Audrey Anna Wall (née Crosby)
10 September 1923 – 15 January 2011
Audrey was born in the English Settlement, Northumberland County, Ontario on September 10th, 1923. She grew up on a dairy and fruit farm and attended a one-room school. She would often speak of driving home the cows at the end of the day, of community suppers and dances, and of the special treat of riding in a horse-drawn cutter in the winter, covered with fur robes. At the age of eight, Audrey was thrilled to become a big sister, when her parents welcomed twin girls, Lois and Loreen.
Audrey’s 16th birthday coincided with Canada’s entry into WWII. Like so many young women of her generation, she joined the war effort at home, particularly in helping to organize activities and dances for the thousands of soldiers stationed at the Air Force base in Trenton. It was at one of these dances that she met the love of her life, Nat Wall. Nat was soon sent overseas, but the two kept up a faithful correspondence and were married just after his return, in January of 1946.
One year later, Audrey and Nat welcomed their daughter, Lois. They lived in a close-knit neighbourhood in Scarborough, with holidays spent at the English Settlement farm. In 1967, Audrey and Nat made the big, but exciting, decision to move to Smithers, where Nat’s brother lived and where Lois had recently met her future husband, Lyle. They immediately became active and well-loved members of the community. Audrey was very proud of her long-time position at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, at which she was originally the only employee. She was a devoted member of the Smithers ACW, Beta Sigma Phi, and Red Hatters, and was a founding member of the St. James Anglican Soup Kitchen.
In the early 1970s, Audrey took on the role for which she will be best remembered: grandma, or, as Natalie and Garnet have always called her, “Amma.” She was the consummate grandmother: a wonderful cook, gardener, fishing partner, listener, and all-round spoiler. Natalie and Garnet spent countless childhood hours with their grandparents, the best moments of which were up at the cabin at Babine Lake. Audrey was part of every step of Natalie and Garnet’s lives, and was proud to see them both marry and start their own families. The name “Amma” works for a great-grandmother, too. Anna and Amelia already miss their daily visits, treats, and kisses, and little Ronan was lucky enough to be held and hugged by a beaming Amma this past summer.
Audrey lost Nat in 1995, and was further saddened by the passing of her daughter, Lois, in 2006. As was typical of her determined spirit, however, Audrey decided to make yet another new start and, at 83, moved to Vankleek Hill to be near Natalie and A.G. and their family. She gave her great-granddaughters the same loving attention that she had given her grandchildren, and made herself many new routines and friends, particularly at church and at the Farmer’s Market. Audrey lived and drove on her own until this past October, when she made another brave decision, that of moving to Heritage Lodge in Vankleek Hill. Her family would like to thank the staff and residents there for filling her last months with warmth and attentive care.
Audrey was predeceased by her parents, Ross and Mabel Crosby; her husband, Nat Wall; and her daughter, Lois Angman. She is survived by her grandchildren, Natalie Kouao (A.G.) and Garnet Angman (Stephanie Monaghan); her great-grandchildren, Anna, Amelia, and Ronan; her son-in-law, Lyle Angman; her sisters, Lois Reynolds and Loreen Batchellor (Gerald); her sister-in-law, Pearl Wall; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends in B.C. and Ontario. A celebration of Audrey’s life will take place at St. James Anglican Church at a later date, with interment to follow at the Smithers Cemetery. If desired, donations may be made in lieu of flowers in Audrey’s memory to the St. James Anglican Church – Soup Kitchen P.O. Box 147, Smithers, B.C. V0J 2N0. Condolences and donations may be made at www.hillcrestfuneralhome.ca Funeral arrangements entrusted to Hillcrest Funeral Home, 151 Bond Street, Vankleek Hill, Ontario, K0B 1R0, 866-678-2001.