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Rosemarie Marie Merriam

January 22, 1933 - March 2, 2012


Born on January 22, 1933 in Polworth, Saskatchewan, Rose “Marie” Merriam passed away peacefully, at 2:20am on Friday, March 2, 2012 in Chilliwack BC at the age of 79 years.
Predeceased by her husband, Herbert James Merriam and her daughters, Ena Vivian McTaggart and Jamie Dawn Merriam; Marie is survived by her children; Joanne (John) Havery, Craig Merriam, Tracy Tabor; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Lovingly remembered by many other famly, friends, and associates.
Marie was a long time resident of the Fraser Valley, and also enjoyed a numbers of years in Barrier, BC. A very liberated women, and never at a loss for action and words, she was an active member of her church, volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations, and proud to be a 41 year long member, and past-president, of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #265. An avid gardener, Marie loved her flowers and growing her own fruits & vegetables. She enjoyed taking her beloved dog and faithful companion, Tara, for daily walks. Her greatest Legacy is her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #265, 26607 Fraser Highway, Aldergrove, BC on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 11:00am. Pastor Reid Fowler officiating. Private Family Interment.


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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

From: Jaime Emerson
Relation: grand-daughter

I will love you forever Granny ~ Please watch over me & the boys.

From: Michelle Campbell
Relation: grand-daughter

Hello, I would like to first, thank all of you for honouring the memory of my Grandmother today. For those that don’t know me, I am the daughter of Craig Merriam, Rosemarie’s son.

Grandma gave much of herself during her lifetime. Whether it was to the war effort when she was very young and continued with work with the legion, as a volunteer with the RCMP auxiliary, with her church or as a wife, mother, grandmother or friend.
She had clear convictions, and didn’t mix words when she believed someone needed to be set straight. She also had strong values and I would like to share some personal stories that express those beliefs…that strength.
When I was a little girl my grandfather had recently renovated the downstairs of their house. During the reno he built a big shinny red fireplace. It’s Christmas eve and I am spending the night. So, Santa is coming to this house for me tonight! Well, my grandfather thought it would be funny to tell little Michelle that he is going to build a great big fire in the shiny new fireplace and that Santa would not be able to get in. I must say I didn’t believe him until he started to make that fire. I knew I couldn’t stop this so my little head started to think, “It’s this fireplace or Santa!!!” Off the basement is the side porch and a hose. I turned the hose on and stuck it into the fire place and I put that fire out. I had flooded the new basement with about two inched of water. I would imagine I would have been pretty happy with myself. I mean after all I saved Santa, but all I remember is this. My grandfather comes screaming, very loud screaming that I am sure is directed at me. I turned around and see teeth flying in the air and grandpa catching them and putting them back in his mouth. I was horrified, spit coming out now, finger pointing, I was sure I was going to die, I just knew it. Then I heard my grandma, she is yelling at grandpa now. Whew, things are finally looking up for me. I ran so fast, and quickly snuck in behind her legs with my head poking out. Now, I don’t exactly remember what she said, but this is what I will always remember. I saved Santa and my grandmother understood. How can you be in trouble when you do the right thing? Now grandpa was still pretty mad and he wanted to punish me. My grandmother scolded him stating, “You can’t tell a child that Santa Claus is not coming, what did u expect her to do?” Defending. This was the first time in my life where I remember someone standing up for me, defending me.
My grandma was very proud of her children and grandchildren. My Grandparents had a camp at lake Tyee. I had not spent that much time at the camp but it was a very special place and time for me. I remember she had a basket that was full of makeup and of course we were never allowed to wear makeup outside of the trailer. Unless there was a dance, which tonight there was! So I marched into the bathroom and put makeup on myself and my grandma because she needed to look good for the dance as well. She patiently waited without a single complaint as I applied all the colors of the rainbow to her and as I tugged and combed her hair. Now it was my turn. After my makeup I put on her bra, panty hose and her best dress and shoes. I felt so important and special. All I ever wanted was to be big. She proudly walked me inside that dance, the both of us looking like clowns. Happy to be seeing old friends and explaining the new fashion I had created with pride in her eyes looking down into mine. My grandma knew me and understood my little needs. And put her needs to the side so I could have my moment. She enjoyed watching me that night parading around, reveling in my new found maturity… Pride, strength, loyalty and grace.
My Grandmother loved her great grandchildren dearly, and although she had no problem letting them know, loudly, when she felt they were miss behaving, in another way she saw them capable of doing no wrong.
One day Grandma is watching my daughter playing volleyball with her school team against another school for the first time. The game was over and she phoned me and said she is tired and it was time to pick her up. So I kind of giggled to myself because I knew the girls were awful, if the ball was returned once over the net it was a miracle. the balls would often go straight up and off the roof. To be safe while watching you had to keep your hands close to your face for fear of a stray flying ball. So I pull up in the car and there is granny shaking her head, and mumbling under her breathe. And I think….self, this is not good OMG what happened in there. I turned to the back seat and looked at Kinsley bear my youngest daughter, and said this is not going to go well, hold on!!!
I jumped out of the car, attempting to look as cheerful as possible. I said hi granny how was the game? Oh god she frowned at me still shaking her head. I get her into the car and buckled in, not a word spoken…Silence…this is nice. Should I ask? Do I ask the ticking time bomb? I have to ask. Granny, how was the game? She looked at me with the biggest smile and said, “my Gabs played beautifully, she is a talented little girl, has an attitude but talented.” I said “Oh well that’s nice to hear.” “But that damn school district is another thing. We are going to write a letter when we get home. Unbelievable unbelievable.” ” What is unbelievable granny I say. Well my gabby is playing her heart out…I mean playing her heart out, and this school is just disgusting to me, just disgusting.” “I’m sorry grandma, I don’t understand, what is disgusting?” ” They built that damn gym too small, and for what, to save money on a few bags of cement?
I got the message grandma. How amazing it is that it never occurred to her that Gabs was a novice player, if only the school made the gym bigger then her Gabby would be able to play. Gabby was not the bad player in her eyes at all it was the gym. Grandma I have to agree with u. It will always be the gym.

That was Grace
Recently my grandmother was in the hospital and Jonathon was there. I was going to bathe grandma and he offered to help. Errrrr ummm oookay u realize we are bathing her..right? Like all of her John. He says oohhh I know I was the one who bathed mom he explained. Ok good let’s do it then. So picture, granny naked with blankets all around her up on a lift and we are driving her to the bathroom. We ease her tired body into the tub. John starts pouring the water over her back. and this great peace comes over her body, no shame, no self pity no embarrassment for her grandchildren who are helping her just peace and gratitude. She laid there in a different part of the world, happy content and peaceful. Eyes relaxed, enjoying the soft loving words John and I expressed for her.. And how blessed we are to have been able to share that moment with her.

Strength of a Mothers love
Another story comes to mind when I think of her as a Mother and the love she had for her family. My Aunt Ena had been sick for some time. None of us but Grandma knew how sick she really was and that she was dying. Also, unknown to any of us at that time, Grandma had stage 4 bone cancer. She had not gone for more testing nor was she on any medication for pain. She dropped everything to care for her ailing daughter. One can only imagine what strength this took. This is the strength of a Mothers love. My Grandmothers strength. I can just hear her, “Oh suck it up Marie and get over yourself.” She was as tough on herself as she was on anyone else. Then because of some silly family issues my grandmother is unable to spend time with her dying daughter.

Dignity, and Grace filled my grandmother. There were no sides just dignity and grace. I admire that of my grandmother. She never complained. And when my grandmother was able to see her daughter. Gratitude , no words , just gratitude. I strive to be as strong, as grateful, and as passionate.
My grandmother always saw the storm coming before the rain. Unfortunately she did not always communicate the message effectively. So her message was often delivered as anger rather than a warning. Perhaps frustration for the fact that we could not see what she saw coming…I will never know.
Tracey said to me one day, that grandma told her that she had not cried over her own daughter’s death. How does one respond to that . She said I don’t know mom but you will know when it is time.
So a few weeks later I asked her why she thought she had not cried over Ena, and this was her answer . Loyalty, faith, strength. She said Michelle, for you it was goodbye, for me it is see you soon. She had no fear of dying, no resentment.
I didn’t get it, how do you not feel that it’s unfair, how can u see the silver lining grandma. How do u see that silver lining. It’s a good lesson for me to learn.

Thanks for teaching me so much this past 6 months, when she moved in with me she said this house needs me. It needs a grandma Michelle. I snickered to myself…I snickered….we don’t need you, you need us. I never knew what it meant until recently. She was right, I needed my grandma, I needed her lessons, her wisdom, her strength. She did the right thing while no one was looking. Something I now strive to do every day. in respect to this lesson. I think it’s important to say that I made the wrong choice when no one was looking, I made the wrong choice for the wrong reasons. I’d like to apologize to Craig, my father for not contacting you right away when Grandma was in the hospital. Please accept this sincerest apology.
I miss my Grandma
I miss walking into her room to ask if she needs anything, her reply to me, “nope I’m good Michelle, just waiting for my gabby so we can watch our show.”
I miss her sitting on my couch with a cup of tea waiting for me to come home from work.
I miss watching the children gathered around her as she reads them a bedtime story.
This is not good bye Grandma this is see you soon!

From: Jason and Shelly VanBinsbergen
Relation: Neighbour and friend

Our dear “Mrs. Merriam” is gone. We have so many good and fun memories of life on Cameron Cres with the Merriams as our neighbours. We grew up together with Tracy and spent much time in and out of one another’s homes and yards. Tracy often “let” me mow her lawn when it was her day to mow as I thought it was fun! We played chess on their huge chess board. Herb would tell us funny stories and sit back or putter around and keep an eye on us on our bikes racing up and down the street with someone on rollerskates attached behind with a skipping rope.
Mrs. Merriam also worked in the local corner store so she was the eyes and ears for parents. One time, a few of us neighbourhood kids were caught shoplifting. (I still maintain I was only the lookout!) We had to go and apologize personally to Mrs. Merriam for stealing from “her” store. She was pretty serious about the whole thing but told me years later it was all she could do to keep from laughing at my brother who paid me to “look out” for him and another boy by paying me in stolen Strawberry Shortcake stickers.
In later years, as I began to date my now-husband, we discovered that although we had grown up just miles apart, we had never met. We often joke now that he had walked right by my house to go visit Tracy at hers!! Herb was his goalie coach and Marie just made Jason part of the family, much in the way she treated us neighbour kids.
To all of you – we’ll miss Marie in a different way now that she’s gone…because we’ve often missed her as we’ve moved away. We have such great memories and I think you’d be surprised how often your grandparents/parents come up in our conversation. We hardly drive a curvy road without Jason quoting Herb cutting the corners saying “I’m just straightening out the road”. Thanks for sharing your family with us! We’ll continue to remember and quote and keep Herb and Marie close in our hearts. We’re sorry we couldn’t be with you as we’re overseas. Much love, Jason and Shelly VanBinsbergen (Bowman)

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
March 9, 2012
Beginning at 11:00am

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 265
26607 Fraser Highway
Aldergrove, BC Canada

26607 Fraser Highway
Aldergrove, BC Canada

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