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RUTH BERNICE HARDING
June 27, 1933 - May 31, 2023
This tribute is to celebrate the life of Ruth Harding (née Inkster), a woman, friend, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and a great-great grandmother of a blended family with her husband and partner of 55+ years Gordon Harding.
Ruth passed away so peacefully, and on her own terms, on May 31, 2023. Demonstrating determination, strength, and courageousness, Ruth was surrounded by Gordon, family and friends in Winnipeg, and Arlene and her family in Nanaimo, as she passed on to her Maker (as she said).
Ruth was born in 1933 in Stonewall Manitoba to Geoffrey James and Mary Fern Inkster and was the youngest sibling to Donald Inkster and Margaret Inkster (née Caux). The Inkster's were a big family and Ruth was accustomed to spending time with her aunts and uncles on the Balmoral and Stonewall farms of the Inkster family.
Ruth lived and went to school in Winnipeg with, as we learned in later years when they were married, Gordon Harding, whom she remembered from those years and from that time in school. Ruth was a single mom to Arlene until meeting this long-term love, partner, and husband, Gordon Harding, and they were married for just over 50 years. Ruth and Gordon started living together in 1970 with Arlene tagging along. Ruth and Gordon realized their dreams for bringing their family together with their respective children and for creating a home space where family got together. Ruth was dedicated to the family, always accepting and giving of spirit and support. There were lots of family celebrations and holidays in Winnipeg with family. Ruth loved being with family and friends and had a number of favourite places to spend time.
For many years while working, Ruth and Gordon had property at Lundar Beach, MB where spring, summer, and early fall were spent building up the land; starting with a trailer and eventually building a cedar log cabin. Friends and family were always a welcomed part of Lundar, and Ruth was a maternal figure, a gracious hostess, and a great friend. Ruth and Gordon would go on to build their dream home at Winnipeg Beach and spent many years there before returning to live in Winnipeg in the mid 2000's.
Ruth was great with numbers and spent most of her working-life in bookkeeping and accounting in a variety of industries in Winnipeg until she moved to Winnipeg Beach where she worked for herself. Arlene remembers when her mom would work in the manufacturing district of Winnipeg, and growing up, Arlene would always have clothing that no one else would ever have... just a perk of the work!
Once Ruth and Gordon retired, a favourite place to visit during the winter months of Winnipeg was Mesa Arizona. Ruth was always up for adventure and put on thousands of miles over the years spending time with their long term “snow bird” friends.
Nanaimo, BC was always in Ruth's heart as she and Gordon would regularly visit daughter Arlene and her family on the West Coast. It could be two weeks or it could be three to four months... she would give herself time to watch her grandchildren grow up plus always visit extended family of Gordon's on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver. Christmas was always an enjoyable time for Ruth, dating back to the early years, and there were many Christmases spent together over the span of the years.
As friends and family know, Gordon has a life-changing accident in 1999 and Ruth was there to support and encourage him through the years of change and rehabilitation. She was his number one cheerleader and through it all, they worked together and built their life in a new way.
Anyone who knew Ruth knew she loved bingo, cooking for family and friends, getting her hair done, the birds and wildlife on the deck and in the yard, knitting and needlepoint, and she was a wiz with a computer. No matter what went wrong with her electronics, she figured out how to fix it. She was using her iPad right to the end. Ruth loved to needlepoint and her pride and joy was a Blueboy which she completed in 1951-52 and which has proudly hung on family walls since that time.
Ruth's immediate family includes daughter Arlene Garman (née Inkster/Harding) along with Arlene's husband Geoffrey Garman; grandchildren, Leyland, Christina, and David; and great grandchild Cohen. They all live in Nanaimo, BC. Ruth was Auntie to her brother Don's children, Marie, Cathy, and John; and a great aunt to their children. Ruth has a large extended family in Winnipeg through Gordon who include son John (and Doris); grandchildren, Karolyn, Jodie, and Johnny; great grandchildren, Jazmyn (2014 who is in with Ruth now), Jordyn, and Marina; and great-great grandchild Olivia. Grandchildren include Tanya, Shannon, Melissa and Gordie.
Ruth suffered numerous health issues over the years but always came back from those trying times. Her heart and willpower would not stop. It was only in the last six months that she knew she could not go back home. It was difficult for her and Gordon as they navigated this new stage of life.
As Ruth's daughter Arlene, I want to give a heartfelt acknowledgement to the MAiD doctors and nurses who provided my Mom, Ruth, the opportunity to have her final wishes met to pass in dignity, on her own terms, and be surrounded in love. In addition, I acknowledge the caring that Ruth had at Heritage Lodge and to the many Care Aides who cared for Ruth in her homes over the years.
Ruth Harding (née Inkster) will be missed. She said her spirit will be on all our shoulders and for us to know she will always be with us... we love you forever!!!!
By the way, Ruth loved Rod Stewart!
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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