Nellie Wendel (Watkinson) was born December 21, 1912, at Harrogate, England. Nellie came to Canada in 1914 with her parents and older brother on the last ship that sailed from England before the first world war. They settled in the Central Butte, Saskatchewan area, where her dad took out a homestead. As a teenager, she met her future husband Carl Wendel. They were married on October 11, 1930.
During the dry years of the 1930’s, Carl sold his farm for $1.00 and moved north. They travelled with two wagons loaded with their belongings along with a cow, a calf and their son Harvey who was a year and a half. It took them a week to get to the Rozilee area. Jeanette was born in Rozilee. Next they moved to the Deer Ridge area where Phyllis was born. They obtained a small piece of property and built a country store and post office. Because the post office and store needed a name, Nellie called it Lone Spruce. She operated the store and was the post-mistress.
In October of 1943 the family moved to B.C. In July 1944, they returned to Saskatchewan to the Holbein area, where bought a farm, and continued to farm there until 1963 when they retired and moved to Shellbrook. They built a cabin at Sturgeon Lake Regional Park and enjoyed many summers there. Nellie caught lots of fish, but never learned to clean them.
Nellie was an excellent seamstress and sewed all the clothes for her two girls until they were in their teens. She was also a proficient knitter and insisted on wearing her own knitted sweaters until she was well over 100 years old. She taught her grandchildren many card games, and played Monopoly by the hour with them. In her late 70’s she could still be found sitting cross legged on the floor playing with the great grandchildren.
She lived on her own until she was 98, but due to failing eyesight she moved into a personal care home.
At age 103 after a brief stay at Mont St Joseph’s, she moved to House C at the Parkland Integrated Health Centre. She was very sharp and remembered all of her family and friends. She still called all of her grand children and great grandchildren by name, and often knew what they were up to.
Nellie is lovingly remembered by her children: Harvey (Esther) Wendel of Shellbrook, SK and family: JoAnn (Rick) Perkins and children: Danielle (Trent); Carlin; Amanda (Mitch); Jacy (Jason) and children Jordan & Janaya; Kevin (Cheryl) Wendel and children: Robyn, Andrew, Chantal, Jessica, and Nick; Kerry (Wendy) Wendel and children: Jensen (Matt), and Tyler; Jeannette Ingram of Shellbrook, SK and family: Brent (Joni); Bryce (Jill) and their son Jack; Mark; Keeran; and Connor; Phyllis Hine of Langley, BC and family: Lesle Ann (Pierre Vigneault) and her children: Alissa & Wiley Chamberlain; Trudy (Kim Magneson) and children: Shayna & Keenan; Rick (Hilery) Hine and children: Cassidy, Abby & Mika; her sisters-in-law, Mildred Watkinson and Mary Watkinson; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Nellie is predeceased by her husband, Carl Wendel; her parents, Richard and Annie Watkinson; her brothers, Harold (Sarah), Ted (Lillian), Richard, Charles (Florence) and Robert.
There will be a Memorial Service held for Nellie on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. from the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Shellbrook with Canon Kim Salo officiating. Interment will take place in the Shellbrook Cemetery following the lunch. In lieu of tributes memorial donations may be made in memory of Nellie to the Shellbrook & Districts Health Services Foundation. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Shellbrook 306-747-2828.
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