Edith Mary (Van Nest) Rouse




Edith was active in the community where taught Sunday School, was leader of the Brownies, and later Girl Guides, co leader of the 4 - H Clothing Club.

Edith Mary Van Nest, second child of Andrew and Lydia Van Nest, was born in Redcliff, Alberta. Andrew and Lydia had moved west from Ontario while Andrew worked on the railroad, and during the First World War was employed at the Redcliff ammunition factory when Edith was born. Her mother had been a dressmaker in Ontario before she was married so when they could afford the material, Edith had fancy homemade clothes. After the war they moved to Rosedale where her dad ran the hoist in the coal mine. Then in 1920 they bought a farm where Edith and her older brother, Hector, grew up. They milked cows, made butter, and raised chickens. She rode her horse "Old Dan" to Livingstone School, a country school three miles away.

In 1929, at age 14, her appendix ruptured, and she nearly died. She spent six weeks in hospital. In 1933 the family moved to Alix (Strohschein farm) and raised silver and black foxes to sell for fur, which was in big demand back then. Hector and Edith went to a dance at Carroll School in 1934 and that is where she met Glen Rouse, the "Love of Her Life."

Edith went to Calgary to secretarial school and worked as a maid to pay her way through. Glen and Edith were dating during this time although they didn't see each other often. After she graduated she helped out on the fox farm and late in 1936 they moved to a farm near Rimbey, which is still in the family today, where they raised foxes and later farmed.

On June 30, 1937, Edith and Glen were married in her home. If there was one thing that characterized Edith, it was her strength of character. She met Glen after he had contracted polio. Yet despite his very strong handicap, she fell in love, married, and spent the rest of her life trying to make it easier on him and deeply in love with him.

The new couple made their home in Stanton and then in Alix where Glen was teaching. During this time, Glen was in an orchestra and they went to lots of dances and made many new and dear friends They also were charter members of the Maccabees and had lots of meetings and functions. The community was always a big part of their lives and Edith taught Sunday School for many years, was leader of the Brownies and later Girl Guides. She and Nancy Drushka were leaders of the Alix 4-H Clothing Club.

She was always baking for some function, as well as for the Alix UCW's turkey suppers, weddings, funerals, etc. When the new Alix United Church was being built she never missed a day either taking lunch or coffee and cake to the volunteers working on it, and Glen never missed a day working on it. Often she was helping or making crafts for someone and feeding anyone who was hungry.

On May 11, 1942, Twyla May was born and Edith enjoyed sewing, so she and Lydia made Twyla many, many cute outfits. On May 4, 1946, Charles Glen was born and completed their family (he got lots of outfits too.)

Through the years and Glen's many career changes, Edith faithfully kept their house a home. All in all, Glen and Edith lived in Alix 35 years, while Glen was a teacher, owned and operated "Rouse Brothers' Grocery" (Peacock's Store before) where she helped when need (she had 2 small children then).Later they bought Harold Edgar's Hardware Store and in 1951 tore it down, dug out the basement, built a new store and called it "Alix Hardware". (The original store, pus an addition, is still a hardware store today, owned by Curt and Donna Peterson, Glen and Edith's nephew and wife. Edith and Harry Simmons kept the hardware running , after moving all the goods to the old UFA building while the new store was being built. (Glen, family, and friends built the store.) Then in the new store, she and Harry were fixtures as Glen was busy installing furnaces he sold, helping Bob Whitfield, the electrician, and Creighton Smith the town plumber as well as building three new houses, spearheading and helping to tear down and build a new Church, renovating the Alix Pharmacy, etc. etc. so Edith worked alongside of Glen, and ran the store with Harry Simmons when Glen was away working.

They always had a ribbon going for someone's shower in and around Alix, and collected hundreds of dollars for these Brides and Grooms to be with the names of everyone who had donated typed on the ribbon. Glen typed many names on those ribbons over many years.

Next, they bought the Alix Pharmacy from Elizabeth Baardseth and Walter Ekman and called it "Rouse's Sundries". They worked there together for many years and enjoyed the people who were their customers there.

They retired to Red Deer in 1974 and traveled to Hawaii and later Arizona for the winter. Retirement was good and they enjoyed doing everything together. Therefore, it was very hard on Edith when Glen died on May 6, 1994, after a year-long battle with cancer. That August, Edith moved back to Alix, into "Lakeview Manor" and kept busy with her Church and helping out family and friends when needed. Then, after six years, in 2000 she moved to the Willow Creek Lodge in Stettler and eventually to the Pines Lodge in Red Deer, to be closer to Twyla.


On September 30, 2003 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on December 4, 2003. The biggest part of Edith's life was God, her husband and her family. She loved people as well and always made them feel at home with their tea and coffee and the food she always had ready. She had that special ability to look through any situation and see the real person in the midst of it all. She was blessed to have two children and their spouses, five grandchildren and their spouses and ten great-grandchildren. She is greatly missed, but we all know she is having a wonderful time in Heaven with her Lord and Saviour and her beloved Glen.

Written by her daughter Twyla Sissons-Jannsens (Nee Rouse)