Peaslee, Lillian Marie

As we began writing this, we struggled to condense this into something that is an appropriate length.  So we apologize in advance if this appears to be long and rambling, please bear with us, as we try to share a little bit of Mom with you.

Lillian Marie Peaslee was the third daughter to Lilly & Harry Fradley of Souris and was born on a Friday, March 22nd, 1946.  She proudly lived in the Souris area her entire life.  Her early years were spent growing up on their property adjacent to the Souris Cemetery as her father was the caretaker and gravedigger there.   She remembers watching him carefully and meticulously dig the graves.  Each was precisely measured and squared perfectly, which couldn’t have been easy back in those days, as it was all done by pick and shovel in that gumbo clay.   In fact, Marie’s father’s grave was the very last one to be dug by hand in the Souris cemetery.  They started using equipment after that.

As a young girl, Marie remembered quietly waiting in the designated shack nearby, during graveside funeral services.   Then, after everyone had left, she would assist her father by first carefully removing all of the flowers & wreaths so that he could close the grave; and then it was “her job” to place the flowers and wreaths back on the grave for display.   She had so many wonderful stories about her Mom and Dad and her sisters Dorothy and Fay.  Their fox farm, and their annual summer holidays up to Clear Lake.  Her parents died when she was in her teens, so for several years she lived with her older sister Fay,  brother-in-law Albert Long, her goddaughter/niece Frances and her nephew Clifford.  She referred to them as her children before she had children.

She moved to the big city of Brandon in the 1960s, lived at the YWCA before finding a small apartment, while she worked at the Bus Depot; later as a dispatcher at Imperial Taxi for several years and finally at MTS on 9th street.  She married Bert Peaslee in September of 1970 and raised us on the family farm 12 miles south-west of Souris until the late 1990s when they moved into town.

Mom ran a tight ship on the farm when we were growing up.   Meal times were precise, daily & weekly chores and activities were scheduled.  She spent hours manicuring the four acres of farm yard and flower beds.   She maintained a huge garden, raspberry bushes and a field of potatoes which always yielded a bountiful harvest.   And of course, as you can all relate; she was the chief “gopher” running here, there and everywhere for parts and materials for the farm.   Moving equipment from one field to another, helping with the animals and repairs as necessary; while never failing to have dinner on the table at 12:00 or supper on the table at 6:00.

In the mid 1990s Marie was diagnosed with Wagner’s disease – which was quite rare at the time.  It affected her kidney function and she was forced onto dialysis.   At that time, conventional thinking meant that was it, you were on dialysis for life & because of her Wagner’s diagnosis, her life expectancy was not great either.    She was able to do this particular type of dialysis at home and successfully did for two years, when miraculously, one of her kidney’s began functioning again.   Unheard of.  Marie had one kidney specialist tell her that her particular case had been one that was used as a reference for med students, teaching them what was possible in the area of kidney recovery.   Marie became the poster patient for this amazing phenomenon.   She got a kick out of visiting the kidney specialists in Winnipeg for her annual checkup, because she would often get approached by staff wanting to ask questions, or hear the staff whispering “oh, SHE’S the one!!!”.

Recreation:  Mom liked needlepoint, puzzles, playing cards.   She was always a big fan of soap operas.   She called them ‘her stories’.    As far back as  “The Edge of Night” & “Another World”, to present day “General Hospital”, “Young and the Restless”.   She also liked to watch curling.   I’m not sure if she had always liked to watch curling, or if she just resigned herself to becoming a fan over the 50 years of sitting and watching Dad curl.   But her specialty was KNITTING!!!    She could knit a toque and matching set of mitts while sitting and watching Dad curl a ten end game at the rink!   She was very talented and VERY fast!!   She taught us all how to sew and how to knit.   I am not very good, but one of her granddaughters is quite good and definitely takes after her grandmother in that regard.   She is also famous for her Christmas cake, for her homemade bread, apple pudding and stew with dumplings.     She is not so famous for her jello.   (family joke)  One Christmas her lime jello must have been made from an expired package or something, because it did NOT jiggle as jello is supposed to.   Rather, it just kind of sat there and was glued to the serving dishes.  We can still recall the roars of laughter at “ jello that didn’t jiggle,” and it became a running family gag.

Another story that was shared recently by a friend, was an example of what a great neighbour Mom always tried to be.     Marie had gone to their house at Underhill one day to assist them with installing some gyprock on their ceiling in the dining and living room.   Somehow, early in the day, the seat of her pants had ripped – and true to form, without missing a beat, she just borrowed a pair of the husband’s coveralls and carried on for the rest of the day until the task was completed.

Marie was predeceased by parents Harry Fradley and Lillian Johnson Fradley; sisters Dorothy Swaenepoel and Fay Long, brother-in-law Albert Long; She is survived and lovingly remembered by husband Bert Peaslee of Souris; Two Children Leanne (Tom) Zelenesky of Gillam, Rod Peaslee of Oak Lake;  Six Grandchildren, three of whom she helped raise, Darby Peaslee of Brandon/Calgary; Dan Peaslee of Souris, Drake Peaslee of Souris, Ashley (Braden) Haigh of Rivers, Stephanie (Barrett) Miller of Gillam,  Matt (Sarah) Zelenesky of Gillam;   Three great-grandchildren Adeline Miller, Rogan Haigh and Torren Haigh.  Marie was VERY close to so many nieces, nephews & cousins….the list is endless…. You know who you are.  When I asked her if there was anything that she wanted me to tell any them,  she thought for a minute and just shook her head and said “Just that I love them all!”

For about the last ten years Mom’s back started giving her quite a bit of trouble.   Though she was unable to enjoy dancing or standing for long periods, she refused to let it slow her down too much.   Her and Dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last September.   We had been so ultra focused on the return of her kidney issues in December;  how to get her back on the home dialysis so that she could regain her strength and recover (like 26 years ago), that most of us missed, or subconsciously ignored all of the warning signs of serious trouble.  By the time she was actually officially diagnosed, her poor body was so weak it just wasn’t equipped with enough energy for a battle.   True to form, she is the strongest woman we know.   Stubborn and determined to live long enough for her immediate family to make it to her bedside.  We take comfort in the fact that, despite the challenging covid rules and regulations, we managed to make the best out of a truly crappy situation.

We choose to try and see the positive in any circumstance.  So, it was a blessing to have been such a short time between the official diagnosis and her death.  Just long enough for opportunity to privately spend time with her, sharing laughs & stories and acknowledging how much this all sucks.   It afforded us time to pose important questions and have some treasured discussions.    Facetime and telephone calls like explaining to her grand daughter, over the telephone from her hospital bed, her homemade bread recipe and that secret ingredient was love?   Or where are those darn skidoo keys that were put in a “safe” location never to be seen again?

Like everyone else that knew her, we KNOW for CERTAIN that she was an amazing lady.  She was loved beyond measure by us all, and we are beyond sad.  But thankfully, we also KNOW for CERTAIN that she knew all of that!!

In closing, as I said, these last days we discussed a lot.  I asked her if there was anything in particular that she wanted to be remembered for.   She smiled and thought for a moment….    I expected something profound;  something obvious;  being a good wife?   good mom?   good neighbour?  good community citizen?  good friend?   (ALL OF WHICH ARE AN UNDERSTATEMENT) …. But no,  ….modest and self deprecating,  Mom shrugged, looked at me and said with a confident smile, “I make pretty good Christmas cake!”

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions a funeral service will be held at a later date. Notifications will be posted prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, in memory of Marie, donations may be made to your local Royal Canadian Legion.

41 thoughts on “Peaslee, Lillian Marie”

  1. Marie will be remembered by anyone that had the opportunity to meet her. She was a great ambassador for Souris community always smiling as she volunteered or attended many functions. Sincere sympathy to her family and extended families.

  2. Sincere Condolences to Bert and Family. Marie was a wonderful Grandma, wife and Friend. I have known Marie since Grade one and am truly grateful for that . Rest In Peace Marie. Teenie Carlisle

  3. Oh my Bert. I am so very sorry for the loss of the love of your life Marie. It saddens me to no end. She was the best cousin any one could ever wish for. She always had a smile on her face and a heart as big as Earth itself. So kind and caring for the happiness of other people in her life . Family was her number one concern, and she showed it in many many ways. I will for sure miss her letters in my Christmas card that we have exchanged for many years. And I will never forget the lovely luncheon she put on the day we brought my Mom and Dad’s ashes to Souris Cemetery. My deepest condolences go out to you and all the kids in these rough and tough times. Love Always Margaret Wilkins ( Cousin )

  4. So sorry for your loss. She is now at peace laughing and having tea with her 2 sisters, Fay and Dorothy. Thinking of you all at this time.

  5. So sorry to hear of your Mum’s passing… I got to know her very well while curling with your Dad over the years. A wonderful women… Marie was always so kind… She will be so missed by Bert and her family.. RIP MARIE.. Trent Brister

  6. So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. She was a grand lady and I was lucky to of had the privilege to know your Mom and Dad from the many times when we hung out back in the day. Best regards to the family. I treasure the memories of times a the farm.

  7. Doug and I are so sorry to hear this news. Please accept our deepest condolences. And yes, we can say that she sure was a good neighbor on the farm!

  8. So sorry to hear about Marie she was strong, kind ,and had a heart of gold. I am sure she will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family. Yes she did make the best Christmas cake ever and shared it with many people.

  9. We are so sorry for your loss, Marie we know will be missed! Our condolences!
    from the Yeroschak families

  10. My sincere sympathy to the Peaslee Family. Marie was one of the most positive people I have ever known,,,,a lesson for us all!

  11. Marie was fine lady and always so friendly. Thinking of all at this difficult Cherish those wonderful memories.

  12. Dear Bert and family,
    Please accept our sincere condolences on your loss of Marie.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Dennis and Dorothy Johnson

  13. So sorry to hear about Marie. Our condolences to the Peaslee family. Marie had such great priorities for family, community, and friends . a life well lived.

  14. Our deepest condolences Marie was such fun to be around. We will miss her.
    Linda & Ken Ryckman

  15. To Bert and family, a tremendous tribute to Marie, so meaningful and well said. We will miss her cheery hello across the road. She was a very giving lady. Your memories will help to get thru each day. We are here for all of you whenever you need us. Brian and Leona

  16. My deepest sympathies for the passing of Marie. Fond memories of the visits to your farm.

  17. Our condolences to Bert, Leanne, and Rod and families on the passing of Marie. We fondly remember her as a proud Mother, Grandmother and an absolutely wonderful neighbor. We are grateful for have known Marie.
    Cathy and Wayne Thomas

  18. Bert, Leanne, Rod and families, I was very sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing and am remembering all the time we spent together either at your farm or ours. She was a wonderful lady who always remembered us no matter how long it had been…..and knew the difference between Barb and I!!

    Know that we are all thinking of you and grieving with you.

  19. Wishing Bert and family my condolences on Marie’s passing. May the memories help you thru this time.

  20. Bert and family – sorry to hear of the passing of Marie. She was an amazing lady and will be missed dearly. Our condolences go out to you all.

  21. So very sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of Marie and know she was a very caring person. My memories are of the days we spent at the rink with the girls hockey team. She was so proud of her grandchildren and was such a supportive grandma. Rest easy Marie

  22. Marie was a grand matriarch of her family, her friends and her community. As others have mentioned, she was so giving of herself in many, many ways. Thinking of you all, and knowing that the world was richer because Marie was with us. With our caring thoughts ~ Jim and Lori

  23. Thinking of you all at this difficult time. Marie was a great friend and I always enjoyed my chats with her. I always knew when Legion Week was coming up because Marie was always the first one to call and ask for the pail of soup. She always said, hope I got to you first. She will be missed by many.

  24. Bert,Leanne,Rod
    Our condolences to everyone for your loss of a wonderful lady that has surely touched every one who knew her in such a positive way thru out her life. So glad to have met her and to have gained memories I can draw upon during times like this. Thinking of the family and giving our thoughts to each of you. Stay strong and love each other Love to all

  25. I’ll always remember Mrs.Peaslee for teaching me 4-H sewing. She was a remarkable lady with lots of patience. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
    Tammy Barrows Mcculloch

  26. Wherever beautiful souls have been , wonderful memories will follow. Hold onto all your memories of Marie and keep them close to your heart. Our memories are ours to keep. Thinking of all of you at this time.

  27. To Marie’s Family
    My deepest condolences to you all. I always enjoyed my visits with Marie. She was such a wonderful gal and she was right, she made good Christmas cakes. Every year, not only when the boys were in school, but also long after, she would bring her delicious cakes to Souris School, one for each staff room. If you did not get down at morning break for a piece you were usually out of luck. Even after I retired from the school I would receive a call from Marie to ask me to stop by next time I was in town, she had a little something for me. RIP Marie, you will be missed.

  28. Bert, our sincerest condolences on the loss of a spectacular woman. I always looked forward to my visits with Marie at school events, whether band concerts, hotdog days, microwave duty or rugby games. She never ceased to bring a smile to my face and brighten my day. She inspired all who knew her.

  29. Rodney and Leanne,
    So sad to learn of your Mother’s passing.
    I distinctly remember Marie sitting in the front row of our grade 9 play. Carolyn Decock and I were being ridiculous playing elderly ladies and your Mom was laughing her head off!

    She was also our chaperone for our trip to the Rocky Mountains in 86. She and Mrs. Bobbit discovered our premade sandwiches had turned green and they quickly made up more for all of us hungry grade 8 and 9 students.
    Mom’s are special, i enjoyed your write up. Talk of her often and she will always be with you.

    Hugs Tanya

  30. Dear Danny and Drake.
    We were so sorry to hear about your grandma. She was an amazing lady. You need to remember all the lessons she taught you.

  31. Bert & family:
    My condolences in your loss of Marie. I enjoyed the many good times we spent together over the years and the last time we had a visit was at the hockey rink quite a few years ago when I was down watching a grandson play with the Cougars and Marie was in the canteen. She always had a smile for everyone. She will be missed, cherish your memories.

  32. Our condolences to Bert Peaslee and family. Heather and I felt we did not know Marie until reading her obituary as written by Leanne. Well done I think we now have a better understanding of who she was was .

  33. Condolences to you Bert and your family. It was so great you shared all the things of Marie’s life we didn’t know.
    Doug and Helen Fenwick

  34. Bert and family,
    Our deepest sympathies to you. We spent many Friday evenings visit in years past.So many great memories.
    Hazel and Patsy

  35. Bert and Family;
    Our sincere sympathy to you. Your loss will be felt by so many who knew Marie. She was a very special lady as shown by her lifestyle of love and caring.
    Rest in your well earned peace Marie. And yes Marie, your Christmas Cakes were the best!

  36. Sorry sorry to hear of Marie’s passing our thought’s and prayers are with the Peaslee family at this difficult time. Sincerely, Clive & Traci Ealing-Lobb

  37. So very sorry to hear of Marie’s passing. As everyone knows she was an ever smiling, hard working woman and will be missed by everyone who knew her. My girls were Girl Guides and when they needed to get a community volunteer badge it was Marie who had them help with Remembrance Day teas and signed off on their badges even though we didn’t live in Souris but as a favour to me she took them under her wing, showed them what was needed and ran with it. The girls will always remember her as the lady that they helped at the teas and then carried on every Fair Day while we worked along side of their Grandma Dodd, Auntie Grace, Marj Denning, and Marie at the booth. I cannot remember a time that I saw her that she didn’t have a big smile and warm hug for me when I was home and she always asked about the family. I will miss her when I return for a visit and I will be making a donation to my local Legion in remembrance of one great lady!!

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