Ella May ‘Gates’ Hockley
July 31, 1926 – August 29, 2013
Ella May Hockley, a well known resident of Big Valley and more recently of Paragon Place, passed away in the Stettler Health Care Centre on the morning of August 29, 2013 at the age of 87.
Ella was born on the Usher Ranch, near Scollard, Alberta, one of five children to William “Curtis” and Clare Gates. She attended school at Snake Lake and then took a job as a telephone operator in Big Valley until meeting the love of her life. On April 5, 1945 she was united in marriage to Garfield Jackson Hockley.
Garfield and Ella farmed and ranched west of Big Valley with Garfield’s parents and then in 1967 they purchased the farm. Many family gatherings and Christmas’ were celebrated in their small two storey home with Ella’s tasty cooking being enjoyed by all. There was always music and dancing with Ella playing the electric organ or guitar and Garfield on the juice harp.
In 1993 they sold the farm to the Skocdopole family and continued to live there until 1998. Ella loved the company of Holly, Wayne and kids, watching them grow into young adults and enjoying their many activities.
In 1998, Ella and Garfield moved into their new home in the village of Big Valley. Ella treasured the companionship of many friends in the area. Robyn, Kelly Armstrong and family and Lynn and John Palmer were very dear to Ella, as were many more. She excelled at gardening, knitting, crocheting and cooking and always seemed to be very lucky at Bingo.
She was considered “Auntie” to everyone and was loved by all.
Ella was predeceased by her mother and father, her sisters Elizabeth and Florence, her brother George and her loving husband Garfield. She leaves to mourn her sister Min Kobberstad, sister in law Madeleine Innocent as well as numerous nieces, nephews and many close friends.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM at the Heartland Chapel of Stettler Funeral Home with Rev. Ross Helgeton officiating. Holly Skocdopole gave a loving tribute of memories of Auntie Ella. Lori Gordon, Lynda Thurston and Robyn Armstrong sang several of Ella’s favorite songs. Mr. Doug McKay played for the congregational hymn In the Garden. Interment took place at Lake View Cemetery at 1:00 PM as Ella was laid to rest with her beloved Garfield. Family and friends gathered for a time of fellowship and a luncheon by Teresa’s Catering. Memorial donations may be made to the Alberta Lung Association or charity of choice.
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