March 1, 1937 - January 1, 2024
In Loving Memory ~
Surrounded by family, Clair Ellis Lundstrom of Rimbey, Alberta took his last breath on Monday, January 1, 2024, at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre at the age of 86 years.
Clair was born on March 1, 1937, in Rimbey, Alberta to Sven and Greta (née Norstrom) Lundstrom. He started his schooling in a one-room schoolhouse at Harmonien, and then attended Grade 11 in Bluffton before graduating high school in Rimbey.
Following graduation, Clair joined his father Sven on the family farm east of Hoadley. Together, Sven and Clair raised Hereford cattle and in later years they started to sell more grain.
Early in his farming career, Clair would venture to the Bluffton Creamery to pick up the milk cheque, and it was there that he met a bubbly blonde, Agnes Straarup. They were united in marriage on June 29, 1960. Agnes and Clair raised two daughters; with Candis arriving in 1966, and in 1968 Tanya followed to make the family complete.
Clair was a kind, patient, and compassionate man, especially when it came to his animals. There were several times when his daughters would get home from school and they would find their dad in the barn. Clair would be found with a labouring cow's head on his lap, and he would be stroking her head and telling her that everything was going to be fine.
When the cattle were ready to be shipped to the auction mart, Clair could pretty much load the truck by himself. He would round up the cows and walk them down to the loading chute - he would never run his cattle. There was one autumn when they had sold their cattle to a buyer in eastern Canada. The train that was transporting the cattle to Ontario had derailed, killing most of the cattle. Clair was upset about that for months.
He also had a soft spot for the family's pets. On one excursion to the vet in Rimbey, the family's yellow lab, Max, got extra snuggles from Clair. Since Max had never ridden in the front of the truck, and certainly had never been to town, with every passing mile he scooted closer on the seat towards Clair. Then with every passing vehicle he would bark directly into Clair's ear. Upon arrival at the vet's office, Clair said his right leg had fallen asleep from the weight of the dog cuddling on his thigh... and he could definitely hardly hear out of his right ear! But he did say that Max was very happy and popular at the vet's office!
Both Clair and Agnes were very active in the community. While Agnes tended to her activities with the Liberty Hall, the Springdale Ladies Club, and the Bluffton Parent/Teacher Association; Clair was not far behind her being "volun-told" to paint, clean, or repair something! Of which he didn't mind a bit!
At the beginning of July every year, the family would go camping and hiking to British Columbia, mostly in the Yoho National Park area. Clair would pick river rocks and driftwood for hours. In the winter months, several families in the community would rent the pool in Ponoka, and they would all go swimming.
Clair was also an avid ice fisherman, and he would keep Agnes busy pickling fish. He did not eat pickled fish, but he liked to think Agnes enjoyed pickling them!
One winter day when Clair and Agnes were out feeding the cattle, Agnes was chased onto the hay wagon by an angry cow. Three weeks later they ate that cow. Like a true Alberta beef farmer, Clair loved his steak and potatoes!
As the girls left home and life became less hectic, Clair and Agnes took up golfing. Most often they could be found at the golf course in Breton, and they loved to share their golf stories with their family. While Agnes was curling in the winter, Clair was more than pleased to become the "official, unofficial coach"!
Clair was completely in love with his grandchildren, and over the years he was their proudest spectator as he attended hockey games, baseball games, dance recitals, band performances, and cadet parades.
He took the greatest pleasure in attending birthday parties, graduations, and most recently, the wedding of his granddaughter. He even attended the playschool's, "Spring Fling", to which he exclaimed he might never make that mistake again! Clair adored his grandchildren, loved listening to stories about the great-grandchildren, and he was so proud of them all!
Clair is survived by his daughters Candis (Richard) Edwards of Red Deer; and Tanya Lundstrom of Sylvan Lake; as well as four cherished grandchildren Jessa (Chris) Wilkinson; Kimberley (Dustin) Patapoff; Scott (Danika) Morse; and Carter Taylor; and three precious great-grandchildren Layne, Blake, and Ryder.
He is also survived by his brother-in-law Kenny (Lucille) Straarup of Calgary; a nephew Gary (Teresa) Barr of Edmonton; and close family friend Susan Grieshaber- Otto of Hoadley; in addition to many close cousins, nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
Clair was predeceased by his parents; and by his beloved wife and best friend of 63 years, Agnes, who passed away a few short months ago in September, 2023.
The family would like to thank all the staff at the Valley View Manor and at Rimbey FCSS for their absolute care and compassion through these difficult few months.
With respect for Clair's wishes, no formal funeral service will be held. He will be laid to rest, together with his loving wife Agnes, in the Hoadley Cemetery at a later date. With consideration for Clair's love for animals... if desired, memorial donations in his memory may be made directly to the Saving Grace Animal Society, Box 852, Alix, Alberta T0C 0B0 (www.savinggracecanada.com). Condolence messages may be forwarded to the family by visiting: www.ofc-ltd.ca
Cremation Arrangements for the Late Clair Ellis Lundstrom entrusted to the care of Oberhammer Funeral Chapels Ltd.
Our lives go on without you, but nothing is the same.
We have to hide our heartache,
when someone speaks your name.
Sad are the hearts that loved you, silent are the tears that fall.
Living here without you, is the hardest part of all.
You did so many things for us, your heart was kind and true.
And when we needed someone, we could always count on you.
The special years will not return, when we are all together.
But with the love in our hearts, you walk with us forever.