Susan Mary Cruickshank was born Jan. 17, 1912 to Jack and Mary Brickley of Kennedy, Saskatchewan.
She had four sisters and two brothers. At the age of three she contracted measles and mumps at the same time. This left her with a severe hearing loss. In spite of this she still managed to go to Grade 9, help all her sisters with new babies and raise four children of her own, two girls and two boys.
In 1939 she married Ross John Cruickshank of Woodnorth, Manitoba. They worked as hired help for prominent farmers in the area. In 1943 Ross went to war leaving Susan with the girls. He came home in 1946. They then moved to a small rented farm. There was no plumbing and a wood cook stove, but Susan always created beautiful meals, bread, cakes and pies.
She also loved to garden. She drove a horse and cart four miles to town to take her baby boys to the doctor.
In 1954 the whole family moved to B.C. where Ross got jobs on dairy farms at the coast. In 1963 they moved to Williams Lake where the two daughters were living. Susan made many friends and would help her neighbors with house cleaning, baby-sitting or preparing food for big events, or whatever else was needed. Ross had jobs as watchman out at camp a lot, leaving Susan alone. She was a very small lady, four foot nine inches tall and deaf but was never afraid to be alone. She would say: “I just say my prayers and I’m okay.”
One day her daughter came from 100 Mile House and found her asleep on her bed with a drunk man sitting beside her.
She asked him why he was there and he said he had come to visit and was waiting for her to get up. She awoke and said I better make coffee. No fuss at all. When asked why she didn’t lock the door she said she couldn’t hear people knocking and wouldn’t get any visitors if she locked the door.
She always had a meal and a bed ready when family or friends passed through town. She remembered all her neighbours birthdays and always tried to have a baby blanket crocheted for each new little one.
She dearly loved family. When there were marriage breakups she still asked after the former spouses and cared about their well being.
She had nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Her marriage broke up in 1980. Ross passed away Dec. 10, 2004 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Her family didn’t tell her because to the day she died she kept hoping they would get back together. Ross moved to Alberta about 15 years ago.
Susan was a people person.
If someone smiled at her they won her heart. She had lots of sayings, one of which her family really understands now: “You’ll never miss your mother until she’s gone”
She is missed terribly and was dearly loved by all. She went to sleep March 26, 2007 and never woke up. A peaceful end, what her family wanted for her.
The family thanks all the Home Support people who cared for her over the years and the caring staff at the Williams Lake Seniors Village who had her with them for five weeks.
Her family is lost without her. She was a sweet lady.