Robson, Florence Irene

Robson, Florence Irene —  Born September 8, 1928 at Boissevain, first child of Robert John and Sarah Catherine (nee Brownlee) McCallum.  Florence died following a very brief time at Souris Health Centre on June 22, 2017.  She lived her life fully; she was always interested in people, she continued to learn, and she resided at her own home on the farm near Deleau, Manitoba.

Florence was predeceased by her parents, by her brothers-in-law Robert Galbraith, Dick Mason, and Bob Dahlby; sisters-in-law Gwen Mason and Eileen Dahlby; her son Brett Robson and her husband Clarke Robson.

Florence is survived by her sister Christina (Chrissie) Galbraith, her brother (Bob) Robert John Duncan McCallum (Maria), her son Ian (Lois) and granddaughters, Erica and Sonya Robson, and nieces and nephews.

Florence grew up in the 1930’s and 1940’s and being of Scottish heritage learned to be frugal.  She learned to care for bees, poultry, to drive the team of horses on the grain wagon, and to garden, sew, cook and preserve food.  She also enjoyed playing games, acting in skits, dancing, and going to Boissevain on Saturday nights.  She grew up close to her McCallum cousins in the Croll district and the Brownlee cousins in the Beresford district.

She attended Primrose School just across the road from the McCallum farm and finished high school in Boissevain.  She did babysitting for many families around Boissevain.  She took short courses at Folk School and Leadership School which increased her skills and where she made many friends.  A Camp Wannakumbac early participant and a camp councillor, she helped with skits and games.  She participated with Young Cooperators in Manitoba where she met Clarke Robson of Deleau.  They were married on October 17, 1953, and toured the U.S.A. on their honeymoon.  They farmed with his parents Leslie V. and Edna Robson on Tizhome Polled Hereford farm.  She raised two boys and provided for her family and others from her large and bountiful garden.  She won the Hartney Horticulture trophy for farm garden and yard.  What seemed like vast amounts of preserved vegetables, fruits, jellies and chicken meat were canned or frozen to be enjoyed in the off season.  Heritage vegetable seeds, especially tomatoes and peppers, were shared with gardening friends.  She lived with joy in watching her plants and garden grow, and in sharing the bounty.

She became part of the Deleau – Hartney community and was glad to know and to help  friends and neighbours.

Many happy family occasions were held at Deleau and at Croll.  Visits by her nieces and nephews increased her joy and visitors were always welcome.  Florence liked to write letters and notes; this information helped link the family together.  The 2016 McCallum Reunion and many other family get-togethers are highlights.  She was so happy to live close to her two granddaughters who really like baking grandma’s bread and buns.

It was great sorrow to lose their son Brett Robson to cancer in 1976.  Florence and Clarke worked with Ian and grew the farm.

Florence and Clarke, accompanied by John, Katie, Ian, and Brett, did an adventure road trip to California in 1961.  The four of us took a three week Christmas road trip to Mazatlan Mexico in 1965.  Trips were made to Expo 67, and most of the provinces.  Florence and Clarke spent many winter seasons in Orange Grove RV park in Edinburg, Texas.  Trips to Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, China, and Cuba broadened their knowledge of the world.  Each of these tours usually resulted in new friends and great stories.  Winters spent in Victoria BC were appreciated making new friends and visiting family.

She had reason in mind by supporting the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the New Democratic Party, helping to promote the value of people working together.  She strongly believed that Co-operation and Co-ops do achieve a greater good for everyone.  Examples of this are here today because of work done to build such services as local stores, credit unions, Pool Elevators; as well as health care, maternity leave, unemployment insurance, and Autopac.  She believed our society still needs to work toward Pharmacare and Day Care.  It is worth it to dream big and to work for those useful and possible  dreams.  She donated to a long list of Social Justice Organizations including Doctors Without Borders and Marquis Project.

She carried the following quote in her purse:  “The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced.”  D. Elton Trueblood.

As Joni Mitchell said –

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden


A Celebration of Florence’s Life led by Unitarian Rev. Jane Bramadat (cousin) was held August 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Tizhome Polled Hereford farm near Deleau, Manitoba.  Friends, neighbours, and family are welcome rain or shine – be prepared.  Please bring lawn chairs.

Donations in memory of Florence may be made to Souris Health Centre c/o Prairie Mountain Health Box 10, Souris, Manitoba, R0K 2C0 or to Seniors Organized Services Hartney Box 428 Hartney, Manitoba, R0M 0X0.

12 thoughts on “Robson, Florence Irene”

  1. Ian and family

    We are very sorry to hear of you Mom’s passing. You are in our thoughts.

    Jim and Kathie King

  2. Our deepest sympathy to the Robson and McCallum families on Florence’s passing. She will be missed by you all.
    You will all have many treasured memories that death cannot take from you.

    Sincere sympathy,

    Linda Wark and family.

  3. Ian, Lois and family: our sincere sympathy on Florence’s passing. She was a great lady. When we lived in Hartney your parents lent us a piano so our children could take lessons. They were great people.

    Carol and Walter Hargest

  4. Ian and family,

    We are very sorry to read of the passing of your dear mother, Florence. She was definitely quite a trouper.

    Deepest sympathy,

    Edwin and Cecilia Jackson

  5. Ian, Lois and family
    So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She was a super lady. I feel so fortunate to have seen her in May when I was down. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
    Colleen Mummery (Denbow)

  6. Ian, Lois and Family;
    Tony and I send our sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to talk with your mom when we were down in May.
    I have very fond memories of your mom growing up and being next door neighbours in a farming community. Your mom was always so supportive to our family. Thank you.
    Tony and Audrey(Denbow) Cianfarani

  7. We have only just learned that Florence passed away and are sending our sincere condolences. We have many fond memories of chatting with your mom at numerous community events and always looked forward to talking with her. We are planning to attend the Celebration of her life on August 14th. Thinking of you with sympathy, Ruth, Garry, Robert, Gina and their families.

  8. Dear Ian, Lois and family; I was saddened to hear of your Mother/Grandmother’s death. Florence was always welcoming to me and I enjoyed our many visits and I am glad to have some lovely memories of a kind and caring woman.

    My deepest Sympathy;
    Beth McLean

  9. Ian and Family, have just learned of Florence’s passing. I have so many great memories of the times I spent on the farm with your family. She was a wonderful lady. My sympathy’s to you and your family.

    Judy Beatty

  10. Dear Ian, Lois and family

    Your Mom was such a special person. Since 1980 we’ve been visiting with each other at NDP events. Mostly we talked about gardening & how much fun we both had preserving what our gardens produced. Then we’d share recipes. Florence had such a positive view on life and a keen interest in social equality. I will miss her and I know she will be missed by many.

    My condolences to you all.

  11. Dear Ian, Lois and family,

    So sorry to hear about your Mom. I always enjoyed a visit with her when our paths crossed, she enjoyed life! I will always think of her when I see butternut squash as for several years she would give me some as she knew I loved it .. . too cute! Rest in peace. Karen and Frank Lang

  12. Dear Ian and Lois,
    I am so sorry to read that your Mom died this summer. Your Mom was wonderful to me, a city girl out of my elements back in the late 1970s when I dropped by your farm. She had lots of stories about my Mom, who visited for at summertime during her teens . Your folks were good to all of us as we travelled to and from the West. All the best to you, and your daughters too.

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