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Ruth Elizabeth (Gibson) Melle
(July 21, 1923 - May 20, 2007)
A memorial page for a Canadian Mom by her son Gregory
|Ruth Elizabeth Gibson (The Early Years)|
My mother was born at St. Paul's Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Later she would insist on having all of her babies in St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. (She appreciated having the nuns around). Ruth's mother Margaret was a nurse. Margaret worked at that occupation on and occasionally off for 50 years.
A few years after Ruth was born, her father packed the family up and moved in with the wealthy relatives in North Carolina. My mother first learned to speak with a Carolina accent. My mother's younger sisters were born in North and South Carolina.
After the stock market crash of 1929 Ruth's father looked at his shrinking investments and headed back to Canada. Most of her school years were in Saskatoon with many summer trips out to her grandmother's farm in Perdue, Saskatchewan.
Ruth's final year of high school was in Winnipeg. It was 1940 and war was raging in Europe. Mr. Gibson packed up the whole family and headed further west. Once she arrived on the West Coast, Ruth had no desire to return to the places of her childhood. Other than a single train trip to Expo 67, my mother never again ventured east of the Rocky Mountains.
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After that move to the farm in Langley, John Gibson apparently started spending too much time with his secretary.... So Ruth, her siblings and her mother left my grandfather on the farm and moved downtown to Vancouver's West End. I only met my grandfather once.
My mother attended business college and was a bookkeeper for many years. In her early career she worked at the Vancouver Stock Exchange and several businesses downtown.
|Ruth Elizabeth Melle (The Later Years)|
Ruth loved to swim and hike. She would walk up Grouse Mountain from the Lonsdale Streetcar to go skiing.
She met my father, Milton Melle, when he arrived here in uniform at the end of WWII.
My father was from Montreal but he had spent some early childhood years in Vancouver and out west is where he wanted to stay.
Ruth lived with her children in Vancouver and North Vancouver.
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But what a survivor she was! This was a woman who had Multiple Sclerosis for half her life; she had heart problems and eventually a stroke in early 2006. She last drove a car more than 20 years ago but made up for it by exploring most of Richmond and downtown Langley on her electric scooter. She was a lifelong believer in the pleasures of cigarettes and plenty of coffee. She enjoyed reading and loved crossword puzzles, scrabble and solitaire.
Some of my earliest memories involve sitting with my mother as she nursed her coffee and cigarette and watched the sun rise over Mount Baker.
She loved getting her hands deep into garden dirt and thought nothing was more beautiful than a baby's freshly powdered bottom. She knew that planting seeds and applying some fish fertilizer -- the smellier the better -- would eventually lead to some wonderful blooming flowers. In the same spirit, I invite you all to ignore the crap that life brings to us all and appreciate life's rays of sunshine when they do come your way.
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The contents and design of this website, along with with all images and photos, are Copyright © 2015 by Gregory Melle;
who did all the programming, design, writing and photography. All publication and reproduction rights are reserved.