Lillian (“Louise”) Clement, nee Wray, passed away Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.
She was born March 10, 1930 in Swan River, Man. She was the middle child, often lamenting that she “had six brothers and no sisters.”
Louise attended school (Grades 1-12) at Duncan School in Swan River. Her first job was at Woodward’s Bakery and Coffee Shop, where she worked after school and on Saturdays.
Louise was a very ambitious and accomplished woman. In October, 1954, she and her girlfriend, Ariel Finley, embarked on a great adventure and moved to Atikokan, Ont. to seek employment.
The train ride was a real eye-opener as they saw men with large packs, carrying axes, and wearing knives on their belts. They felt they were entering the Wild West.
In the summer of 1955, Louise and her new girlfriend, Marie Lloyd, hitch-hiked to French Lake and were picnicking. At that time, Marie introduced her to Max Clement so she could borrow his canoe.
When she tipped the canoe, she impressed Dad by grabbing the rope and swimming to shore with the canoe in tow.
The rest is history . . . they were married in Fort Frances on Jan. 7, 1956.
Louise’s first job in Atikokan was at Chapples as an office clerk responsible for accounts receivables. In 1963, she began helping Dad at the Husky service station as a gas jockey, and bookkeeper.
Then in 1966, Louise started part-time at the post office as a clerk. She soon had a full-time position and her postal career concluded 20 years later as Post Mistress in Rainy River.
In between strikes, she tree-planted with women who would become lifelong friends.
In 1986, Louise began her new career with Canada Customs, working a six-month contract at the Atikokan airport for two summers. She later was transferred to Fort Frances, where she became a full-time officer.
She retired from Customs in 1990 and put an end to her highway commuting.
Retirement seemed to bore her, though, so she accepted a job at the Ontario Hydro generating station in Atikokan as a security guard. Due to her age, Louise often felt like a mother hen to the other employees.
Three years later, she joined Dad in retirement. Louise then dedicated her energy to crafts, painting, and travelling with family or the S.O.S. group, but mostly enjoying her eight beautiful grandchildren.
Louise and Max provided a lifelong gift for their family with the creation of their beloved Factor Lake cabin. The camp has become a central hub for their family and many happy memories have been made there.
Louise was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary Br. #145 in Atikokan for more than 50 years.
Louise is survived by her husband of 58 years, Maxwell Clement; sons Wray (Marylynn) and Albert (Karen); daughters, Susan (Wes Werbowy) and Kristina (David Fulton); and grandchildren, Brent (Sarah) Clement, Sarah (Derrick) Leduchowski, Ashley, Alexandra, and Adam Clement, and Katrina, Gregory, and Maxwell Fulton.
Louise also is survived by her beloved brothers, Ab and Don Wray; and special nieces, Margie, Cathy, and Abby.
Also left to mourn are her treasured friends, Heather McLeod and Annabell Golding; as well as many more friends and extended family.
Louise was predeceased by her parents, John Samuel Wray and Lillian Maude (nee Brinkman); brothers, Jack, Dave, Robert, and Wally; in-laws, Albert and Estha Clement; her best friend and sister-in-law, Bernice “Bunny” Wray; as well as many extended family members.
Louise’s last journey will be The Portage in Atikokan, Factor Lake, and finally her beloved hometown of Swan River, where she longed to return to.
A celebration of Louise’s life will be held Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #145 in Atikokan.
In memoriam donations may be made to Atikokan General Hospital or the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #145.
Have a safe journey, Mom. Forever in our hearts.