TILLIE TUCKER

TILLIE TUCKER

TUCKER – Tillie (Boelke). Today we are saying goodbye to a mother, a Nana, a great-grandmother, a great-great grandmother and a friend. A lady who spent 100 years, 9 months and 21 days on this earth. The computer tells us that is 36,823 days or 53,023,680 minutes. Not many are granted this length of time on this earth and the family thank God for allowing them the privilege to keep her with them until now. Ottilie Karolina better known as Tillie was born long before the computer existed ~ May 16, 1908 in Sykeston, ND and came with her parents Henry and Eleanore Boehlke and two sisters (one older, one younger) and an older brother to the Henry Boehlke homestead near Endiang, AB in 1910. Although she was only two years old at the time she remembered traveling with oxen and wagon from Stettler, AB. The trip took three days and two nights and she remembered sleeping one night under the wagon and the other night at a farm somewhere along the route. Tillie attended Summerhill school and then for grade 8 she went to Hanna, AB where she worked for her board and room while attending classes. On returning home she worked with her father in the fields and helped her mother care for her younger siblings. In 1928 she married Ralph Tucker and to this union a son Clifton and a daughter Eleanor were born. In the first six years they moved five times finally settling on the original Tucker homestead remaining there for the next 53 years. In 1987 they moved to the hamlet of Endiang. Tillie and Ralph celebrated their 68th anniversary in 1996. Tillie was a devoted mother and a somewhat overprotective grandmother. Her family came before all else. Grandchildren tell of the many times when they visited Nana and Pa of how she kept a very watchful eye on them to ensure they wouldn’t get hurt. Granddaughter Val claims that although she tried many times she never got to crawl up into the hayloft in the old barn at Nana and Pa’s. Also when she was very small, if Nana was busy in the kitchen the screen door would be latched on the inside so Val couldn’t escape out into yard and meet with a possible unknown calamity. Pa being the jokester that he was must have at some time told Val that the meat they were having was ‘gopher’. Val said she really liked to stay at Nana and Pa’s she just wished Nana wouldn’t feed her gophers and wouldn’t lock her in. Sometimes Nana and Pa were fortunate enough to have all five grandchildren ~ Dale, Glen, Lee, Val and Kris at their house at the same time. Often while watching TV when the commercials came on the pestering, teasing, poking, jabbing would start and soon there would be a wrestling match taking place on the living room floor. Nana would appear in the doorway, wooden spoon in hand and tell them all to “quit that tussling or I’ll use this on you” ~ but she never did. Lee and Kris were never ‘locked in’ and would be off somewhere in the yard playing but it wouldn’t be too long before they would hear “Leeee , Krristy where are you?” and they would have to report to the house then go back to their game. Nana and Pa often took the whole troup fishing ~ can you imagine it? Nana would pack a bunch of sandwiches, cookies, fruit and ‘drink’ and off they’d go to Big Knife or Blood Indian for the day or sometimes they even took the tent trailer and spent the night. They would come back smiling sometimes with fish sometimes without, maybe a bandaid or two on a scrape or bruise, nothing that a Philips milk of magnesia tablet wouldn’t fix, Philip’s tablets were Nana’s cure-all for any and all minor ailments that came along. Sometimes there were torn mudstained jeans and shoes but they had had a good time! Tillie was interested in all activities that her children and grandchildren took part in. She and Ralph traveled miles to watch the ball and hockey games that were such a big part of the ‘kids’ lives. In later years the ball tournament at the Byemoor fair was her one of her favorite places to be. She attended all but the last two fairs to watch any of her family that might be taking part in the games there. Baseball and hockey on TV kept her occupied too especially the Canadian teams. She kept track of the Blue Jays standings throughout the year and CBC Hockey Night in Canada was watched for sure when great-grandson Darcy played with Montreal Canadiens and then Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1994 when Ralph’s health began to fail they moved to Hanna into Parkview Villas. Then in 1996 Ralph’s health failed even further and he was admitted to Long Term Care; Tillie moved to Manor II and remained there for 13 years. There she took part in many of the activities that took place and was always ready for a card game. For her 100th birthday friends and family gathered here at the hall for an afternoon of visiting and later that day she went camping at Ken and Eleanor’s and sat till midnight beside the campfire with the group gathered there. Then in July the Tucker Family Reunion was held and she was there to meet new and greet old relatives that came. She even had a dance with grandson Lee and wanted the band to play a faster tune. She didn’t want to go home to bed when Eleanor suggested it was time for a rest ~ she wanted to stay until the band finished playing. In August Tillie moved to the Lodge in Hanna. In January illness took her to hospital and from there she was transferred to Long Term Care. Tillie was predeceased by her husband Ralph in 1996; her parents Henry and Eleanore Boehlke and her five sisters and three brothers. Coincidently her youngest brother Dick predeceased her by only four days. She is survived by son Clifton and his wife Mickey, daughter Eleanor and her husband Ken, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren. In the early morning of March 9 Tillie peacefully passed away in her sleep. The band has stopped playing and the dance is over. A funeral service was held March 16, 2009 at the Endiang Community Hall. If friends so desire donations may be made in tillie’s memory to the Endiang Cemetery Box 354, Endiang, Alberta T0J 1G0. Cathy Watts of Heartland Funeral Services entrusted with funeral arrangements.(403-854-2758)


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