Obituary: Spencer, Violet

Violet Spencer
February 9, 1918 — May 27, 2017

Violet Alberta Sloan was born Feb. 9, 1918 at Kirriemuir, Alta., and passed away May 27 at the age of 99 in Craik.

She was predeceased by her husband George Ernest Barton Spencer in 1973, also by her parents Jack and Leona Sloan; sister Lyda Ward; brothers Chauncey (Jack); and Ralph. She is survived by brothers Jim (Evan) and wife Elaine of Saskatoon; and Stanley of Moose Jaw; three boys, Ernest (Nancy), David (Arlette) and Hilton (Wilma); eight grandchildren — Lori Ann and Michael, Tanya and Nicole, George, Peter, John and Rae-Lynn; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

Violet’s dad Jack came west with his three brothers on threshing excursions and homesteaded at Kirriemuir. Leona had come from New Brunswick with her sister to teach. The two were married in 1916.

In 1926 the growing family moved to the farm at Rose Hill and then a few years later to Dixmude, near the Spencer farm. Violet finished Grade 12 at Craik, a 12-mile round trip to school on her favourite horse Queen. After school in Craik Violet attended Normal School in Moose Jaw. She taught at three country schools near Bladworth, Davidson and Rose Hill, all in the depth of the depression. Her first salary was only $400 a year! But she ended up with $350 and an I.O.U. for $50.

Violet married George in 1942 and lived on the farm in the same house for 70-plus years. She returned to teaching when the family was older, teaching at Homesdale School west of Craik and as principal of Girvin School. Violet strongly believed in education and received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan at the age of 70. Her priorities were family, farm and community. She was a member of the Foxbury and Craik United Churches, 4-H beef club, Craik band, Home and School and was on the local library board for 14 years.

Besides running the house, Violet also kept the farm books, hauled grain and tended a big garden. She was also active on an impressive list of provincial organizations: Palliser Regional Library, Saskatchewan Library Trustees Association and the Saskatchewan Library Board. She also served on the District 15 extension board from 1968 to 1982. Violet also operated the Country Book Store from home for 15 years and wrote a column on Canadian books for the Western Producer. The Oral History Room was a pet project and very dear to her heart. Violet’s hard work was recognized by letters of appreciation from Craik School, Davidson School Unit, the RCMP, a lifetime membership in the Craik Agricultural Society and an award from the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan.

For fun Violet busied herself making dozens of quilts and filling binders and computer discs with Sloan genealogy. She also enjoyed square dancing, bridge and travel. Family, neighbours and strangers were all welcomed into her home and usually did not leave without tea or a meal.

Violet spent the last few years at the Craik and District Health Centre in great comfort. The family greatly appreciates the facility and staff that looked after her so well.

A Celebration of Violet’s life was held at Craik United Church on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Hanson’s Funeral Home of Davidson was in charge of arrangements.

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