Wanda Marie was born in Sullivan Township on August 2, 1929 to parents William and Mary (Golem) Jackson. She was soon joined by younger sisters Ruth (1934) and Heather (1939). The Jackson family resided on a farm on Bentinck side of the Bentinck-Sullivan Townline. Wanda attended public school in Scone, before heading off (walking) to high school in Chesley. After graduation she enrolled in Normal School in Stratford to become a teacher.
Mrs. Alles began her teaching career, with an annual salary of $1,750, S.S. #7 in Bentinck Township in 1949, where she stayed until 1956. During this time Wanda met and married Melvin Alles on July 17, 1954. The couple resided on the Alles family farm on the 12th of Brant. From there, she taught kindergarten at Chesley Public School for four months, before leaving her profession for a few years to raise her daughter, Miriam who was born on June 6, 1957.
She resumed her career in 1960 at Thaler's School SS #12 in Brant where she stayed for eight years. In 1968, she joined the staff of the new Elderslie Central School where she remained for her final 19 years of teaching. After 35 years of teaching, Wanda was quoted saying "If I could roll back time, I would do it all again." Mrs. Alles said her interest in teaching started early, when she was only five years old. "I played teaching school. This is what I have always wanted to do."
"Teaching has been kind to me. I have been a fortunate person in so many ways- my parents were behind me, I had a wonderful husband, Mel, and daughter, Miriam, who supported me and never complained, although school often came ahead of home."
"My two sisters, Ruth and Heather, copied me and became teachers also. We used to trade ideas whenever we got together as a family. I'm sure our conversations bored the rest of the family."
In 1987 when reflecting back on her career Wanda admitted that "hundreds of students have sat before me. It really makes my day when one of them speaks to me on the street and tells me about what they are doing." "This school is like a second home to me - it will be hard to move out." Mrs. Alles started school in grade 1 and then spent the next 48 years continuing to go to school, what an accomplishment.
When not in the classroom, Wanda loved spending time her family. She spent countless hours helping Melvin on the farm, over the years, Sadly, he died suddenly in 1981. Wanda was also extremely close with her daughter, Miriam, always treasuring her visits home from the West. Devastation struck again when Miriam was diagnosed with cancer in early 2012. Her 10 month struggle with cancer ended January 17, 2013.
In her retirement, Wanda moved into Chesley and enjoyed everything retirement had to offer. Although slowing down in recent years, she loved running into and interacting with former students. Sadly, Wanda passed away at a brief illness at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in her 89th year.
Beloved wife of the late Melvin Alles (1981). Cherished mother of the late Miriam Gache (2013). Wanda is survived by her son-in-law Wayne Gache of Westlock, Alberta, sister-in-law Margaret (Russell) Golem, one niece, several nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her sisters Ruth (Merlin) White, Heather (Ken) Hewitson, brother-in-law Eldon (Annie) Alles and her parents William and Mary (Golem) Jackson.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Elmwood.
Memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or St. John’s Lutheran Church, Elmwood would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
Mrs. Alles will be fondly remembered by her students for patience "and big heart." Send to friend