Sarah Leona Hall


Sarah Leona (Gorrie) Hall, 87, passed away peacefully at her home in Jaffray, B.C with her daughter Dona, great niece Lana and dear friend Marianne by her side. Norma was born on March 10, 1930 to parents Harry and Janet Gorrie (nee Murray) in Fernie, British Columbia, finally a sister for Hank, Collins, M.C “Skinny” and John. Her brother George came along 4 years later. It was the peak of the great depression and although times were tough for everyone and nothing, except hard work was ever in excess, Harry and Janet, with the help of their boys, built a large, strong home with the dream of one day running a hunting lodge. Sadly, this dream was never to be realized. Norma’s daddy died in 1938 when she was 8 years old. The beautiful home built by the Gorries was destroyed just prior to the flooding of the Libby Dam reservoir in 1973. After Harry’s passing, Jenny and the boys kept the farm going with Norma taking a primary roll running the house. By the time she was 12 she did all the household canning and it was at this time that she learned to sew. When Canada went to war, Norma’s brother John answered the call. He travelled all over Europe writing letters to his baby sister the entire time, each letter including the hope that “It should be over soon”. It turned out that “soon” was a relative term. John came home in 1946 to find Norma a mature young woman on her way to hairdressing school in Lethbridge. Norma loved to dance. Her gentle but fun demeanor made her a great teacher. She never lacked for a dance partner and she taught many a young man their first steps. It was at a dance at the Baynes Lake hall that Norma first met Chester Hall. He was home on leave from army training and he helped her to repair her broken high-heel. He must have left quite an impression because in 1949 they were married in Fernie. In October of 1950 Marilyn Fay Hall was born in the Cranbrook hospital. Tragically Marilyn was born without a diaphragm and lived only a few minutes. Norma and Chester pressed through this sadness and in January of 1953 their daughter Nora “Gene” Hall was born. Dona Marie Hall came along in April of 1955. Baby Arthur joined them for a short time in 1961 before returning to his birth family. Norma and Chester owned various properties around the East Kootenay region with a different vision for each one. Jaffray was always home base. They owned a motel in Yahk for several years. Norma managed every aspect of that operation, from the books to repairs, not to mention pressing linens and keeping the fires stoked in the 7 cabins as well as daily meals while being a full-time mother. Chester worked at Tye during this time and would come home on weekends. It was hard work but Norma made friends in Yahk whom she would cherish for the rest of her life. In 1966, while on a visit to Salmo, B.C. the family received word that their home in Yahk had burned to the ground. It was a devastating blow and back to Jaffray they went. Chester worked at various logging camps and also owned his own equipment. After Gene and Dona graduated Chester took construction jobs all over Alberta and British Columbia. Norma often accompanied him, sometimes working as the camp cook and always making friends along the way. Norma and Chester enjoyed travelling and went on many great adventures over the years. Mexico was one of their favourite destinations, but a trip around the backroads of the neighbourhood could be just as good. In 1978 Norma added a son to her family when Dona married Lance Turner. Neither ever had a negative word to say of the other and not everyone can say that of their in-laws. Chester’s retirement coincided with the birth of their granddaughter Katherine “Katie” Turner and so North they moved to be near their girls and Lance. Until this time Norma had kept her entire household looking sharp with her keen sewing skills. They were fortunate to have their own personal seamstress at home. When Katie started Tap/Jazz lessons Norma started the costume making portion of her career. Sequins abound! Norma was always working on a craft project with or for Kate. Together they made countless Christmas decorations. Katie’s Barbies not only had the best wardrobe possible, but also fancy accommodations. Norma was the backbone and the heart of her family. Her door was always open and no one ever left her table hungry. In 1997 Norma’s dance partner of nearly 50 years left on the last great adventure without her. Chester passed away in Dawson Creek after a 6 month battle with cancer. After Kate graduated, Norma returned to Jaffray and moved in with her little brother George. She continued to go on trips and adventures, often with her sister-in-law Fanny or her friend Marianne. Norma was a timeless soul and was fortunate to have friends of all ages. Norma’s heart broke one final time when her daughter Gene succumbed to cancer. Despite the heartaches and struggles Norma faced she never faltered. She had the disposition of an angel, always kind and never unfair but with the strength and stamina of a warrior, blended with good Scottish frugality. Norma’s family eventually came to include additional granddaughters Priscilla and Charlotte Brett, great grandchildren Kieran & Adara, Sophia & Bethany and Callen as well as, Grant, Julie & Peter Laird. Please honour Norma’s legacy by treating others with kindness and compassion and just maybe a little extra calm. It is important to remember: If you throw it up in the air; it will come down on its own. Survived by: daughter Dona (Lance) Turner, granddaughters Katherine (Travis) Lowes, Charlotte (Ken) Macfarlane, Priscilla Brett (Jordan), great grandchildren Kieran, Adara, Callen, Bethany & Sophia, nieces; Colleen, Kay & Marlene and the Laird Family. Predeceased by: husband E. Chester Hall, parents Henry & Janet Gorrie (nee Murray), daughters Matilyn & N. Gene Hall, brothers Henry (Hank), Collins, Murray C “Skinny”, John & George & Christofer Gorrie & baby sister Marion and niece Kari Gorrie-Rotvold. A Memorial service was held on Monday, July 24, 2017 at the Sand Creek Seniors Centre with inurnment following at the Roosville Cemetery. Memories and condolences can be left for the family at Arrangements entrusted to Cherished Memories

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