Dorothy Phoebe Halstead - May 16, 2020 at Myrtle Cemetery

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It is with great sadness we say goodbye to our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Dorothy Halstead, who passed away peacefully on May 8, 2020 at the age of 97 years. She will be greatly missed by her children Brian (Karen), Don (Carol Anne), Lyle (Allison), Ken (Dream), Shirley McCutcheon (Don) and Kathy Grenier (Mike). She also leaves behind her cherished grandchildren, Jason (Stacey), Shannon (Mitchell), Mark (Kelsey), Jenn (Vaughan), Sara (Taylor), Duncan (Shilpa), Mint, C.R. (Rose), Cole, Jordan (Riley) and great grandchildren, Grace, Charlie, Asher, Eleanor, Chris, Rae-Lynn, Joey, Tessa, and Taylor, all of whom she was immensely proud.

Mom was born to Sarah and David Barlow on July 31, 1922 on the family farm near Myrtle, Manitoba; the youngest of three children, including her brother Albert, and sister Irene (Frith). Her eleven Barlow cousins who lived across the road were an important part of her childhood and helped to nurture her sense of humour and fun. Mom loved her time at Myrtle Consolidated School and was grateful to have had the education of the ‘Three Rs’ those four brick walls provided.

She married Elmer Halstead in 1944. They lived and farmed in their home community, working hard and raising their six children together until 1971 when Dad passed away. She was always a devoted mother who encouraged her family to obtain an education and instilled in all of her children a love of reading and learning. She was a full participant in all the aspects of her life. She handled the farm bookkeeping, and spent endless hours gardening, canning and baking. In 1954, she was designer and project manager for the new family home.

Legendary to the family were Sunday night chicken suppers, homemade buns, butter tarts and saskatoon pies. In the community, Mom was renowned for her popcorn balls for neighbouring children at Halloween and these same children grew up to pay a ransom price for them later at the church auctions. She was never idle, and was always at work on a project of some sort, sewing (including two family wedding dresses), quilting, crocheting, tatting or knitting. Skilled at all of these, she has left us with treasures we hold dear.

Mom enjoyed her connection to the community in so many diverse ways. She was a school trustee and later a local news reporter for the Dufferin Leader. She was active as a 4-H leader, and served in many supporting roles in the Myrtle United Church. She was civic-minded, with a strong position on one’s duty to vote and often told the story of how she and Dad once drove to town to cast opposing votes. She helped compile the Myrtle/Roland history book, Living Gold, and was very active in organizing the Myrtle School Reunion in 2011.

After years on the farm, Mom moved to Roland in 1986, and then to Carman in 2006. With each move, she developed additional friendships and joined the activities in her new community. She would welcome the adventures proposed to her; canoeing, a hot-air balloon ride, sailing, a 4-H leaders trip to Wisconsin or a camping trip with friends. Mom enjoyed travelling to visit her family and was delighted by the chance to dip her toe in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from Canadian shores and, most significantly, to take a trip to England to visit her parents’ homeland.

Most of all Mom enjoyed her time with her kids and grandkids. She always accepted any opportunity to have them visit or watch them perform or play a sport. She loved to host family gatherings where each time, there was a big meal to enjoy. All family visits ended with board games or cards, in which a fierce but fun competitiveness surfaced, where none of the children or grandchildren was given any leniency. To ease any disappointment of possible defeat there was much laughter and many treats served during and after the games.

Mom was loving and loyal and strong. With her, there was always time for the encouragement and acknowledgement of stories shared; sometimes with listening or through a kind few words, at other times with wise counsel, and always with a warm hug.

If friends so desire, in the spirit of Mom’s generosity, please share your time or talents with others as an act of kindness, or give to a charity of your choice.

There will be a private interment at the Myrtle Cemetery. A memorial service may be held at a later date.