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Sharon Anne Watson Obituary

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Sharon Anne Watson

Trail, British Columbia

June 9, 2024

Sharon Anne Watson Obituary

In memory of Sharon Anne Watson (née Mepham), born July 21, 1939 in Penticton, BC to Elsie (Sim) and Stephen Mepham, died June 9, 2024, at the age of 84, at Rose Wood Village, Trail, BC.


Sharon is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, Thorpe, as well as her children Warren, Alison, and Jennifer (Patrick Dumais), and her beloved grandchildren Adam, Sam (Kyara), Éléonore, and Luc-Olivier. She is also survived by her brother Michael (Claire) Mepham, and sisters Alison (John) Allman and Kathleen (Brian) Browning, as well as many nieces and one nephew. She was predeceased by her brother Donald (Joanne) Mepham and brother-in-law Kenneth (Edna) Watson.


Sharon grew up primarily in Osoyoos, with a brief stay in Kelowna at the end of the war. Her maternal grandparents, Abe and Anne Sim, were pioneering orchardists there, and her parents took over and expanded their orchard after her father’s return from the war. She grew up in a loving, extended family, with her grandparents, her Auntie Molly and Uncle Ken Plaskett, and her cousins Frannie and Leslie nearby. Her father built their home next to her grandparents’ but was always working on completing it. So, she grew up with outdoor plumbing and a pump in the kitchen: indoor plumbing was added after she left home. As the eldest daughter, she worked hard on the orchard and in the home, and was, according to her father, his best ever apple and peach picker. She learned early to grow, cook, and can her own food, sew all her own clothes, and help manage the home and work on the orchard.


After all the hard work, she always found lots of time for play, and had many fond memories of picnics, hikes, and days on the lake with a crowd of friends. She did well in school and enjoyed it (particularly for the social life) and went on to get her teaching certificate at Victoria College (now UVic).


She taught for five years in Creston, Castlegar (Twin Rivers Elementary) and Trail (Laura J Morrish Elementary School), where she met the love of her life, Thorpe, first briefly at a Red Mountain Ski dance and then subsequently on a blind double date. They were married in Osoyoos a year after meeting and shortly after she followed him to Oakville, Ontario, where Warren was born, and then Birmingham, England, where Alison was born.


They spent three years in England, managing on a graduate student’s salary with two young children, as Thorpe pursued his PhD in metallurgical engineering. Thorpe there learned to really appreciate what a determined and hard-working woman he married and credits her with making sure he completed his PhD, particularly after the ceiling of their apartment caved in while they were out of town for their first Christmas. As always, Sharon just got to work and dealt with any problems that came up.


After completing their time in England, Sharon and Thorpe moved back to Canada where Thorpe returned to work with Cominco Ltd, the company he had first worked with in Trail. They moved first to Oakville, Ontario (where Jennifer was born) and then to Chatham, Ontario with Cominco, before returning to Trail in 1977, much to Sharon’s joy. The family settled in their house in Warfield, and still live there 47 years later. Sharon always loved her home there, with its big windows looking to the mountains, its gardens, and the wonderful neighbours who became like family.


Sharon always kept very busy as a mother, homemaker, gardener, and community volunteer. She volunteered endless hours to the schools, the Boy Scouts, as a commissioner with the Girl Guides, as well as with the Rotary Ann service club, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Red Cross, Trail Public Library, Knox United Church, and the hospital. For many years, she was the head of volunteers for the Trail hospital, until her advancing dementia forced her to retire. She was also quick to open her house to exchange students, billets for community events, and other people who needed a place to stay. In that way, she made friends with people from around the world and always cherished in particular her two “extra adopted daughters”, Marina from Mexico and Elgaz from Kazakhstan.


Sharon had a passion for the mountains and the outdoors and shared that with her children and all the neighbourhood children. On summer days, she was known to pack a large cooler of homemade lemonade and sandwiches and potato salad, fill the old Ford station wagon with more kids than seatbelts, and then head out to Nancy Greene or Champion Lakes for the day. She loved picnics and walks outdoors (with her poodle, Tassel) and dragged Thorpe along with her despite his initial reluctance to eat with flies and mosquitoes and swim in cold lakes.


Her love for the mountains meant that she spent as much time as she could in “Paradise” as long as she was physically able to, skiing at Red and Granite Mountain, but of course mostly using the Paradise chairlift. Her toughness shone through on several occasions when she injured herself but wouldn’t give in to the injuries. At first there was just a sprained wrist, but she insisted on skiing regardless and then falling the next day and breaking her shoulder while trying to protect her wrist. The doctor who saw her for the second time in two days decided to spell it out to her explicitly that she would not be skiing with a broken shoulder. And then, another year, she fell unloading from the Paradise lift and broke her hip. She was so stoic about it that the ski patrol figured there couldn’t be a break and had her ride seated on their snowmobile all the way down Granite Mountain with her broken hip. Unfortunately, she was eventually forced to give up skiing when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had had too many breaks.


She and Thorpe always loved to travel and returned a number of times back to Europe, and drove across the States and Canada. In later years, as she struggled with increasing dementia and greater mobility issues, they took to cruising to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Baltic Sea, the Panama Canal, the South Seas, and the Atlantic coast of North America. They were sad to have to cancel their two final planned cruises due to Covid.

In later years, she was happy to welcome Warren, who came back to live with them and help out. Then, six years ago, when she was no longer able to safely run the household, Alison moved back to take care of her and help with the house. Thanks to having her two oldest children with her, she was able to stay in her home until January this year, when she fell and broke her hip. She spent almost three months at the Trail Hospital, where it became apparent that she would never recover sufficiently to return home.


She was exceptionally blessed to be offered a spot in Rose Wood Village Care home (memory ward) at the end of March and stayed there until her passing on June 9. The kindness and care of the staff at Rose Wood Village will always be remembered and appreciated by her family. Even to the end, when she was confined to a wheelchair and didn’t know where she was, she knew her family and knew she needed “to be getting busy, and couldn’t just be sitting all day” as she “had work to do.”


She will always be mourned by Thorpe, her children, and her grandchildren, as well as her many friends and family in Trail and throughout Canada and around the world. She will be remembered for her smile, her determination, her willingness to help and work, and her sense of fun and love of a social life. She was a special person who indelibly changed the lives of those around her. She will not be forgotten. We love you “Granny Bear”, “Little Duck”!


There will be no memorial service. Sarah Stevens of Clark’s Funeral Services has been entrusted with arrangements.


As an expression of sympathy, donations to the War Amps in her name would be greatly appreciated.


You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Sharon Anne Watson hosted by Clarks Funeral.

In memory of Sharon Anne Watson (née Mepham), born July 21, 1939 in Penticton, BC to Elsie (Sim) and Stephen Mepham, died June 9, 2024, at the age of 84, at Rose Wood Village, Trail, BC.


Sharon is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, Thorpe, as well as her children Warren, Alison, and Jennifer (Patrick Dumais), and her beloved grandchildren Adam, Sam (Kyara), Éléonore, and Luc-Olivier. She is also survived by her brother Michael (Claire) Mepham, and sisters Alison (John) Allman and Kathleen (Brian) Browning, as well as many nieces and one nephew. She was predeceased by her brother Donald (Joanne) Mepham and brother-in-law Kenneth (Edna) Watson.


Sharon grew up primarily in Osoyoos, with a brief stay in Kelowna at the end of the war. Her maternal grandparents, Abe and Anne Sim, were pioneering orchardists there, and her parents took over and expanded their orchard after her father’s return from the war. She grew up in a loving, extended family, with her grandparents, her Auntie Molly and Uncle Ken Plaskett, and her cousins Frannie and Leslie nearby. Her father built their home next to her grandparents’ but was always working on completing it. So, she grew up with outdoor plumbing and a pump in the kitchen: indoor plumbing was added after she left home. As the eldest daughter, she worked hard on the orchard and in the home, and was, according to her father, his best ever apple and peach picker. She learned early to grow, cook, and can her own food, sew all her own clothes, and help manage the home and work on the orchard.


After all the hard work, she always found lots of time for play, and had many fond memories of picnics, hikes, and days on the lake with a crowd of friends. She did well in school and enjoyed it (particularly for the social life) and went on to get her teaching certificate at Victoria College (now UVic).


She taught for five years in Creston, Castlegar (Twin Rivers Elementary) and Trail (Laura J Morrish Elementary School), where she met the love of her life, Thorpe, first briefly at a Red Mountain Ski dance and then subsequently on a blind double date. They were married in Osoyoos a year after meeting and shortly after she followed him to Oakville, Ontario, where Warren was born, and then Birmingham, England, where Alison was born.


They spent three years in England, managing on a graduate student’s salary with two young children, as Thorpe pursued his PhD in metallurgical engineering. Thorpe there learned to really appreciate what a determined and hard-working woman he married and credits her with making sure he completed his PhD, particularly after the ceiling of their apartment caved in while they were out of town for their first Christmas. As always, Sharon just got to work and dealt with any problems that came up.


After completing their time in England, Sharon and Thorpe moved back to Canada where Thorpe returned to work with Cominco Ltd, the company he had first worked with in Trail. They moved first to Oakville, Ontario (where Jennifer was born) and then to Chatham, Ontario with Cominco, before returning to Trail in 1977, much to Sharon’s joy. The family settled in their house in Warfield, and still live there 47 years later. Sharon always loved her home there, with its big windows looking to the mountains, its gardens, and the wonderful neighbours who became like family.


Sharon always kept very busy as a mother, homemaker, gardener, and community volunteer. She volunteered endless hours to the schools, the Boy Scouts, as a commissioner with the Girl Guides, as well as with the Rotary Ann service club, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Red Cross, Trail Public Library, Knox United Church, and the hospital. For many years, she was the head of volunteers for the Trail hospital, until her advancing dementia forced her to retire. She was also quick to open her house to exchange students, billets for community events, and other people who needed a place to stay. In that way, she made friends with people from around the world and always cherished in particular her two “extra adopted daughters”, Marina from Mexico and Elgaz from Kazakhstan.


Sharon had a passion for the mountains and the outdoors and shared that with her children and all the neighbourhood children. On summer days, she was known to pack a large cooler of homemade lemonade and sandwiches and potato salad, fill the old Ford station wagon with more kids than seatbelts, and then head out to Nancy Greene or Champion Lakes for the day. She loved picnics and walks outdoors (with her poodle, Tassel) and dragged Thorpe along with her despite his initial reluctance to eat with flies and mosquitoes and swim in cold lakes.


Her love for the mountains meant that she spent as much time as she could in “Paradise” as long as she was physically able to, skiing at Red and Granite Mountain, but of course mostly using the Paradise chairlift. Her toughness shone through on several occasions when she injured herself but wouldn’t give in to the injuries. At first there was just a sprained wrist, but she insisted on skiing regardless and then falling the next day and breaking her shoulder while trying to protect her wrist. The doctor who saw her for the second time in two days decided to spell it out to her explicitly that she would not be skiing with a broken shoulder. And then, another year, she fell unloading from the Paradise lift and broke her hip. She was so stoic about it that the ski patrol figured there couldn’t be a break and had her ride seated on their snowmobile all the way down Granite Mountain with her broken hip. Unfortunately, she was eventually forced to give up skiing when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had had too many breaks.


She and Thorpe always loved to travel and returned a number of times back to Europe, and drove across the States and Canada. In later years, as she struggled with increasing dementia and greater mobility issues, they took to cruising to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Baltic Sea, the Panama Canal, the South Seas, and the Atlantic coast of North America. They were sad to have to cancel their two final planned cruises due to Covid.

In later years, she was happy to welcome Warren, who came back to live with them and help out. Then, six years ago, when she was no longer able to safely run the household, Alison moved back to take care of her and help with the house. Thanks to having her two oldest children with her, she was able to stay in her home until January this year, when she fell and broke her hip. She spent almost three months at the Trail Hospital, where it became apparent that she would never recover sufficiently to return home.


She was exceptionally blessed to be offered a spot in Rose Wood Village Care home (memory ward) at the end of March and stayed there until her passing on June 9. The kindness and care of the staff at Rose Wood Village will always be remembered and appreciated by her family. Even to the end, when she was confined to a wheelchair and didn’t know where she was, she knew her family and knew she needed “to be getting busy, and couldn’t just be sitting all day” as she “had work to do.”


She will always be mourned by Thorpe, her children, and her grandchildren, as well as her many friends and family in Trail and throughout Canada and around the world. She will be remembered for her smile, her determination, her willingness to help and work, and her sense of fun and love of a social life. She was a special person who indelibly changed the lives of those around her. She will not be forgotten. We love you “Granny Bear”, “Little Duck”!


There will be no memorial service. Sarah Stevens of Clark’s Funeral Services has been entrusted with arrangements.


As an expression of sympathy, donations to the War Amps in her name would be greatly appreciated.


You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Sharon Anne Watson hosted by Clarks Funeral.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Sharon Anne Watson.