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Herdis Maddin

Herdis Maddin

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
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Obituary

Herdis died peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at the Charleswood Care Centre in Winnipeg at the age of 104.

Herdis grew up in the tiny hamlet of Vestfold, Manitoba, near Lundar. In those days on the family farm, there was no electricity or running water, and the family was isolated, especially in the long Manitoba winters. On the plus side, Herdis and her five siblings dealt with the isolation by developing an impressive portfolio of skills. Herdis could play the accordion and piano, and became an expert at cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, and crocheting, not to mention carpentry. She also became a wonderful painter, and the family still has many of her paintings hanging proudly in our homes.

She met Charlie Maddin at a dance at the Norwood Hotel in 1938. It turned out that they were both accomplished dancers, and it was not long before they were winning jitterbug and swing competitions, dancing to the music of Glenn Miller and the other big band names of that era. They were married on October 23, 1940 and had four children: Ross, Cameron, Janet, and Guy. All four of her children were accomplished in their academic work, in athletics, and in their artistic endeavours.

Herdis was a co-owner of Lil's Beauty Shop at Ellice Avenue and Arlington Street in Winnipeg, along with her sister, Lillian. During this period, she won many awards for her hairstyling, and formed life-long friendships with her clients.

She suffered greatly from the death of her son, Cameron, in 1963, and then lost Charlie in 1977.

Starting in 1978, she became a grandmother to six grandchildren and, in the Icelandic tradition, became known by them as Amma. She loved them all, and we gathered each summer at her cottage at Loni Beach in Gimli, Manitoba on Lake Winnipeg.

Herdis was a proud Icelandic-Canadian and became legendary in Gimli for her mastery of Icelandic delicacies such as Vinarterta and Icelandic donuts called Kleinur. She hosted marvelous dinners for her family and knitted and sewed countless garments for her grandchildren, each of whom she called Elskan (“sweetheart” in Icelandic).

She volunteered for many years at the First Lutheran Church in a group called Dorcas, so named for their charitable works for the poor. Herdis produced food, crafts, and knitted garments and raised considerable amounts of money for the Church.

Herdis was predeceased by her parents, Sigurdur Eyolfson and Kristin Anna Danielsdottir, her husband Charles, her son Cameron, and her siblings, Allan, Lillian, Herbert, Ronald, and Lawrence. She is survived, and will be lovingly missed by, her children, Ross Maddin (Jennifer) of Toronto, Janet Neale (Allan) of Victoria, and Guy Maddin of Winnipeg, her six grandchildren, and her 11 great-grandchildren.

The family will be forever grateful to the staff at the Charleswood Care Centre for their compassion, kindness, and care during her stay there.

There will be a Celebration of Life later when we can all get together in Winnipeg.
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HS

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 03:18pm
Mrs. Maddin was a true joy to know. Always welcoming. Always warm. My thoughts go out to your family today! Doug

3 trees were planted in the memory of Herdis Maddin

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KM

Ken & Susanne and Ken Matchett

Posted at 02:27pm
We have many fond memories of Herdis and express our deepest sympathies to Ross, Janet and Guy and their families at this time.
Sincerely
Ken & Susanne Matchett
JT

Jocelyn Thorvaldson-Dunstan

Posted at 09:10pm
So very sorry to hear this sad news, Guy. I remember you speaking very fondly of your mother and times spent at Loni Beach. A long life well lived - what a wonderful gift to you all.
Sending my deepest heartfelt condolences to you and family, my friend.
Warmest regards, Jocelyn Thorvaldson

Alvin Eyolfson

Posted at 03:32pm
In my Aunt Herdis's memory, I'd like to post some photos from the 1930's when she was a teenager and then a young woman.

These pictures came from a copy of a family photo album that my Dad had. I scanned the album a while ago. We are fortunate that someone got the camera out and took photos of special occasions and farm life. Although there was lots of work on the farm, they did have some time for fun. In the album it appears they tried tennis in the 1920's. Was it a fad in those days?

It looks like photos were taken by Herdis's Mom (Kristin Anna) and her sister Lillian (often missing from the picture).
From Left to right;
-3 young woman- Lillian, Herdis and future sister-in law Nina Sigurdson),
-Herdis on a farm horse around 1931,
-Herdis in front of the house erected in 1907,
-The Shoal Lake Shuffler 1935 (hired man?, Laurence on Banjo, Herdis, and Allan on Accordian, they played at local dances),
- Photo of 6, 1936 -Laurence, Ronald, Herbert, Lillian, Allan, Herdis
- Another photo taken at the same time with parents Sigurdur Eyolfson and Kristin Anna, Ronald and Beth, Herbert and Nina, 1st grandchild Ken (son of Herbert and Nina) is beside Herdis
- 2 photos from 1939, Allan, Herbert, Herdis, Beth and Ronald.

The black and white photos from the 1930's are better than the colour photos taken by instamatic cameras in the 1960's.
There is no one left from this generation to talk about these photos, Does anyone have any comments?

Alvin Eyofson
Camrose. AB

+4

Alvin Eyolfson

Posted at 04:50pm
Our family was so lucky to have Herdis and her sibling in our family, The center photo was taken at Laurence Eyolfson's 60th birthday in July 1974. (Allan 75, Laurence, Ronald 65, Lillian 73, Herbert 71) On the left is Janet, Laurence and Herdis at the Gimli cottage in 2006. On the right is Laurence (93) and Herdis (91) in April 2008.

Herdis was a great host and was easy to visit with. She always made us feel welcome at the cottage even though there may have been lots of company. These visits to the lakes were some of our kids strongest memories of her. On other visits in Winnipeg she was good at telling stories, One was how when her Dad died in 1943, she was able to get to Inwood. There was no good road to the farm in those days. Luckily a fellow she knew from childhood lent her a horse which she rode the 13 miles and made it to the funeral. All we can we do to honor the generation who came before us is to keep memories of them alive, remember and thank them.

Alvin and Noreen Eyolfson
Camrose, Alberta
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