Shirley Sanderson

April 10, 2018 - 1:49pm
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Red Deer

It is with immense sadness and profound grief that the family of Shirley Sanderson announce her passing on April 1, 2018.
Shirley passed away peacefully, with care and dignity, in the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning at the Red Deer Hospice, with her faith and spirit reflecting this Day of Resurrection. After her courageous 4-year battle with Ovarian Cancer, her battle was over and her wings were granted.
Shirley is survived by the love of her life of 54 years, husband Harold. Her adoring children, Son- Collin (Amor) Sanderson of Calmar, AB; Son- Ian (Julie) Sanderson of Lethbridge, AB; Daughter-Terri Sanderson (Ian Simms) of Alder Flats, AB. Left to mourn Grandma’s passing are her cherished grandchildren Brooke Sanderson (Kris Forsyth); Cole, Alex and Sydney Sanderson; John and Jillian Pascua. Also left to mourn Shirley’s passing are Brothers, Larry (Bev) Ramstad, Dale (Vicki) Ramstad, Jack (Cathy) Ramstad. Sisters, Jean Shaw, Janice Johnston and Susan (Alan) Hay.
Shirley was born December 3, 1943 in North Vancouver. Her childhood years were spent growing up in Gwynne, Alberta at Bethany Homes Orphanage for Children. Shirley always spoke highly and with great regard to the care she received by Mr. and Mrs. Jespersen who ran Bethany Homes. In 1962, Shirley came to live with Thelma and John Ramstad in Valleyview, whom she lovingly referred to as “Mom and Dad”.
It was at the Sanderson farm ‘Hillside Farms’, west of Valleyview, that Shirley met Harold in 1963. Shirley and her mom went to pick apples from Grandma Sanderson’s renowned apple orchard. When suddenly, Harold, who was on the roof of the house repairing shingles, lost his footing and fell off the roof close to where Shirley was standing. From there it was told that “Dad fell for Mom, literally!” And so began their journey together as they were married on February 29, 1964. They first welcomed Collin later in 1964. Next came Ian in 1966 and last but not least, Terri arrived in 1970. Their family was complete.
Harold and Shirley lived on the family farm where they raised their children. In 1978, Shirley returned to work once all the kids were in school. Shirley cooked at the Red Willow Lodge in Valleyview enjoying 16 years of employment with many friends and colleagues that she has since maintained over the years.
In 1992, Harold and Shirley sold the farm and moved into Valleyview. In 1994, it was decided to make the move to Red Deer to indulge Dad with his continued love of Trucking, where they shared many miles criss-crossing North America over the next 20+ years with their beloved dog ‘Cleo’.
After Harold semi-retired, he and Shirley spent 10 ‘snowbird’ winters in Casa Grande, Arizona. Shirley loved the sunshine & desert heat and looked forward to going south each year to visit all the great friends they had made over the years. She loved to hike the many mountains of Arizona. It was as recent as 2014 that she hiked the Grand Canyon at age 70. She was always an extremely active person and people would comment that just watching her buzz around the house would make them tired. It was just how she was, ‘full tilt and eager to go’. The last few years in Arizona, Shirley had taken up quilting to pass the time, along with enjoying the ladies sociable, as her health had diminished a bit and she no longer had the stamina to hike the miles she once had. Mom’s love of reading devoured many books along with her beloved Bible. Many evenings were spent in the Arizona desert enjoying ‘Wine Time’ with snowbird friends from across North America.
Shirley always said she was put on this Earth to be a Wife, Mother and Grandmother. These were life roles that she took extreme pride & joy in and we can all attest that Shirley excelled at above and beyond. There was not a more devoted Wife, a Mom that could love her kids more unconditionally, or a Grandma that could adore her grandchildren more than she did. Her family was her life. And her family loved her deeply with unconditional love in return. Shirley was their rock in good times and in bad and always had a way of making everything good again, no matter the situation. There was nothing like her love to make you realize that life was not so bad, or for her to explain that “no matter how bad you may think you have it, there are always people out there that have it worse!”.
Shirley was predeceased by her “Mom and Dad”, Thelma and John Ramstad, her biological Father Frank Shaw, brother Roger Shaw, sister Louise Blasdell and beloved dog Cleo.
Mom, your wings were ready, but our hearts were not. We will love and cherish you in death as we did in life. We will constantly smile when the sunrises in the morning as we all knew this was your favorite time of the day. You will be forever cherished in our hearts, until we meet again. We miss you Mom, rest well—Love your Family.
A private family internment is planned for July 2018 at Valleyview Cemetery, Valleyview Alberta. A luncheon for friends and family to follow internment. Date and venue TBA.
Shirley's family wishes to thank all for the loving care and consideration of Mom given by Oncologist Dr. Pamela Chu, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, longstanding Family Physician Dr. Susan Konynenbelt and the Red Deer Cancer Centre.
Also, a heartfelt thank you on behalf of Shirley's family to staff of Red Deer Hospice. We were truly blessed to share Mom's final days with such amazing, caring people in such a wonderful facility. Mom’s eternal Angel shines bright in the Hospice solarium.
If friends so desire, please forward any donations in Shirley’s name to Red Deer Hospice Society, 99 Arnot Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta T4R 3S6.

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