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Enid Ruth Dawson née Swift

April 29, 1928 - January 21, 2018

Enid Dawson: April 29, 1928 - January 21, 2018

Service Date: January 27, 2018

Funeral Home Ottawa - Westboro Chapel


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Enid Dawson was a vibrant, loving mother and warm and welcoming presence to all those she befriended.  Enid was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1928, the youngest of six children.  When the Depression took hold the family moved to Watrous, Saskatchewan where her mother, Ellen Mary Swift, owned some farm property. Enid remembered her childhood as an idyllic one where she was held secure by the love of her mother and her adored, gentle father Robert Swift. She was an active member of the church choir and enjoyed skiing very small inclines with her dear friend Joan Evenson.  When she was working at her brother Art’s bowling alley, she met Don MacKenzie, a pianist, photographer and smart dresser who was at the time a film projectionist at the Roxy Theatre.  They danced at Danceland and fell in love. They were married in Watrous, where son Don and daughter Brenda were born. Don Sr. worked for Famous Players Theatres, first in Vancouver and then in Winnipeg, where Enid spent all but the last of her years.  In 1958, tragedy struck. Enid’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 37. Enid, just 30 and pregnant with her third child, Carol Leigh, had to find a way to support her young family. She was greatly helped by her older sister Pat, who came to live with the family and worked in the then burgeoning garment industry in Winnipeg.  Somehow, she managed. Enid went to Teachers’ College in Winnipeg, took the one-year course that at that time was sufficient qualification to teach primary school, and went to work at Jameswood School. Soon enough it became clear that more education would be required for Enid to continue to be qualified to teach, and so she began the long process of taking courses at the University of Manitoba one by one, raising a family and working. She persevered and obtained her undergraduate degree at about the same time that her daughter obtained hers.  In 1977, Enid married Elmer (Smokey) Dawson and they enjoyed 13 years together, especially sailing on Lake of the Woods.  Once again a widow, Enid continued to focus on family and friends, for whom there was always a place at the table and probably apple pie or butter tarts.  In 2016, Enid relocated to a seniors’ residence in Ottawa to be near her daughter Brenda and son-in-law Don. They went on many drives, ate many meals, and attended many concerts together. Enid loved nature, family, friends and music, all of which enriched her life to its end. She was especially glad to be reunited with her childhood friend Joan (Evenson) Clark, also living in Ottawa. When they were together, the years fell away.  Enid is survived by her son Don, daughters Brenda and Carol Leigh, son-in-law Don Crockford, daughter-in-law Margaret Moar, and grandchildren Sheri, Randy, Robert, Richard, Lachlan and Fiona.  The family wishes to especially thank the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice of Ottawa, where her passing was eased by their respectful, gentle care.  Visitation will be held at the Westboro Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 403 Richmond Rd, Ottawa (At Roosevelt) on Saturday, January 27th from 1 p.m. until time of service in the chapel at 2 p.m., followed by a reception.  The family would be grateful for any donations made in Enid’s name to Hospice Care Ottawa, or to the lovely historic church in Watrous that meant so much to her: All Saints Anglican Parish, Box 863, Watrous SK S0K2A0.

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