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WM. T. EDWARD LAING  Obituary pic

WM. T. EDWARD LAING

Born: Feb 16, 1921

Date of Passing: Sep 11, 2015

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WM. T. EDWARD LAING February 16, 1921 - September 11, 2015 On Friday, September 11, 2015, Edward passed away peacefully at the age of 94. He is survived by: his loving wife Alice (nee Keith); children: Louise Fenwick, Ray (Bertha) Laing, and Valerie Laing (Ed Stechly); grandchildren: Blake Laing (Helen Wiens-Laing), Taryn Fenwick Taylor (Kyle Taylor), Ted Laing, and Tyrone Laing; great-grandchildren: Alex and Isabella Wiens-Laing; and sister Phyllis Ireland. Edward was the only son of William and Mary Laing and was predeceased by sisters: Jenny Sproule, Isabelle Boal, Margaret Kreutzer; and son-in-law Ron Fenwick. Ed was born on the Laing family farm in Clearsprings during a record breaking snowstorm. Ed, growing up on the family farm with his parents and four sisters, experienced milking cows by hand, working the fields with horses and harvesting with the old threshing machines. He was 16 when the first tractor showed up in 1937. This was the first of many changes and improvements on the farm over the years. Ed met Alice Keith, then the school teacher in neighbouring Ridgewood School, in the summer of 1943 at the Clearsprings United Church picnic. After enjoying each other's company for the next two years, they were married on November 10, 1945 and still enjoyed each other's company after 69 years of marriage. Ed and Alice took over the family farm when Ed's parents retired to Steinbach in 1953. As well as operating a successful dairy farm, he was active in community organizations. He was a long time trustee in the Clearsprings School district as well as the Steinbach United Church and a board member of both the Hanover Agriculture Society and the Hanover Breeders Association. His pride and joy was looking after the Clearsprings Cemetery. Ed and Alice retired from farming in 1980 when they turned the family farm over to the next generation. During their retirement, they travelled extensively: in Canada from the east to the west coast; in the USA from Alaska to Hawaii and many points in between; as well as a history research trip to Scotland. A highlight in their life together was the publishing of the "Pioneers of Clearsprings" history book in 2001 and "The Great Farming Country of Otterburne West" in 2006. The family would like to thank Dr. Nicole Porath of Steinbach Family Medical for her kind and compassionate care. A celebration of Ed's life will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, 162 Hwy. 52W, Steinbach, MB. Service by Rev. George Feenstra, Steinbach United Church. Ash interment in Clearsprings Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make charitable donations to Clearsprings Cemetery, P.O. Box 494, Steinbach, MB R5G 1M3. Arrangements by BIRCHWOOD FUNERAL CHAPEL 1-204-346-1030 OR 1-888-454-1030

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 15, 2015

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • Eddie and I were both married to a Keith girl, Alice and my wife being sisters. In the summers we used to go and stay with Eddie and Alice to help with various farm tasks. I was a city boy and knew nothing about farming, dairy herds and other such farm activities. For the first summer visit Eddie said I could work the stone picker which I thought was some type of machine I would drive and mechanically remove stones from tilled fields. This was Eddie's joke over the "city guy". I quickly learned this was a pure labor task: I would pick stones from the field and carry them to a wagon for pick up later. I loved Eddie's subtle way with humour. Other chores were gathering the hay bales, loading them on a wagon, then taking them to the barn and storing same in the loft. The first couple of years Eddie's father worked with us. I tried to match him bale for bale during the day and was amazed at his stamina. Meanwhile, Eddie was more the manager, he sort of supervised and let us do the hard work. Very smart. I loved being in the barn and enjoying the smells which, to me, were far nicer than the smells of the city. Over the years I came to love going to the Laing farm and working along with Eddie and Alice. I never knew why I loved the farm life, working with the land or with the animals until later in life when I discovered that the seven immediate grandfather(s)had all been farmers in England. Ergo, without knowing it I had the farm gene so to speak. To Alice and the family I send my humble condolences and to advise that Eddie has remained in my thoughts many times over the past years. My time at the Laing farm was one of the best experiences of my entire life. Love and best wishes to all. James - Posted by: Dr. James Tindle (Family friend through marriage) on: Sep 17, 2015

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