Orpha Winifred Brown (Smith) passed away peacefully on December 22, 2020 just 15 days short of her 93rd birthday in the Lacombe Hospital and Continuing Care Centre. Orpha was born on January 6, 1928 to Winifred and Ida Smith in Castor, AB. Her dad registered her in Bashaw, AB because that’s where they lived but Ida was visiting her mother in Castor when Orpha was born.
Orpha was the second oldest of 6 children. Orpha lived in various places over the years - Ellis, Fort Assiniboine, Edmonton, Alix, Tees and finally in Lacombe. She moved from Edmonton back to Ellis to work for Mrs. Sharpe doing housekeeping after she finished high school. She filled in as a Free Methodist Minister at the Free Methodist camp in Alix. It was during her time at the Free Methodist Camp that she was introduced to Ernest Brown - her one true love. They were married on November 19, 1953 and her most important job became taking care of Ernie and her family. Orpha and Ernie resided in Alix, Tees and back in Alix on the Brown homestead where she remained until June 2016 when she moved into the Lacombe Seniors Lodge because her health made that she could no longer stay on her own. Orpha always put her family first and would do anything for them. She enjoyed her beautiful flowers, her garden and canning anything and everything. Orpha and Ernie ran the Farmer’s Market in Alix after Ernie retired. They enjoyed many hours together at the Drop-In Centre in Alix socializing with their friends. After Ernie passed away, Orpha continued to go into Alix to the Drop-In Centre as often as she could. While Ernie was away working on the Rigs, Orpha raised 4 children and worked hard to ensure they had clothes to wear and food on their plates. Orpha was very proud of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After settling in at the Lodge in Lacombe, Orpha would often say she felt like a princess, being spoiled because she no longer had to cook, wash dishes or do any housework. She came to enjoy the Lodge and the social activities. Orpha looked forward to the visits from her sons & daughter, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She had a very special connection with her great granddaughter Hailey and called her great-grandson Dawson her “special little grandson.” A highlight of Orpha’s years in Lacombe was her 90th Birthday celebration that her nieces Lorraine and Shirley and her daughter-in-law Gwen, made for her. She talked about what a party it was for the next two years. Orpha developed dementia in the last year and with her declining health she moved into the Lacombe Hospital and Continuing Care Centre until her passing.
Orpha is survived by her sons; Norman, William (Gwen), and Donald and her daughter Evelyn (Rob). Her grandchildren; Lisa (Ryan), Krystal (Dale), Jennifer (Rossel), Jody, Richard (Michelle), Christopher and Desiree (Josh). Her great-grandchildren; Jordan, Addy, Sienna, Morgan, Jamie, Seth, Hailey, Dominique, Hunter and Dawson. Her brother Donald and her sisters Mary, Ruby and Ruth and her sister-in-law Darlene. Also numerous nieces and nephews, extended relatives and friends. She was predeceased by her parents Winifred (1969) and Ida (1996) both of whom passed away on Christmas Day; her sister Verna and her one true love Ernie (2010).
Orpha will be cremated and her remains will be laid to rest with her husband Ernie at a later date when a celebration of her life can be held.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Charity of your choice.
The family would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to Dr. Keller and the staff of the Lacombe Hospital and Continuing Care Centre for the excellent care Orpha received.
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