Arta Gwen Atwood George
July 15, 1936 – November 30, 2020
Arta Gwen Atwood George, beloved wife of the late Mat George, passed away in Raymond on Monday, November 30, 2020, at the age of 84.
She is survived by her three children: Cathy (Greg-deceased) Baker, Brenda Steffen, and Cameron (Roxane) Steffen. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Dustin (Jen) Baker, Jodi (Shawn) O’Neill, Cody Baker, Lacey (Jesse) Stewart, Jai (Robert) Theberge, and Nevada Helgeson; and twelve great-grandchildren: Braydon, Alora, Grayson, Avery, Mavis, Destiny, Amelia, Lauralie, Freya, Thorin, Dagen, and Jayde.
She was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Laura Atwood; her first husband, Lawrence Steffen; her second husband, Mat George; and her siblings Arthur Atwood (who died in infancy); LaVina (Brownie) Witbeck; Laura (Grover) Nelson; Gail (Rae) Atwood; and Duwayne (Mauricette) Atwood.
An avid family historian, Gwen treasured her family and honored her heritage. She worked diligently to compile a family history book on the John and Agnes Atwood family. This book and her posterity are truly her legacy. She loved to write poetry, too, and also wrote a novel based on Mat’s family history. Gwen will always be remembered for her infectious sense of humor, her smile, her wit, her tireless efforts to organize family reunions, and her dedicated service in managing the Prayer Line, a site which allowed extended family members to keep in touch and support one another.
Gwen was born on July 15, 1936, in Raymond. She was the youngest of Arthur and Laura Atwood’s children. For the first eleven years of her life she lived in “the house by the canal,” located on the south end of town. She had a zest for life and enjoyed playing outdoor childhood games. But even more than that, she loved remaining indoors and listening to stories shared when relatives came to visit. Even as a young girl she had a passion for family history.
When Gwen was eleven, her father moved the family to “the house along the highway,” where she lived for the rest of her growing up years.
On June 2, 1954, she married Lawrence Steffen. They had three children: Cathy, Brenda, and Cameron. After thirty-two years of marriage, Gwen and Lawrence divorced but remained good friends.
On July 17, 1995, Gwen married Mathew George, who had four children from a previous marriage. At one time she and Mat been childhood sweethearts. They had dated for three years but had eventually gone their separate ways. Reunited again, they bought a house where Gwen still lived until her passing. In 1996 Mat was diagnosed with cancer. His wish was to die at home, so Gwen took time off work to care for him. He passed away on July 21, 1996, with Gwen lovingly holding his hand. Gwen’s family was her first love. The wall in the front entrance of her home is literally covered with family photographs, beginning with her great-grandparents and ending with her great-grandchildren. A visitor could not get past Gwen’s front entrance without receiving a detailed “tour” of who was who in each photograph. We are all going to miss those “tours.”
Friends may meet the family on Friday, December 4, 2020, at Christensen Salmon Generations Funeral Home, 703-13th Street North, Lethbridge. Please email email@example.com or call 403-382-3601 to book a private time to pay your final respects. Mandatory mask or face covering is required.
A Graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at Temple Hill Cemetery, Raymond, Alberta, with Bishop Wayne Smith officiating.
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