top of page

Lillian Robertson

robertson (22 of 60).jpg


(née AUDLEY)

June 21, 1935 - March 19, 2022

With great sadness, we announce the passing of Lillian, our Mum and Grandma. Lillian is remembered by her daughter Colleen; daughter and son-in-law Shannon and Rob; grandchildren, Nia, Kevin, Emily, Vincent, Steven, and Eric; and many nephews and nieces. She joins her husband of 56 years, Lyall; parents Eric and May; parents-in-law Matthew and Ann; sisters-in-law Arline and Adele; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Lawrence (Laurie) and Joan; as well as her grandmother Sarah.


Although Lillian was an only child who preferred socializing in small groups to mingling with crowds, she made many fast friends during her youth, whom she talked about with great fondness over the years. Some of these were Roberta, Eileen, Marie, Bob (George), Mary, Hilda, Barb, and Bill. Growing up in Weston, Lillian attended Cecil Rhodes, Daniel McIntyre, and Tec-Voc schools, and delighted in going with her friends to “canteens” (social events for teenagers), where she became skilled at doing “The Jive.” As a child and young woman, Lillian was especially close to her Dad, Eric, and her grandmother Sarah, and spent many happy times with her Uncle Bill & Aunt Emily and their kids Penny and Ted. Throughout her adult life, Mum also enjoyed special and close long-term friendships with her sisters-in-law, Arline and Adele.


Lillian left high school a year early to accept a job at Monarch Life. By that time she had met Lyall, first at Harry’s Diner, and then at a canteen where he went to find her again. Both were only sixteen years old when they met, and their courtship lasted four years. They were married on June 9, 1956, with a wedding that Mum always remembered as being wonderful. On their Minneapolis honeymoon, Lillian was just shy of her 21st birthday – old enough to be married, but not old enough to celebrate with a glass of champagne at a restaurant! She and Lyall called Winnipeg home all their lives, except for five early years in Dauphin. They raised their children in their “little purple house” on Edderton Avenue, and spent many happy retirement years in their condo on Plaza Drive.


Mum (Grandma) had the most amazing smile, loved hugs, and regularly told her kids and grandkids how much she loved them. She excelled at the little things that made us all feel happy, safe, and loved. As children, we knew that she and Dad (Grandad) were always “on our side”, and that they loved us unconditionally, so we never felt as though we were facing the world alone.


Our Mum was a beauty. She grew up going to the movies with her parents and, like the movie stars she loved to watch, she had a marvellous eye for fashion and a slim, natural elegance that turned heads whenever she went out. Through her entire life, no matter what her clothing budget was, she always looked amazing! As children, we thought she was the most beautiful Mum in the world—perhaps even the most beautiful woman! She was also intelligent and informed. She loved to read! We can’t remember a time when she didn’t have one or more books on the go, enjoying mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, and much more, and continuing to read and do crossword puzzles right up to her last few days. And she was also a great storyteller herself! Throughout childhood, we delighted in Mum’s stories about her parents and grandparents coming over from Wales and England to settle in Winnipeg; of the fun she had as a teenager with Roberta and other friends, doing daring things – like jumping on parked trains to get across the tracks – in Weston and elsewhere; and of her and Dad’s early years together, while dating and as newlyweds. Her passion for reading and storytelling nurtured our own interests in learning, writing and in the history of our family and the world around us.


Many people have described Mum as “classy,” referring both to her appearance and to her kind approach to others. She had an empathetic nature, enjoying meeting people, learning about their lives, and sympathizing with their struggles. She loved chatting with family, friends, neighbours and new acquaintances, and particularly enjoyed getting to know the servers she and Dad met at the many restaurants they frequented in their retirement. She extended that kindness and empathy especially to children. At an early age, she loved spending time with her young cousins, Penny and Ted, entertaining them with games, stories and songs. Her talent for loving and understanding children shone in her role as a Mum – she was always there to listen to our sorrows, celebrate our joys and achievements, and make our home a cozy, comforting place to be. Our house was always neat, clean and beautiful, thanks to her! We happily remember lunch hours at home from school, spending time with Mum over soup or sandwiches (including broiled, open-faced cheese sandwiches with olives on top). She made Kool-Aid while we were playing outside on summer afternoons, and spoiled us when we were sick by setting us up with TV trays of stuff to do, read, eat, and drink in our bed (including individual Kleenex boxes!), then coming to straighten up the sheets, or tuck us in, so we’d be more comfortable.


Mum was always there to help us with school. We remember how good she made us feel when we came home with our schoolwork – how proud she seemed of us and how important her praise was to our wanting to do well. Her love, pride, praise, and encouragement gave both her kids and grandkids confidence in ourselves. And her support wasn’t just emotional, but also practical; we, her daughters, remember sitting on her bed in the morning while we got her to quiz us for tests and exams during high school, and even university.


As a Grandma, she delighted in visiting and sharing special moments with her grandkids, and each of them has fond memories of spending time with her and Grandad. Mum loved her grandkids very much, and was an absolutely amazing Grandma. All her grandkids were always so thrilled to see her and to spend time with her, and she spent many, many hours doing fun and caring things with them. For Colleen’s kids, who lived in Winnipeg, that included attending hockey games and speedskating lessons, picking them up from school or daycare, babysitting them, having them over for the night, walking with them in school Canada Day parades, showing up early for birthday parties to spend time with them before the others arrived, and playing games with them (e.g. the “lawn chair moving” game). They loved overnight sleep-overs at their grandparents’ place, which often included a trip to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, playing poker for chocolate-covered raisins, and picking out movies at Jumbo Video. All the grandkids remember Grandma and Grandad arriving early at birthday parties to spend some extra time with the birthday child (they even managed to attend a couple of Eric’s in Thunder Bay), and Grandma randomly bringing them little things she knew they liked (e.g. vanilla air fresheners; mints from restaurants; and goodie bags for Halloween, Easter and Valentines Day, with treats that could be only bought across the border). She and Lyall visited Shannon’s family in Thunder Bay once or twice every year, and she loved hosting her grandson Eric when they came into town from Thunder Bay, buying and making sweet treats for him and his cousins. Eric had a wonderful time exploring the brightly painted rooms of Grandma and Grandad’s home, discovering all the ornaments and decorations Grandma had collected over the years: cuckoo clocks, figurines and many fun plushies, including Candy Apple (an apple stuffy). Some favorite gifts her grandkids remember receiving for birthdays and Christmas include animal and leprechaun plushies, wrist watches, and souvenirs from her travels.


All of us “kids” treasure our memories of Mum (Grandma) singing to us when we were young. Lillian loved music, completing her Grade 10 piano exams as a teenager, and returning to playing throughout her life. She had a deep, melodic voice that comforted us with her many and varied choices of “lullabies”, including: ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’, “Que Será Será”, ‘I’m a Rambler, I’m a Gambler’, ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’, ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’, ‘Turn Around’, ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’, ‘Danny Boy’, ‘Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra’, and many, many more. “Singing in the Rain” was one of Mum’s favourite songs, and she loved rainy days as much as sunny ones. From her, we learned to love them too – the smell of the air, the sound of the wind, and the feel of the raindrops. Her daughters fondly recall sitting on our beds at night, watching thunderstorms from our bedroom window with her and Dad.


Lillian was an artist at heart. Her sense of fashion extended beyond clothing to interior decorating, and (again, often on a budget) she selected clever, contemporary furnishings and décor for our house. She could also draw well, having enjoyed art classes in high school, and sometimes sketched detailed pictures of animals and people to amuse her daughters and, later, her grandkids. She loved natural spaces, animals, birds and plants, and enjoyed tending the gardens at home, growing roses, irises, begonias, and other flowers and shrubs. During our teen years she took up floral design, making elegant arrangements for our home, and later for each of our wedding celebrations.


One of Mum’s greatest arts was cooking. We looked forward to coming home from school to the smell of a tasty supper (roast beef with roast potatoes and carrots, lasagna, shepherd’s pie, and many, many more), or something sweet and delicious baking in the oven. We loved her amazing pies (rhubarb, apple, lemon meringue, pecan, raisin), and her delicious jam pies and tarts. Her grandkids also have fond memories of her cookies (including her famous shortbread), especially at Christmas. And Mum made Christmas special for everyone: placing self-designed decorations around the house, baking Christmas goodies and cooking delicious turkey dinners, playing Christmas music, providing special candies and snacks, and creating the warm, peaceful, exciting feeling of being together in the house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


Mum also had a passion for travelling, introducing her daughters to road trips as kids: every summer vacation we would take two weeks as a family to drive somewhere in Canada or the United States. We remember how much fun those wonderful car trips were for us, realizing now how carefully she and Dad budgeted for them. We remember singing “California Here We Come” in the car on the way to Disneyland, and learning from Mum how to enjoy just watching the scenery go by. She was thrilled to have a chance to visit Britain in 1989, and especially loved Wales. Mum and Dad continued to travel in their retirement, enjoying their vacations to Victoria, Arizona, and especially to Disney World, including one special trip with all their kids and grandkids in 2008.


We will miss our Mum and Grandma, Lillian, with great sadness, but also with joy in knowing that she lived life the way she wanted to, and gave so much to the people she loved.


A memorial gathering of Lillian’s family will be held at a future date. Expressions of sympathy may be made in whichever way you wish, and are equally welcome.


To Lillian, Mum, Grandma,

We can’t possibly say how deeply you will be missed by us all, but we’ll always be grateful that we were able to share so many amazing years with you. We’ll never forget how important you’ve been to our lives and our happiness, and how much love you shared with all of us. Love you, Mum! We’ll remember you every single day!

Lillian's family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

Memories, Stories and Condolences


Please share a story, photo, memory or condolences for the family by completing the form below and click "comment".

Share Condolences, Stories or Memories
bottom of page