Marie Jeanne STOLL
It is with great sadness that the family of Marie “Jean” Stoll of Edmonton announce her sudden passing at the age of 91.
Marie “Jean” Stoll passed away on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at the Grey Nuns Hospital, at the age of 91. After battling cancer, she suffered a stroke in July 2022, and developed pneumonia during her last few days. On Aug 19 she left her frail body surrounded by family and was welcomed into God’s kingdom.
We are glad that she is free from pain, running and singing with the angels. Words can’t describe how much we’ll miss her and are hugging her in our hearts & souls every day.
We are deeply thankful to everyone who visited, cared for, loved her, and relished spending time with my mom as she aged.
Our mom was born August 27, 1931, in Wabasca, Alberta and was the daughter of John Stoll and Agnes Cardinal. She was the middle child of eight other siblings. Two older sisters, Louise, and Marie, and two older brothers, Ambrose, and George. Her younger sisters were Clara and Bernice and two younger brothers, Edward, and Joe. All four girls were named Marie, so three used their middle names to avoid confusion. Jean was one of them.
Jean will be lovingly remembered by her children, Ralph (Valerie), Shirley (Mike), Harold, Judy, Diane (Peter), Maureen; sister Clara; sister-in-law Valerie; her precious grandchildren Rhiannon, Michael, Jennifer, Danielle, Melissa, Sean, Brandon, Lyndsay, Sarah, Marcella, and Selina; her beloved great grandchildren, Wynter, Pyper, Xander, Declin, Charlotte and Kenzie, and numerous family members and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Harold &son Tom.
Our Mom started life from a humble and difficult beginning, Her Father John, a steam engineer, would often move around Northern Alberta from job to job. Prior to and after her time in a residential school, her home was a two-room timber house sharing a bed with 2 other sisters. A sheet hung in the room would separate the boys who were also three to a bed from the girls. There was no running water and water would have to be brought in from the well. The restroom was an outhouse, and a sears catalog supplied the toilet paper. Wood would have to be cut to cook and provide warmth.
Despite the hardships, she loved life and had a good sense of humour, loving to joke and laugh. Despite only being able to get a grade 5 education she was sensible and wise.
According to her sister Aunt Clara, she was very athletic during her youth and could easily outrun the boys. She was also a great jumper. Using the sawdust pile from the sawmill as a cushion they would set up a high jump with sticks and a rope. Once set up she could easily jump over 6 feet high.
As a young adult she held many jobs, employed as cook at a sawmill lumber camp, housecleaner, and nanny. She worked at various babysitting jobs and was so good with children. She held them if they were upset. She advocated for them.
She preferred the tranquility and quiet of the country over the hustle and bustle of the cities. However, limited jobs drew her to Edmonton.
She loved to go out and together with her sisters she enjoyed visiting the Silk hat restaurant in Edmonton on Jasper Ave to get their fortunes read.
Later she enjoyed going out to play bingo. If she won, she would share her winnings with her family and friends.
Mom’s special skill was knitting, and she enjoyed making comfy wool slippers for family and friends. Myself, I have about a 10-year supply. If you received one of these precious pair of slippers, you have a special gift to treasure.
Growing up, we never had much money. But our mom never complained about this. She would literally give you her last dollar and in fact, she was known for giving items away because “there was someone who was more in need.” The most important things to our mom were family and faith; she didn’t care for material possessions.
Our mom was very spiritual, with a deep faith in God and believed in the scriptures and angels. She often went to church and looked forward to attending Mass on special occasions like Easter and Christmas, until old age made it difficult for her to attend. Throughout her life, she would pray for those when she found out that they were sick or in need.
When I reflect on my childhood, my mom’s presence was the only constant. My biological father wasn’t around. And the world that my mom and us took on was constantly changing and frankly, never very easy.
Our Mom was our hero, kind-hearted aunty, and loving sister.
For many years mom was a housewife and mother to the seven of us kids and we kept her busy. She was a wonderful mom who always had time for us.
Her love and kindness were infused in everything she did. She would do everything she could to make you feel like you were the most important person in the world. When we would go out whether I was taking her on an errand or to a restaurant she would proudly tell anyone that would listen that I was her son.
She would maintain a positive attitude no matter how difficult the circumstances. She could lift your spirits with her smile. Even if she wasn’t feeling well.
Our mom embodied compassion. In our family, she was a thoughtful and kind soul. She would listen to your problems and troubles without judgment. She would offer advice but wouldn’t preach. She gave without expectation. She helped because it was the right thing to do, and She was honest because there was no other way to be.
If something didn’t work out, she was quick to blame or criticize herself instead of others. While with her words she was humble and caring, she was not afraid to speak her mind when she thought it was necessary.
No matter the endeavor – attending school, getting a good job – she believed in us. She never questioned the things that we wanted or chose to do. She trusted and believed we would make the right decision and would do anything within her power to make it happen.
When she was 14, our sister Maureen mentioned to mom she wanted to learn to play the drums. Later the next week, Mom told her she had found someone that would teach her. Maureen was surprised when a man showed at home the next week up to give her some free lessons…. on an accordion.
She liked to bake, and I can still remember the sweet smell of bread, fresh from the oven when I came home from school.
Mom loved to dance, performing tap, waltz and doing the jig. She taught many of her children, including me and her grand kids how to dance. I still fondly remember, while I was in junior high school, I told her there was an upcoming sock hop, but I didn’t want to go because I didn’t know how to dance. She promptly moved the table and chairs out of the way in our tiny kitchen and taught me the box step. After a while when she thought I had the steps down, she grabbed a broom from the closet, handed it to me and told me to keep practicing. I wasn’t the best dancer at the dance, but I was confident I wasn’t the worst. Later, in life, I fondly remember doing the polka with her when she was already in her eighties.
No matter what, she loved her family and was proud and excited when each grandchild was born. She loved to see them and hold them as much as she could.
As she got older, she especially enjoyed special occasions like birthdays and Christmas where she could get together with her family and loved ones.
We know that our mom touched many lives. With her passing, Jean is leaving behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and generosity.
Although our mother is no longer with us in this life, I know that she lives on in the memories that we have of her, and the love and support that she gave us throughout our lives. She was strong, kind, and warm-hearted, and we will always treasure the time we spent together.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, Sept 1, 2023 at 4:00 PM, at Annunciation Church, 9420 – 163 Street NW, Edmonton. Reception will follow.