Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Remembering Philippa Ruth Weiser

Philippa Ruth Weiser was my mother's first cousin. Her mother, Frances Ruth Smith, was the sister of my grandfather, George Washington Smith, who's WWII photos I shared Saturday. Philippa passed away last Sunday the 20th, at the age of 82.

Philippa and her husband, William Graham Lynn, had four boys, one of whom is about my age. Consequently, I spent a lot of time at Philippa's house when we visited my grandparents in Thetford Mines, Quebec, when I was a little girl. I was at the Lynn house having dinner with my cousin when my grandfather collapsed at the dinner table at his own house on Easter Monday 1979. It turned into an impromptu sleepover while my mother and grandmother rushed to the hospital with him. In the morning, it became the place I learned of my grandfather's death, the first major death in my ten-year-old life.

George W Smith, Marjorie E Dean Smith and me taking a photo of my own.

Philippa was always deeply interested in the lives of those around her. For years and years she would phone my mother on her birthday and my grandfather's birthday; when she forgot we knew her mind was beginning to fail her.

Mum and I saw Philippa for what would be the last time when we were in Canada almost exactly two years ago, venturing two hours each way from another cousin's farm on rural, snow- and ice-covered roads just to visit her and my mother's childhood best friend. At the time it seemed a bit risky but I'm so glad that we did.

We weren't able to travel to Quebec for her viewing, funeral or burial over the weekend, but another cousin called Mum and told her all about it; who was there and that Philippa would have loved it; everyone was dressed to the nines and Philippa wasn't late.

Philippa Ruth Weiser was laid to rest on Saturday, November 26th at Elmwood Cemetery in Sherbrooke, Quebec, a beautiful, sprawling, tree-filled cemetery with lots of family. I hope that we will be able to visit her there next summer.

Below are the photos that Mum and I posted on the funeral home website memorial.

Philippa in the back with her cousins George and Janet (my mother).

Philippa, George, Frances Ruth Smith (Philippa's mother),
Janet and Herb Austin Smith (Philippa's maternal uncle)

Frances Ruth Smith, Marika Bey (a cousin by marriage) and Philippa

Marjorie E Dean (my grandmother), Philippa and June Smith (a cousin) at a celebration for the Canadian centennial.