Muriel Estelle Sanderson
January 17, 1933 - September 26, 2023
In Loving Memory
Muriel Estelle Sanderson
It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of my mom Muriel Estelle Sanderson (nee Atkinson) at the age of 90 years, on September 26/23; wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Mom had been living at Heron Grove cottage 2 for the last several years. She was born on January 17 1933 in Jarvie Alberta to Jeremiah and Martha Atkinson; one of 7 children. Life was not as easy as today and her mother left when mom was 7, something that she carried with her for the rest of her life. The family moved ‘into town’ which was ‘pretty scary and overwhelming’; however at her new school’s Christmas concert she found comfort and hope in the words of the carols ‘they have always been with me’.
Mom graduated from Beaverlodge High School, and from Calgary General Hospital School of Nursing, beginning a long medical career. She worked in hospitals in each place we lived, lastly in Vernon Jubilee Hospital; she had a special calming air about her – many patients requested her to administer medications; she truly loved caring for people.
It was while she was attending high school that she caught the eye of a handsome young man; it was the family joke that things would have been different if dad had thrown that snowball at her! She and dad were married in January of 1956 and settled in Dawson Creek where dad worked in an insurance office and mom worked in the hospital. Three children were born, two boys and one girl. As time went on the young family moved to Vernon, BC and planted their roots; mom loved animals, over the years we had a variety of pets that always ended up being tended to by her despite the promises that each kid made of ‘looking after it’. Her love of music continued through her life, she would sway along to Andre Rieu’s beautiful waltzes smiling and humming; she also loved to cook: dad always asked her why she would try a new dish for the first time when we had company? And woe be to ANYONE who lifted the lids on the pots while something was cooking. I remember her saying ‘it took me all day to make and it’s gone in 20 minutes!’ Her love of music and cooking continue on with her great grandchild Violet.
An accomplished seamstress, she made a variety of items over the years ranging from costumes for school plays, to fancy evening wear; my favorite was the kilt she made for me by hand; shoes were always worn in her sewing room because of the pins on the floor.
Mom also loved researching history particularly our family history. She obtained copies of documents from the 1700’s from as far away as Salt Lake City Utah regarding our Métis ancestors; she also researched my dad’s side of the family as well. Her passion for history resulted in a significant collection of books about the Gold rush days in Canada and frontier life from the actual diaries of the people who lived there.
One of the highlights for mom was a trip she and dad made across Canada on his GoldWing motorcycle ‘Oldie Goldie’. They spent a month exploring our beautiful country, she loved those moments. Mom also loved trains, she watched shows documenting the different kinds of trains around the world, and she went for a ride on the Kettle Valley railway at one point. She was a world traveler, visiting Italy, Holland, Philippines and Hawaii to name a few; but her favorite place was always home. Over the years she was very involved with the local amateur radio club ‘NORAC’; attending the field days where she would be so excited to speak to someone across the world using her call sign VE7EGB. She also spent a significant amount of time volunteering with the local search and rescue; I remember the orange metal framed backpack sitting by the door for those emergency calls – her professionalism carried through even when the results of a search ended with tragedy.
My mom reconnected with her spiritual side in her 50’s, it was something that was very important to her; she would take great pleasure and find peace when studying her bible and other spiritual books.
My mom was someone who would think of others before herself, she would help someone if they needed help: giving strangers a ride, buying something from a bake sale to give away. For her, the most important thing was her family; it was everything to her. She was very proud of the fact that we had 4 generations! In later years she expressed feeling guilty but I reassured her that she did the best she could, and that’s all anyone can do. I am proud of my mom, of what she overcame and of how she lived. We take comfort in the knowledge that she is together with dad again, whom she missed terribly.
Predeceased by husband Norman, parents Jeremiah and Martha, brothers Charles, Kenneth, Robert, sisters Helen, Kathleen, Grace, and grandson Gregory. Survived by daughter Mardi (Andy), sons Norm Jr (Lynette) and Earl; grandchildren Sasha, Leanne (Stuart), Glenn, great granddaughters Violet and Alaina.
Arrangements taken care of by Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services. Her family would like to express their deep appreciation to Lynne, Dave and the rest of the amazing staff at cottage 2 for their care of my mom. There will be a small graveside service in the spring. In lieu of flowers mom requested that donations be made to the Vernon Search & Rescue Group Society at www.vernonsar.ca/donate
I love you mom
Arrangements entrusted to
Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-558-0866
Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services: