In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Gertrude (Gerti) Pratt (née Fraser)


Wren Cook, Messenger, Transport Driver, W5159, WRCNS


Born: 03 Jan 1924, Ordale, Saskatchewan


Died: 20 Nov 2020, Birch Falls, Saskatchewan


PRATT, Gertrude (Gerti) (née FRASER) - On Friday, November 20, 2020, we said good-bye to the pillar of our family. Gertrude (Gertie) Pratt passed away peacefully at the Birchview Nursing Home in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan at the age of 96 with family members at her bedside. Mom was born on January 3, 1924 in Ordale, Saskatchewan to parents Norman & Maria Fraser. She was the 4th of 12 children – four brothers: Jim, John, Gordon and Mervin; and seven sisters: Blanche, Ruth, Edith, Violet, Bertha, Catherine and Dorothy. She is survived by her six children: Dena (Brad) and children Devrey, Chad and families; Owen (Barb) and children Nicole, Brandon, Carlee and families; Linda (Stewart) and children Vincent, Scott, Kerry and families; Ralph (Merle Lee Ann) and children Sarah, Drew, Carrie, Troy and families; Brenda (Brian) and child Becky & family; Dale (Karen) and children Jeffrey, Devin, Shea, Landon, Daniel and families; thirty-five Great Grandchildren and one Great Great Grandchild; her siblings: Bertha Skye & Mervin Fraser; her sisters-in-law: Christina & Mathilda; and many nieces & nephews. In 1941 at the age of 17, Mom joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served in the branch known as the WRCNS (Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service) in Sault St Marie, Ontario. She later was stationed in Ottawa, where she served to the end of the war in 1945. Her rural upbringing, combined with her years in the service at such a young age, developed her strong work ethics and core values which she carried through her entire life. After the war, she returned home and shortly thereafter, met the love of her life, Harvey Pratt. They moved to Birch Hills area where they started farming and raised their family of six children. In 1970, the family moved into Birch Hills. She was predeceased by Harvey in 1971. Mom had a way about her that instilled in her family, friends and others a sense of her strong personal qualities and positive character. She always made a lasting, positive impression. Mom was a shining example of how one can overcome all obstacles and challenges in life. Rising up to the financial and family challenges after Dad passed away in 1971, she supported, guided and nurtured her children to adulthood. In 1972, Mom accepted employment as a Nurse's Aide at the Lion's Victoria Nursing Home in Prince Albert. When the Lion's closed, it transitioned into the Herb Bassett Nursing Home where Mom continued to work until retirement. In total Mom provided 17 years of dedicated service. Over the years Mom encountered so many co-workers that fondly remembered Mom teaching them in their younger days. Completing the cycle, on her last day she was tended to one by one such former study at Birchview Home. Mom was a member of the St. Mary's Anglican Church where she was active as a layperson and belonged to the Ladies Auxiliary. She loved serving her community and volunteered many hours as a member of The Lion's Nursing Home Auxiliary in Prince Albert, a lifelong Legion member of Branch # 122 in Birch Hills, as well as the Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She also delivered Meals on Wheels, well into her 80's, often to people younger than herself. In 1988, Mom was surprised when she was the recipient of the "Heart of Gold" award. The Heart of Gold was a joint project of Air Canada and Canada's community Newspapers. The program gave special recognition to individual Canadians who had helped others or had in some way contributed to the improvement of the quality of life in their communities. Mom loved spending time with her large family and cherished visits with her eighteen grandchildren, thirty-five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was always up for a trip and an adventure, whether it was a ride on a Harley at age 88, a snowmobile ride at age 90, or hot tubbing in Las Vegas with the girls at age 92. She also loved to meet up with good friends at "the office". She loved gardening, especially tending to her flower beds and flowerpots, she could make anything grow. Mom was such a strong and loving role model. She guided us through life with wisdom and grace, taught us the importance of maintaining our strong family unit, to always lend a helping hand and she set the bar high so we would never forget to try our best at whatever life put in front of us. She did this with her quick wit and always with a great sense of humor. We will miss you Mom but are also comforted in knowing you have joined hands with Dad again after all these years. You thought of him everyday of your life and remembered him in your prayers every night….an undying love, right through to the end. A private service was held on Thursday, November 26, 2020. A Celebration of Life is to be held at a later date when larger gatherings are allowed. Donations in the memory of Gertrude can be made to Royal Canadian Legion Branch #122, P. O. Box 96, Birch Hills, SK S0J 0G0 or St. Mary's Anglican Church, 279 McCallum Avenue, Birch Hills, SK S0J 0G0. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Gray's Funeral Chapel, (306) 922-4729.  (Prince Albert Daily Herald 24 Nov 2020)


Gertrude was only one of two known Metis women who joined the WRCNS.



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