Erma Lois Lawson was born on October 10, 1920 in the City of Calgary, the fourth child of Dwight and Mertie Richards of Arrowwood, Alberta. Erma passed away on May 7, 2019 at the age of 98 years. She is survived by her loving son, Thomas Mandeville, daughter-in-law Deborah Clarke, granddaughter Bianca Mandeville, and grandson Ben Mandeville Clarke, all of Australia, as well as her sister, Anne (Joe) Kostenuk of Spruce Grove, Alberta. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Erma was predeceased by her husband, William (Bill) Lawson, her parents, Dwight and Mertie Richards, and her siblings Leroy Richards, Margaret Dumka, Lorna Irwin, Gordon Richards and Donald Richards.
Erma, along with her brothers and sisters, was raised in Arrowwood, where her parents owned a mixed farm and where many hands did not always make light work. The opportunities to roam the hills, go down to the creek, pick the wild saskatoons and chokecherries, and learn about nature allowed for a balanced appreciation for life. Erma had a sunny disposition and gentle nature and it was no secret that she preferred to be outside in the sunshine with her brothers rather than inside doing household chores with her sisters.
After many life changes and adventures, Erma married Bill Lawson in 1970, and together they travelled extensively across Canada and abroad, making several visits to Australia to see family and friends. For many years they grew an abundance of fruits and vegetables on an acreage near Crossfield, but craving a life of less work and more camping in their motor home, they moved to Crossfield where they had a very active social life, transporting less mobile ladies to teas, museums, and country events in the province. Their last years together were spent at Macewan Ridge Villas NW where they enjoyed a spectacular country and city view.
Erma and Bill shared a passion for Pioneer Acres, located at Irricana, Alberta, a site aimed at preserving Alberta’s heritage. They donated innumerable artifacts, immeasurable volunteer hours, and unbridled enthusiasm to Pioneer Acres in order to ensure that the hard work and dreams of the past are remembered by future generations. Erma and Bill spent many years collecting antiques and objects of the past and many of their treasures are now located at the museum.
Erma’s last years were spent at Mayfair Care Centre where the constant love and care of everyone allowed for her enjoyment of many happy and comfortable days. The family expresses their sincere appreciation to all of the staff at Mayfair Care Centre.
Erma’s pleasant disposition and agreeable nature, as well as her positive outlook and determination, was appreciated by all and she will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her. A Memorial Service will be held at Evan J. Strong Funeral Services (5502 2nd Street SW) on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 1:00 pm with a reception immediately following.