Bessie Jenette Maria (Lien) Sax of Edmonton passed away peacefully at the Misericordia Hospital, Edmonton on 27 November 2018. She was the eldest daughter of Hans and Tora (Yttri) Lien, born at the Lien farm north of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Lougheed, Alberta.
Bessie is survived by her daughter Susan Sax-Willock (Tom Willock) of Banff, grandsons Hans Sax-Willock and Fleming (Courtney) Zuhling (great-grandson Easton and great-granddaughter Nova) of Medicine Hat; sister Thelma (Lien) Glennie of Grande Prairie; brother and sister’s in-law Don & Lee Sax of Edmonton and Paul & Shirley Sax of St. Catharines, Ontario; and a number of nieces and nephews (Jane, Lory, Margaret, Mary-Ann, Allen, Kim, Kelinda, Debbie, Darren, Dean).
She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers-in-law Rodney Sax (1983) and Bob Glennie (1991), her husband Norman (Sandy) in 2013 and her son Leslie in August 2018.
Bessie was a straight A student at the one-room Valley school near the family farm and then attended Camrose Lutheran College, after which she worked at “the bank in Sedgewick” until her marriage to Norman Sax in 1951. Norman and Bessie took over the Lien farm upon returning from their honeymoon, farming there until 1972. Bessie also worked at Andy Knapp’s General Store in Lougheed. After a brief stint farming north of Holden, Alberta, they moved permanently to Edmonton in 1974. While Norm drove bus for Edmonton Transit, Bessie managed the Hallmark Card Shop in Capilano Mall and then worked at Johnson’s Gallery/Framecraft. They retired to a lovely apartment overlooking the North Saskatchewan River Valley in central Edmonton.
Like her father, Bessie had a keen interest in the weather; she kept meticulous weather diaries for over seventy years. She was an enthusiastic long-serving member of the Lougheed Women’s Institute and a proud committee member for the first history book Verdant Valleys In And Around Lougheed. Her interest in history meant she was the keeper of the kin and was instrumental in maintaining the Lien Family History. She was an avid and outspoken sports fan receiving recognition of such from the Lougheed Wildcats (a baseball team closely involved with the Sax family history). She built this reputation through persistent heckling, once resulting in a pitched ball straight at her behind the backstop instead of the batter’s box. Mom loved antiques and gardening, she grew flowers wherever she lived (sweet peas, sunflowers, geraniums and roses). She was an avid birdwatcher with a particular fondness for wrens and chickadees.
Bessie’s family would like to thank Dr. John Mackey and the Cross-Cancer Institute for the years of care, compassion and kindness they so warmly and generously gave to Bessie during her fifteen year involvement with breast cancer. Mom made it easy to forget she was ill, however in her remaining days the doctors and nurses as well as other hardworking staff at Rosedale and the Misericordia Hospital were tremendous in their support and care.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 10:00 am at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home, 10011-114 Street, Edmonton. A Memorial Service will follow at CJ Kinross VC Branch 180 Legion, Mainstreet, Lougheed, AB at 3:00 p.m.