Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Frances Margaret Volkart, Feb. 19, 1920--Oct. 26, 2014

On the second anniversary of mom's death, what better way to remember her than with photos of some happy days in her life? Except for the first, they're all John's. Always have a professional photographer in the family!

Frances Margaret Allen, as she then was, at age 22. During the war, she spent time at home helping out on her parents' farm near Red Deer.
This photo, with "Feb. 1942" written on the back, was in dad's wallet when he died, along with his social insurance card, driver's licence, veterans' affairs card, two American $1 bills, a key to a Ford vehicle, and some foreign postage stamps. Since he and mom didn't meet until after the war, she must have given him the picture after they met. I wonder if he carried it with him all those years, moving it from wallet to wallet, until his final one?

Mom was never keen on having her photo taken, but posed nicely for this one with me when she visited  me in Vancouver in 1975. In this picture, she's a decade younger than I am now!
 This photo was taken a couple of years after I'd moved from Edmonton to work at The Vancouver Sun. Dad wasn't a great traveller, so often when one of the kids moved, mom would visit us by herself. Whether it was Halifax, Vancouver or Greenville, she wanted to know we were okay.

Mom was always good at showing surprise, and this time she didn't care that John was waiting with a camera.
This would have been taken at Christmas, 1981. John and I were settled in our jobs and feeling flush, so we decided to send my parents to Hawaii. The look on mom's face was worth every penny! Unfortunately, a few weeks later, dad had a gall-bladder operation in Chilliwack that went awry, and had to be sent to Vancouver for the operation to be completed. There were further health problems that year, and mom and dad didn't get to Hawaii until December of 1982. On the plus side, they enjoyed it so much that they took a second trip in 1986.

Tea in the backyard in Dunbar. Notice the fancy garden furniture.
This photo would have been taken soon after we bought our Dunbar house in 1976. (The laurel hedge hadn't grown up yet -- you can see the house next door.) I had just served tea, judging by the mugs in my hands. Mom has the newspaper in her lap, along with the case for her reading glasses, so she is probably about to read a story that her daughter had written for the paper. We are all looking pretty happy, so maybe it was on the front page!


  1. It's always a good day when I see a post in Views from Mount Dunbar! A lovely memory of your Mom and Dad, Carol. My parents eventually got to Hawaii too on a gift we gave them. My Dad also had some health issues that delayed it. They didn't get back to Hawaii even thought they also enjoyed it very much. My Dad was quite fearful of flying. I'm actually amazed he got on the plane to do that. We had given them the money to take an Alaska cruise so they wouldn't have to fly. Jim's parents took that option and it was the best holiday they ever had. It feels good to have done these things for our parents.

  2. Wonderful photos, wonderful stories - a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman!