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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Dear Joy, Bob, Alice, Hannah, Colleen, and Nellie,
Sending all of my thoughts, love, and hugs to the best family in town!
Lots of love,
Nikki & Gobi
I once spent a wonderful few days with Pat and her family at their home in Whitby when I was 11. Although I was just the little brother of her son-in law, Pat treated me as if I was one of her own. I still remember the soapbox derby she took us to, and the sense of relaxed, humourous fun that pervaded her presence. Such a loss!
Mrs.Stratford ( I could never call her Pat) was always welcoming and friendly. Whether it was hot soup on a cold day, allowing us to play badminton in the backyard or ignoring our snowball fights, she was a lovely woman. I always remember her laugh and cheery smile, especially as Sally and I played. What a treat she was to have as a next door neighbour.
My thoughts are with your family. Liz Frost (Bowes)
Pat was a wonderful friend to her next door neighbor, Kay Bowes. With such an extended family, there is no doubt she will be missed, but remembered with a smile!
Warm regards to my 30 Club mate, Ralph.
I honour both you, Sally, and your Mom by intending to do ALL the suggestions.
Susan Graham Walker
My sincere sympathies, Joy, on the passing of your mother. I will keep her, you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Katherine (Mah) NGC guide-benevole
Mrs. Stratford was one of the nicest ladies. Memories of her performing a headstand to entertain us at Joy’s birthday party to helping many of us pass our girl guide badges. May she R.I.P. And is enjoying the wild flowers of heaven.
Condolences To Joy and family
I so enjoyed any time I spent with Aunty Pat. She certainly had an extra dose of “sparkle” that I so appreciated!!!!
My condolences to her family. I will think of her fondly as I check off items on the list
Liz Arbuckle (Clare) and family
What a wonderfully welcoming lady was Aunty Pat. Having travelled ‘Across the Pond’ to see my Canadian relatives the welcome couldn’t have been warmer. A kind, energetic and thoughtful lady with that twinkle of fun.
Quite an act to follow but a wonderful role model of how to be a ‘Good Aunt’.
Just sorry we couldn’t have met more often.
She has left a wonderful legacy n her family of girls, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Gran, what a perfect list of ways to carry you with me. I want to mindfully do every single one of these, starting with a cup of tea, of course.
Lovely lady. Wish I had known her better than a brief meeting at Jonathan’s shower. My deepest condolences to my friend Sue careless and her family, as well as all those who loved this remarkable woman.
I first met Mrs. Stratford who I gradually got got used to calling Pat when I went to university with Joy. Pat’s chocolate chip cookies, kindness and sense of adventure impressed and inspired me. Joy, Bob, Hannah and Colleen are some of the finest people I know, and proof that Pat’s legacy lives on.
Our sincere condolences to the Stratford family and their extended families. May they know the comfort of friends and family, but most especially the Peace which accompanies them on this journey through God’s gracious keeping.