grandma returned to teaching.
Then they moved to the Brownfield Store for a couple of years and ran both the store & garage. Verne & Ruby Beebe joined & helped them with this endeavour. Once Grandma’s mom retired from teaching they moved into her home in Coronation but it was a bit too small for a family of 8 so after 2 years there they moved into the teacherage house down by the hospital. By now, the four older siblings were starting to leave home and do their own things. Jacquie & Tammie were in elementary and enjoying their neighbourhood friends.

It was around 1977, Grandpa got an opportunity to work for the Town of Sylvan Lake so they made one last final big move to Sylvan. Grandpa was the Town Supervisor for the Town of Sylvan Lake for about 20 years and loved it. Grandma also resumed teaching, now in the Red Deer County School Division as she taught in Sylvan Lake. When she retired from teaching in 1993, she had been teaching Gr. 3 at C.P. Blakely Elementary School for a number of years. Grandma’s teaching spanned over 40 years but with a few stops & starts - she stated that it was officially closer to 30 years in a classroom.
Grandma & Grandpa were also very social & active in the Sylvan Lake Community. They were part of the Presbyterian Church, golf members at the ‘Top of the Hill’ golf course, Grandma participated in a Bridge club and Grandpa was a member of the Elks Club to name a few. Grandma was also one of the founding members of the Red Deer Historical Society and she later helped start the Sylvan Lake & District Archives. Both of these gave Grandma a great deal of pride & joy. Grandma always loved listening to, telling &/or writing about historical stories. I’ve always really enjoyed listening to Grandma’s stories ... they often seemed to have a funny or whimsical spin to them. Grandma had a lot of other hobbies too, like: playing the piano, singing, reading, writing, playing cards, dancing, knitting & sewing. There wasn’t a dance floor that you didn’t see Grandma & Grandpa dancing on.
As a person, Grandma had many layers to her and she had the ability to wear ‘many hats’. Her adaptability and open-mindedness is what let her flourish in her career and personal life. I loved this quality about Grandma. She was a very unassuming person who focused on the positive in all people & situations. She wanted everyone to feel loved, respected & accepted. This may be why her & grandpa had such a ‘welcoming & open’ home. All their children’s friends & their families (or just about anyone) knew they were welcomed there. You never entered their home without the biggest & best hug and them letting you know just how happy they were that you were there - unless you arrived after they were in bed .... In which case they always let you know where to find the key:).
Grandma was a true lover of learning. She saw every obstacle or interaction as a chance to learn something. This is why she loved meeting new people or trying new things as she saw these encounters as learning opportunities. A new person meant a new & different perspective and a chance to grow. I think this was her draw to teaching as well. It married two of her loves: children & learning. I always admired how Grandma embraced learning the new computer programs on our ever changing computer systems. She never said “I am too old to learn these’.... She knew she needed to do this in order to keep doing the things she loved like writing & teaching. She was a very forward thinker that way. Quite progressive. An impressive quality. She was a mentor, a role model & an inspiration to many.
However, Grandma’s greatest asset was being such a devoted & loving wife & mother. Raising 6 kids and having a career was no easy task but Grandma loved her children & husband dearly and only wanted the best for them. Thus, she was very organized and tried to create good experiences for all her children. My mom often talked about Grandma always ensuring that everyone’s birthday was extra special no matter where they were living or who was around. Grandma often made the girls special dresses and the boys special outfits. Even when they went through a rough patch it was around mom’s Gr. 9 prom and mom did not think she would be able to go.... Grandma stayed up all night to sew her a beautiful prom dress so she did not miss out on anything. Mom’s are truly magical that way!!! They have a knack for always ‘making things better!!’
In fact, Grandma was great at organizing many social events for all people she loved & cared about. These occasions could be anywhere from large family reunions to book clubs to family vacations or just sitting around the campfire in the backyard. Grandma always wanted to give her friends & family a chance to make fond memories.
So thank you Grandma for always making every Christmas & all our birthdays special. From singing Christmas carols around the piano or Christmas tree to receiving a birthday phone call, card &/or present. You always found a way to make sure we knew we were loved. You have instilled these deep meaningful gestures in all of your children & grandchildren and we have you to thank for that. Thank you to you & Grandpa for creating such a loving environment for all of us to grow up in and become our own true selves. You created an amazing foundation for familial love & support. Your threads of ‘fabric’ have been woven into all of us. Much gratitude.
I hope you & Grandpa have found each other up there and are playing Canasta or Whist - only to break for a few square dances together.
We all love you dearly!



Condolences

Wayne Nylin:

I’ve just tonite heard about Jean’s passing and my thoughts are with her family. Jean was a pleasure to work with for 16 years at CPB school. She was a good teacher who was there always for the kids in her class and she was one for looking out for staff members and she was such a great support to staff, especially to ‘newbies’. Sincerely, Wayne Nylin

Marion Thompson:

So very sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. She was an inspiration to me to become involved with the Sylvan Lake and District Archives. Her passion for teaching and preserving the history of our beautiful lake was passed on to future generations through her many contributions to our community. She will be remembered with gratitude. My condolences to family.

Lorraine Friedrick :

Jean was such a lovely person. When I first moved to Sylvan Lake to teach, she frequently checked on me to see how I was settling in, and invited me to her home for dinner. She was supportive and kind, and always so very friendly. She was a wonderful teacher and a pleasure to have as a colleague.

Dave & Deb Parry:

Jean was an amazing teacher, volunteer but mostly a great friend! So many memories.
Our condolences,
Dave & Deb

Betty Welch:

I have such fond memories of Jean. She was such a kind, supportive colleague for me to have during my early teaching years. After she retired, Jean worked with my Grade Two team to develop a plan for our new curriculum, which was to teach about the history of our town. Jean wrote a book about the history of Sylvan Lake for students to read. It covered the curriculum objectives and I used it until I retired. May you all draw upon your happy memories of Jean to give you comfort and peace.

Daryl and Susan Homan and family:

Our sincere condolences to all the family on the passing of Jean. She will be greatly missed by all. We have contributed $25 in her memory to the Bethany Care Foundation.

Bertha and John Cvetko:

Never had the chance to meet Jean but heard so much about her life from daughter Linda. So saddened to hear of your loss. Our hearts and prayers are with all your family.

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