Winnifred Mae Robertson was born August 27, 1935 to Marjorie (Walker) and Sheldon Owens, who always managed to find the money for piano lessons. Winnie was one of those talented few who could play by note and by ear. She accompanied her Dad when he played his fiddle at local dances, and has been playing for singers and singsongs ever since.
Winnie became a teacher before marrying Howie Robertson and settling down on the farm. Three children came shortly after: Shelley, Joan and Duncan. She never forgot what it was like to be a small child herself. That was one of the reasons why she was such a fantastic mother, and later, a wonderful kindergarten teacher. She was a freedom-giving person because she herself valued autonomy. She used to say she was fine as long as she knew where the exit door was.
When Howie, the love of her life, died tragically in a farming accident in 1980, Winnie chose to pick herself up and get on with the adventure of living. She volunteered for CUSO in Africa for 3 years, traveling extensively during and after that period with her dear friend Ethel. Later, when the grandchildren started arriving, she chose to volunteer closer to home, managing the Mennonite Center for Newcomers in Edmonton. Eventually Winnie had nine grandchildren. She took the responsibility for being both Grandfather and Grandmother to them very seriously, trying to create the kinds of opportunities she believed Howie would have made, taking them camping, and hosting "Camp Granny." She invested heavily in creating an opportunity for the Cousins to get to know each other.
Winnie found her greatest spiritual connection through nature. She was an avid gardener, a bird box builder, and a plant lover extraordinaire. She replenished herself with her hands in the soil or picking raspberries in the back pasture. She knew where all the lady-slippers grew and all the grandchildren remember going on "tree rescue" missions.
Winnie died on July 3, 2019, with loving family at her side during her last days.
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report ... think on these things." Philippians 4:8”