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Arlene Lawson

Arlene Odette Lawson

Sunday, March 24th, 1929 - Saturday, November 30th, 2019
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Obituary

Lawson; Arlene Odette

Arlene was a wife, mother and grandmother but perhaps foremost, she was an independent woman before women could really be so. Independence started early for Arlene and her brother Dennis who, aged 7 and 9, drove a horse and buggy across the open Canadian prairie to school in rural Saskatchewan.

In her twenties, Arlene began work at MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman where she was legal secretary to Mr. Leslie, one of Canada’s pre-eminent litigators. Arlene corralled Mr. Leslie, telling her daughter of one occasion on which she took the opportunity to clean up stacks and stacks of paper he kept in his office while he was away on a case. Mr. Leslie succumbed and appreciated her skills so much that she was the first woman in her office allowed to remain employed after marrying. Arlene worked, putting her husband Bruce Lawson through the University of Saskatchewan but when her son Ian was on the way paid employment stopped and the hard work of being a mom to her three children, Ian, Lesley and Susan began. It was then that Arlene took up oil painting, taking classes in the evening and painting beautiful pictures that the extended family continue to enjoy today. At 57 Arlene began work at the Ottawa Public Library, in part to help her daughter Susan study at Queen’s University when Bruce thought an Ottawa university education should be sufficient. The one thing Arlene was not able to do was go to university herself. Her parents brought Arlene and her siblings up in the Great Depression, making a university education financially impossible for Arlene but that did not stop her from helping everyone else get there.

Arlene was also a determined and caring mother and wife, looking after her daughter Lesley for many years through an illness and, for the last several years, providing all the care that Bruce needed, with the help of Barney, Priyanga and Norma whose help and companionship Arlene enjoyed.

Arlene drove, did all the grocery shopping, cooking and coordinated all the household demands, read voraciously and completed any crossword, cryptogram or other challenging puzzle within moments of it crossing her lap until falling ill two weeks ago. Arlene will be missed by her husband Bruce her son Ian and granddaughters, who she loved very much, Skeena, Saige and Silken and their mother Shelley, but her daughter Susan will miss her most of all.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry 150 Woodroffe Ave. (at Richmond Road), Ottawa on Sunday December 8th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    December 8, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    When
    December 8, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location
    West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
    Address
    150 Woodroffe Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario K2A 3T9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Location
    West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
    Address
    150 Woodroffe Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario K2A 3T9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Location
    West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
    Address
    150 Woodroffe Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario K2A 3T9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence
GD

Geri DiStefano

Posted at 01:14pm
My heartful sympathies to you and your family. Sorry for your loss.
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