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Islah Reed

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Islah Mae Elinor was born on Sunday, July 19, 1936, in Sullivan Township to John Benjamin and Lydia Sophia (Priebe) Schwartz. She was the youngest of seven children, Lillian, Raymond, Melvin, Gordon, George, Arnold, and Islah. The Schwartz family lived and worked on a mixed farm located on the 12th Concession, and Sideroad 3, near Marmion. The Schwartz children attended S.S. #7 Grimston just north of Marmion. Unfortunately, Islah’s mother died when she was only thirteen. With work at home mounting, Islah decided to forgo high school and began helping her father. Her responsibilities included everything from farm chores, to work around the house.

While at a dance on a Friday night in Desboro, Islah was introduced to a young man by the name of Arthur John Reed. The year was 1954 and the following year on Saturday, November 12, 1955, the two were wed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Marmion. Islah went from aiding her father on the farm to working side by side with Art, on the 12th of Sullivan. Again, it was a mixed farm, raising pigs, cattle and a variety of other animals. Art’s parents, Charlie and Jennie Reed resided with them, making their early years of marriage quite unique. Islah enjoyed tractor work and was particularly fond when the cattle were out on pasture as that meant fewer chores! To say that Islah was a hard worker would be an understatement.

The Reed family began to grow in 1956 with the arrival of Sandra, which was followed by Norm (1958), Bob (1959) and Peter (1962). In addition to caring for her young family, Islah had a big vegetable garden and all the subsequent canning and preserving that went with it. She was a great cook – with potatoes, meat, vegetables, and dessert being staples in most meals. Islah’s tradition of making Christmas pudding and sauce was a specialty that no one in the family could replicate. In her limited free time, Islah enjoyed knitting, especially afghans for her entire family. Art and Islah did, however, find time to take the kids fishing and camping, enjoying a variety of parks and locations around Ontario. Like most, they started out roughing it in a tent before later upgrading to a more enjoyable cabin trailer.

In 1969, Art and Islah built a home on James St. in Paisley. Although a difficult move at first, this ended up being a good move for Art but also for Islah, who had her own back issues. In fact, she would go on to have two major back surgeries in the years following. In 1986, the couple moved to Brook Street E, in Tara. By this time, Art had been diagnosed with Lupus, and in addition to being a loving and dedicated wife and caregiver, Islah cared for his every need until his death in January of 2002.

In her free time, Islah enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, completing word searches, and walking on the trail beside their home with their dog Patch and her grandchildren. She collected a variety of collector plates through the years and enjoyed passing time watching television. The news was a staple on Islah’s television, as she was regularly tuned into CP24 or CNN. She also enjoyed family-oriented movies, Blue Jay Baseball games and curling along with any National Geographic programming, particularly productions featuring Canada’s beautiful scenery. When it came to music, Islah enjoyed the likes of Rita MacNeil, Daniel O’Donnell, Conway Twitty, and Anne Murray to name a few as well as a variety of classical music. Islah also liked to read and would pick up anything that was of interest to her. Most of you also know that Islah had a particularly strong affiliation with one particular political party. I am told that there was little to debate in these discussions, and Islah was always the instigator. All I have to say is blue was Islah’s favourite colour – end of story! Sorry, Mr. Trudeau!

In 2016, Islah moved to Chestnut Hill, a senior’s development in Tara, where she enjoyed further time with friends and family. She enjoyed catching up with the younger generations and was always interested in learning what new things were going on in their lives. Islah was also an avid bird watcher and loved to spend time quietly watching a variety of local wildlife from the comfort of her apartment. Islah loved the spring months and seeing everything come to life. She treasured her family and close friends, most especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When they visited Islah, the children always enjoyed their time playing with items from her toy box.

Islah’s faith always played an important part in her life. She was raised and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. She later worshiped at St. John’s United Church in Chesley, and both Tara United and Cornerstone Presbyterian in Tara. No matter the situation, Islah’s strong faith always helped her through the difficult times in her life. Islah was a caring, loving woman, who was also patient and understanding. She was very knowledgeable, and persistent, but could also be a tad bit stubborn at times. However, she loved and was loved unconditionally.

In August of 2022, because of her failing health, the difficult decision was made for Islah to downsize further whereby she called Elgin Abbey home in Chesley. Here, she enjoyed the simpler things in life and always appreciated the opportunity to catch up and visit with family and friends. Sadly, in recent weeks, Islah’s health declined, and she passed away at Hanover Care Centre on Friday, March 8, 2024, in her 88th year.

Loving mother of Sandra (Ken) McDermid of Port Elgin, Norm (Donna) of Pinkerton, Robert (Debra) of Hanover, and Peter (Wendy) of Owen Sound. Cherished grandmother of Pam, Kristin (Brad), Brian (Michelle), Kyle, Amanda, Michelle (Jeff), Ryan, Daniel, Melissa (Kevin), and Kalvin (Becki) and great-grandmother of Kassie, Madelynn, Korissa, Liam, Kallen, Alayna, Trinity, Isabella, Logan, Tallulah, Carson, Ruby, Madeline, and Rowan. Islah will be fondly remembered by Patrick (Nicole) and Henry and her sisters-in-law Dolly Sowa, Lotty Schwartz, Marie Christie and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Arthur, sister Lillian (Bert) Brown, brothers Raymond, Melvin (Mildred), Gordon, George (Monica), and Arnold, and her parents John and Lydia (Priebe) Schwartz.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Friday, March 15, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Please refrain from wearing scents. Spring interment in Hillcrest Cemetery, Tara.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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23 Condolences
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Dave and Barb Cormack
March 14, 2024

Norm, Donna & Family so sorry for your loss

Jim and Lois Fotherby
March 14, 2024

Keeping you and yours in our prayers at this dad time

Isabel Hewitson
March 14, 2024

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of your families at this sad time. Bill & Isabel Hewitson

Darlene, Willy, Bonnie, Keith & Bruce
March 13, 2024

Thinking of you with heartfelt sympathy.
Our mother Monica often mentioned Islah coming to visit her at Elgin Abbey, we will always remember her kindness.

Bob & Janice Caissie
March 12, 2024

Sandra, Ken, Norm, Donna, Bob, Debbie, Peter, Wendy & families
Sending our thoughts and prayers at this sad time in the passing of Aunt Islah. Remember and cherish all the great times you had as a family, and that Aunt Islah is no longer in pain.

Sherry, Neil, Keith & Rachel Anstett
March 12, 2024

Dear Norm and Donna and families – so very sorry for your loss – hopefully the many moments that you shared will bring a smile to your hearts

Linda Thomson
March 11, 2024

So sorry to hear of Islah’s passing, she always had a warm greeting and a smile even when she wasn’t feeling well.

Leesa and Ken Swigger
March 11, 2024

Sending our heartfelt sympathies to the entire family. May your many treasured memories bring you comfort.

Don and Bernice Ewart
March 10, 2024

Dear Sandra, Norm, Robert, Peter & families, so sorry to hear of Islay passing.
Our sympathy goes out to you all. Don and Bernice Ewart (Elder)

Bill and Marlene Price
March 10, 2024

Debbie, Bob, and family, sorry to hear of your loss. Our deepest sympathy to all.

Shirley Alpaugh
March 10, 2024

Sandra & Ken: so sorry for the loss of your Mom.

Emily McLean
March 10, 2024

My condolences to the Reed family. Cherish all of your memories.

Pierre and Sandy Guay
March 10, 2024

We are deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your mother.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family.

Sulta and Jerry Weppler
March 10, 2024

Sorry to hear of Islah’s passing . Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time. Please accept our deepest sympathy.

Bruce and Joyce
March 10, 2024

Bob and Debbie sorry for your loss. She is at peace now.

Krista & Larry Gill
March 10, 2024

Sending our sincere condolences.

Jerry and Donna Farrow
March 10, 2024

Jerry and I are so sorry to hear about your loss. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family.

Bev and Ietsje Neil
March 10, 2024

Bob, Deb and family…..sorry to hear that your mom has passed away, I always enjoyed our chats at church and at her home. She was a lovely person.
Thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time.

Byron Kappes
March 10, 2024

My condolences to the family. She was a wonderful lady.

Sue Woods
March 10, 2024

Islah and I had many long chats when she was at Elgin Abbey..always a beautiful smile…she will be missed by many…my deepest condolences to the family…may she RIP

Pam Tompkins
March 10, 2024

Sorry for your loss. she was a lovely lady.

Jim & June Gowan
March 9, 2024

Dear Bob, Deb & family,
We are so sorry to hear that Islah passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.❤️

Elaine Esplen
March 9, 2024

Sandra,Ken and Family
So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. She was a well known lady and liked by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.

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