We are saddened indeed to report that early on Wednesday January 24, we bid farewell to Darlene Reda Mae Hamilton Small. Remaining here to celebrate her life and mourn her passing are: son Daniel (Melody); daughter Shannon (Paul); grandson Daniel Jr; grand-daughter Elizabeth and four great grand-daughters: Katelyn, Sarah, Auria & Danielle Freckelton; and last but certainly not least, her cat and very precious companion, ‘Juliette’. Darlene was predeceased by her husband, Bruce (Oct,1990) and her youngest son, David (Jan,2017)
She was born September28, 1932 at St. Boniface, MB. With her father, Ren Hamilton being a pioneer member of the RCAF, and accepting a transfer to Rockcliffe-Ottawa Air Station, Mom Hilda, daughter Darlene and little brother Bobby were packed onto the train with their few possessions and took up a new life which was comfortably much closer to Ren and Hilda’s family and origins in the Ottawa Valley area. They remained in Ottawa through the war years with Ren being overseas a great deal of that time. When the Services were rapidly reduced post-war, Ren was retired to pension. Darlene took up with and subsequently married Bruce Small from Pembroke, ON.
The young couple resided with Ren & Hilda until the down payment on a small home could be scraped together. They bundled up their new son Daniel and headed for Pine Glen, Carleton County on the outskirts of Ottawa. Son David arrived a few years later and with his special needs, Darlene remained close to home, working occasionally/seasonally at some part-time jobs in retail and Federal Gov’t. The family of four remained there until transferred west to Edmonton in 1966. This separated them from the familiarity of friends and relatives though thankfully, Darlene’s cousin Doreen Milne was raising her family there. They became as close as sisters. Within 2 years, Darlene’s brother Bob, wife Louise and two girls transferred to Edmonton and added to the growing presence in the West. The most significant and joyous event of those early years in Edmonton was the arrival of daughter Shannon, on St. Patrick’s Day 1969! With Danny and Davey advanced by several years, Shannon had ready-made big brothers to depend on. Her arrival completed the family of 5 and she ranks as the only ‘true’ Albertan!
Though more transfers saw Bob & family relocating for a time in Manitoba, they moved back to Edmonton again some years later. Darlene was thrilled when her Mom & Dad decided to leave their long-time home in Sudbury, ON, and move west to be with the growing family in Edmonton. When Bob’s family came back to Edmonton, the Hamiltons were able to share some seasons together again for the last time. Darlene delighted in the time they had here and completely according to her character, she served and cared for her Mom & Dad until they passed along. She faithfully did the same for several of her family members!
For all the deep respects and warm compliments, we could pay to this saintly woman, most all of which could be expected to embarrass her, we must admit that words alone have left us short. We just thank God in Heaven above that she was here to love us and touch our lives. For just over 85 years, so fully, so faithfully and without question or complaint, she could be found quietly at her ‘calling’…serving each of us and any others before herself. Darlene was a gift…a true Blessing.
She lost her only true-love far too soon, pressing on alone without Bruce for the past 38 yrs, but our family just seemed to get all the more of her! Just one year ago today, she had to say farewell to her middle son, David. And just when we thought that her duties might be relaxed for a few seasons ahead, there was a sudden onset and very brief illness just a few days ago. A surgical intervention was completed but her body simply could not regain sufficient strength and she passed away, and in such fitting fashion, with family members at her side.
A Memorial is planned for Friday, February 02, 11:00am; at Evangel Assembly, 4461-50 st NW Edmonton, T6L 7A3, 780-468-4714
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Evangel Assembly (as addressed above) and specify clearly for “INNER-CITY MINISTRIES”.