Lillian (Lil) Esther Geddes
1947 – 2016
Lil went peacefully to be with her Lord and Saviour on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at about 7 p.m. in the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, surrounded by her Mother (May), husband (Gary), brothers, sisters, in-laws, some cousins and her 3 nieces. Lil was predeceased by her father, Charles Paananen in 1954 when Lil was 7 years old.
Lillian was born in Edmonton in 1947, and at a very young age it was discovered she had a rare disease called Kartagener’s Syndrome, Bronchiectasis, and Dextrocardia. In 1966 she met Gary after corresponding as pen pals for a short time. On Gary’s first visit, they became engaged and were married in Edmonton on Sept. 3rd, 1966. Their first home was in Pagwa River, Ontario, a Swamp Cree village where they pastored a Church. Gary worked at RCAF Station Pagwa, a radar station on the Pine Tree Line. When the base closed in 1967 they moved to Kelowna (Rutland) where they lived for the next 35 years. While in Kelowna they attended a few churches including Evangel Tabernacle, Kelowna Christian Center, New Life Fellowship and Willow Park Church. Lil belonged to Women Aglow and Gary was on the Board of Full Gospel Business Men. Lil also belonged to Toastmistress Club. Lil and Gary enjoyed their years in Kelowna and had many friends. When Lil’s brother Bill married Nikki, they had 3 children: Jessica, Sara and Natasha. Lil loved her nieces like they were her own and they came to Kelowna every Summer and Lil and Gary had a lot of fun with them. Most Christmas holidays were spent in Edmonton with Lil’s family. While living in Kelowna Lil and Gary did missionary work in Guatemala with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 6 months, and Lil and her Mother did a tour of Israel together.
A new part of life began when Lil graduated the Early Childhood Education course at Okanagan College and she began to teach Pre-school. Lil and Gary had no children so this gave Lil the opportunity to teach hundreds of
children over more than 10 years in a number of Pre-schools including Parkinson Rec Centre, Salvation Army, Heritage Christian Pre-school and The Way Home Pre-school to name a few. Lil loved the children very much and put a lot of effort and work into her teaching, often writing her own stories she told to the children.
Ten years ago Lil and Gary moved to Edmonton to be close to Lil’s large family. During these 10 years Lil really missed Kelowna and her many friends she had met, and the children she had taught over the years. A couple of times when Lil was admitted to hospital she was told by hospital
staff that she would never leave the hospital: she was on ‘on the edge of a cliff’. Through prayer and determination Lil returned home. Over the past couple of years Lil spent a lot of time in the University of Alberta Hospital, and has been on the lung transplant list for about 6 ½ years.
Lil taught us what it means to be ‘alive’ each day and challenged us to do the same. She seldom complained and looked for any excuse to have a family get-together. She got the best out of each day even though she was on oxygen 24/7. For the last 6 years she was on 2 concentrators and a bi-pap machine and wearing a full face mask for 14 hours a day. In spite of this, she read profusely. She read the Bible every day and loved historical
fiction. She loved doing 1,000-piece puzzles, scrap-booking (about 35 albums), adult colouring, was on facebook, etc. She did exercises every day she could. She had a walker and a navigator and loved to go shopping
whenever she felt up to it. She loved to buy blankets and baby clothes which she donated every month to the local Pregnancy Centre. She loved having her nieces over to do crafts on the weekends.
On Sept. 3rd Lil and Gary celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at Northgate Baptist Church. Lil wore her veil with a tiara and entered the room in her navigator. After renewing their vows everyone enjoyed a lovely meal, followed by a program with a Power Point presentation.
Most of her wedding party were there including the 2 flower girls who were 2 and 5 years old at her wedding. Lil was the life of the party. This was a highlight of Lil’s life, and she was determined to be there; just over a month later she was gone.
This year Lil will be celebrating Christmas in Heaven with her best friend, Jesus Christ. Lil will be missed here by all her family and friends but we look forward to seeing her again. God bless you!
If you would like a funeral card or further information you can write to Gary at #20 -17603 – 99th Street, NW, Edmonton, AB, T5X 6B9 or e-mail:glgeddes @telus.net