Susan "Susie" (Wright) Atkinson
Life and Work
She was only 16 when her mother died, which meant she had to stay home to look after her four younger brothers and sisters. Later, when her husband Edward Atkinson, a St. Albert-area farmer, died, she had to look after their farm as well as three young children. Somehow, she found time to be active in the local Women's Institute, to lead a 4-H club, and to work for a library and church for the town of St. Albert.
In 1956, she and her son moved to a Lacombe-area farm where they raised purebred cattle, several times prize-winners at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. It was then that Susie was elected councillor for the county of Lacombe, the first woman in Alberta to be named a county councillor. She also became the first woman to be admitted to the Hall of Fame at Olds Agricultural and Vocational College.
Once retired from farming, Susie turned her attention to the needs of seniors, serving on the board of the Lacombe Nursing Home while it was being built, serving as president of the Lacombe Friendship Club, and helping to establish the Kosy Korner, a drop-in centre.
"Bloom where you're planted" must have been Susie Wright Atkinson's motto.