Anna Margaret Hyde was was born in 1923 to Ernest and Anne Redfern in Pointe St. Charles, Montreal. Being the oldest of seven, including five boys, there was not a lot of free time. She remembers family dinners and singing with her mother’s family, and going to Montreal Canadien games at the Forum and getting to sit in the ‘nosebleed’ section for a label from Beehive Golden Syrup. There wasn’t much money growing up in the Depression.
She took French and Latin in school, where she developed a keen knowledge of English grammar. After high school, she went to Normal School (Teacher’s College). Her first year teaching was in a Grade 7 class, which included three or four 16-year-old French Canadian girls, not much younger than her, who wanted to learn English. She had to take a year off teaching in order to look after her mother who was very ill with asthma.
Anna met her husband, Edward Hyde in 1944 at McGill where he was a dental student. He asked her brothers at the free dental clinic if they had a sister, and if they could bring her to their next appointment. They obliged and he asked her out on a date that night, where she had her first ever drink, cigarette and steak!
Her father thought he was disrespectful for not taking off his hat in the house and forbade her to go out with him. She continued seeing him anyway before he was sent off to England as an Army dentist. The young dentist wrote to Mom asking her to come to England on a steamer. She rented a room close by the Army Base, but in order to stay on the base together, they had to marry, which they did in August 1946. When Dr. Hyde was posted back to Canada, mom returned home via a War Bride ship.
They moved to Vancouver where she worked in the Linen Department at Eaton’s, eventually giving birth to her first child, Kathy. The family moved to Richmond where they raised three more, Bob, Louise and Susan.
She moved to Victoria in the 1980’s where she enjoyed exploring the city, working in her garden and visits from her family, including her brothers and sister. She went on trips to visit her children in Prince Rupert, Williams Lake, Winnipeg, Salmon Arm and Alameda, California.
In the late 1990s she moved to Salmon Arm so she could be closer to one of her children and grandchildren. She made close friends in Salmon Arm and enjoyed spending time with Louise and Lorne and family. Visits from Kathy, Bob and Susan, as well as her grandchildren continued, especially during the summer. Anna transitioned to Lakeside Manor and later Mt. Ida Mews.
Her family came together to celebrate her birthdays...her 80th, 85th, 90th and every year thereafter until her 96th. These birthday celebrations served as Family Reunions where family ties were strengthened and new great grandchildren were introduced. At one family gathering, Mom looked around and said in amazement “Look what I started.”
The family so appreciates the friendship and love showed to Mom by Charlotte Makortoff, her best friend, and by the caring staff at Mt. Ida Mews. She was known there for her wit, style, grace, love of roses, the colour pink, music, reading, chocolate and speaking French….her nickname was “the Queen”.
She is survived by her children: Kathy Bedard (Ken), Bob Hyde (Terry), Louise Reimer (Lorne) and Susan (Ron) Hyde; her adopted daughter Sieu Lan Wong (Edmund); her grandchildren: Will Bedard (Tanya), Amanda Anne Bedard (Jaalen), Marcie Helmer (Rowan), Rob Hyde (Ashlee), Angela Reimer (Victor), and Chelsea Ducharme (Chris), her great-grandchildren: Haana, Nora-Jane and Wiijaa Edenshaw; Lewis and Charles Collinson-Bedard; Meagen, Logan and Declan Amyotte; Moira Helmer; and Maycee and Sofia Ducharme.
After saying goodbye to all four of her children and many of her grandchildren, she passed away peacefully on July 15, 2021.
A funeral mass took place on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church. To watch a recording of the service, please click the link below.
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