The family of Lottie Whitefield are saddened to announce her passing on Sunday, March 24, 2019.
Lottie was born on Dec. 3, 1923 in Bergland, Ont., the youngest child of Alfred and Kristina Peterson-Edberg. Lottie was born at the family homestead in their little cabin that they lived in while re-locating their house from about three miles back on the property to a location closer to where the road would be. A midwife came to help with the birth while her brothers waited in the barn.
Mom told many stories of when she was a little girl on the farm in Bergland: the long walks uphill to school, the horse and buggy to get to town, the hay-filled beds with heated rocks to stay warm. Mom told of when she was a teenager and wanted a dress from the Sears catalogue to wear to the Easter dance, she worked for her Dad peeling cedar trees to earn the $5 to buy it.
Mom worked as a waitress prior to marriage and told of having to get a ride on the pulpwood trucks from Bergland to Fort Frances to get to work.
Lottie loved her kitty cats through all the years and we all loved the many “Gramma Cat" stories. She fed many stray cats and gave them a second home, her kitty "Bootsie" lived to be 22 years old, then she enjoyed her kitty, "Shadow,” while still feeding a stray and giving it shelter in the winter on her patio.
We also called Gramma “the deer whisperer;” she had a whole family of deer living in her back yard and had them coming right up to her patio door. She really was an animal lover.
Lottie was married to George “Sonny” Whitefield on Feb. 21, 1947. They enjoyed many years of barn dances and, later, old-time dancing at the Emo Legion. They were ecstatic when all the kids and grandkids showed up at the Emo Legion for their 50th wedding anniversary and some of the granddaughters did a special dance performance for them.
George and Lottie took the kids on many road trips and came home with fun, overcrowded car ride stories. Of course, there were no seat belts in those days to keep the kids in line but nothing that a large jar of Noxema in a purse could not handle.
Lottie loved, and was proud, that her, her daughters, sister, and nieces all danced with the local Swedish Dance Troupe. Her daughters also enjoyed playing musical instruments for the Vasa Lodge crowd, who danced the night away.
Lottie was always a worker and had many jobs over her years, which was pretty amazing at a time when most were “stay-at-home Moms” and she had 10 kids. Lottie worked hard and made sure her family had all the little extras. After she and George married and had children, she did house cleaning and brought the youngest kids along while working.
She worked at the laundromat and helped them to balance their books. She also worked at the Red Dog Inn, Makabi Inn, and Rainy Lake Hotel as a chamber maid, and at the hospital cleaning, as well as cleaning for Mrs. June Smith and Judge McLennan.
As Lottie got older, the adult grandkids always loved that Gramma would come up with shocking opinions that would make the whole room burst out in laughter! Like when Gramma would come back from a casino trip and say, “Those old people, they're so slow” (this was when she was close to 90). Not too much could keep Gramma down; she still was washing walls and cleaning the carpet at the house until last fall.
When she did end up at the hospital due to a fall on the ice in her late 1980s, they couldn't believe she wasn't on any medications and the last time she had been admitted to the hospital was in 1967 for the birth of her last child! We all know that her secret was taking ginger every day, and she was so proud to tell that to the doctor and nurses (they called her “Ginger” that day).
No one could make beans or buns like Gramma Lottie, everyone loved to tease that “Gramma has the nicest buns in town!” Lottie really appreciated the folks that work out at the Bingo hall and would giggle while telling how they knew what she wanted and always had her cards ready for her when she got to the door.
Gramma was proud that she had her driver's licence renewed at 90 years old but sad that her car gave up before she did. After that, she really appreciated when the kids and grandkids would give her rides to Bingo. Lottie also loved to play TV bingo and especially when Terry would pick her up some TV bingo cards out at “Couch” because those were the lucky ones!
She also loved when her friend, Annie, and son, Ralph, would take her on casino day trips. She always looked forward to their phone call and was very sad when her friend, Annie, passed away. Gramma also loved to lunch and spend lots of time visiting with her nieces.
Lottie loved to dance and even at 92, she danced the old-time waltz with Karen at Neil and Shirley's 25th anniversary party, and again at 94 years old, just last August, at Corey and Adam's wedding. Her smile while dancing was priceless and will be remembered.
Mom/Gramma Lottie will be missed very much by all her family, but her memory will live on in all of the fun times that she shared with her family.
Lottie is survived by eight of her children and their families, Janise Whitefield, MayAnn Skirten and children, Tina, Jason, Sherry, and Sheldon and their families, Marie Tierney and Dave and children, Stephen and Nicole and their families, Laverne Whitefield and Denise and daughter, Danielle, June's children, Mike and Carrie and their families, Neil and Shirley Whitefield and children, Jennifer, Nina, Jade, and Bailey and their families, Karen and Dave Chowhan and children, Mallory and Corey and their families, Terry Whitefield, and Brian Whitefield.
George and Lottie had 10 children, 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.
Lottie also is survived by many very special nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Lottie was predeceased by her husband, George, of 54 years; and daughter, June and husband, Rick Whalen, and daughter, Georgina.
She also was predeceased by her parents; sister, Elna and husband, Elof Peterson; brothers, Arvid Edberg and wife, Julia, and Henning Peterson and wife, Gerda; and her Whitefield family in-laws, Isabel Busch and husband, Gordon, “Dolly” Martha Durbin and husband, Sam, Olive Fagerdahl and husband, Norm, and Reginald Whitefield and wife, Millie; along with many nieces and nephews.
A service for Lottie will be held Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with a luncheon held afterwards, also at Green Funeral Home.
The pallbearers will be Zak Tully, Dave Buchan, Adam Foley, Martin Bedard, David Chowhan, and Sheldon Skirten.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations can be made to the Friends of Animals.