Alda Lavena Watts,
Our beautiful, dear mother, Alda Lavena Watts, passed away peacefully at home on April 7, 2023 at the age of 98. Pre-deceased by husband Jack in 1997. Survived by son John, daughter Margaret (Peggy) of Halifax, sister Margaret Thompson, nieces Jane Townsend, Jennifer McCabe, Laurel McBray, and Meridyth Robertson, nephews David (Mary) and Douglas (Ina) Thompson, and cousins Anne Parsons and Doug (Carol) Harris. Recently pre-deceased by nephew Scott McCabe (Pam).
Mom was born in Hagersville, Ontario in 1924 to George and Ina (Monroe) Ashby. Her family relocated to Simcoe, Ontario where she attended high school, excelling in her studies and in sports. She met Jack at a dance in Simcoe; they married in 1945 and moved to his hometown of Toronto.
With help from Dad’s sisters Betty and Ruth and their husbands Ralph Hansen and Jim McCabe, they built a house together on former farmland in Etobicoke. We fondly remember Mom piloting her little Morris Minor in circles around the large yard to prepare for her driving test. In the late 50s, our father had an opportunity to transfer to Calgary, and we arrived just in time for the Stampede. Mom and Dad embraced life in their new province, exploring on day trips, joining a curling club, and taking camping trips with us across Alberta and BC. In 1964, Dad was transferred back to Etobicoke and they returned permanently.
Mom was a kind, humble woman who taught us to respect others and our environment. She loved animals and had three dogs when we were growing up; the first to help her daughter over fear of animals, and the second and third to indulge her soft spot for dachshunds. Her love of nature rubbed off on both of us. She was strongly committed to family and cherished her family history and her ties to Simcoe. After Jack’s retirement, they indulged their interest in Ontario heritage, visiting farm auction sales and occasionally purchasing pieces that took their fancy.
A busy homemaker for most of her married life, Mom also made time for creative pastimes. She enjoyed painting in her early adulthood. An expert seamstress, she made most of her clothes for decades, crafted beautiful sweaters for the whole family, and created colorful hooked rugs, quilts, and needlework pieces. Until her sight failed in her later years, she was a great reader. Boldly, she purchased and mastered her first computer on her own in her eighties.
Mom was a born teacher. She encouraged learning and was a stickler for proper speech. In her forties, she fulfilled her dream and became a licensed teacher, practising on a term and part-time basis for several years. She still cherished a note from a parent praising her skill in helping her son over a difficult period in his learning.
A member of Westway United Church for decades, Alda served in various roles and volunteered for years with the food bank hosted by the church. She and Jack enjoyed trips to Bermuda, the UK and Europe with groups of fellow church members.
Special thanks to longtime neighbour and friend Bev Gallinger for her support, especially in the past few years, and to her former neighbours Tom (deceased) and Jean Dean. The pandemic severely shrank Mom’s world, but she was cheered by recent visits from her niece Jennifer, Scott’s wife Pam, and friends Pat and John Flaherty. We thank everyone who kept in touch.
Cremation has taken place. There will be no service, at her request.