TOPAL, Patricia S.L. (Pat)

TOPAL, Patricia S.L. (Pat)

1944 – 2021

Patricia (Pat Balderson), of Airdrie, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on October 15, 2021 at the age of 77 years.

Pat is survived by her daughter Dorothy (Bill) Kean, Grandchildren Robyn Pagenkopf, and Eric Pagenkopf (Jatinder), companion Kelly Morton, brothers Floyd Vis (Susan) and Thomas Vis (Arlene), sisters Carol Vis and Suzann Vis, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.  Pat was predeceased by her father Steve Topal and mother Dorothy Vis as well as two brothers, John Vis and Kenneth Vis.

Pat spent her entire life in Alberta, growing up in the Beiseker area and spending many years with her late husband Earl Balderson on the family farmstead in Bircham until moving to their newly built home a few miles away.  That time was followed with her final move to Airdrie in the early 1990’s.  

She was a strong-willed and capable woman, skilled with her hands and determined to succeed at anything she put her mind to.  She could pull a calf, doctor animals on the farm that were sick, play the piano, make a pattern and sew (she sewed all of her own clothes – she said they fit so much better than off the rack), crochet absolutely anything from a dainty doily to an afghan to a sweater, do home repairs, and she was completely comfortable working on her computer, even if it meant logging into the operating system to fix a setting.  She loved to do puzzles, wood carving, stained glass and cross stitch, and seemed to have a knack for anything new that she tried. Pat grew lush, organic gardens and preserved and froze the bounty to get the family through until the next garden was ready to harvest.  She could whip together a wonderful meal at a moment’s notice for guests, or bake and decorate a cake for a wedding or special occasion for anyone that asked.  She loved to cook, and was in her element when in the kitchen making a turkey dinner for the family for holidays, birthdays and any other occasion she could find. 

Pat was intuitive at math and quick with numbers, which made her a natural at bookkeeping and tax returns, which she did throughout her career.  She was also comfortable running the loader and scale in the gravel pit, and many of her happiest times were spent on the combine at harvest time, from the age of 12 until she fell ill a few years ago.  She also spent time home-schooling both of her grandchildren, showing her talent for teaching. 

She left this life as she lived it, in her own way on her own terms, surrounded by family and friends that loved her dearly.  For anyone that knew her in her later years, she wanted you to know she finally found the key.  

Special thanks to Dr. Lam and the staff of Unit 42 at the Peter Lougheed Centre for their care and kindness in Mom’s final weeks.

At Mom’s request there will be no service, however a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when we can gather in larger groups again.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Pat’s memory may be made to the War Amps of Canada.  

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow;

I am the diamond glints on the snow;

I am the sunlight on ripened grain;

I am the autumn’s rain.

When you waken in the morning’s hush,

 I am the swift, uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

 Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die.