Ebba Magnhild (Billsten) Moseson
Life and Work
Ebba Billsten was born November 23, 1901 in Wetaskiwin. Her parents came from Smalland, Sweden and settled in Wetaskiwin in 1892. Upon arriving in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the family name of Johannsson was changed to Billsten. Immigration officers decided there were too many Johannssons, hence the name change. Ebba was the second last child born to Klass and Ellen. Ebba and her siblings attended high school in Wetaskiwin,about 18 miles from their home.
Upon completion of high school, Ebba taught Grades 1 to 8 in the West Country, took art lessons from Father Wallraven in Wetaskiwin, and attended a local bible school. She then went to Calgary for three years to study nursing and received her diploma from the Holy Cross Hospital in 1929. She enjoyed her training with the Grey Nuns. She was active in the Ladies Aid and Malmo Mission Covenant, participated in the pioneer Girl Guides Club, and read devotional and spiritual books. She also played the piano and sang for church functions.
Ebba met Paul Moseson when his family was invited to her parents' home for dinner. After meeting Ebba (the brunette with red highlights), Paul told his friend, Phil Bjorkgren, that he was going to marry her some day. They were married in Maimo on September 6, 1930.
They had two children, Peter Paul and Sandra. The family loved travel and camping. They took extensive photos and notes of their trips through the United States, Mexico, Jamaica and Europe.
In Wetaskiwin Ebba took care of the home while Paul worked in his lumberyard and sawmill or at his drilling and oil business in Calgary. Ebba was an avid gardener and thoroughly enjoyed working in the yard. She also enjoyed decorating the house, sewing, knitting, crocheting and doing all kinds of handiwork as well as painting.
Family, friends, church and community were very important to both Ebba and Paul. She was kept very busy with her children and looked after her parents as well. She entertained family and friends on many occasions. As seniors, Ebba and Paul stayed active, driving to the coast and visiting their family in Calgary.
Ebba lived with her daughter and her husband in California for two and a half years, and lived for several years at the Peace Hills Lodge in Wetaskiwin.
After 62 years of marriage, Paul passed away. Ebba passed away while visiting family in California on July 6, 2001, four months short of her 100th birthday.
"I have always admired in her a certain tenacity. She was not a person who dwelt in dreams. Once she decided upon something, she went about getting it done"
- Research and Writing: Janis Ruitenbeck
- Contributors: Sandra Lavold, Maxine Buskas
- Curator: Janis Ruitenbeck