It’s been a year now since our sister Sharon suddenly passed away, September 18, 2017. Born on October 15, 1951, the youngest of 11 children of George and Velma, and all her siblings would agree that she was always the ‘baby’ of the family and the ‘apple’ of her parents eye. She was baptized, as were all her siblings at the Camborne United Church. This church played a large part in her early life and was only a short walk from the family home. She was accepted into the “Cradle Roll” department of the church at the age of one and a half. She toddled along behind her brothers and sisters as soon as she could walk to begin Sunday school. Sharon was involved in many church groups such as the Explorers, CGIT, High ‘C’ and the Young Peoples group and it is safe to assume this is where she acquired a solid base in her life…Faith, Hope, and Charity, love and kindness.
Sharon began her education at the old one room school next to her home, grade 2 & 3 at Coldsprings and grade 4 at Glourourim School. The rest of her public schooling was spent at the new, multi-room school built on Kennedy Road, on land purchased from her father. High school was completed at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute West. At this time she acquired her first car, a green Pontiac purchased by her father as a graduation gift or was it? Most her siblings still believe it was a bribe to keep her from moving away from home. Her aging father had become very dependent on her to help keep the farm running. In College she earned her MRC certificate and started work at Darcy Place in Cobourg for seventeen years and sixteen years as an E.A. working for the local School Board and retired in 2004.
Growing up in Camborne was very different than it is now. There were no subdivisions, only a few homes and very few children. Sharon was one of a group of young girls that became very dedicated friends…Janet, Dawn & Dale, Katherine, Kathy, Brenda & Darlene and her sisters Eleanor and Barbara until the high school years scattered the friends. This group of friends would play in the loft of the barn, swimming in the creek or playing their famous game they called ‘trailing’ throughout the local woods. Sometimes they looked for a little more excitement. Once, coming across an unoccupied car parked on Lean (Doyle) Road someone suggested they plug its tailpipe with stones to see what would happen when the driver returned and started the car. So Barbara and Dale being the bravest of the group proceeded to do just that, they plugged it tight!
Now Sharon being the ‘good little’ girl she was, had second thoughts about this. She said that when the car was started it would blow to kingdom-come and kill anyone in it and Barb & Dale would go to jail forever because they filled it! Soon after they saw someone approaching and Barb & Dale took off running with this chant ringing in their ears…”I’m telling, I’m telling” sounding a lot like Sharon. They ran through what is now the Doyle property until they got to the creek and without a thought that it was early December, took off their shoes and socks and rolled up pant legs crossed the icy creek. They kept on running until coming upon an abandoned hen-house and hid there until dark. The expected explosion was never heard except from the parents when they crept home. Seems Sharon, ‘that darn good girl’ had reported what had happened. Barb went to bed that night without supper, not sure what happened to Dale. Later on the ‘sweetheart’ Sharon smuggled some cookies to her. Barb remembers calling Sharon a ‘tattle-tale’ but she still loved for once again doing the right thing.
Seems Sharon & Barb learned to harmonize their voices in a duet at an early age, they would walk the village streets singing to anyone who would listen and moved up to singing in church and music festivals. The family all have a great love of music because of their parents. With no TV, the kids were entertained with dad playing the fiddle, banjo or guitar and sister Marg or mother playing the piano. Sharon loved music, especially Country & Western. A highlight of her teen years was a trip to Toronto with her brother-in-law Morris to see their favourite group The Rolling Stones. The country girl loved the concert but was so nervous leaving with the 6,000 city folks fighting to leave. She grabbed Morris in a stronghold and held on for dear life until they reached the safety of the car! Sharon did some travelling before she married and settled down. With a group of girlfriends she holidayed in England and Hawaii. After marriage, Sharon and Doug enjoyed years of travelling but in recent years she decided that she had travelled enough.
With sisters Linda and Pat, her brother Bill and sister-in-law Lyn had attended a country music concert at Victoria Hall in Cobourg the day before she passed. She and her sister Linda enjoyed their weekly lunch date at the Swiss Chalet. This tradition continued for ten years, right up to the week before her passing. Sharon was a very laid-back and caring person. Her family Michael (Jeanette) and James (Nikki) and her six grandchildren meant the world to her but she never forgot her brothers and sisters and made it a point to reach out to them with birthday cards and gifts.
Only a few months before passing Sharon and brother Gary had a lengthy conversation on dying…saying that she was now very contented in her life and had accomplished the last two items on her ‘bucket list’ of things to do. Number one was to view Camborne from ‘Albert’s Hill’ in Coldsprings and take about a hundred pictures! As the dedicated historian her second wish was to see the new Camborne walkway bridge completed and to see the Ford family recognized as their contribution of the land ownership on which it was located since 1870 on its memorial plaque. She did get to see the bridge completed and knew the plaque was in the works, but missed seeing it by almost a year, the bridge with the plaque was officially dedicated June 19, 2018.
That plaque was so important for her and tiring of waiting for it, she actually had her own sign made up and hung on the bridge. After it was removed a short time later, she had another made up and posted in the ditch nearby where most would ever see it and where it remained until the day of the official plaque dedication ceremony. Gary & Barbara even now expect that familiar Sunday phone call “hey, want to grab your lawn chairs and meet on the bridge”. While there we would reminisce about the great times we had on or near that bridge and would sometimes enjoy a visit with the Doyle’s and maybe stop in at the Colonels for some KFC on the way home, two of her favourite things to do.
Sharon… it’s been a year now. Gone but never forgotten.