We are sad to announce that Maria Luzzetta Bea Stenson (nee Readman) of Edmonton died of natural causes at the Misericordia Hospital on November 14, 2019 at the age of 89.
Bea is predeceased by her husband Arthur and her eldest son Kerry. She is survived by her children Wendy, Darby (Laurie), Daryl (May) and Trevor. Also bereaved are grandchildren Jenny & Frances, Linnea, John & Kelsey, Arthur & Autumn, and Howard; and great grandchildren, Isaac & Griffin, Naomi & Eli, Hannah & Daniel, Noah & Nathan, and Charley. Bea is also predeceased by her brother Jay and her sister Phoebe and survived by her siblings Kelly, Shirley, Darby and Hugh, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bea was born in Melville, Saskatchewan to Douglas Readman and Agnes Sundberg. She had many stories to tell about growing up on the farm, and was proud that she could work as hard as any of her brothers. Bea was a talented and creative person, who saw a use for everything and wasted nothing, a trait instilled from having lived through the Great Depression. Bea learned to sew and cook at an early age, and also helped care for her younger siblings. She mastered all aspects of farm life, including carpentry, horsemanship , and other skills generally considered a man’s domain.
Bea took great pride in being resourceful and industrious, and she used her skills over the years to supplement the family income; such as providing day care, taking in mending, and making and selling doll clothes. She had been commissioned on several occasions to sew wedding and bridesmaid dresses. She never wasted a scrap of material, but instead used them in quilts or made doll clothes.
Bea also contributed her time and talents to volunteering at King Edward Park Community League for many years, where she made many enduring friendships. Bea had a genuine concern for people and community, and provided support in many ways to her friends and family. She is remembered as a loving, kind, and generous person and a loyal friend, and many people thought of her as a second mother.
When most people are beginning to look forward to retirement, Bea started on a new path, and set up as a vendor at the Strathcona Farmer’s Market. She had her stall there for thirty-one years, selling jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles, pies, and other toothsome goodies. She also made and sold dolls, stuffed animals, aprons, children’s clothes, and an array of other items lovingly handcrafted. She lived for the market, and some of her customers and fellow vendors that she befriended had become her second family.
The doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals at the Misericordia Hospital provided excellent care to Bea during her final days, showing compassion and concern not only for her, but for her family and friends as well. We would like to thank them all, and also all of her friends, neighbors, and care-givers who made it possible for Bea to stay in her home as long as she did.
In lieu of flowers or other tributes, Bea would rather we support those less fortunate by donating to the Mustard Seed Church at PO BOX 1842 STN Main, Edmonton, AB T5J 2P2.
Bea’s remains have been cremated, and a memorial to celebrate her life will be held in the spring.