Edward Christmas Bevan
Dec. 25, 1928 – Dec. 25, 2020
On a cold, winter morning, breakfast was served as usual to patients in the maternity ward of the hospital at Provost, Alta. Among those ready for a cup of hot tea was a little Welsh lady named Mary Bevan who had, sometime in the early hours, given birth to a son. The calendar was turned to Dec. 25, 1928. Christmas! The pair of wee booties on her breakfast tray were the baby’s very first Christmas birthday present. The child was named Edward Christmas to honour his father Edward (called Ted) and to commemorate his birth day.
Ninety-two years later in the early hours of Dec. 25, 2020, Edward Christmas Bevan left his earthly home to be welcomed into the arms of his Heavenly father. He had lived a long and productive life.
Ed, as he came to be called, was the second son of Ted and Mary Bevan. His older brother Cyril and younger sister Laura made up the family which worked and played together on Grove Farm, their Alberta home.
Ed attended Willow Glen School. A typical farm boy, he took to farming as soon as he could get out of school. Early farming experience included working the fields with a six-horse team, manually stacking hay and milking cows the old-fashioned way. In winter he hauled grain fourteen miles to Cadogan with horses on the sleigh. To keep warm he got out and ran behind. With the grain unloaded, horses were fed and attended to before Ed would have some food himself, attend to errands, load some coal onto the sleigh and head home. The horses were always ready for the trip: no load to pull and a warm barn waiting.
In 1952 he married June Hughes of Metiskow, Alta. and together they raised their family on the farm. When his father retired in 1954, Ed took over the property.
As a young fellow he had trapped/snared/or shot rabbits, muskrats and the occasional coyote, the hides of which he prepared and sold. Hunting was a life-long diversion and pleasure. On several occasions he and some pals travelled to southern Alberta to hunt antelope. When Ed shot a large buck in the sand hills near home, he packed his prey into an Austen station wagon for transport home where it was hung and the rack admired. He taught himself to tan hides, made good moose hide leather, tanned a beaver hide and made a cap for his son-in-law to wear on his trips to Greenland.
Ed was a quiet, patient man whose humour was displayed in one-liners. He was a hard worker, accepting situations he could do nothing about. But if he saw a solution to a problem, he attacked it with fervor and fixed it to his best ability. He enjoyed “tinkering” in his shop where, with only rough tools he produced many projects, among them crokinole boards with checker boards on the reverse, great keepsakes for families. Not a traveller, in 1980 he enjoyed a month in Wales visiting family. He was a man of great faith with a lifelong habit of church attendance and support of missions.
By 1971, farming had become much more developed. In spite of Ed’s efforts to increase production on the small holding by diversifying into sheep and then to hogs, a larger base seemed the only solution. Instead of going into debt for more land, bigger machinery and hired help, the property was sold.
The change took the family west from the prairie to the eastern slopes of the Rockies, where they worked at the Youth For Christ camp at Nordegg. For fourteen years in Rocky Mountain House, Ed was employed by Quinn Contracting at Strachan gas plant.
Ed loved to have his young grand, and great-grandchildren about him where he entertained them with simple tricks, outdoor walks and juvenile tomfoolery. He built a tree house for them, much to their delight. One day he and a granddaughter bought four rabbits at the auction mart and Grandpa built the hutches.
Suffering with back trouble, Ed took early retirement in 1986. He and June spent three years in Nanaimo before they settled in Kelowna in 1989, Ed’s dream retirement location: no more feeding cattle in Alberta blizzards, no more long days in the fields, no more coyotes stealing his lambs.
Several years ago, Ed was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia to which he succumbed on Dec. 25, 2020, at Kelowna, B.C., his ninety-second birthday. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Cyril, and infant children. Surviving to mourn and miss him are June, his wife of sixty-eight years; three children: Lorna (Paul); Joyce (Errol); Wesley (Edna). Grandchildren: Ryan; Amanda and Jeremy Payne; Tanya and Tristan Sloan; Jayna and Jono Lowe; Angela Martens; Anthony Martens; Bronwyn, Brianna, Mark and Mathias Bevan. Great-grandchildren: Hailey, Abby, and Ava; Alina and Esmae Sloan; Anaya, Ronan and Mayli Lowe. Also, his sister Laura Shurmer, and extended family. He will be missed by many.