On May 10th, 2022, Clara Bristow of St. Albert passed away at the age of 85 years.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 24 years, Jack Milner; her children, Douglas Bristow (Lise Grattan) and Carolyn Douglas (Sebastian Muñoz); grandchildren, Luke Bristow, Jack Bristow, and Cooper Douglas; relatives, friends, and in particular, best friend Rhennie Casement. She was predeceased by her brother, Halvar D. Jonson.
Clara was a mother; a world traveler; a nature lover specializing in birding; a gardener continuously experimenting with Zone 3 plants for her flower beds and persuading her husband Jack to assist with these experiments by doing the heavy work. She was also an accomplished amateur photographer who illustrated her beautiful family history albums with high quality photos. An exceptional genealogist, she wrote the following excerpt from her family history:
“The quarter section that father filed on at Boyle (“The Ridge”) had been filed on twice previously but had not been proven. When I was a little girl there was still a tumbled down cabin in our windbreak that had been built by one of the original inhabitants. I was not allowed to go near it for safety reasons, but I remember seeing it when Grandma took me for walks in the windbreak. She would tell me the names of various plants and flowers including pea vine, vetch, and wintergreen.
When my parents were married, the building they used as a house was intended to be later used as a chicken house when their proper house built. The basement was dug for the house and a cement foundation had been poured but that was as far as the project ever got. When I was little, this hole was enclosed by a log fence–another place I was not to go near. However, I was allowed to play in the nearby mound of sandy soil left from the excavation.
The previous residents of the Ridge had made some improvements and as well a forest fire had burned over much of the land. As a result, it wasn’t heavily wooded when father took it over except for the north-west corner. In the fall mother took me with her to this small old growth forest when she went to pick bog cranberries. It was a fascinating place with big trees and large ferns and other plants that didn’t grow on the high ground. But I was nervous there because it was a half-mile from the house and I was afraid of coyotes. Shortly after subsequent owners bought the Ridge, they sold the big timber from my forest. I was so disappointed.
I remember my parents using an incubator to hatch chicks. They kept this incubator in the living room. It was heated by a kerosene lamp. Mother had to turn the eggs regularly for 21 days. I also remember one time when they kept a bunch of newly hatched chicks in a pen in the living room. But usually the baby chicks traveled by train in cardboard boxes from the hatchery in Edmonton. Father had to meet the train to take charge of his new chicks. And the chicks were usually kept in the chicken house.”
In keeping with Clara’s wishes, there will be no funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Clara’s name to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories or a charity of your choice.
The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at Youville Home for their care over the past two and one half years.