Ruth Ethel Garnett Edwards (nee Lawrence) was born in R.M. of Elton, near Brandon, Manitoba
on July 17, 1927 and Died of natural causes on May 7, 2020 at the age of 92 in Fort St. John,
British Columbia. Ruth was predeceased by her first husband Roy Garnett in 1995, her second
husband George Edwards in 2011, her (Mother) Ethel Lawrence at age 48, (Father) George
Lawrence at age 102, (Sister) Muriel (Jack)Thompson at age 98, (Sister) Gwen (Harry)
Ainsworth at age 96, and (Brother) Spencer (Mary) Lawrence at age 90.
Ruth was raised on the farm and always had loads of fun stories about the good times and the
hardships of life on the farm. Ruth either walked or rode her horse to School everyday no
matter the weather. Chores on the farm were abundant and everyone had to pitch in no matter
how old or young, there was always something you could do. Ruth was very clever as a child
and would snare gophers and turn in their tails for money to the govt to buy candy. She figured
out very early that if she could snare a bigger one she could carefully split the tail in half and get
double her money.
Ruth’s childhood was cut short when at the tender age of 10 she lost her mom to a brain
aneurysm. She really never got over it and would speak of it often like it was only yesterday to
her, even though 82 years had gone by.
Ruth was engaged to her childhood sweetheart George Edwards while living on the farm in
Manitoba but decided to call it off after her Dad remarried and Ruth decided she wanted to
move to Saskatoon and make a different life for herself. This is where Ruth met Roy Garnett.
They fell in love and were married Nov 7 1952, and soon after moved to southern Alberta. They
had their first child Lawrence (Lary) Garnett in 1953 and then John (Jack) Garnett in 1957. In
November, nine months after Jack was born the family moved to a small town in Northern
British Columbia where Roy had a Job with Westcoast Energy. Ruth often talked of that trip
North to Fort St. John that November with the snow blowing and the temperatures freezing, she
thought Roy was taking her to the end of the world. Roy had promised they would try it for 2
years max. 63 years later it would still be her home and she never wanted to leave it.
Ruth was an active member of the Royal Purple for many years in Fort st. John.
Ruth enjoyed the summers spent at Charlie Lake on sunny side beach where they had a cabin
for many years when the boys were growing up. Many days spent out on the water either
fishing or watching the boys water ski.
Ruth and Roy traveled to many destinations in their life together, Eastern Canada, Las Vegas,
Disneyland, Mexico, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Mesa, Arizona, where they spent 11 winters.
While in Mesa, Ruth could be found riding her bike around the park where they lived, doing
water aerobics at the pool, shopping at the mesa market (always on the lookout for a bargain),
picking walnuts and grapes and drying them to make huge raisins with Esther next door.
Ruth also loved to do ceramics during her winters in Arizona and produced many beautiful items
that the family still treasures today.
To say Ruth was an avid gardener would be an understatement. She could be found out in her
greenhouse or in her yard always planting, pruning, or watering something. For many years she
planted a fabulous vegetable garden, and we would all look forward to her famous creamy baby
potato and sugar snap pea soup when it was time to harvest the garden. She had the greenest
of thumbs and her flowers were second to none. She loved her sweet peas, peonies, fuchsias,
petunias and pink geraniums and painstakingly cared for them outside in the spring and
summer and then carefully preserved them through the winter in the basement and would bring
them back to life again the next spring. Year after year she had the biggest most beautiful
flower garden and she took great pride in sharing it with everyone in person or in photographs.
Ruth also took great pride in her beautiful spruce trees that they planted when they first moved
in and they are still going strong today, in fact she wasn't shy to tell the prospective new buyers
when she was selling her house at the age of 87 that it was a deal breaker if they didn't look
after the spruce trees and keep them neatly trimmed like she had for 42 years. Ruth also had
very prolific fruit trees in the back yard that produced so many apples that we would all have
more applesauce than we could possibly eat and many of her neighbours and friends would
come to get bags and bags of apples to make into wine as well.
Ruth loved going to the senior centre and could always be found there helping in the kitchen to
prepare the lunch or taking part in the floor curling games. She prided herself on being the best
lead she could be. She never wanted to play any other position. She competed in many
Senior games in her 80s in floor curling and even medaled once.
Three years after Roy passed away, Ruth reconnected with her childhood sweetheart George
Edwards on a trip to visit her sister Muriel in Manitoba. 50 years after their broken engagement
they were married on March 28, 1998 in Fort St. John. They had two good years together and
then George suffered from Alzheimers and Ruth helped care for him until his death in 2011.
Ruth suffered from a rare eye disease called Macular Dystrophy and was a member of the
CNIB, her eyesight all her life was so bad that she was never able to drive and always had to
walk everywhere she wanted to go. She could be seen trekking all over Fort St. John either
doing her shopping or her daily trips to the care home to visit George.
She was very energetic all of her life, riding her stationary bike, climbing the many stairs in her
apartment building or jumping on her mini trampoline, not to mention the million miles she
logged walking everywhere.
Ruth could often be found watching the boys at the hockey rink or the curling rink in the winters
or watching them play baseball in the summers.
Ruth took great comfort in talking on the phone to her sons every day, whether it was to discuss
what she had for her meals that day, how her birds were doing that she fed in the trees outside
her window or if any deer had come to try to eat the birdseed.
Ruth took great pride in her six grandchildren, and was always interested in whatever they were
doing. She was always game to partake in the tea parties, the wii games, card games,
board games or was always happy to attend the Christmas concerts, band concerts, school
drama productions, hockey games and curling bonspiels. She treasured the time she got to
spend with her grandkids whether it was in person or on the phone.
Ruth had so many friends and was a friend to so many.
She will be missed by all but by none more than her family.
Ruth is lovingly remembered by her sons Lary (Kathy) Garnett & Jack (Lory) Garnett and by her
Grandchildren, Jason (Melissa) Bartley, Ashten (Matt) Collinson, Cody Garnett,
Scott (Jackie) Garnett, Leigh-Ann Garnett, Kaylyn Garnett and by numerous nieces, nephews
There will be no funeral at this time for Ruth due to the Covid 19 restrictions, however the family
will announce a celebration of life at a later date when it is safe to do so.
In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation to the CNIB or the Heart and Stroke
The Family would like to extend their heartfelt thank you to Dr. Coatta & staff, to all the staff at
Better at homes, to all the staff at North Peace senior housing and to all the medical staff at the
Fort St. John Hospital for their compassionate care over the years.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Garnett Edwards, please visit our floral store.