Monday, April 25, 2011

Grandma Woolf

My Grandma Ethel Ruth Schow Woolf passed away Thursday, April 21st 2011 in the early morning hours. 
At the funeral I was asked to sit at the table with one of the registration books. My son Cole sat with me. It was neat when people would come in and tell us who they were and how they knew Grandma and hear their stories of her. So many had tears of love for her as she had done kinds things for them as kids or was a wonderful cousin to others.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day out! The funeral was wonderful.

Once again, I forgot my camera. So I will wait patiently for my Aunt to pass along pictures that were taken.
Lethbridge Herald Obituary
Ethel RUTH SCHOW WOOLF, beloved wife of Lee Ronald Woolf (deceased 2009), loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed on Thursday, April 21st, 2011 in Cardston at the age of 91 years.

Ruth was born June 21st, 1919 in Burley, Idaho and raised in Cardston, Alberta. She graduated from the Henderson Business School in Lethbridge and worked in the Department of Lands and Mines in Edmonton until she married Lee November 27th, 1941 in the Cardston Alberta Temple. Ruth returned to Cardston while Lee served in the Armed Service overseas during WW II. Here they resided on his return in 1946. Ruth worked nearly ten years as secretary of the Cardston High School until they moved to Lethbridge in 1963. She worked twenty years as executive secretary in the Purchasing Department at St. Michael’s Hospital. Upon her retirement they moved back to Cardston. Ruth was married to Lee the “light of her life” for 67 years.

Ruth was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving throughout her life in positions as teacher and leader in the Primary, Young Women, Relief Society and Sunday School organizations. She loved singing in the ward choir. Ruth treasured the years serving with Lee as a Temple worker in the Cardston Alberta Temple and in the Temple Visitor’s Centre.

She was a devoted, loving and supportive grandparent. Her favorite avocation was to be involved in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Cookie jars were always full and available. Hospitable, caring and generous, she was quick to bring solace with her famous home made rolls and angel food cakes. Gardening was her pastime, and roses particularly flourished under her care. Known for her friendly, cheerful nature, she was a friend to all.

Though restricted to care in Grandview Nursing Home and the Auxiliary Hospital for her last eight years, her genuine smile, occasional flash wit and constant words of gratitude endeared her to family, visitors and care givers alike.

She is survived by her children: Sharon (Jim) Walker of South Ogden, Utah, Peggy (Ross) Ash of Cardston, Gayla (Terry) Holt of Cardston presently serving an LDS Mission in SLC, Utah, Gordon (Marilyn Selman) Woolf of South Ogden, Utah; 21 grandchildren and 59 great grandchildren. Ruth is survived by her sister-in-law Lois Schow, Freeda Schow, and Nadine Schow.
She is predeceased by her parents George Sidney Schow and Ingeborg Olesen Schow, and siblings: Celestia Hornberger, Sidney Schow, Rex Schow, Virginia Clarke, Paul Schow, Mark Schow and a grandson, Ben Holt.

The Funeral Service will be held in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, CARDSTON ALBERTA WEST STAKE CENTRE ( on the Waterton Highway), on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. with Elder David Olsen officiating.

Friends may meet the family at the Church from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the Service. Interment in the Cardston Cemetery. 
My Grandma Woolf and I 
(January 2011)
My Mom and her 2 sisters had been with her all week and the last 3 nights as well, staying vigil by her bedside. My Mom's only brother had also been there earlier in the week and unfortunately had to leave and go back to Utah for some work related things that just could not wait. 

Mom and dad came up from Utah Monday, April 18th as Grandma hadn't eaten or drank anything in about 5 days by this we knew the time was going to be soon. My sister Emily came up with them. She is a nurse, so Emily helped them understand things that were going on with Grandma. We couldn't believe how Grandma was holding on. I am thankful my Mom was able to make up to be with Grandma during her last few days...even though it was tough.

It is SO incredibly hard to watch a loved one deteriorate not matter what age they are. Nothing can prepare you for it! My Mom said when Grandma finally passed away there was a smile on her face and a tear rolling down her cheek. She was the last of 7 kids to pass away. So I bet the reunion with all her siblings and her parents and other loved ones was bitter sweet. Mostly I am so glad she is no longer suffering.

The family get together was held Friday, April 22nd and the funeral was Saturday, April 23rd 2011. Things had already been arranged and ready as we all knew it was her time to go. 

It was all so neat and fun to see family and hear about everyone's memories of her. The weather was beautiful and what a great weekend to celebrate her life...Easter!! At the family get together the night before the funeral it was like a family testimony meeting really. It was so great to listen to my sibling, cousins, Aunts, Uncles and my Mom reminisce about this special lady. My Grandma Woolf was really my only Grandma I knew my whole life. She was the best! We ALL felt like we were one of her favorites. Never an unkind word came out of those sweet lips. She had quick wit and such a fun sense of humor. Family dinners were always fun as she would have us all laughing. SO many good memories! I have A LOT to work on to even be close to what she was like...but, she is a good role model of what to try to become like.

Grandma looked so peaceful. And the talks as well as the music was so all went really well! There were so many beautiful flower arrangements (my Grandma LOVED flowers- especially roses). Grandma always had the most beautiful roses and flowers in her flower beds. As I went around and looked at the cards that were on each arrangement and read who they were from I was shocked to see that one was from my Mom and Dad's 2 other Missionary couples who they serve with down in Salt Lake City. Mom said when the arrangement arrived and she saw who it was from it brought her to cool is that that they would do that!

This was one of the hymns that we sang at her funeral. It is one of my favorites- I Know That My Redeemer Lives.

Every song that was sang at Grandma's funeral made me cry. Music is so powerful and the spirit was so strong. My Grandma loved the church hymns and when asked what her favorite one was she said, 

"all of them."

I must get my love of music and church hymns from her. As I am not musically inclined in anyway...but singing hymns or listening to uplifting music really touches me. 

Even though we knew it was her time and she was 91 years old and she needed to go as she was is still tough to say good bye to someone you love. Thursday evening as Kent and I were trying to get things ready to go we went for a drive to get us some slur-pees and on the way into Airdrie the sun was setting and it was so nice out. I looked at the sun set and all I could think was how beautiful it was and what a beautiful day it had been for Grandma. Tears began pouring down my face as I was so happy for her to not have to be suffering anymore. 

My Grandma and I
(Sunday, April 10th 2011)

Being Easter weekend it has been a time of reflection on my Grandma but also what Easter is really about. It really was a perfect weekend and made Easter all that more special to us all.

As we sang the song I Know That My Redeemer Lives at my Grandma's funeral Kent broke down in tears and I knew he was thinking of his Dad. 
Kent and his Dad

After my Grandma's funeral was over,  and while we were already at the cemetery, we walked over to were Kent's Dads graveside is. The kids and us laid flowers there and talked. 

Happy Easter everyone!


Angela said...

This is such a nice post about Grandma's funeral. It was fun to see you and your family at the funeral.

Gayla Woolf Holt said...

What a beautiful summary of Grandma's last days and funeral and cemetary experience...from one of her loveliest of granddaughters.
How she loved her 'Barbie" dearly.
Thank you for your complete support during these difficult days...grandma is so happy now and free from pain.
We miss her tons already! What a beautiful legacy she left us in HER garden of life...her family is blooming in their own ways and times.
Love ya Barb,

Barb Stanford said...

Angela, it was fun seeing you guys as well. I was so glad Aunt Sharon had someone from her side of the family there with meant A LOT to her!! Sorry we didn't get to spend much time chatting. I bet your kids were thrilled to have their parents back :)

Barb Stanford said...

Thanks you!!

Laura said...

Boo! :) I was depending on you for LOTS of funeral pictures. Sarah told me she took a ton and I still have yet to see them. :) :) It sounded just wonderful. You are so wonderful at expressing words and details. I enjoyed this post a lot about Grandma's funeral. I was thrilled to listen in....I felt really close.

Lynn said...

What a beautiful post!! So sorry to hear, but you are right......she is in a much better place now. What an amazing woman.

And What a small world it really is....with Colby's new companion being Elder Schow. You and I just keep finding so many interesting connections. It was meant to be. ; D

Thanks Barb for your honesty and sweet sweet thoughts and testimony as you write. I truly enjoy getting to know you better through your thoughts.