Pauline Edwards



Pauline Edwards


Our beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, step-sister, aunt, and friend, Pauline Edwards of Edmonton, AB passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Monday August 8, 2022, at the age of 87 years.

As a child of the Great Depression and Second World War, Pauline witnessed massive changes for working families in this province, and in her own humble way, helped to shape them. Too many women go unrecognized for their work behind the scenes - making phone calls, taking minutes, minding children. While she was never one to own the spotlight, we write this tribute in honour of her special contribution to history. May she rest in peace, and power.

A self-educated woman of grace, rigor and curiosity, Pauline was born in Calgary Alberta in 1935. She spent much of her childhood in Crossfield but moved many times after the separation of her parents. Always a rebellious spirit, Pauline was expelled from her all-girls boarding school in the ninth grade. This may have marked the end of her formal education, but it was the beginning of her life as a philosopher, thinker and teacher in her own right. It was through her good friend Joyce that she met the man that would become her husband, Stanley. They married in 1956, settled in Goldbar, and had three children.

In addition to raising a family of her own, Pauline dedicated her life to the work of building community. From making space in her home for American draft dodgers during the Vietnam War, to serving in leadership roles in a number of organizations, including The Goldbar Community League, Edmonton Community News, and Grace United Church. She was a fierce electoral organizer; canvassing, knocking on doors, phone banking, and writing letters to her elected officials at all levels of government. She also helped start the Area 13 Coordinating Council, giving residents a voice in planning decisions like the location of Hardisty pool.

Her deep concern for women, families and future generations was expressed through her activism and public life. Pauline helped lead campaigns for publicly funded, accessible childcare. She worked to establish a drop-in for vulnerable youth in her neighbourhood. She volunteered with La Leche League, offering breastfeeding support to new mothers, and spent many many hours in hospital neonatal units, holding, soothing, rocking, swaddling, and cuddling new babies, whose parents, for whatever reason could not.

Ahead of her time in so many ways, Pauline was open about her battles with depression. Her empathy and depth of feeling made her deeply attuned to the suffering of others. As an early volunteer at the local suicide prevention hotline, she gave back to people who, just like her, contemplated and attempted suicide in their lifetime.

Pauline will be especially remembered for her love and appreciation for all things fine. Her passion for art, music, and theatre led her on travels all over the world. A lifelong learner, she organized book clubs, particularly for women, to share and discuss thought-provoking material. She was known for her ability to cook six course gourmet meals for family and friends, hosting conversations filled with laughter well into the night. She taught those around her, in her own subtle way, that it’s the small joyful things that make life truly worth living.

Pauline was preceded in death by her younger brother Ivan Hopkins, and her parents Eric Hopkins (Doris) and Florence Smith.

She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of over 60 years, Stanley; her three children, Christine (Sandy), James (Toni), and Bill (Char); her grandchildren, Haley, Andrew, Krista, Chance, Avery, Alexandra; her great grandchildren, Helix, Lotus, Rowan, and David - as well as countless other relatives, neighbours and friends.

As per Pauline’s wishes, a small family gathering will be held in favour of a public funeral service. The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at the Jubilee Lodge Nursing Home for their care and compassion in Pauline’s final years of life.

In Loving Memory of
Pauline Edwards
(Maiden: Hopkins)
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