With deep sadness in our hearts, the family announces the passing of our dear mother Elma Matheson at the age of 84 at the Health Science Centre Winnipeg. She took her integral journey surrounded with love and honor with her children Joanne, Sharon and Arni and favorite niece Big Joanne.
Through spiritual guidance her last wish to go outside to feel the sun on her face and the wind in her hair was gratefully accommodated in these exceptional times. With her last breath on earth, she twirled a feather to her first breath in heaven.
She was predeceased by loving husband Joe, her parents Walter and Matilda Murdock, Stepmother, Violet, her sisters Mary, Hazel, Audrey and baby sisters Doreen and Phyliss, her brother Ted (Theodore) Murdock, her niece Tilly La France (nee Sinclair), nephew Stewart Murdock Jr, her mother-in-law Inga Matheson, sister- in-law Nina Johnson, Brothers in law Paul and Marino (Ethel) and brother-in-law Alvin Christianson (Vera).
Mom leaves to mourn her three children, daughter Joanne Jamieson, (former son in law Ken), grandson Derek Jamieson (Jeri), great grandsons Johann and Caleb , grandson Andrew, daughter and best friend Sharon, son Arni Matheson (former daughter in law Victoria, grandson Angelo, Co-grandma (Meme) and friend Lucy Blanchette, her sisters Kathy Wood and family, her brother Ken Murdock and family, brother Stewart Murdock and family, brother Marshall Murdock and family, brother-in-law Herb Johnson and family, niece Joanne (John) Gosek and family plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Mom has a fond memory of tugging on her mother Matilda’s apron strings while baking in the kitchen and collecting preservatives from the root cellar. We remember her telling us the story of her father’s teeth being so white from the soot from wood stove and he never had a cavity.
Mom often spoke of the amount of gardening that had to be done along with the tending to the animals on the family farm. She often spoke of having plenty of food to eat during hard times where she learned the value of sharing. Another favorite memory was going to her blind Grandmother’s house and just by her knocking on her door, her grandmother would say “Come in my girl!” Despite being blind, her grandmother made the best bread ever.
Another story she told us was how very proud her grandfather was of his name “William T Murdock!” On a trip to her favorite Aunty Ruth’s house, she saw a GIANTIC snake so big the head was in the bush on one side of the road and the tail was coming out of the opposite side. She ran home to her family to disbelief. Fifty years later they found a GIANTIC shedded snake skin in the bush by Jackhead.
I recall mom telling us of when she froze her legs only wearing a coat, skirt and stockings home from church in a storm.
Another occasion mom and her sister Audrey snuck out to attend a dance in the community and went home early in the morning only to find her father waiting up for them and promptly putting them to work with their chores. She’s said that they were so tired but they learned a valuable lesson.
Mom’s love for music was a deep-rooted family trait. Her brother Theodore sang and played rhythm and lead guitar, Ken would play violin and guitar, Stewart played piano and could also jig, Marshall played spoons while Kathy would sing and jig. Years later mom revealed she could also play guitar. That’s where Sharon, Joanne and Arni got their inspiration to play instruments and sing.
We remember Mom’s first job was a cook’s helper at one of the many fish stations on Lake Winnipeg North Basin. Mom said her Aunt was the cook and two other girls and herself worked 20 hours a day seven days a week for four months for $80 a month feeding a camp of 150 men. On downtime she was listening to music being played on the dock. She had a mishap and stepped on a nail and was limping back to the kitchen and was scooped up from behind and carried by her first encounter with her future husband.
After the fishing season at the tender age of 16, she was courageously determined to make her own way for a new life in Gimli in 1952. She told her father of her plans to strike out on her own saying “you either drive me or I am walking!” Arriving in Gimli with her father, she got immediate employment at the Gimli Hospital which was run by the Gray Nuns Order. This is where she learned the value of regimented discipline.
Within the next 3 years Mom made life long friends and started dating a blonde hair fisherman who was the same one that scooped her up on the dock of the Northern fish station years earlier. They fell in love and married September 3, 1956 at a small and personal gathering. One year later Joanne was born, 3 years later, Sharon and 9 years later, Arni. In hindsight collectively mom and dad forged new ground in the fifties smashing the prejudicial barrier of interracial marriage, proving that love is blind. (Guess who’s coming to Dinner) which was mom’s favorite movie.
Through teardrops and laughter, they walked through this world hand in hand, she was a good-hearted woman in love with a good timing man.
After raising her children, mom decided to go back to work. She chose Betel Home Foundation. She started in the kitchen briefly but quickly went to what she loved doing best, health care aide. This was where she remained until her retirement.
At age 45, mom got her drivers license with the strong encouragement of her son. Her first solo attempt at driving, she backed up out of driveway straight into the neighbor’s ditch. Shortly after she bought her first new Buick which she was so proud of.
One of mom’s many favorite hobbies and passions was playing Bingo. She loved being a hockey mom, and going camping with her husband. She loved going to Hawaii with her daughters in 1987. It was her best vacation. We all had a blast at the Luau, Rock and Roll Cruise and tours of the Island. She got a picture with Don Ho.
Mom and dad really loved going on outings with close friends to old timers’ dances and going for ice cream. Now they were planning for future retirement when she lost her husband Joe and our father in 1991.
To deal with grieving, she spent her holidays now with her grandsons Derek (Boogums) and Andrew (Doodee). She would travel everywhere her daughter and her husband were stationed in the Armed Forces. This took her from coast to coast.
One of her best outings was going to live concerts the favorite one being Merl Haggard twice. She also went to see Rolling stones twice and Paul McCarthy. After the Paul McCarthy concert, the next day she went to the Women’s pavilion to meet her new born grandson Angelo (Bubs) for the first time.
Mom was so happy that her son got married, had a new grandson only 3 blocks away.
Mom always gave the most thoughtful gifts to all who she loved. Because of the love she had for the people in her life, she took the time to personalize the gift she gave. Christmas was always special because of Mom.
Reluctantly Mom accepted a puppy that she said she didn’t want only to be caught playing with the MONGO 10 minutes later. They became the best of companions and she loved him.
Her son and his family moved to Winnipeg leaving mom and Mongo on their own. Sharon joined mom shortly after. Many good times were spent on scenic road trips, weekend getaways and hot tubs. One of her favorite road trips was going to A&W drive thru Selkirk with her favorite burger buddy.
Mom with 3 of us writing through hours of emotion, you left this world with no commotion. It’s our pleasure reminiscing the story of your life through trials and laughter being a fisherman’s wife. We will miss you forever starting today when your sweet Lord Jesus came to carry you away.
Time is so precious you made yours count. Humbly marching forward no thrashing about.
The Seven Teachings of life are throughout your story. We are certain you sit beside Jesus in all of his Glory.
We love you Mom. Until we see you again.
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