Muriel Winnifred Plumb

Muriel Plumb passed away at Lloydminster Hospital on Thursday November 23, 2017 at the age of 93 years.

Muriel is lovingly remembered by her daughters; Margaret Kirby and husband Bill and Sandra and husband Lyle Baker. Five grandchildren; Glenn and wife Joyce Baker and daughters Larissa and Jocelyn; Marty and wife Kim Baker and children Megan and Aaron; Jacquie and husband Brad Pollard and children Dylan and Erika; Leah and husband George Goulet and daughter Chloe; Dan and wife Lindsay Kirby and son Corbyn.

Muriel is also survived by her sister Margaret and husband Ernie Ostrom and sister Dorathy Schadt and sister in law Jean Collins.

Muriel was predeceased by her loving husband Harold; her sister Georgina McAmmond; brothers Eric, Walter and Ted Collins; numerous sister and brother in laws.

The funeral Service for Muriel will be conducted at Grace United Church of Lloydminster, Alberta on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm.

Donations in memory of Muriel may be donated to Grace United Church or a Charity of Choice.

Muriel's funeral card can be viewed or downloaded from the link below.


Eulogy ~

Welcome everyone!  My name is Jacquie Pollard and Muriel was my grandmother – not only that, she was my friend.  When Mom and Aunty asked me to give the eulogy, they gave me a few ground rules.  I was wondering why I would need them?  I teach grade 8?  What could I possibly say or do that wouldn’t be appropriate?  I made sure I left my dodge ball at school – I didn’t think I’d need to throw it to get anyone’s attention.  But, they said nothing about any of these things…it was…1.  Don’t use your teacher voice.  2. Don’t use your teacher voice.  Funny thing is – Grandma really didn’t like that voice much either.  Mom, Aunty…I will do my best.

Someone asked me the other day how I was doing.  My immediate response was, “I’m fine” – I started to giggle after I said it because – who does that remind you of?  That was Grandma.  Never wanting to put you out or cause any trouble.  Never wanting any fuss.  Never wanting to be a bother.  Never wanting to make you worry about her, but always thinking about all of us and how we were doing.  Another classic Grandma comment was calling us the wrong names. She called us ALL the wrong name many times…even throwing the dogs’ name in there once or twice.  Or she would say, “you should have so much to do” and try to kick you out of her place while having a visit.  Well Grandma, today you can’t tell us to leave and not fuss!  We are having a celebration for you and that’s that.

Grandma was born in the Lloydminster Hospital on May 11, 1924 to Walter Harry Collins and Grace Winnifred Collins, the 4th of 7 children.  She grew up on the family farm NW of McLaughlin where she, along with her brothers and sisters, attended Wynona School up until grade 8.  Grandma did not get to go on to grade 9, even though she really wanted to, as times were tough and there was not enough money for the books and new clothes she would need for school in town.  So, she was unable to continue her education.  Grandma had dearly wanted to continue going to school, but it was not meant to be.  However, Grandma needed no further education to do what came naturally to her – helping others.  It was second nature to her.  The next years she spent helping her brothers on the farm and worked doing household chores for the neighbor families as a “hired girl”.  Her ability to care for those around her was a gift she shared with many of us throughout her life and it made her happy.

Then love was in the air!  Grandma met a handsome young man named Harold Plumb who had purchased a quarter section of land in the McLaughlin area and was setting up a new farm.  Well, after some wooing and courting, Grandma said yes and in 1941, Mr. and Mrs. Plumb were happily married.  By 1946 they were blessed with two daughters, Margaret and Sandra, and their little family was complete.

These were busy years – building a home, mix farming, milking cows, selling milk and cream, and raising pigs.  Their busy years continued from 1950 – 1969 – raising their girls, driving the school bus, attending community events, and hall dances that would often have Grandpa playing his violin with the band.  She and Grandpa also curled at the rink and many of Grandma’s flapper pies went out the door to the lunch counter at the rink.

A change came to Grandma and Grandpa’s lives in 1969 when they left McLaughlin and moved to Lloydminster.  They farmed 2 more years and by 1971, sold the farm and retired to Salmon Arm, BC.  From 1971 – 1992, they worked hard building a house in Salmon Arm, planting a garden and fruit trees, while enjoying the amazing view of the Shuswap Lake from their property.  In that time, they also built a cabin on the Shuswap Lake in Annis Bay.  We have appropriately named it the Plumb Tree Inn. 

As kids, we all spent a lot of time out at the cabin and have countless memories of our summers there with Grandma and Grandpa.  Leah reminded me that one of the highlights of heading to the cabin was Grandma’s buns!  They were so delicious!  Being that far away from her for the rest of the year meant that we couldn’t just pop over for a visit and treats whenever we wanted to, so Grandma would write us letters and send us cards on special occasions.  These would always include a picture she would draw…she was not a talented artist when it came to drawing, but her pictures were always fun and figuring out just what animal she was trying to draw got a few giggles.  Triangles were usually chickens and if there was a curly tail…that had to be a pig.

Here I need to add that Grandma never learnt how to swim.  She lived at the lake…could paddle around a little…but swimming was just not her thing.  I took it upon myself one summer when I was little to teach her and her sister, Aunty Marg, the basics.  Apparently, I wasn’t much of a teacher back then.  Even with the water wings and Daffy Duck floaty, and what I am sure must have been amazing step by step instructions, Grandma didn’t get any closer to learning the basics.  I can still see her giggling and splashing around in the outfit – but never getting any close to learning to swim.

All Grandma’s life, her family’s needs were a top priority – like I said, she liked to take care of us.  I always thought that Grandma, her siblings and their other halves, had such an extremely close relationship…and that Grandma was the glue that kept them together – or in line …whichever way you want to look at it.  They weren’t just family, they were friends.  Music was a common thread that kept them close and Grandma’s door was always open.  Aunty remembers her saying “We can just catch another chicken” when expected family or friends showed up.  Sometimes it might even be “Tom Turkey” that she was cooking up for the group.  I never really understood why we would name the turkey if we were just going to eat it.

For us kids, this close relationship of Grandma and her siblings meant family “Shows”…anytime there was an event to be celebrated – a big birthday or anniversary – there was a show, most often at McLaughlin Hall.  Those brothers and sisters would all pull out their signature act and get ready to perform.  Whether we liked it or not, us kids were in the show too.  I will never forget the look on Grandma’s face when Marty, Glenn, Daryl and Rick dressed up like AC/DC and Marty sang Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap to them at their anniversary.  Grandma covered her ears and Aunty Liv kept saying “on my, oh my!” – careful what you wish for getting us kids involved!  These were always great times, unforgettable memories and Grandma loved them.

No matter where Grandma lived in her life, she was involved with the United Church.  She taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and was a very active member of the United Church Women’s group in McLaughlin, Canoe, BC, and again when they moved back to Lloydminster.  For her dedication, she was presented with a lifetime membership pin – an accomplishment she was very proud of.

Grandma also enjoyed all that nature had to offer – her garden, her flowers, picnics, and birds!  She even had a dream to be an official bird watcher.  Where ever she lived, there was always a humming bird feeder close by, that way birds would always come see her.

By 1992, Grandma and Grandpa moved back to Lloydminster.  It was great having them back in Alberta!  Grandma continued to take great care of Grandpa until his passing in 2003.  Two years later, she moved into Pioneer Lodge where she got to be taken care of for a change.  Grandma really enjoyed her 7 years at the Lodge and the friends that she made while she was there.  For the last 2 years, she has been at Points West Living.

Every visit from her family brightened Grandma’s day.  Whether we enjoyed time with her at the lake, played the piano for her, visited between classes, played the guitar for her, told her about our day and asked her stories about her life, took her for walks in her wheelchair to the park… doing a few pop-o-wheelies on the way, or called her on the phone just to say hi and let her know we were thinking of her – she loved every moment…but don’t stay too long…you’re busy you know.

For me, I’ll miss our visits the most, but I know her strength, optimism, grace and determination (or stubbornness…depends on the day), will stay with me always.  She would not like a big fuss today – keep it simple and to the point – but I have the mic Grandma, I’m not done yet.  Grandma believed in all of us like no one else could.  Grandma’s spirit is a quiet strength I will always keep inside me.  Grandma was someone who would listen, not judge, and help you talk whatever it was, out…without telling you what to do.  Grandma’s love will live on in all of us and I know now she’s probably looking down, surrounded by her family that has gone on before her, and saying “Really! I’m fine – you should go now, don’t make such a fuss”.

I love you.