Neil Bardal Funeral CentrePhone: 204-949-2200 3030 Notre Dame Avenue WinnipegMBR3H 1B9 info@nbardal.mb.ca
MacKenzie Funeral Chapel | Phone: 204-467-2525 433 Main Street | Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0 info@mackenziefh.com
Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-642-7124 | 82 5th Street, PO. Box 1889 | Gimli, MB R0C 1B0 | info@nbardal.mb.ca

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Emily Sleeman

Emily Sleeman

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

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Obituary

Obituary for Emily Ann Sleeman (Matheson)

Our world was blessed with an extraordinary model for living. Lessons learned from Emily will forever influence and inspire us. Mourning Emily’s passing are her loving and devoted family: nephews Stu and Liz Franklin (Marialys and Yuriy), Rob Franklin and Trish Steadman, niece Diane and Gary Walker (Jesse and Ashley, Michael and Noam).

Love thy neighbor, unconditionally, with not only your heart, but with your hands. Countless are the stories of Emily’s acts of kindness amongst her Campbell St. ‘family’. She and husband Harry shared not only the home that Harry built, but also the gift of caring. Lending a hand was simply second nature to them and Emily carried on those acts of kindness after losing Harry in 2004. Standing out amongst the many neighbours are David, Bill and Mary and Annemarie.

Serve your community, both local and global. Countless charities and organizations were beneficiaries of Emily’s generosity of time, spirit and monetary donations. These opportunities included but are not limited to: canvassing for Cancer Society and March of Dimes, knitting for the Winnipeg Cheer Board and Siloam Mission, and sponsoring many children through World Vision for 30 years. She also received recognition from CAA’s Driving Angel Award, Canadian Cancer Association Pin, Canadian Diabetes Association, and Heart & Stroke Foundation as district canvasser.

Don’t waste. Items ‘recovered’ from walks down the back lane for repurposing were reminders to be thrifty. Emily was a pioneer in the 3 R’s, long before it become fashionable.

These lessons in environmentalism, along with a wise, matter-of-fact attitude, were learned growing up on the farm near Kenville MB. In the home shared with her parents J.P. and Dorothy Matheson (Cope), older siblings Lorin and Edna and younger brother Dougal, everyday life was a lesson in character-building, humility and acceptance of responsibility. There was no running water and winter trips to school were made by horse and sleigh. Emily learned to live with and accept adversity and hardship at a young age. At 12, Emily lost her mother to cancer. Later, the family lost Dougal, killed in action while serving with the QOCHOC (Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada) in 1945.

As a young woman, Emily moved to Winnipeg to room with Edna and various friends over the years working in many places including Bank of Montreal, Imperial Oil Co. and Richardson Securities. Emily was Maid-of-Honour at sister Edna’s wedding to Fred Franklin, meeting best man Harry Sleeman. Harry possessed the same practical approach to life, soon captured Emily’s heart and the rest was history! They spent over 50 years as partners in life and lovers of cats, both at home on Campbell Street and at their cottage at West Hawk Lake. Many happy memories were made at the lake. Emily also took great joy in her bowling league and Tai Chi group.

Sadness struck again in 1977, when our mum, Emily’s sister Edna, died far too young. As young adults, we and our dad were left reeling from the sudden loss. Emily and Harry opened their hearts and their home to us. Special occasions were spent around their dining table and Emily became our humble, unassuming matriarch. Visits, outings, phone calls and even sleepovers were regular occurrences, giving us a sense of home. Over the years our spouses took places at their table, but of course Emily’s shining lights were her much loved great nephews Jesse and Michael. She was proud to care for them as babies and to watch them grow into fine men.

Emily made friends near and far. For almost 75 years she maintained a long-distance friendship with workmate Mary Mann. Twice, Emily and Harry travelled to Holland for memorial events for those killed in war and on both visits billeted with the same family. Their billet’s daughter Jeanette kept up that friendship, travelling to visit Emily many times. Cousin Gerald brought her into the fold of his MTC group, and the socializing quickly extended to a multitude of birthday lunches and as many fall suppers they could find across rural Manitoba. When Emily moved into the Seine River Retirement Residence, staff and residents alike were drawn to her gentle, quiet soul and spent many an hour with her in the common area. Emily was well-loved during her stay at Concordia Place, where she spent her final years. She was always participating in activities, going to chapel, listening to new friend Joyce read or playing the piano to entertain the crowd. Emily lived her final years with graceful acceptance. We are grateful for the care received from staff and volunteers at Concordia Place and especially nurses Amanda, Jeffrey, Renee, Nenita and Erica from Volunteer Services and Marianne from Physiotherapy.

Emily passed quickly and peacefully, in the presence of her caregivers. We are thankful that niece Diane could be with Emily to send her off with favourite hymns and messages of love from all of her family. We will be eternally transformed and inspired by this extraordinary model for living.

Donations in Emily’s memory may be made to Winnipeg Humane Society, 45 Hurst Way, Wpg MB R3T 0R3 https://www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca/.

We plan to celebrate Emily’s life at a later date when a larger gathering is permitted.

I asked God for strength,
that I might achieve...
I was made weak,
that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health,
that I might do greater things...
I was given infirmity,
that I might do better things.
I asked for riches,
that I might be happy...
I was given poverty,
that I might be wise.
I asked for power,
that I might have the praise of men...
I was given weakness,
that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things,
that I might enjoy life...
I was given life,
that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for,
but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself,
my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all, most richly blessed!

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MERVYN FITZ

Our Condolences & Sympathy to one and all. Audrey & Mervyn
Comment | Posted at 09:36pm via Condolence
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