Shirley Rutledge, beloved life partner of the late Les Nash, passed away peacefully on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at Extendicare, Fort Macleod, at the age of 88.
Shirley is survived by her sister, Georgia Tomik; nieces Barb Tomik and Bonnie (Larry) Boulton; her cousins, Lorraine Elliott, Jean (Reg) O’Sullivan and Bruce (Diane) Walker; dear friends Anne and Tom Barnes; honourary grandchildren Michael Barnes, Charles Barnes, Jana Collar and Jerry (Jill) Collar and their families; many members of the Nash family and many dear friends.
Besides Les, Shirley was predeceased by her parents, Melville Rutledge and Erma Jackman; her step-father Dick Jackman; and brother-in-law George Tomik.
Born in 1925, Shirley lived in Fort Macleod her entire life. After leaving school she began her working life clerking at the Whitehall and Jenkin’s Groceteria. She spent a year in Ontario and got her cook’s paper and then worked as a cook at the airport at Claresholm after World War Two. Shirley cooked for Les’ bridge crew for many years and later sold Tupperware, clerked at various businesses and ran the concession at the Fort Macleod golf course.
Shirley loved children and was often called upon to babysit. Children were drawn to her kindness, understanding, and unconditional love and she was a positive influence in many lives. She always enjoyed meeting people and made friends easily and was known for her keen memory of the people and events of Fort Macleod.
Shirley loved doing things for others. She and Les bartended many weddings and, as an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, she received a lifetime membership. Shirley was generous with whatever resources she had and felt compelled to give a helping hand whenever she could. She loved to entertain and her door was always open.
Although Shirley did not travel a lot, she enjoyed a few memorable adventures including her year in Ontario, a trip to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl Parade and a trip to Australia in the 1970s. She played cards, knit dishcloths and visited with friends in person and on the phone right up until her death.
In recent years, as her health deteriorated, Shirley progressively moved from her home to a senior apartment, then Macleod Pioneer Lodge and most recently Extendicare. Shirley made these changes graciously and adapted well to each move. She enjoyed getting to know the staff and felt at home.
The family greatly appreciates the care and kindness Shirley received at the Pioneer Lodge and Extendicare. We also extend our heartfelt thanks for the excellent care provided to all of us by the members of the ambulance and emergency room staff and the doctors at the Fort Macleod Health Centre and by the staff in the Continuing Care Unit over the past few years.
A celebration of life was held on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Eden’s Funeral Home, 2424 Fifth Ave., Fort Macleod, with Rev. Eras Van Zyl officiating.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Those who wish may donate to the Fort Macleod Handibus Association, P.O. Box 881, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Eden’s Funeral Home, P.O. Box 755, 2424 Fifth Ave., Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0 or www.edensfuneralhome.com.