August 11, 1986 - Fort Frances, Ontario
May 7, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta

Erin Maria Saunders of Calgary, AB, passed away on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at the age of 33 years after a long battle with addiction and mental illness.

Erin was born in Fort Frances, ON, on August 11, 1986. The family moved to Olds, AB, in 1990 where Erin spent the rest of her childhood through high school. As a baby, the youngest of three girls; she was sensitive, shy, and loved being held tight- especially by Mom or Dad. Through the years, Erin came to be remembered for her sparkling brown eyes, her joyful smile and her competitive energy. She adored animals and baseball, Halloween and art. She wore glamorous makeup and pretty dresses, listened to heavy metal and was always swearing. She loved to tell jokes and recite quotes from movies, books or comedians. Offering compliments was second nature to her, and she often saw the best in people. She moved around as an adult but her final residence was the Women’s Building belonging to Alpha House, a harm reduction program where she received much needed support, but was also loved by the staff and other residents.

Erin had a generous spirit and her willingness to give even when she had nothing made others feel seen. Even in her darkest moments, Erin had a love for people that couldn’t be shaken. Some only saw her through the lens of her illness, but those who had the opportunity to see the real Erin, knew she was fiercely loyal, loving, kind, loud, funny, obnoxious, spirited, beautiful, caring, creative, fun, spontaneous and joyful. She gave crushing hugs that never ended, and felt everything deeply. The demons that fought to consume her are not what she leaves behind. Instead, free of her chains, her legacy is one of faith, hope and love.

“For it is by Grace you have been saved” Eph 2:8

Erin is survived by her parents, Wade and Gayle Saunders; her sisters and brothers-in-law and family, Erika, Trace, Lucas, Kirk, Nola and Leo Lindgren, Heather and Taber Anta;  her grandmother Vida Genge; grandparents, Martin and Ethel Saunders; as well as  numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She is resting with Jesus alongside her grandfathers, Harold Rideout and Ivan Genge, and her brother Jeremy Saunders.

A private Funeral Service will be held for immediate family only to abide by current COVID-19 gathering restrictions. This will be filmed and available for viewing at a later date.

Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Erin’s obituary at Erin’s Facebook page will remain open and all are welcome to post memories and final words to her there as well.

For those inquiring, donations can be made online using the following link, choosing the “Area to Direct to” as the “Direct to Women’s Building” option :

In living memory of Erin Saunders, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th STREET SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4E6, Telephone: 403-203-0525.