Agnes Jane Emary (nee Parsons) loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and active community member, passed away March 24, 2021 at the New Denver Pavilion.
Agnes was born October 21, 1925 to George & Eva Parsons in Melfort, Saskatchewan, growing up on the family farm in Pontrilas with brothers Jack, Clarence, & sister Roberta (Bobby) all of whom are deceased.
Agnes graduated from high school in 1945 in Melfort, worked at the creamery in Nipawan for a time before enrolling in normal school, doing a 6 month stint before going out to teach in various areas of the prairies, Makwa, Wadena, Meadow Lake until 1950. In 1951 she came to Sandon B.C. teaching grades 1-4. A very different life for a young prairie girl used to the flatland, high mountains & snow from Sept-April. But she was strong & persevered. This is where she met her 1st love – John (Red) Mathewson. In 1953 she moved to New Denver, teaching school.
Red & she were married in 1953 & settled into married life in their beautiful home. Red passed away in 1961 and in 1965 she married Glen Emary & gained a ready-made family – daughter Margaret, son Vern – her life was complete! Many happy years were had together as a family. Glen passed in 1987. Agnes then travelled with cousin Mildred and by herself to various countries – back to Nova Scotia where her mother’s family resided. New Zealand, Australia, England, U.S.A, Vimy Ridge, France where she travelled with other veterans & on the way in the plane she stood up & led all the veterans in a sing song- typical of her!
Agnes wore many hats & had tremendous community spirit & service, ready & willing to help in any way. Long-time chairman of the New Denver Reading Centre – dedicating her love of books selflessly to the community.
One of the founding members of Hospice (30 years) she volunteered at the Pavilion, helping with teas, activities, and getting grants for Pavilion residents that would enhance their lives. Belonged to various music groups singing & playing music for them – they were all very dear to her. Parade marshall for New Denver May Days, Board member in Silvery Slocan Society for years.
She worked with the Recreation Commission where she recruited lifeguards for swimming lessons – even taking them herself and overcame her fear of water, and having a room available in her home for the instructors also.
She started Beavers as her grandsons were involved and also girl guides Lifetime member of Royal Canadian Legion and lifetime member of Hospital Auxiliary’ Involved in the Remembrance Day service every year.
She was the organist for church & Sunday school, also played the organ for a church scene in the movie “The War Between Us” a movie about the internment of the Japanese Canadians – this participation in the movie was appropriate as she taught Japanese children.
She was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal Sept 12 for her dedicated service to her peers & community & Canada.
She fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing the saxophone, getting good enough to play at a grandson’s wedding!
She was the family historian & communicator – writing letters to family, slipping a little $$$ in her letters to home, visiting faithfully all relatives & long-time friends back in Saskatchewan.
She loved watching her Blue Jays & curling- it became a family joke that there was no time for our phone calls till after the games!
Agnes cherished family excited with the arrival of her grandsons & great-grandchildren– they were her life!
She will be greatly missed by family & all whose lives she touched.
Agnes is survived by daughter Margaret (Dave) Groenhuysen, son Vern (Eid), grandsons, Banon, Eric, Jody (Michelle) Huss – Devyn & Kaylee, Raymond (Narelle) Huss – Meghan & Colin, Aaron (Kirsten) Groenhuysen – Tyler, Denver, Jayke, Wade Groenhuysen – Wyatt & Grady nieces Jackie Moonie (Parsons) & family, Holly Pitka & family, nephews Calvin Parsons & family, Brent Marjerison, cousins Mildred & Donna.
Agnes was a beautiful soul with a tremendous love for people, and always looking out for the less fortunate. We certainly lost an angel.
Special heartfelt thanks to Dr C Burkholder at Slocan Community Care Centre, nurses and staff at the Pavilion where she resided since leaving her beloved home in 2017.
A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.
Family gathering will take place in the summer and celebration of life when permitted.
To those who desire may make a memorial donation in memory of Agnes to New Denver Health Care Auxiliary – thank you!