Sep 01, 2019


Pat Stratford was born in London, England in 1923 but grew up in Leicester. An only child, she spent glorious summers with cousins in Wisbech. At 19 the city girl joined the Women’s Land Army where she served for 2 ½ years, milking cows and tending crops while the young farm men were fighting at the front.

In 1945 she married a Royal Air Force officer, Ralph Stratford, and in 1952 immigrated with their two daughters, Susan and Sally to Ajax, Ontario. Pat’s beloved mum, Margaret, joined the family in Ajax and life was full of friends and volunteering. A home was built by Ralph in Whitby, and the young family moved there and along came Joy. In Whitby, Pat nurtured both her garden and her community.

Pat was a life-long learner taking courses in everything from French to hospice care, from millinery to ancient history. Family, learning, and community work were what mattered most to Pat. After Ralph’s retirement they traveled extensively to China, Greece, Haiti, the Galapagos, Ecuador and Europe.

Three years ago Pat and Ralph embarked on another adventure, this time moving to Almonte, Ontario (Orchard View), where they embraced the countryside. As with all their adventures, they enjoyed the surroundings and quickly made friends.

On Sept. 1st , 2019 just shy of her 96th   birthday, Pat passed peacefully away, surrounded by family. Married to Ralph for 74 years, Pat, was devoted to their ever-growing family: Susan Careless (Tone), Sally Hortop (Scott) and Joy Stratford (Bob Kurus). “Gran” was cherished by her twelve grandchildren: Jonathan, Jill, Philip, Anne, Gaëlle, Adam, Kate, Claire, Soteira, Alice, Hannah, and Colleen; and 18 great-grandchildren: Mateo, Simone, Sebastien, Matilde, Philip, Robin, Galileo, Eloise, Sylys, Sarah, George, William, Evan, Fintan, Jane, Charlie, Margot and Evryn. Pat also had a number of good dogs in her family.

She will be missed by her extended family, her neighbours on Fairview Drive, the Evening Guild, other member of All Saints, her regulars at Eaton’s, her friends at Whitby Seniors Centre and in her book clubs, as well as by the many new friends she made at Orchard View.

If you wish to celebrate Pat’s remarkable life, why not:

Visit new places * Drink some tea * Tend a garden * Play some Scrabble * Advocate for refugees * Savour some chocolate * Attend a ballet * Visit an art gallery * Swim the sidestroke * Give a dog a treat * Belong to a book club *Welcome strangers * Watch the evening news * Throw a birthday party * Sing in a choir * Shower the people you love with love.

Funeral service Saturday,September 28th, 2019 at 1pm, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church70 Clyde Street, Almonte, ON. Reception to follow at 2 pm at Orchard View Manor, 219 Paterson Street, Almonte, ON.



  1. Peter and Marsha Guthrie September 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Dear Joy, Bob and family

    We did not know your mom but just reading about her makes one feel we did – what a wonderful outlook on life. And we see it in you as well, Joy. We send our sincere condolences – thinking about you and family at this time.

  2. Eldon Gaw September 23, 2019 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Having only met the Stratfords in the last few of years, I was deeply touched by their warm and welcoming hands when I walked in the door. It turns out that now I read they were far more than just a warm and welcoming couple, they were a couple first, and definitely, have lived a full and joy-filled life with so many strong legacies left behind. Thank you, Bob and Joy, for introducing me to such wonderful parents and there is no doubt yours, and many lives will miss her, her wit and wisdom, her knowledge and of course her unending love for family friends and dogs, in the years to come. She is in Gods care now, and forever.

  3. Celia Bowes September 22, 2019 at 12:10 am - Reply

    I want to express my deepest condolences to the Stratford family.

    Mrs. Stratford lived next to my grandparents (Bowes family on Fairview). Every time she saw my sister and I, she would yell at us to come on over for a swim. She and her husband were always incredibly warm, kind and so inviting to us as kids and we only have great memories of her.

    Wishing you all love and bright roads ahead. Pat will always be in our hearts xo

  4. Lester & Denise Allick September 17, 2019 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Our sincere condolences to Ralph and family.
    Pat was a very gracious and kind lady with a great sense of humour.
    She will be greatly missed.

  5. Jean Millar September 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Our deepest sympathy to Ralph, Susan, Sally, Joy and
    families. We knew Pat for over 45 years as neighbours
    on Fairview Drive and shared many cups of tea. Pat
    was a lovely person – good neighbour and friend.
    She will be missed.
    Sincerely, Jean and Matt Millar

  6. Joanne Palmer September 11, 2019 at 12:48 am - Reply

    My sincere condolences to Joy and all of her extended family. So difficult to lose such a vibrant lady. May she continue to inspire you all in the years to come. I will have no trouble with all of the suggested testaments to Pat’s remarkable life—save for the choir singing–that would just be painful.

  7. Donna-Marie Pye September 10, 2019 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    To my other Fairview Drive mother…No one had an English country flower garden, made a cup of tea or could stand on their head at birthday parties like Pat Stratford. She will always be my eternal “English Rose”. Hope she is sharing all her tips from heaven on how to live your best life. Blessings to Ralph, Susan, Sally and Joy, all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You were one hell of a great lady Dame Pat.