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Sarah Goodwin (Rowland) Cordel

Born: Sat., Apr. 10, 1926
Died: Wed., Aug. 29, 2012

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Thu., Sep. 06, 2012

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Sarah Goodwin Cordel was born April 10, 1926 at Halkirk Alberta.  She was the sixth Child of Tom and Sarah Rowland’s family of 13. Being born on her mother’s birthday she thus received her name.  She received most of her education at the Spruce Creek School north of Halkirk. Coming from a large family in those years, during hard times made for a close knit family, and that closeness carried on throughout her life.  Most of the family remained living near Halkirk, therefore frequent family gatherings were a way of life.
Sarah married Emile Cordel on December 21, 1944. They built a new house at the mine and lived in it for two years.  Their first son Gordon was born while they lived there.  They moved back to the farm and lived in Emile’s father’s house; Lynda and Dennis were born, while living there. Emile worked at the mine, and farmed. Sarah, like most housewives of that time, kept the house and the garden, and the meals, and the children. In 1960, they built a new home for their family, with a bedroom for each of the three children. But, soon after moving in, Deirdre arrived to complete the family. They continued on the family farm until 1986 when Alberta Power bought them out and they moved their home to Halkirk.  Sarah moved to Stettler in October 1998 where she lived in her home until 2010, then moving to Paragon Place.
Farming was a very important aspect of her life.  She took an active role as she was in charge of meals, hauling grain and keeping the equipment fueled. She was also the number one gopher, making several trips to town, running for whatever was needed to keep the operation moving. A very important duty of hers was rodent control when cleaning bins, as Emile was terrified of mice. In the days of CB radio, Emile would call home to Sarah, he gave her the CB handle of “hot lips” which she was thoroughly disgusted with. Sarah was the disciplinarian; if her children needed a spanking she had to coax them back into the house with candy. As the dog would protect the kids from her, thus those three older kids got lots of candy.
From the first snow fall the marathon days of snowmobiling would begin.  Sarah and Emile would spend all day snowmobiling and then wait till evening when they would have an early supper and go out again.  Many weekends were spent with friends and neighbors gathering at the farm for a snowmobile party.  Often packing a picnic lunch and staying out all day in the river bottom or Paintearth Coulees.  Gerard and Paul were frequent visitors. Often arriving for a snowmobile ride then ending the evening with hot chocolate and a game of cards around Sarah and Emile’s kitchen table.
Sarah was an avid traveler and enjoyed going and seeing new places and sites.  She and Emile enjoyed going driving. They would head out on a day trip sometimes for overnight; to see what the crops were like or to get something in town, but it could take a few hundred miles to get there. They enjoyed taking the long way to get somewhere seeing new sights and as always, checking the crops. They would pick something up for the grandchildren often stopping on the way home to visit them.  Sarah always enjoyed the drives, and any excuse would work for a trip over to Red Deer to pick up something, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. She always had someone go with her as she enjoyed the conversation. Later she enjoyed trips to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Alaska, Cuba, Ontario, and the Maritimes. She went to Vancouver many times to visit her sister, Susan.  One of her most memorable trips was when the five sisters went down to Ontario, where they were able to visit with her father’s families. With sister in law, Denise she travelled to Spokane to visit some of the Ladke relatives.  
While living in Halkirk, every Friday morning Sarah would drive to Stettler to get her hair done at her sister Evelyn’s.  This was an outing she always enjoyed as it usually would mean a visit with sisters Marlene and Agnes as well.
When in Red Deer, Sarah always insisted on going to one of the Casinos for lunch, it was “good food“ and of course she would have the opportunity to drop a few dollars in the machines.  She always had a small limit and never seemed to exceed it as she would usually win. Just this July, she was able to go over to Red Deer on a small gambling spree and came home with a few extra dollars in her wallet.
With her sister Agnes and friend Evelyn they would travel central Alberta to rodeos large and small. The chuckwagon races were a favorite. She knew most of the driver’s names and expected that you should too. If you showed up for a visit when the wagon races were on the radio, you had to sit and wait quietly so she could record their scores. One of her favorite events was the Halkirk Bull-A-Rama, which she never missed.
Christmas was a busy time around the house.  Gifts were opened on Christmas Eve; she really enjoyed having the entire family home together.   She would ensure everyone had a special gift.  After the gift opening, the fun would begin. She would spend days getting prepared for a very unique Xmas Eve party that her and Emile would have for the family.  There was every type of eats and drinks you could imagine, lots of laughs, and fun that will not be forgotten.
She enjoyed various board and card games.  It was a pastime that she and Emile enjoyed in the evenings.  Whether friends or family were visiting a lively card game was a good way to spend time together.  After moving to Stettler she continued to enjoy her card games with many new friends.
Sarah and Emile would often attend activities where the kids were taking part. If Gordie & Dennis were curling they would be upstairs watching. If Dennis & Gordie were playing ball they would be in the stands. When Lynda dressed up for Halloween she had to visit their house first.  
And Sarah also continued to follow the children to whatever they were doing. When Deirdre & Ron went camping Sarah always showed up too, and of course she would bring more food, drinks just in case you needed it.  Sarah thought she should try camping too, but the first time she stayed overnight in a trailer by herself, a severe thunderstorm hit.  After Ron and Deirdre rescued her awning, she refused to stay by herself so she bunked in with them. That ended her solo camping. She enjoyed boating at the river and watching the kid’s water ski and kneeboard, She took the important role of spotter alerting the driver immediately if someone fell.
She was member of the Halkirk Royal Purple, Spruce Creek Ladies Aid, and The Sunny Circle Club.  While being a member of the Royal Purple she enjoyed helping in the kitchen and visiting with the group while lending a hand.
Sarah took pride in her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and took every opportunity to be involved in their interests.  She would follow them everywhere for support in their endeavors.  Christmas concerts, sports events, school fund raisers, Grandma would always try to be there.
And then there was “THE BAR FIGHT”!! Sarah said this was one of her most embarrassing moments: Sarah was always a part of everything; so on this particular weekend when Deirdre and friends were going to take in the entertainment at the Halkirk Hilton, she tagged along with the group so she could see the entertainment too.   After her night of drinking 7-Up, she was the only sober witness to a bar fight. Thus leading her to testify in a Stettler court room; before a judge, who happened to be an old family friend.  After asking her to spell her name twice, he then asked her what she was doing in the bar at her age, then,  smiling he continued on with the case…  She said as if things were not bad enough the story ended up in the newspapers. She always had a good laugh about that adventure.
While living in Stettler, Sarah took up bowling with several of her Halkirk friends. She sometimes surprised herself when she had a high score, but it was the laughter and friends that she really enjoyed. She was very competitive with herself to maintain her average. She would be ticked off with herself if she had a bad bowling day.
Sarah was everybody’s mother, everybody’s grandmother and everybody’s friend.  She always was a mother hen for her brothers and sisters often giving advice whether wanted or not.  She felt it was her duty that everyone did as she expected them to do. She was a confidant for the grandchildren to go to, often hearing their side of the story before they would tell their parents. She had a great ear for listening and was not afraid to offer guidance. Dr. Grandma was the only one that could remove slivers from her grandkids without hurting. She could operate on them with a needle, but their mother never could. She was well known for her homemade soup, purple cabbage salad, and pressure cooker spaghetti and meatballs. She had a special way of caring for everyone; this was evident in the way that she welcomed friends into her home and treated each as her family members.
Funeral services were held at Halkirk Community Hall, Halkirk, Alberta on September 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM with Rev. David M. Denholm officiating.  Cathy Schaffner presented her gift of music for the hymns and prelude music.  Vern Hein presented the eulogy.  Interment was held at Notre Dame de Savoie Cemetery where she was laid to rest beside her husband Emile with her precious grandchildren Aaron Cordel, Jocelyn Olson, Khristina Kneeland, Coralie Ready, Scott Kneeland, Corrine Cordel, Jason Cordel, Rae-anne Cordel as honorary pallbearers and Adrian Cordel as pallbearer.  Family and friends gathered at the Halkirk Hall for a time of fellowship and a luncheon by the Halkirk Hall Board.  Memorial donations may be made to Notre Dame de Savoie Cemetery c/o Box 1780, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0.  

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