Obituary of Florence Jeanne Archibald
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Florence, she passed away peacefully with her son by her side, at the Lakewood Lodge in Big River, SK on November 20, 2023. Florence will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Florence was born February 22, 1938, to Beatrice and Janvier Gaudry on the family homestead in Park Valley, Saskatchewan the 3rd child of a family of nine. Florence was an adventurer and at a young age, she and her younger brother Wilfred kept our mother busy. They would roam away from home for hours playing and exploring the bush around their home. To the point that Mom had to take to some drastic measures to keep them in her sight, I won’t say what that might be other than then a long rope was involved.
She attended school at Lake Four, however, our parents soon realized that school was not her thing. She wanted to be at home working in the fields with her brothers and her dad. She loved the outdoors, and a long day of hard work is what she thrived at.
In 1957 she married a local farm boy Eldon Miller, and they started their family. Times were hard and they soon realized that they needed to move away from Park Valley for work. At first settling in Foxdale, Saskatchewan where they went to work on a farm for Eldon’s aunt and uncle the Sjonberg’s. In 1962 they moved to Alberta, where they again worked on farms and ranches. In 1971 after the tragic loss of their young son Niel, they decided to return to Saskatchewan, eventually settling in Big River.
Over time Florence and Eldon went their separate ways. Florence found employment at the Big River Forestry Farm, there she found contentment in the hard work and the enjoyment in working with good people, many of whom became lifelong friends. Florence then went on to marry Lorne Archibald, and they settled in their little farm home in Ladder Valley. There she enjoyed her big yard with her many flowers and a big garden.
Florence loved camping; she would stay there for as long as she wanted to. She made so many friends at the lake over the years, many young folks would come by and visit and have a few beers with her around the campfire. They enjoyed her sense of humor and forwardness; she wasn’t afraid to tell you what she thought.
At a young age, Florence took up singing and playing guitar. She was a musician at heart and eventually had her own band. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, she performed at many different venues in Alberta and Saskatchewan. While living in Alberta, she had the opportunity to perform at the Calgary Safety Roundup Program on CFCN Calgary, as well as banquets, weddings, and talent shows. She encouraged her children to sing and play musical instruments, and often took them with her to perform.
Florence was a berry picker, she loved picking blueberries, and she would spend hours in the blueberry patch. If she couldn’t take anyone to go with her, she would go by herself and was never afraid of bears or getting stuck out in the bush by herself.
Florence was a fun-loving person with a big heart, family meant so much to her. When leaving her home after a good visit and cake and coffee, she would always give you a big hug and say, “I love you”. Florence will be dearly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
Florence is survived by her loving husband: Lorne Walter Archibald; her children: Ward Miller of Saskatoon, SK and his son, Logan; Marlene Miller of Saskatoon, SK; Lester Miller of Big River, SK; Keith Miller and children, Jordan (Alana) and Alicia Miller (Josh); her granddaughter, Katrina Moran; her two great-grandchildren; her siblings Paulette Arcand of Shellbrook, SK; Laverne (Dennis) Nelson of Holbein, SK; Darlene Ewert of Saskatoon, SK; Dale (Marcel) Bouchard of Yellowknife, NWT; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Florence is predeceased by her first husband: Eldon Miller; her children: Neil Miller and Jeanette Gaudry; her parents: Janvier and Beatrice Gaudry; her siblings: Cecile Loveday, Wilfred Gaudry, Shirley Mowat, and Robert Gaudry.
There will be a Funeral Service held for Florence at 1:00 PM. on Saturday, November 25, 2023, from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Big River, SK. A time of lunch and fellowship will follow the service over at the Big River Metis Hall (Main Street Big River, SK). Interment will follow after this in the Park Valley Catholic Cemetery, Rm of Big River, SK.
In lieu of tributes, memorial donations may be made in memory of Florence to the Lakewood Lodge Auxiliary (Box 846 Big River, SK S0J 0E0).
Friends and family wishing to send messages of condolence are welcome to visit . Arrangements have been entrusted to Beau “Lac” Funeral Home and Crematorium, Tammy Smart, Funeral Director, Big River, SK. 306-469-2277.