Margaret Anne Pockett (November 1, 1949 – December 8, 2020)

Our mom, Margaret “Marny” Anne Pockett, resident of Spirit River, AB, passed away in Edmonton, AB, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at the age of 71 years.

Mom was born November 1, 1949, in Brampton, ON, to Russell and Marg Findlay, the second of four siblings. She grew up in Ontario where she had her first four children: Ted, Gord, Ron and Debbie. In 1978, the family ventured to Alberta in search of new opportunities. They lived in several small northern Alberta towns before settling down in Spirit River in 1979. She would call Spirit River home for the rest of her life.

In 1982, mom was working in Robinson’s Department store with Jamie Scott. Through the acquaintance, she met Jamie’s brother, Randy Pockett. The two became a couple and were married on the Pockett farm in 1983. They welcomed two more children into the family, Connie in 1983, and Tim in 1984.

Anyone you talk to remembers mom as a hard worker. She was constantly working at something, whether it was one of her many jobs, or working on the farm, gardening, or crafting. She was a talented wood-worker and quilter. She was very involved in the Happy Valley Ladies Association, holding the title of President for many years. She found a life-long passion when she took a job as a school bus driver. She was very proud of her accomplishment when she received her 25-year service plaque in 2018. Her favourite part of driving the bus was the field trips and sports trips. She became the favourite bus driver for the volleyball teams at the high school. She never referred to them as anything except “our team.” She watched many games, sat through many rowdy Subway meals, and came home every time with a big smile on her face and many stories to tell about the fun she had with the volleyball kids.

Mom always had a huge heart, and her family was her number one passion. She loved family gatherings and suppers around the campfire. She always insisted that everyone got to pick the meal on their birthday. Her grandchildren were very important to her, and she always provided them with a friendly “parent-free” zone to talk about anything that they needed to talk about. Mom’s cooking skills were amazing and, as a family, we have all enjoyed many days of canning, pickling, Christmas cookie decorating, and appetizer nights with her. Mom and Connie enjoyed a yearly tradition of a girl’s night out to the Keg for lobster summer. There was only one rule for this tradition, “If you want it, have it, we’re not on a diet tonight!” She was an excellent soup maker and seemed to have a knack for calling you up on a rough day and saying, “I’ve made a big batch of your favourite soup. You should drop by and get some!” She also loved nothing more than to sit down with family and play her favourite card game Canasta, at which she was talented and ruthless!

Mom was a true animal lover. She especially loved dogs. Her beagle, Sadie, was her constant companion for years. After moving to town, she got Molly, who was her closest friend for the rest of her life. There was never any doubt about how much she loved her critters, but, oddly, to her all dogs were boys and all cats were girls! We used to tease her about this, and it became a family joke. The only animal she was afraid of was horses, citing multiple times in her childhood where horses had “intentionally” stepped on her. She always seemed to think that we were heading to our untimely deaths every time we rode off. However, when Ranger joined the family, she fell in love with him immediately and felt safe around him.

Travelling played a big part in mom’s life. She made many trips home to Ontario to visit her mom and siblings. She loved to see her loved ones and enjoyed the beautiful landscapes she grew up with. In 2001, the school hosted a trip to Italy. Mom was ecstatic to be chosen as a chaperone. Along with Connie and Tim, she enjoyed the many sights and history of Italy. A little closer to home, she was always taking her children to fairs, rodeos and activities. When we were kids, she made us save our own midway money, so months ahead of time, we would start putting every penny we had into our piggy banks so that we could buy our way into the glorious midway and ride the rides all day and eat junk food. As adults, it is obvious now that she added some funds to our budget for the day, but it was a great feeling to know that we had saved our money and achieved our goal. Thus, a day of rides and cotton candy became a true life lesson.

When many of the family members worked for Basnett Trucking, mom always had to know where we were and what we were up to. It got to the point where Tim would just bring her a copy of the dispatches before we left so she could be kept in the loop. He jokingly called her “our dispatcher.” But there was a lot of truth to this as well, mom was the dispatcher throughout our lives. She was our guiding star and our rock. We all depended on her to guide us through life’s rocky paths, and she always happily stepped up to the task. There will never be a moment where we will not miss her steady hand and giant heart. It will always be too early to say goodnight, but we know that she is free from suffering now and will always be watching out for us.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be.” – Robert Munsch

Mom is survived by her friend and former spouse Randy Pockett; daughter Debbie Ramsay; grandchildren: Samantha, Tyrone and Katlyn; and great-grandson Toby Wiebe; daughter Connie (Owen) Poss; son Tim Pockett (Chrisa Coleman); grandchildren: Tara, Austin and Serenity; sons: Ted, Gord and Ron; and brother John (Sandra) Findlay.

She was predeceased by her father Russell Findlay; mother Marg Findlay; sister Kathy Vandrie; brother Bob Findlay; and nephew Mark Findlay.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

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