Barbara Carrie Watson (1928-2015) passed away suddenly at her home in Stettler on September 28, 2015, shortly before her 87th birthday. It was where she wanted to be. Barbara, also known as Barb, was born at her maternal grandparents’ home east of Bashaw on October 21, 1928, the only child of Pete and Elsie Adams. She was raised in the rural Skybo District north of Stettler and attended school there for nine years. She recalled her mom being in poor health, but their small family carried on, showing great love to each other. Being an only child, Barb learned to amuse herself and was very busy helping her dad on the farm. She attended Western Canada High School in Calgary, living with her paternal grandparents and aunt and uncle. She related that she was well cared for, but greatly looked forward to holidays when she could go home to the farm. After graduation Barb worked as a secretary for Alberta Treasury Branch for one year, and then in the Stettler School District Office for four years.
Barb married Willis Watson in 1952, living in several small towns for a year as Willis worked for an oil company. They then settled on a farm north of Stettler where they began their family; daughter, Marilyn, was born in 1953, and Rodney completed their family two years later. Over the next few years, times were difficult with hail and frost affecting the crops, so both Willis and Barb returned to work off the farm. They also continued their long hard hours to raise hogs, cattle, and grain and improve the house and yard. Barb worked at the Medical Centre for three years and, in 1961, began her 30 year career working for the Stettler School District as a secretary in the Elementary and Junior High Schools. She made many friendships with staff and students over those years. From her roles as “secretary, nurse, disciplinarian, and mother” she had many stories to tell and was always pleased when someone would take the time to recall those special times.
When Willis had a stroke in 1995, Barb remained positive and supportive. She was able to subdivide to sell the house and rent out the land. Even though she moved to her present home in Stettler, she was still a true farmer wondering about the weather and what the crops would produce. After Willis, her husband of 55 years, passed away in 2007, Barb kept herself very busy with her home and yard and continued to make a difference in the lives of others. She volunteered with the Pink Ladies at the hospital, helping wherever she could. Her artistic talents became evident when she began weekly meetings with other talented ladies at the United Church. Her water color paintings, are a joy to many and she even participated in art shows at the church the past few years. She was always humble about her talent and strived to continually improve. The Pilot Knob community remained a source of friendship, and Barb was still a part of a few ladies that got together once in a while to enjoy each other’s company.
Barb was a strong, determined, and independent woman. She even did most of her own lawn mowing and snow removal until the past year. She would walk blocks just to get the mail, because she could do it! Gardening on the farm had been a necessity, but later became a source of pride and joy with a small vegetable garden and flower beds. Barbara taught by example and her loving and helpful ways were passed on to her family and friends. She always saw the best in everyone and never complained, feeling fortunate for what she did have.
Barbara, “Gram” to her family, will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by her children, Marilyn (Ron) Potter, and Rodney Watson all of Stettler; three grandchildren, Craig (Amanda) Potter, Carla (Pernell) Van Straten, and Krista (Tony) Cianfarani, as well as one great grandchild, Allie Van Straten, who were all constant blessings to her. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Bernice Brown of Stettler and Shirley (Jack) Smith of Mississauga, Ontario; as well as cousins, nieces, nephews, and numerous other relatives and friends. Barbara was predeceased by her parents Pete and Elsie Adams and her husband, Willis Watson.
A celebration of Barbara’s life was held on Saturday, October 3, 2015, at the Stettler Funeral Home with Reverend Ross Helgeton officiating. Interment of the urn took place before the service at the Lake View Cemetery in Stettler, Alberta. As an expression of sympathy memorial contributions may be made to the Stettler Health Services Foundation – Homecare Division or to a charity of the donor’s choice c/o
STETTLER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM,
Box 1780, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0, 403-742-3422,
who were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements.
To send or view condolences to the family please visit www.stettlerfuneralhome.com