Gardening 03

Lillian DeLance



We say a fond farewell, out of love and respect, for a woman who fostered warmth and fun whatever life path she was on. Lillian was the eldest of four children born on April 12, 1923. Her parents, Harriett and Nelson Albertson ventured from Ontario to Saskatchewan…a place of opportunity back in the early 1920’s. Lillian was born in Amulet, a small little place in the Trudale District in southern Saskatchewan.

Lillian liked to tease so she’d encourage her calm, peaceful sister Dorothy, to help squish their little brother Carmen when they were to be getting settled for the night…they’d even pinch as he was crying for help!! There was 12 years difference between Lillian and Isabelle, her youngest sibling. These two shared many of the same personality traits so they continued right up until last month with phone conversations, laughing and reminiscing and wishing they lived closer together so they could stir up trouble!!

Once off the farm, Lillian’s school days were spent in Regina where she and her friends ice skated, roller skated and spent hours on the tennis court. Lillian reminisced about working at Woolworth’s and also her time spent in the work force as a secretary for the Department of National Defence where she met Walter Crocombe, a boy from Kamsack SK.

Lillian made wise choices when it came to marriage. She married Walter August 24, 1946. Once Walter completed his teaching degree they began their life in Kamsack where their two daughters (Lynne and Valerie) were born. Family life was good in Kamsack, spending summers at Madge Lake, tending to whatever pets Walter thought their family ought to open their hearts to…..dogs, chinchillas, rabbits, even a monkey and a snake. Mom was very tolerant and willing to house all of our furry pets but it certainly ought to be noted that it was  Dad’s love, Lynne’s passion and Val’s excitement of “a something new in the house”…not Mom’s!

Lillian sang in the Kamsack United Church choir for years, typed the Sunday bulletins so they could be run off on a ‘gestetner’. She belonged to Eastern Star and was involved in organizing many a fundraising TEA and busied herself making carnival skating costumes and matching mother-daughter outfits and knitting siwash sweaters!

In 1968 the Crocombe family moved to Nipawin. Lillian became involved in four different singing groups, took an active role in the Horticultural Society, enjoyed her bridge groups, and continued her involvement with the Eastern Star.  After Walter’s sudden passing (1977), Lillian became Nipawin’s first Welcome Wagon hostess. It was the best job for her…..welcoming new comers to town!

Lillian found love again and on July 30, 1981 married Wayne DeLance. Once Wayne retired, they spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona, golfing and connecting with long-time friends from both Nipawin and Kamsack. Mom and Wayne’s life together was filled with travel….from the Maritimes to Hawaii, on cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean, to sitting on the beaches of Mexico and trips to the west coast where Lillian’s’ parents, her siblings and their families live. After celebrating 20 years together, Wayne and Lillian sold their house and moved into the first condo built in Nipawin…the location was ideal and Lillian was able to live independently until the age of 96.  Nipawin life suited her….she was active and on the go continuously. She enjoyed the day bus trips over to Prince Albert with good friend Pauline Eremko – such fun they’d have counting their winnings!

Grandma kept track of her grandchildren and liked to hear what they were up to. She was proud of their accomplishments, was forever sharing her opinions with them and liked to know what was happening in the ‘outside’ world. Her great grandchildren were very dear to her….she always enjoyed the excitement little ones can bring!

After 50 years of Nipawin living, Lillian choose to move back to Kamsack (August 2018) where she renewed old friendships at Eaglestone Lodge and had the daily support of her daughter Lynne. Life after Lynne’s passing (Dec 2020) took on a new look for her. Along with monthly visits from Val, the residents and staff at Eaglestone became her extended family …. And for that we are so thankful for the special care she received. Eaglestone truly became her home.

Family and friends gathered for Lillian’s 100 birthday celebration this past April…she was happy to mark turning a century old. Many of us noticed the ‘twinkle in her eyes’ was softening….she often said how blessed she was to have seen so much, witnessed so much,  and was a part of so much. She remarked not that long ago, “My zest for life has come and gone”.

Thank you to the Kamsack Hospital staff who allowed my Mom to pass with dignity and respect. She left this worldly space knowing she was loved and valued as a Mom, step Mom, mother-in-law, step Grandma, Great Grandma, step Great Grandma, and friend.

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Eaglestone Personal Care Home
346 Miles Street, Kamsack, SK s0a1s0


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