Obituary of Edith Rose Graftaas
December 2, 1930 – Strathmore, Alberta
November 8, 2023 – Calgary, Alberta
Edith Graftaas (nee Kerstens), beloved wife of the late Norman Theodore Graftaas, of Calgary, AB, passed away on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the age of 92 years.
Edith was born in Strathmore, AB on December 2, 1930, to Andrew and Lillian Kerstens. The family moved to a farm in Midnapore and in her later teens Edith moved to Calgary where she eventually met and married Norm Graftaas, her husband of 68 years.
Throughout her life, Edith built things with her hands for work and for pleasure. Sewing, knitting, painting, gardening, cooking, and baking, were some of the ways she earned income for the family and blessed friends and family everywhere. She has knit hundreds of sweaters that were sold across the country, as well as given to her kids and grandkids throughout the years. In retirement, Edith and Norm were actively involved in craft fairs where Norm would build wood projects that Edith would paint with folk art. In addition to these projects, Edith painted birth announcements for her great-grandchildren, milk churns, wall hangings, cookie jars, chairs, and just about everything with a surface. The joke in the family became if you sat around for too long, Grandma would paint you!
For many years Edith and Norm were active members of the Optimist Park Arena seniors skating group. Together they would skate round and round the hockey rink and Olympic Oval, arm in arm. They also volunteered together for Spruce Meadows events and the speed skating community at Calgary’s Olympic Oval. In addition to being active herself, Edith was a huge fan of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, attending countless sports and other activities, locally and abroad.
Edith and Norm’s home was a haven to family and friends, and friends of the family. Innumerable lunches, dinners, cookies, cakes, and pots of coffee were shared around the kitchen table and on the patio in the backyard. On more than one occasion their kids and grandkids came back to live with them when going through various life transitions, always welcomed, and cared for.
Edith is survived by her children, Brian (Susan), Lindsay (Laurel), and Glenda (Steve); grandchildren, Tyler (Angela), Joel, Eric, Rene (Tanya), Elycia (Justin), and Rheece (Megan); and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Norm, daughter-in-law Tracey, parents, and siblings.
Funeral Services will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street N, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6) on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. Reception to follow in the Hospitality Centre at the Funeral Home. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Edith’s family here.
In living memory of Edith Graftaas, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.