SEPT 2/28 - JAN.12/22
Velma was the first born to Janie and Charles in 1928 and then siblings to follow were Victor, Dale, June and Ken. The family was raised in the Buffalo Horn district 20 miles south of Ponteix SK.
Predeceasing Velma were her parents; husband Cliff (2001); son Brian (1998); brothers Vic and Dale; sister June (Maxwell).
At age 17, Velma graduated as a stenographer from the Convent of Notre Dame in Ponteix. This enabled her to be an expert bookkeeper in all business endeavors that were to follow in her life.
When Velma was 14, she had a crush on a handsome man in the community named Cliff Sutherland, but he was older and about to enlist in the army as the Second World War was underway. He returned in 1946 and on June 17, 1947, they were married. She was 18 and he was 26, and so began their life journey for the next 54 years. Together they raised 6 children, daughters Cheryle, Kathi and Dianne, sons Brian, Kevin and Wayne.
Velma and Cliff started farming 5 miles south of Melaval building a farm from scratch. First living in a 3-room shingle clad house but as the family grew, moving to a larger 2 story house. Mom grew a huge garden and made many preserves. They worked as a team - always! Planting trees and working the farm together. Mom would operate the swather and the grain truck while dad drove the combine.
Mom loved her garden but was equally happy in the barnyard with baby lambs, pigs, and chickens. Mom was not only hard working but she loved working. She thrived on keeping busy from baking bread, making homemade butter to hosting large gatherings at the farm with tables of food. For her entire life the coffee pot was always on and homemade baking to go with it and everyone was welcome to drop in.
After 20 years of farming, they moved on to new adventures, living in all four western provinces at different times. First owning a Marshall Wells store in Radville, then a rental business in Moose Jaw. Mom always the manager. A big highlight of mom’s life was moving to Creston, B.C. Mom loved the mountains, the lakes, and the orchards. Whenever possible, having grandchildren visit for holidays, taking them on many adventures.
It was in Creston that mom completed a Care-Aide course and began working in a home for seniors. Loving her job and meeting new friends. Eventually Moose Jaw became home again.
Mom was always available to help, wherever help was needed, whether to babysit for a few hours or help you start your car, mom had all the trouble shooting answers. She was caregiver for her mother, for dad as his health declined, and her sister and a brother for a short time. She visited an aunt and an uncle in Extendicare regular till they passed and still had time to attend granddaughter’s dance recitals, or play a game of scrabble with anyone dropping in.
Mom loved camping and fishing teaching grandchildren the art. Mom was great to travel with because her car would be packed with all the emergency necessities, food, and maps to take you anywhere.
After dads passing there was opportunity for mom to travel. She went to the Maritimes with Kathi, Branson, Missouri with Dianne and a trip to Vancouver with Cheryle.
Mom leaves a lot of memories for her 15 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 1 wee great-great grandson and another one coming in the spring. Being a Collector and so organized, we have binders of newspaper clippings of weddings, funeral, family history and achievements of family, friends and acquaintances that was always at her fingertips.
“She will always be remembered as a woman both strong and good, who gave the best for others, and did the best she could, As a woman who made a difference And a woman who meant a lot “
A strong woman believes
That she is strong enough
For the journey….
But a woman of strength
Has faith that it is this
Journey That she will
Mom passed away January 12, 2022, at Pioneer Lodge in Moose Jaw, SK
A celebration of Velma’s life will take place on Friday January 21, 2022, at 10am at W.J. Jones & Son Funeral Chapel. Memorial donations can be made in Velma’s name to Moose Jaw Humane Society 1755 Stadacona St W, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 7K7. In living memory of Velma, a memorial planting will be made by W.J. Jones & Son Ltd. Please sign the memorial register at website: www.jonesparkview.com (Obituaries). Chrystine Dacey - Funeral Director Intern