It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Thomas Wilson Holliday, on August 28, 2019, at the age of 84 years, with his family at his side.
Tom was born in Vermilion, Alberta on August 27, 1935. He lost his father in 1939. His mother, with seven kids in tow, moved to the Holliday homestead in 1940. Tom graduated from high school and went to work in Uranium City. In 1956 his mom found two beautiful young nurses for him and his brother John to marry. On June 1, 1957, Tom married the love of his life, Erna Mills. They moved to Calgary but soon returned to Tom’s one and only true home – Elk Point. He loved to hunt and fish and taught his son and grandsons the love of tramping the bush tracking deer, moose, and elk. He and Erna bought a lake lot at Muriel Lake in 1964 and it remains a very special place to their family. Their cabin was always the talk of Muriel Beach – polka dots and big orange feet were just two of the unique decorating schemes.
Tom earned an accounting diploma, then went on to achieve his fourth, third, and second class steam engineering certificates so he could provide a better life for his family. He was a loyal employee of the Windsor Salt Company and Elk Point Health Centre. His children learned the value of hard work, further education, and your word and a handshake from their dad. Friends, family, and lately, many health care providers often heard Tom speak of his pride in his kids.
Family, friends, co-workers, and colleagues will tell you that Tom had a sharp, quick wit and a great sense of humour. His home was always filled with laughter. He loved to sing silly songs to his kids and grandkids; they have passed on “Old Mrs. Bliss” and other ditties to their kids. His kids and grandkids teased him right back; one of his grandchildren coined the term “Banana Nose” and it stuck! Many homes have Alberta lady slippers in their yards, thanks to some surreptitious digging. Roberta, Tim, and Audrey cherish many wonderful memories from their childhoods, like hunting for mushrooms, picking saskatoons, shooting partridges, fishing on the banks of Kehewin Lake and Muriel Lake, whistles made from poplar sticks, wild green onions in the spring, and Dad’s lunches of beans and wieners or fried bologna. He made the best pancakes, partridge in cream, and fried fish! After his passing we’ve heard many stories of how he positively impacted others’ lives – that would probably come as a surprise to him, but not to his family. He inspired us daily, and never more so than the last six months. He loved and supported his family in any way he could, no matter what. His love was unconditional and without measure.
Even though he had a soft heart and kind hands, Tom was tough! He lived with Crohn’s disease for 40 years and never let it get in his way. His last ten years brought more health challenges and he met every one head on. In February 2019 he was airlifted by STARS with a life-threatening infection. He came through two major surgeries in less than 24 hours and we had a big ol’ party in his ICU room on Family Day. He got his prosthetic leg in June 2019 and was so proud of learning to walk with it. We are proud of and amazed by his resilience and his persistence.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 62 years, Erna; his children, Roberta (Glen) Stasyk, Tim (Merne) Holliday, and Audrey (Nelson Ostrup) Holliday; grandchildren, Kendra (Tom), Josh (Shannon), Tyler, Jillian (Mike), Kylie (Kyle), Jillian, Caitlin, Teague, Emma, and Tarek; great-grandchildren, Logan, Parker, Ruby, Maggie, Milo, and Sully. He is survived by his sisters, Barb Bonnah and Donna (Larry) Babcock; brother, Rob; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Audrey and Ed Mantik; sister-in-law, Florence Mills; as well as many nieces and nephews and many, many friends.
At Tom’s request, there will be no service. Cremation has taken place. A private family Celebration of Life will take place in the fall at the Holliday farm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to STARS Foundation or the Elk Point Palliative Care Society c/o 5626 – 51 Street, St. Paul, AB T0A 3A1. To send condolences online, please visit www.gracegardensfuneralchapel.com.
GRACE GARDENS FUNERAL CHAPEL, 5626 – 51 Street, St. Paul, AB T0A 3A1 780-645-2677
August 27 1935 –
August 28 2019
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de HOLLIDAY Thomas..
Décès pour la Ville: St. Paul, Province: Alberta