How often we hear of seniors moving from their lifetime home to be nearer their children; one area loses a resident and another gains.
When Gudrun moved to Calgary in August of 2001 from Wynyard, Saskatchewan to be nearer her son, it was the Leif Eiriksson Icelandic Club of Calgary (LEIC) that gained.
With the help of Margret Geppert and Iris Torfason, she was put on our membership list. Although Gudrun was not able to come to our events, we were able to go to her.
She paid her membership dues with the most beautiful handwriting. I thought, “I hope I can write that nicely when I’m over 90 years old.” When we had a special event where Icelandic foods were served, we would take some to her. She was always very receptive. When I was in her apartment, I would see copies of Lögberg-Heimskringla near her chair. Once when I visited, she was playing bridge with her friends. We had a little visit and I thought, “I must keep playing bridge if it will keep me as sharp as Gudrun.”
Gudrun had to leave her apartment and she had a short stay in the hospital. Later she was transferred to a nursing home where Dorothy Koss took a 100th birthday card and beautiful roses on May 6.The Dunlop family met to celebrate her 100th birthday on May 7. With cakes, flowers and numerous phone calls, Gudrun started another century.
Gudrun was born to Sigurdur and Rannveig Sigbjornson on the farm east of Leslie, SK in 1912.Her mother wrote articles for Lögberg-Heimskringla. In 1933, she married Bill Dunlop. They had two children, Hazel and William James. Both of their children had three children. She had four great-grandchildren. In 1962, the family moved to Wynyard where Gudrun took a job on the elementary school staff. She was involved with the Lutheran Church, the Royal Purple and Nightingale Rebekah Lodge. Bill passed away in 1982. After that, Gudrun would spend many winter months near her daughter in Florida.
People like Gudrun are an inspiration as she had the same high values that I saw in my own ancestors. She thought that a person’s life’s work was not done as long as they were alive. She counted her blessings and was very appreciative of the care given by the staff and her granddaughters. She said that the most important words are ‘to forgive,’ which she took from the Lord’s Prayer.
Gudrun Dunlop passed away on June 16, 2012.