Alma Sprecker

Obituary of Alma Rose Sprecker

Alma Rose Sprecker 1926-2013 For all those that don’t know me I am Ian Krauskopf. I am Alma’s grandson and I am very honoured to be given the task of telling her story today. On May 7th 1926 near Millett, Alberta in the back of a covered wagon no less my Grandma was born to the proud parents of Christian and Lillian Kercher. No doubt a difficult and trying start to life but for all those that knew grandma it seems fitting. So with a new baby and older sister Grace they continued on to Arras British Columbia to homestead a farm. Grace and Alma were followed by brothers Lawrence, Leonard and Ray as well as sister’s Pauline, Eilleen and Joan. Life on the farm was tough. They had cattle, chickens and pigs that the kids were expected to help out with, but this is no doubt where Grandma learned her legendary work ethic. As she got older and went to school she was the one who would walk to school in the mornings and start the fire before everyone else arrived. This is no surprise to any of her grandchildren. She always just did what needed doing and when she was around things got done. At the age of 15 it was time for her to spread her wings and discover the rest of the world. She left the farm to Work at the CO-OP in Dawson Creek and after awhile she decided to move to Vancouver and work in the local fishery. She then landed a job as a nurse’s aide at a veteran’s hospital. Sometimes life just works out. While working in this hospital she met a young soldier named George Sprecker. He had been injured in a training incident and was a patient there. Sparks flew and they were the love of each other’s life from then on. Not too long after, they moved to Dawson Creek and started their family. Joann was born to two very proud parents no doubt. Son Clarence followed Joann. Unfortunately Clarence passed away at the age of two months. A troubling time for sure. Happier times followed and they were blessed with Sharon, Brenda. Barry, Tarry, Gail and Wendy. 6 daughters and 1 son were in a two bedroom house now. It was a busy household. Unfortunately George passed away on December 27th 1964 and Grandma was called upon to raise the kids and look after herself without her husband, in a two bedroom house without running water. There was not much for social assistance either. She needed to do this on her own. A steadfast courage was required. There is a quote that states "courage is not the absence of fear but the will to solider on in spite of it”. That quote is clearly speaking about my grandma. As always, she dealt with adversity by staring it in the face and soldier on she did. As the family grew she needed to feed all those mouths and a garden was a necessity. Grandma loved her gardens and she was good at it. She was the envy of the neighborhood for her flower gardens and lawn. She had the best lawn for blocks. She had a huge vegetable garden in her backyard that she apparently had problems with neighborhood kids raiding. I’m sure her own kids were completely innocent. When she decided she needed a greenhouse she built it. When she needed more room for the canned vegetables from the garden she decided to dig out the crawl space underneath the house……bucket by bucket. She was quite good at knitting and crocheting so when winter came and the kids needed toques and mitts she would make them. I have been told that there were plenty of home remedies that were detested by the kids. The ginger and honey bowl, cod liver oil pills, wool sock compresses and mustard plasters. Despite the kids not really being fond of this stuff (and me not knowing what they are) everybody was pretty healthy and they weren’t sick all that often. It was that simple, just do what needed doing and no complaining. Despite grandma being the poster child for hard work and practicality she had a heart the size of a house, and nothing mattered more to her than her family. On those cold winter days she would put the kids’ toque and mitts inside the dryer to warm them up before sending them off to school. She was the brownie and Girl Guide leader when the girls were into that. She bowled on Friday nights and seemed to always have friends over at the house. Bob and Gene Emms, as well as Merba and John Brooks were close family friends. When Joann and Leo had their first wedding anniversary grandma needed to come up with a gift. So she went down to the auction mart and came walking home with the gift. It was a real live milk cow named Rony. Yes she actually walked it home. When Leo learned of the gift he said to Joann "well I guess were farmers now”. 48 years later they are still farming. As life moved on and the kids started growing up and moving out grandma found a new hobby. She started collecting grandchildren. I say collecting because she has a lot of them. All together she has 74 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Yes 74. Like all things grandma she never did anything half assed and amassing grandchildren was no different. (Quite the accomplishment for that little girl that was born in a covered wagon). In the later years of her life these grandchildren were the light in her life and her reason for being. You could ask her about any of her Grandchildren and she would have some sort of a recent update from somewhere. (Even if she hadn’t talked to them in awhile.) I would often get off the school bus to see grandma was over and she was hauling firewood. This generally meant she had hauled two weeks’ worth and expected us to follow suit when we got home. I realize now that she was passing on her work ethic and she cared about ours. She always had a smile and was happy to see you. She was at our hockey and baseball games and truly wanted to know how we were doing. She was Our biggest fan. One thing you might not know is that she was an avid sports fan. Hockey, baseball, figure skating, you name it. I often went to grandmas in my teenage years and watched the blue jays games with her. She loved her Blue jays and i will always think of her while I watch baseball. When I had children of my own she was no less engaged than she had been with us. I loved to take the kids over to see their great grandma because it obviously made her day and she always looked at them with the same wonder and amazement that I do. And the kids loved all those crazy frogs. On October 29 2013 at 87 years of age Alma Sprecker's magnificent journey came to an end. As sad as we all have been this last week and sad as we will be for the next little while, I will endeavor to hold my head high. I hold my head high because I am proud. Proud to be the grandson of a woman that had buckets of courage and faced her problems head on, proud to be the grandson of a woman that had such a huge, caring heart. Proud to be the grandson of a woman that held family so close to that heart. I am proud of the life she lived and the smile she carried throughout it. Thank you grandma for all that you have done for us. And thank you all for being part of her life. A memorial service was held on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:00pm at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Alma, may be made by donation to the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation Box 714 Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 4H7 or to the Canadian Cancer Society 1000-105 Avenue Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2B9. Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd.
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