We Remember


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Edna Mary Cockerill (nee Dayson), at the age of 89 2/3 in Kelowna, B.C. on Monday August 24, 3 years to the day when she moved there from Roblin, MB. We include the 2/3’s because those months were the hardest for her and she had tried very hard to make 90.


Edna was born in Great Orton, near Carlisle England on January 3, 1926. Her mother was Elsie Milne (March 13, 1898 to Aug 9, 1972) and her father was Francis Dayson (Nov 4, 1895 to Mar 18, 1982). She attended school there until she moved to Canada.


Her parents decided to be brave souls; leaving the only thing they had ever known for the chance to start a new life in the wilds of Canada. So in May of 1936 they ventured over the Atlantic on the RMS Antonia for 12 days of seasickness. ‘Pop and Ma’ and their 6 girls!! Maggie, Elsie, Annie, Edna, Freda, and Bessie. Their older half-brothers Joseph and Frankie stayed in England.


Francis and Elsie bought a farm near Roblin, Manitoba, which was to be their new livelihood. It was a tough go in the dirty thirties. The girls had never lived on a farm before and were used to more modern conveniences. The girls soon had a brother Bill to complete the family.


Edna was 10 years old when she immigrated and worked on the farm until she married at age 26 to Morton Charles Cockerill (born Jan 5, 1919) – a farmer from Merridale, MB on June 18, 1952.


Edna and Mort had four children – all born in the Roblin hospital sprinkled over a period of 16 years. Chris in 1953 (married Peggy Koza and had Devin and Collet), Brett in 1955 (married Cathy VanNiewkerk and had Sherry, Mindy and Heidi and then married Kathy Lomas), Lucille in 1964 (married Lloyd McKinney and had Lathan, Linden, and Lonica) and Darren in 1969 (married Cheryl Safronovich and had Janessa, Tanelle, Draya and Camdyn). Being farm kids they all knew how to drive equipment at a young age, and were encouraged to be independent and resourceful. Mort and Edna were great parents and always supported their children.


Edna worked very hard at their mixed farm on the fields, in her huge garden, cooking and baking, buying and selling cattle at the auction mart, doing the farm bookwork, and milking up to 18 cows twice a day by hand.


In 1980 they sold their cattle herd, which freed up Mort and Edna to do some traveling. Over the years Edna travelled with family to Alaska, Hawaii, Africa 4 times, Cuba, Florida and California, Mexico 3 times each, and back to visit relatives and travel England/Europe multiple times. They had made many trips to BC and went to Alberta about twice a year visiting their kids who were all living in Medicine Hat, Brooks and Banff.


Edna was also able to take up her old hobby of knitting taught to her by her ‘Ma’. One Christmas she had knit 13 sets of matching Argyle sweaters. She had knit mitts and slippers for all her grandkids and family as well and sewing them all lap quilts.


Mort and Edna retired to 20 acres just out of Roblin in 1989 so that they still had a big garden for Edna and lots of space for Mort to tinker. They had a great life together in their 45 years of marriage.


Mort died on Nov 3, 1997 from a bad heart, which he had suffered from since 1982. Edna remained on the Roblin acreage until Aug 24, 2012, when she moved to Kelowna with Lucille and family. She had a place of her own there near the lake with 2 gardens and multiple fruit trees and flower beds. She had always been in good health until kidney cancer, and a stroke in 2012. In 2014 cancer returned but to her brain and lungs.


Other than travelling, Edna had many additional interests such as reading endless books, watching TCM movies Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, solving New York Times crosswords, playing cards with family and friends and watching grandkids play baseball and hockey. She and her siblings would get together to write poems for family or friends’ special occasions.


She was adventurous, spontaneous, and loved to have fun. She called things as she saw them. If there was an awkward silence, she broke it. If there was no one dancing, she would get it going. She was not boastful, vain or jealous and always discouraged it. If she said she was going to do something, she did it. She was never wasteful with anything and reused everything she could. We were proud that she chose to not drink alcohol, smoke or swear.


A few of her milestone moments was; to ride camels on the beach in Morocco, stare at the top of Kilimanjaro while on Safari, have tea at the Eiffel Tower, touch the waters of every ocean and go parasailing in Cabo at age 88.


Edna truly had a fortunate life and will be greatly missed. For those wishing to send a condolence, photos or share memories, may do so by scrolling down this page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”


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