Jessie Nicolson Voaklander (Sheridan, nee Harrold)

December 23, 1913 – June 10, 2020
A go-getter. A force to be reckoned with. A hard worker. An enjoyer of life and all it had to offer. A green thumb. An amazing home cook. A baker of fine breads & pastries. An entertainer. A host. A civic politician. A volunteer. A keeper of commitments. A canner of delicious pickles and jams. A traveler. A survivor. A planner. A community organizer. A darner of socks and a knitter of many things for many people. A defender of the vulnerable. A waitress, librarian, business owner, cashier, farmer, cook, maid and pine cone picker. She was a mom, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She was the last of her generation descending from the first group of pioneers to settle in the Namao/Edmonton area from Scotland in the late 1800s.
She was ahead of her time when it came to issues of equality for the LBGTQ community and women. She always advocated for a social net for struggling families. She loved a spirited discussion and would not avoid a topical debate.
She was reserved. At the core of who she was – there was a depth of kindness that was shown in actions instead of words. She empathized deeply, but was not demonstrative. She called it her “Scottish reserve”. She was suspicious of the superficial. Mom never said no when we found a stray cat or dog and she helped us nurse many injured birds and mice. We will miss her so much.
Although she had a busy, independent life outside of her family, it was having her clan all gathered together that gave her the most joy. Family gatherings, with lots of noise and laughing were by far her most favorite experiences.
During her last years she was supported by the staff and volunteers at Silver Birch Lodge in Sherwood Park and the Gerald Zetter Center in Edmonton. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of those who became such an important part of her life and care.
Mom was pre-deceased by her husbands, Philip Sheridan and Bob Voaklander, her daughter, Gayle, her grandson, Richard and all of her siblings (Joan, Tom, Doug and Babe). She is survived by her children, Lynne Sheridan, Pat (Marge) Sheridan, Karen Sheridan, Dr. Rillah (Terry) Carson, Dr. Don (Karen) Voaklander and Vanore (Ian) Voaklander, her grandchildren, Len (Risma) Murray, Sarah (Lyle) Firth, Barbara Sheridan, Philip Sheridan, (Rhonda), Drew (Remi) Voaklander, Britt Voaklander, Erika Voaklander, Dr. Bridget Hooper and great grandchildren – Jordan, Chance, Dawson and Wynn.
A celebration of her life will be held after travel restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a donation may choose a charity of their choice.

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