Cherry Blossoms

Sophie Hamer

October 19, 1923 ~ February 24, 2024 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Sophie Hamer Obituary

Sophie Helen (Halwa) Hamer died peacefully surrounded in love with her family on February 24th in Calgary, Alberta.

Prayers will be held on Friday, March 8, 2024, at 8:00 pm at St. Gerard’s Catholic Church, (8944 Elbow Dr SW) Calgary. Her life will be celebrated at Mass on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 11:00 am, also at St. Gerard’s church. For those unable to attend in person there will be a live stream link below or here.

Sophie was born on October 19, 1923, in Leduc, AB to parents Mary (Maruszeczka) and Stanley Halwa. She was Mary’s youngest child with older siblings Edward, Carole, Frances & Lucy. Mary was lost to Sophie’s family when she was 3 years old. Stanley subsequently married Adele who became a loving mother to Sophie and her siblings. Adele also had 5 children with Stanley - Maurice, Irene, Sigmund, Eugene and Ted. This large blended family lived in a very busy home and farm located close to Grande Prairie.

Sophie had fond memories of family Christmases that included preparing and sharing Wigilia, the traditional meatless Polish Christmas Eve dinner. After the meal the tree was decorated with ornaments including candles with open flames that illuminated the room while her dad would lead the singing of Polish carols. Later they would all pile into the horse-drawn sleigh that had hot rocks heated from the stove to keep them warm for the 12 km trip to midnight mass. The trip home was a little less comfortable without the hot rocks.

In the 1970’s mom’s sister Lucy checked government records in Saskatchewan to find that their mother Mary had remarried and through that union had 2 daughters, Janet and Mary. Initial trepidation to reach out was short lived when Sophie and her siblings were joyfully united with their newly discovered sisters, Mary and Janet. Many happy gatherings subsequently occurred over the years.

Sophie began her teachers’ training at Normal School when she was 18. With just a few months of training, she was asked to contribute to the war effort by teaching in the Five Mile Creek one room school house just outside Grande Prairie. She noted that some of her students were older than her. After completing her training she then taught in a one room school house near Fairview AB. Her duties included chopping & hauling wood for the wood stove that heated the classroom and thawed frozen ink wells before her students arrived.

Faust was her next teaching position where she lived in a cabin on her sister Carole’s property and she was introduced to her soon-to-be husband Ron. They were married in 1947 near Grande Prairie in the middle of heavy rains that saddened Sophie but excited her farmer father who declared them a ‘million dollar rain.’ Men in the wedding party had to wash their bare feet after they had taken off their shoes & rolled up their pant legs to push guest vehicles that got stuck in the muck.

Their first home was in High Prairie where Ron was working. Sophie continued to teach until 3 years later when Sharole was born. The family moved to Cardston in 1951 where Corae and Gary were born in 1953 & ‘56. Sophie was convinced to return to teaching in 1959 at St. Mary’s residential school. She was active at St. Teresa’s catholic church in CWL and the choir and in the Cardston bowling league. In 1964 the family moved to Edmonton where Sophie taught at St. Basil’s school and reconnected with her Polish roots through her dad’s brother, her many cousins and the Polish church she attended. Many a Sunday was spent in a relative's home full
of family, food and laughter.


In 1966 the family moved to Calgary where she lived on Harrow Crescent for 51 years. She taught at St. Gerard, St. Cyril and St. Jude schools before retiring in 1987. That’s when Sophie got busy joining an outdoor club where she enjoyed cross country skiing, hiking, golfing and making many new friends. She loved to sing and for many years sang with St Gerard's choirs and the Happy Gang. She also took the opportunity to travel with sisters and friends to exciting places like Russia, Israel, Greece, China, Maylasia and Tuktoyaktuk.

Sophie had a talent for sewing, as well as crocheting, knitting, embroidery, cross-stitching and needlepoint. She wasn't one to sit idle so her hands were always busy. She was a teacher to the very end, often teaching personal care givers how to knit or play card games like Kings Corners or find words in a word.

Sophie was predeceased by her husband Ron (1981) and daughter Corae (2000). She is survived by daughter Sharole, son Gary (wife Sharon), grandchildren Melissa, Mitchael (Caitlin) & Jacky, sisters Irene and Mary and numerous nieces and nephews.

Sophie was always appreciative of the care she received from the staff at Chinook Care Center and Trinity Lodge, and the support from her personal care companions while at Chinook. The family would like to thank each and all of her care givers for the love, kindness, and compassion they freely gave.

Those wishing to make a memorial tribute in Sophie’s name are asked to donate to St. Vincent de Paul in St. Gerard's Conference - a cause she believed in and contributed to for many years.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sophie Hamer, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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Prayer Service
March 8, 2024

8:00 PM
St. Gerard's Catholic Church
8944 Elbow Dr SW
Calgary, AB T2V 1L2

Funeral Mass
March 9, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Gerard's Catholic Church
8944 Elbow Dr SW
Calgary, AB T2V 1L2

Video is available for this event


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