ForeverMissed

It is with heavy hearts the family announces the passing of Martha Selma Eld, née Phillip, born December 23, 1927, Montreal, QB, who died on April 2, 2016 at the age of 88, peacefully, after developing a heart condition in early January.  Great Grandmother (GG), Grams, Grandma, Nanny, Mom, Martha, Auntie, Cousin, friend, mentor, teacher, artist….she will long be remembered by many.

Mom will join our dad, Cuthbert Joseph Eld, and their many children sadly mourn Mom’s death:

Vicki and Glenn Whiteley, Victoria, BC, and Cian and Cami Browne, New York;
Fred Eld, deceased;
Susan Hall and Evan and Kathryn Hall, Ottawa, ON;
Janet and Mike Pearce and children Chris and Jackie Pearce, Edmonton, AB;
Kathy and Steve York, Port Elgin, ON and children Mike and Jillian York and Great Grandchildren Abigail, Cullen and Emerson, Cold Lake, AB, Joe York, Port Elgin, ON and Brian York, Peace River, AB;
Bob Eld, and children Corey Eld and Great Grandchildren, Roxanne and Sam, Kamloops, BC, who Mom has lived with the past years, and Mercedez Warbrick, White Rock, BC
Nancy, who has lived with Mom for many years and cared for her most during her brief illness. 

Mom’s memory will be forever cherished. Only recently predeceased by her dear sister Patricia Ray, PA, USA, Mom’s loss is mourned by her sisters Agnes, Hudson, QB, Frances, Edmonton, AB, and Emilia, Montreal, QB and in-laws the Rays, PA, USA, and other family members.  Mom will be greatly missed by her family, grand and great grand-children, her many in-laws, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, former coworkers and many friends. Her thoughtfulness, kindness and humor will be also be greatly missed by the many who loved her. A family reunion is being planned for summer 2016 and a private service will be held for Mom in Kamloops this week. 

Family and friends are invited to send condolences to: 772 Gifford Court, Kamloops BC  V1S 1K4. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, 311 Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC  V2C 2T1

Please feel free to leave a tribute or a story on this site in memory of her. 

Posted by Susan Hall on April 4, 2017
Mama, dear Mama, I miss you so much; have two songs, will post them for you.
Posted by Robert Browne Ph.D on January 29, 2017
I will always remember and hold close so many wonderful memories of Martha and Burt and their kindness which most often I did not deserve. Sister Joanne, Susan, Brother David and rest of an ever expanding Browne Family offer our Heart Felt condolences.
Martha and Burt are back together again with Fred as GOD Planned
Bob
Posted by Hill Anne-Louise on April 11, 2016
I remember expo 67. The Eld's and lots of other cousins visiting. Martha and her sisters would make sandwiches; pack us each a lunch and we'd be dropped off. It was always fun when Martha and Bert and all my cousins were around. Sometimes I'd hear things such as, "you boys better listen you'll get married some day and might have daughters" as one of my aunts, usually Martha informed us about a woman's time of the month. Thank you aunty Martha for the important parts of my education. You were such a good godmother. Love Tom Hill & Anne-Louise & Catherine
Posted by Camie Hoang on April 9, 2016
Martha, you are an incredible woman and I am so honoured to have had the chance to get to know you. The stories you've told, the life lessons you've taught and the warmth you've expended will always stay with me. You've always said that it's been a good life, and on my wedding day, you gave us words that encouraged us and started us on a good path... 'If you've lived half the life that I've lived, it will be a good one'. And what a beautiful life you've lived... we will aspire to it everyday.
Thank you, we will celebrate you always.
Posted by Gale Cherrier on April 7, 2016
To my cousins.aunts and their family
Loosing the baby of the family Auntie Tuni, and now the Queen Auntie Martha is a great loss for the entire family. I loved the many visits and will miss them.
I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers Xxx
Posted by Gale Cherrier on April 7, 2016
To the Eld family
It is with a heavy heart I send to you my sincere sympathy
My memories go back to Hutchison street
Martha always opened the door to me, and this I will never forget.
With time life will get better. All my love Kitsy xoxo
Posted by Michelle & Robert Addison on April 6, 2016
Martha was a one-of-a-kind woman - with her many stories that she shared and the zest she always had for life - she will be missed. My favorite memory I will keep of this kind woman was the sound of her giggle - it always made me laugh a little harder when we were sharing a giggle together. Much love to you all. Robert, Michelle & Jackson xxoo
Posted by Carol Nicholson on April 6, 2016
What a wonderful memorial you have created for your mom. She was a great lady and a wonderful storyteller. She will be missed. My condolences to the family.
Posted by Adrian "Mike" Pearce on April 6, 2016
Martha, we will miss your "joie de vivre" - there was a time when we were trying to herd the pigs at our acreage and you and Bert and Frances had so much fun!
I'll always fondly remember you telling that story and the other stories from your rich life.

Much love,
Mike
Posted by Diana Porter on April 5, 2016
Sending our deepest condolences to all my cousins and their families. Auntie Martha will be deeply missed but I know she will be happy to be with Uncle Bert once again.
Love,
Gary, Diana, Chris, Kristina, Leigh & Simon
Posted by Vicki Whiteley on April 5, 2016
Dear Mom, we wish you a great rest after how hard you fought to stay with us, we cherish the memories of you and now we honour your special place in our hearts. Our love for you is so appreciative of what you brought to our lives and how you shared your wisdom,knowledge and love to make us who we are. You leave a great legacy in all your family. Sweet sorrow is cherished to have known your love and caring...Vicki and Glenn
Posted by Maureen Hill-Tulloch on April 5, 2016
Sending my deepest condolences to my cousins and their families on the loss of their mother and my aunt. I have wonderful, fond memories of aunty Martha and her family, my cousins, coming and staying with us and when we visited their home. Aunty Martha was larger than life. A smart, passionate women who lead the charge in anything she chose to partake of. Knowledgable, kind and classy. Aunty Martha will be missed. Thank you for being a large part of my life, you were one of a kind. Love Maureen <3
Posted by Terri Macfarlane on April 5, 2016
This is such a beautiful memorial in honour of Auntie Martha. Thank you all for allowing us to share in so many beautiful photos & memories of a wonderful 'Auntie' and 'Sister' to Aggie. We both send our love, support, and prayers to all of you.                                           Terri & Aggie
Posted by Jacqueline Pearce on April 5, 2016
Although I didn't necessarily know Grandma Eld well, I sure aspire to be much like her,especially as I age.

Grandma Eld was probably the strongest and sharpest senior I ever knew, may her strength and will live on in those she left behind.

I will never be out in nature and not think of her.
Posted by Tracey Phillip on April 5, 2016
Our most sincere condolences to Aunt Martha's family. I hope you find some comfort in knowing she loved and was loved, and is now at peace. One of my fondest memories for our family; Dad, Doug and myself is Kathy and Steve's wedding. Dad had an awesome time (too awesome!) with his adult nieces and nephews and I danced the night away with Karen and Donna. What a great family celebration. God bless xo
Posted by Barbara Cherrier on April 5, 2016
My deepest condolences to all my cousins and thier families. The tears are rolling down my cheeks reading all these wonderful memoies of my Great auntie Martha and loving Godmother . Where everyone came down to my Dad's sugar cabin WOW did we all have fun. EVERYONE was there not one of us was missing. Looking foward for the gathering this summer.

RIP my GREAT GODMOTHER

Love you forever

Barbara,Sam,& Audrey
Posted by Carrie Beavington on April 5, 2016
I'm so sorry to hear of Martha's passing. Martha was an active member of my Red Hat Chapter, the Vancouver Hollyberrys from January, 2006 when I first attended, until December, 2013 when our Chapter closed. I also knew Martha through the Kitsilano Community Centre where she was an invaluable member of the seniors committee and she often helped prepare the monthly luncheons. She also offered her help to me in setting up the annual Christmas dinner for the Kitsilano seniors bridge group and cheerfully filled in when we needed a spare as someone's bridge partner. I made a special trip to Martha's home to see her amazing handiwork - she spent countless hours making doll houses for her granddaughters. They were absolutely incredible and I hope they will be cherished and passed on to each generation by those lucky enough to receive one (sadly I wasn't one of them). It was rather a shock to me when I learned that Martha had moved to Kamloops and I had hoped that she would come for a visit to Vancouver sometime. She was always friendly, approachable and helpful, I will miss her. Please know that I'm thinking of you in your time of so great a loss.
Posted by Susan Hall on April 5, 2016
Mom, you meant the world to us, such a dear friend and always helpful when needed. You taught us all to be strong and free, independent we are and so grateful to have had you as Mom. I will miss our time together and talks, stories, walks...you will be in my heart forever!
Posted by Deborah Maminski on April 5, 2016
My earliest and fondest memories are of the Sundays we spent at our Grandparents with all our Aunts, Uncles and cousins. The family was always warm and welcoming. As I grew older Aunty Martha along with all my aunts and uncles welcomed me and my family with open arms. We were truly blessed to have such a large close family. I'll miss you Aunty Martha...till we met again. May you rest in peace. Deepest sympathy and condolences to my cousins and their families.
Deborah & Richard & Family
Posted by Deborah Maminski on April 5, 2016
You are my big sister and I have always cherished our friendship. We grew up together, married and had families. Our children were cousins and friends. We have been together through thick and thin. It is with a very heavy heart that we lost Pat such a short time ago and now my sister I say adieu till we meet again. Have a good party with Bert and and give my Danny a kiss for me. Your forever sister Frances.
Posted by Sharon Walker on April 5, 2016
As Terri & Aggie said in their message, this is a beautiful memorial in honor of Auntie Martha. My fondest memories are the long time ago ones when we were very young and had dinner at nanny and grandpa's on Sundays and all the great events when we celebrated weddings or anniversary parties, etc. and the guest lists consisted of mostly family, They were some great parties!  I am sure Martha is very happy now that she is with Burt and the rest of our relatives that have passed. Martha will be missed as are all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins that have left us. My love to all.
Posted by Linda Polley on April 5, 2016
Martha, you will always be remembered for your many stories, hiking at Mt.Baker when it was so hot and all the open houses we attended.
Rest in Peace Martha!  Love Linda and Gord Polley.
Posted by Janet Pearce on April 4, 2016
Mama, thank you for everything, the laughter, the tears, the lessons, the love.I honour your memory. You had a full life with adventures, mischief, and set-backs and you met it with kindness and generosity and intelligence. You shall be missed.
Posted by Dana Lesmeister on April 4, 2016
Janet, Mike, Chris, and Jackie,

Our deepest condolences for the loss of your mother and grandmother.  Our thoughts are with you and the rest of your family during this time

Love,
Dana, Julian, Kirsten, and Joshua

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Susan Hall on April 4, 2017
Mama, dear Mama, I miss you so much; have two songs, will post them for you.
Posted by Robert Browne Ph.D on January 29, 2017
I will always remember and hold close so many wonderful memories of Martha and Burt and their kindness which most often I did not deserve. Sister Joanne, Susan, Brother David and rest of an ever expanding Browne Family offer our Heart Felt condolences.
Martha and Burt are back together again with Fred as GOD Planned
Bob
Posted by Hill Anne-Louise on April 11, 2016
I remember expo 67. The Eld's and lots of other cousins visiting. Martha and her sisters would make sandwiches; pack us each a lunch and we'd be dropped off. It was always fun when Martha and Bert and all my cousins were around. Sometimes I'd hear things such as, "you boys better listen you'll get married some day and might have daughters" as one of my aunts, usually Martha informed us about a woman's time of the month. Thank you aunty Martha for the important parts of my education. You were such a good godmother. Love Tom Hill & Anne-Louise & Catherine
Recent stories

Mom's Quilt

Shared by Janet Pearce on May 8, 2016

Watching a movie with Mama on one of her visits, I noticed she was cold. I wrapped her in a lap quilt one of my friends made for me. Later, folding the quilt and returning it to me she commented on its beauty. I told Mama about my friend Betty who quilts all the time and how surprised and happy I was when she presented me with one of her quilts on my birthday.

“No one’s ever made anything for me,” lamented Mama, “it is beautiful.”

Well right then and there I decided to make a quilt for Mama. It actually took me two years to finish. I started when she was eighty-five and presented it to her when she was eighty-seven. She had tears in her eyes, she was so moved that I did that for her.

She wanted to know all about how I made it. Well I glossed over that – it was way too painful to explain to Mama all the mistakes I had made on her quilt.

 

Mama taught me how to sew when I was a little girl. The Barbie clothes she made for me were top shelf, designer specials. The ones I made with scissors and needle and thread were very poor knockoffs. Yet I loved both, the ones so prettily made and the ones made proudly by me.

In high school I took home-economics class and I am sure the teacher thinks she taught me how to sew. I was so proud be to finally graduated to Mama’s sewing machine so that I could complete my homework. After making pot holders and aprons in class, we moved up to our first pattern project – a simple button up blouse, with a set-in collar, short sleeves and of course, buttons up the front. Mom helped me pick out a pattern and buy the material and thread. She showed me how to wash the fabric first, in case it should shrink and then to stretch it diagonally from side to side to make sure the warp and weft threads were properly aligned – things the teacher never mentioned. We opened up the pattern package together and reviewed the directions. Mama pointed out a better way to lay out the pattern to save material – something I had been worried about as Mama had insisted we buy less material than the pattern called for. She then renumbered the directions and starred a few.

“You may need help in these areas, let me know when you are there and I’ll show you an easier way.” she promised.

In class, there were more girls than sewing machines. Those who did not get to class fast enough were put to baking muffins or scones, sometimes fudge, for a class snack while they waited their turn. I loved baking so I never rushed to class.

Well, with Mama’s guidance, I finished that project on time and even helped friends finish theirs. I not only learnt how to sew darts, set in collars and make button holes, I also learnt a valuable lesson in political correctness in allowing the home-ec teacher think she was the one who had taught me these fine skills.

 

I looked through library quilting books and magazines and settled on two fairly simple patterns. I read the directions and photocopied everything. Then I made smaller versions of each to scale on graph paper and figured out how much fabric I’d need. Off I went to the fabric store.

There I kept bumping into an older lady, also intent on finding fabric for quilts. This lady freely gave me advice and even found some bolts of fabric for me. She went out of her way to show me various filler material and explained the pros and cons of each. This was just like Mama, who loved to be the expert on all things and give out advice, even to strangers in stores.

Mama’s favourite colour is mauve – a light shade of purple, not quite violet or lilac. I bought fabric in various patterns of mauve mixed with yellows and off whites, as well as solid purple in a medium and dark shade and a few deep purple patterns. Like Mama taught, I bought just what I needed.

Leaving the store, the lady shopper patted me on the shoulder and cautioned me to work with a simple pattern, “just to keep all the lines straight, dear.”

Back home, I washed my fabric, ironed and stretched it and got out my scissors. I looked once again at my graphs. “Mmm, Mama would indeed love all these diagonal lines in this fruit basket quilt but maybe that lady in the store is right and I should stick with something less complicated.

I began sketching my own patterns and in the end I had a central square, turned on a forty-five degree angle, placed in a larger square. The larger square was made up of four triangles, using two contrasting colours. Once sewn together the brighter fabric would all align one way and the darker one the other, to give the effect of small off-set squares floating in larger, contrasting squares. Measuring my fabric, I now faced the puzzle of seeing if what I bought would work for this new pattern. I sighed.

Mama was so good at mathematics I thought, and even if she were here I couldn’t very well ask for her help as this was a secret project. How many times had I heard her say: ‘You’re a smart girl, you figure it out.”

So I did. If I made three large squares across and five down, it would work. It would mean the small central square would have to be different because I did not have quite enough of the fabric now intended for the smaller squares. So I set to work.

Other work projects came my way, the kind that pays the bills and I set my sewing aside. Mama’s eighty-sixth birthday came and went. She never knew how I agonized over not having finished my project. She was so proud of having just finished two more dollhouses, these ones for her great-grandchildren. These she made from plastic canvass, each was about two to three feet long and tall and about a foot wide. Each room had its unique colour scheme, flooring and wallpaper, all the furniture was made out of plastic canvass and there were flowers sewn into the window boxes and a little family to live in the house, complete with a little dog. She started each whenever a girl child was born and gave it on their fifth birthday. She liked to have them finished on time.

Mama always kept busy. She learnt to cook early in life, cooking in her mother’s home then in her own. Today she still puts on big meals for her seniors club and church functions. She still goes out for daily walks, sometimes for an hour, mostly for two or three. She still has a giving heart, befriending a homeless person who sleeps in a store doorway close to where she lives and making sure she has a sandwich in her purse every time she passes by.

Mama always had a sense of style and still sews, mostly amending what she considers flaws in store-bought clothing. Years ago, visiting her and dad, I came across some knitting – the lightest, softest wool imaginable in the softest colours.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Nothing.” She said with a smile and an enticement to tea and shortbread.

Only after much prodding did I get out of her that she was knitting receiving blankets for the local hospital. They wrapped stillborn babies in them before giving them to their grieving parents.

So I got back to work on my quilt. The central square was a very tiny log cabin, in deep purples and midnight blues. It represented to me Mama’s toughness and deep spirituality. The other small squares had four colours each and were sewn using an alternate colour scheme on every other one. This represented Mama’s complexity. The larger squares alternated from a soft mauve with off-white tiny flowers to a mauve and yellow swirly patterned square: Mama’s gentleness and giving heart. Three bands completed the quilt – a light purple and mauve inner border, a busy small deep mauve and yellow checkerboard and a deep purple outer border. The four corners had squares of the light mauve with the off-white flowers. Together they represented Mama’s sense of style and decorum.

One thing Mama hated on an outfit was if the front was decorated or patterned and the back left plain. So rather than finish the quilt with a flannel backing, I gave it a second quit pattern, alternate squares in deep purple and a funky tie-dye print made up of shades of blues, purples and greens. The back border did not have corner squares, just an inner lining in a midnight blue print and an outer solid purple border. Whimsical, child-like, even youthful, just like my Mama.

My quilt was not perfect. Not all the squares lined up square. Mama could have done a much better job on it. And I worried, getting it ready for gifting, if she would like it.

Could one quilt ever make up for all the lessons I learnt from Mama? How to be tough to survive yet kind, and friendly and to look out for the other guy? How to figure out life’s problems, be healthy and happy, enjoy life, create a loving home, be at peace with oneself and engage in meaningful work? I doubt it.

Yet the joy my Mama expressed on receiving her quilt, the meaning it had for her, made it all worth the self-doubts and late nights. Mama knew she was loved because someone had finally made something for her.