Azaela Marguerite McQuaker (nee Lundy) passed away Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ont.
Born on a farm in Carpenter, Ont. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1918, Azaela was the oldest of 11 children. She attended public school in Carpenter, completing Grade 8 at age 11.
Following graduation from Emo Continuation School, she took Grade 13 in Fort Frances, working for a number of families in return for room and board. She subsequently earned a first class teaching certificate from North Bay Normal School.
Her first school was Aylsworth #1 off River Road, where she taught in 1938-39 for a salary of $700.
While teaching at Pattullo School #8, Azaela boarded at the McQuaker home, where she met William (Bill). They married in 1942.
Following World War II and the birth of their first son, Forrest, Azaela returned to teaching, filling a position resulting from a resignation at Devlin Public School. When a second son (Randall) arrived, she retired temporarily but subsequently accepted a position at La Vallee Public School.
In 1957, she joined the staff at the new J.W. Walker School in Fort Frances, retiring from the classroom in 1978.
In teaching, Azaela had found a highly-rewarding vocation. She made it her business to be well-informed and well-prepared in the classroom. She worked individually with students who were struggling, and would go to great lengths to help all of her students succeed.
She went above and beyond professional duty in countless ways—baking cookies for class parties, staying late after school to supervise floor hockey for Grade 8 boys, and showing the children at recess how to make a fox and goose trail in the first snow of winter.
Her own enthusiasm for discovery was a model for students, and she could adroitly turn a student’s unexpected question into a research opportunity for the class.
Former students may not have realized with what interest she followed their progress through their later schooling and careers.
Respectful of her students, a skilful questioner, deeply committed to student learning, engaged in her profession, endlessly curious about the world around her, Azaela was, in the finest sense, a teacher.
In addition to classroom teaching, Azaela was active in the Federation of Women Teachers Association of Ontario, focusing on contract issues and professional development. She also was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international sorority of women teachers.
Azaela was a long-time member of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron of Evergreen Chapter No. 80 on three occasions. She also was a Past District Deputy Grand Matron.
She was keenly devoted to her family, and took much pleasure in their activities and accomplishments. Among her many other interests were crossword puzzles, gardening and travel.
Azaela is survived by her son, Randall (Cathy Hellsten) and granddaughter, Elizabeth; son, Forrest and grandchildren, Brent (Linda), Craig (Della), Caron (Doug Cridland), and Laura (Paul Smith); and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Also surviving are her sisters, Florence Watts and Shirley (Ernest) Peters; brother, Jack Lundy; sisters-in-law, Norma Lundy and Pat Lundy; and brothers-in-law, Gerald Seed, Carson (Iris) McQuaker, and Ron (Irene) McQuaker.
She was predeceased by her husband, Bill; daughter-in-law, Audrey; sisters, Arlien and husband, Arthur Watts, Iola Seed, and Aleta and husband, John McRae; and brothers, Forrest (in childhood), Frank, Cleland, and Gary.
Funeral services will be held Monday, June 14, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances. Rev. Frances Flook will officiate, with interment in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Brent and Craig McQuaker, Doug Cridland, nephew, Jack Winik, and sons, Randall and Forrest McQuaker.
The honourary pallbearers will be the members of the Order of the Eastern Star and all “vintage” teachers.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to a charity of your choice or to Riverside Foundation for Health Care c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
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