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Monday, 7 September 2015

Eleda May Simms (1895 - 1973)

Eleda May Simms was the second youngest of eight children born to Irish immigrants William Simms and Agnes McAllister on January 25, 1895.   Her birth certificate online at Family Search indicates her given name was Lydia May but she known as Eleda.

I have not found evidence of her being trained as a nurse but I do know she was the family caretaker of her mother Agnes and others.
The only photo I have of her is on the far right in the above photo.  She seems to be in mid bite of a picnic sandwich.  Her nieces Doris and Gwen were visiting Ontario for the first and only time.  At this time, family records indicate she lived at Carp, Ontario which is west of Ottawa and home of the "Diefenbunker".  

The letter below was written by Eleda in 1941 to Mary upon the death of Mary's husband Alexander, Eleda's older brother.

Kemptville, Ont
Dec 15/41
Dear Mary & all
Received your telegram on Wednesday of Alex's death and was very sorry indeed.  We were waiting for better news but when one is called they must go.  You have our deepest sympathy and trust in God that you may be spared for many years to carry on and look after the family.  What was his trouble had be been sick very long  He will be where there is no suffering or pain.  We were shocked to hear of it so suddenly as Mother is not very strong.  She would have liked very much to have gone out and see you all but Mother was not strong enough to travel so far.  We have not even been to Montreal.  I wrote to them all and told them about Alex's death.
There is a great deal of sickness down here both young and old being called away very suddenly.  Was Doris teaching school.  I thought she told me Robert was called for 4 months training.  You will need him on the farm, he will be a great help.   Well please try and write and let us know all about him and take good care of yourself and God will look after you all.
Mother and Eleda
Eleda came to Manitoba to help with the house when my grandmother, Mary Sinclair Simms, was ill.  Aunt Dodie's diary from May 14, 1959 says:
Got telegram from Aunt Eleda and met her at the 12:15 train in Rivers.
Seven months later the December 17, 1959 entry:
Don and I took Aunt Eleda to meet train at Brandon.  Left at 8:28 am. 
Eleda died in 1973 at age 78. She is buried with her parents and younger brother Cecil in the South Gower Cemetery.

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