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"PRU" 2003 Obituary


PRUDHAM 

PRUDHAM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-06 published
Laura Barbara DICKSON/DIXON
By Ruth TAILOR/TAYLOR Wednesday, August 6, 2003 - Page A16
Mother, grandmother, poet. Born May 7, 1907, in Nelson Township, Ontario Died July 6, in Eden Mills, Ontario, of natural causes, aged 96.
Born Laura Barbara PRUDHAM on the family farm, my mother was the daughter of Charles and Anna (PICKETT) PRUDHAM. She was a fifth-generation Canadian, a grand-niece of Laura SECORD. She was the middle child of a family of five, with two older brothers and two younger sisters. Proud of her heritage, Laura was destined to become the family historian.
Laura had many wonderful memories of her childhood: of Christmas trees lit with real candles, of rides over the crisp snow to church, sleigh bells jingling all the way. She had vivid memories of the first automobile, the first airplane. She lived through two world wars and the Great Depression, saw man walk on the moon.
The farm was a busy place, with everyone contributing: Laura raised chickens, milked cows, made butter, sold produce at the Hamilton Market. They left the farm at 2: 30 a.m. to travel through the snowy roads in winter. Bricks were heated in the wood stove, put in the bottom of the horse-drawn sleigh box for warmth. Buffalo robes helped keep them warm on that long dark trip. In summer, they worked the farm fields from dawn until dusk; the only day of rest, Sunday.
It was Laura's dream to go on to high school after passing the entrance exam, but it was not to be; she was required at home. A determined young lady, she took courses, and studied independently. She won two scholarships for short courses at the Macdonald Institute, now the University of Guelph.
Laura taught Sunday School, she played the church organ after teaching herself to play the piano, she sang in the choir. Along with her sister, Anna, they became a popular singing duo in the area. Tea Meetings, and young people's groups were a part of her life within the church. Laura and Friends produced plays to entertain and compete in the area.
Laura met her husband, Lorne DICKSON/DIXON, at a community dance. They dated, and were married February 14, 1940. They resided on the DICKSON/DIXON family farm, Limestone Hall, near Milton, Ontario, where they farmed until 1961. Lorne and Laura's children, Ruth and Robert, grew up on that farm, a wonderful place for children.
Laura's many hobbies included watercolour and oil painting, photography, gardening, baking, and most of all, writing. Walks in the spring wildflowers inspired her first lines of poetry. Later she wrote: "I took a walk in the woods today / Down winding paths where I used to play." She had three books of poetry published, including Changing Seasons in 1997. She won the Milton Heritage Writing Award in 1998 for her collective works. Her poetry was chosen in 2001 to be part of a diary of new and established Canadian poets.
Laura was a life member of the Women's Institute, and lived by their motto "For Home and Country." She was a life member of the Women's Missionary Society, a member of the Milton Horticulture Society, and the Milton Historical Society.
In later years, after Lorne passed away, her greatest love became her grandchildren; they gave her many years of joy. She loved to play, and led them on adventures to the mall, travelling all over on the bus, supplying treats as only grandmothers can. She listened to their dreams, gave encouragement. All the while, she continued to record her life in poetry.
She loved her family, her community, her country -- she was one of that special group of women, born around the turn of the 20th century, who had to create their own opportunities, find their way in a world that was not quite ready to give equality to women. Laura accomplished a great many things, and through it all, she remained a lady, loved and respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Ruth TAILOR/TAYLOR is Laura's daughter.

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