The passing of Phyllis Jane Reddekopp, age 92 years, occurred on September 9, 2023, at the Hospice at Glengarda, Saskatoon.
Phyllis Jane Dawson was born March 11, 1931, in Island Brook, Quebec, to Gladys and William Dawson. William accepted Mom as his own daughter and then three more children followed. Life from the beginning was complicated for her because William was not her biological father. Later in life, she found out her biological father was Albert Bowen from New Hampshire. She didn’t learn this until he passed. Albert desperately wanted to find Gladys, but his mother kept them apart. When Mom was 9, Gladys left William and the four kids and eventually married Joseph Poulin. One child was born to them. Between the ages of 9 and 12, Mom was placed in very difficult foster homes often being treated as a servant and not a daughter. At age 12, she ran away and eventually was placed with her aunt who treated her much better. When Mom was 18, Gladys and Joe Poulin returned to Quebec to reunite the family including all siblings and they then moved to St. Catherines, Ontario.
Mom met Dad at the Crystal Café where she worked as a waitress. They married in November of 1951, then moved back to Gruenthal, Saskatchewan in 1955, with 2 children (Rick and Marilyn) and one on the way (Darlene). In 1960, they left the farm and moved to Dalmeny with an additional child (Randy). She moved from a rundown farmhouse into what seemed like a castle at the time. After two years in this near perfect house, she and Dad moved to the living quarters in the general store/Post Office and raised 4 kids in a much smaller house that initially had no flush toilets or running water. Not once did she complain, it was not her nature. She worked from morning until night and every Monday was wash day with the wringer washer. Later in life, Mom invited anybody that needed comfort food to join the family around the dinner table. She kept a huge garden, managed to bake and cook, and covered for Dad in the Post Office frequently while he was out doing other jobs. She continued to contribute to the marriage by taking cleaning jobs at the Post Office and the Credit Union.
In the late 70s, they built a spacious home which would accommodate their growing family as they gathered for holidays and other occasions. Eventually, Dad’s health became a concern and Mom started having some health problems of her own, so they bought a condo in Saskatoon in 1997. After some wonderful trips and a handful of winters in Phoenix, Arizona, health issues prevented them from further travel. Dad passed away in 2000, so Mom took over the head of the family and what an amazing job she did. Her faith and her family were most important to her, and we all knew it!
Even though she was totally innocent of any wrong doing, Mom was embarrassed and ashamed of her childhood and didn’t tell anyone except Dad until later in life. Then in 1991, Mom found out who her father was and all about the New Hampshire branch of her family, which included seven more siblings. In 1993, Randy drove Mom and Dad to New Hampshire to meet Albert’s wife and family (her siblings). Prior to meeting them, Mom exchanged numerous phone calls and letters with her new family members. They informed her of how Albert had searched relentlessly, and in vain, for Gladys and had wanted to marry her.
Mom continued to live in the condo until the fall of 2019 when she moved to Primrose Chateau. That was her home until her final six weeks when she was hospitalized and then moved to Glengarda Hospice. She passed away on September 9, 2023.
Phyllis is survived by daughter Darlene; son Randy (Carol); 3 grandchildren: Kerri, Tyler (Nicole), Karla; and 6 great-grandchildren: Braiden, Victoria, Benjamin, Kennedy, Mackenzie, Isobel.
She was predeceased by her husband Ben, son Rick, daughter Marilyn, son-in-law Bill, grandson Kris, and all of her 11 half-siblings.
The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at Riverbend Church of God, 306 Saguenay Drive, Saskatoon, SK, with Pastor Chris Pudel officiating.
Lunch will be held immediately after the service followed by interment in Dalmeny Bible Church Cemetery.