Fern Eileen Olmstead
1928 – 2020
Fern Eileen Olmstead passed away peacefully at the Swan Valley Health Centre on September 24, 2020 after a short illness. She was 92 years old.
Fern was predeceased by her husband Harry; daughter Donna; and parents Hugh and Agnes McRae; her sister and brother-in-law Verna and Bruce Perkins; and brother-in-law Robert Cooney. She is survived by her son Gordon (Jacqueline) of Neepawa, and her twin sister Freda Cooney of Saskatoon.
Fern was born at Durban on June 23, 1928. After attending school, she began her career as a teacher on permit at Mountain Crest School at the age of seventeen. She then attended Normal School to be a qualified teacher and continued teaching in Durban and Harlington schools for three years. During that period, she was being courted by Harry Olmstead who was recently home from the war. She had to leave her teaching career when her boyfriend was anxious to get married. In 1952 she married Harry and they settled on a farm in the Durban district where they resided until moving to Swan River in 2004. Two children were born to Fern and Harry, Donna born in 1953, who we lost in 1975, and Gordon born in 1957.
Fern was an active member of the community with involvement with The Women’s Institute throughout the region and served as provincial secretary of the association. She also travelled nationally and internationally with WI conventions and tours. She talked and talked about these travels. She was also an active member of the United Church Women and loved getting together with ladies in the region to play bridge. She loved getting off the farm to visit others and often hosted many of these events. Those who knew her know she loved to talk, and these social events were a highlight for her.
Fern lived at Midtown Estates in Swan River for fourteen good years. The family thanks Connie McKay for all her support over those years. Fern spent her last two very happy years at the Swan Valley Lodge. The family thanks the staff for her care at the Lodge.
A graveside service was held at the Durban Cemetery on September 30, 2020 with Rev. Kathy Highmoor officiating. In lieu of flowers donations in her memory can be made to St. Andrews United Church in Swan River.
Swan Valley Funeral Services
363 Kelsey Trail, Swan River, Manitoba
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