God has taken one very special loving mother and teacher home after 110 years, three months and one day. Alice (Campbell) Irvine was born November 5, 1912, in Saskatchewan. Due to poor economic conditions, her parents, George and Elsie Campbell, moved their family to a farm north of Emo when Alice was 8 years old. They drove their Model T with their four children from their farm in Alberta and never once had to put the top up on the car for rain.
Alice taught school at Carpenter S.S. #1 and Mather #8 until her marriage to William (Bill) Irvine in 1938. They lived on Bill’s farm in Mather Township. After having their first two children, Jacqueline and Bruce, Alice returned to teaching at Mather #3, just a 10 minute walk south of their farm, from 1941 to 1948. Their third and last child, Joan, was born that year. Alice returned to her profession in 1954 in Emo and retired from teaching at the brand-new Donald Young School in 1973.
Alice certainly saw many changes throughout her lifetime. Her first exposure to electricity was when her family stayed at a cousin’s home in Winnipeg on the way to Emo. At Mather #8, she had some students arrive at school in the winter covered in buffalo skin robes and hay riding in a sleigh pulled by an ox. Yet she drove a car more than 106,400 miles to teach later in her career. She successfully managed her many responsibilities being a dedicated farm wife, a loving mother to her children and a caring devoted teacher for 32 years to her many students.
Of mother’s final years, 17 were spent at the Golden Age Manor in Emo, eventually at the age of 102 moving to Rainycrest, where she spent her last 8 years. These years were brightened by dedicated caregivers, such as Dianne, Margie, Lynda, and Mollie but the COVID pandemic ended their attendance. After the lockdown ceased, Tami Burnell, truly heaven sent, enhanced Mother’s days several times a week.
From the age of 99, mother was the oldest person in the Rainy River District. She received Birthday Congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor Generals and various other government officials from the time she turned 100 years old. She was also the oldest retired teacher in Ontario still receiving her teacher’s pension after 49 years – establishing a new record!
She was beloved by her three children, Jacqueline (Jackie) and Maurice Black, Bruce and Sharon (deceased) Irvine, and Joan and Richard Anderson; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and the many friends and students who all fulfilled her life.
The family looks forward to hearing memories of mother contributed by relatives and friends at a Come and Go tea to be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Northridge Funeral Home, Emo.
Arrangements entrusted to Northridge Funeral Home Ltd., Emo, Ontario.