|Alberta lost another of its pioneer residents in the passing of Richard Mackley Syson on February 22, 1958 at the Stettler Convalescent Hospital. He had reached the age of 84 years 10 months but had been in failing health for the past seven years. He was the eldest son of the late John and Eliza Syson and was born at Cossall, Nottingham, England on April 23, 1873.
Mr. Syson was always musical and at the early age of seven was a Church of England Cathedral boy soprano and later organist on the pipe organ.
He received much enjoyment through his life from traveling and meeting people and so it was in his early twenties he sailed to the union of South Africa where he spent three years near Johannesburg before the Boer War.
After returning to England he was united in marriage to Miss Florence Hall at Gedling, Notts, on January 11, 1902. Two sons were born to this union.
In 1903 they immigrated to Canada as Barr Colonists and took a homestead near Ponoka, Alberta, where Mrs. Syson passed away.
In 1906 Mr. Syson came to the Stettler district where he made his home ever since. In this same year on December 10th he married Miss Caroline Hartt of Jacksontown, New Brunswick.
Mr. Syson was one of the members of the early Board of Trustees of the Pilot Knob School and was active in church work in the town of Stettler and Pioneer times and on throughout his long life. He had missed only the last Sunday service at the Convalescent Hospital before his passing.
Following the death of his second wife, Mr. Syson resumed his hobby of painting with oils. As a young man he attended the Nottingham School of Arts but had no time to continue painting while occupied with farming. So it was after he was 72 years old that he painted several hundred colorful pictures which he generously gave his many friends.
He leaves to mourn his loss, one daughter, Florence, Mrs. Donald Clark of Stettler and one son, Thurston of Stettler, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Two sons predeceased him in infancy.
Funeral services were held in the Stettler Baptist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. F. Schimke officiating. "Jerusalem the Golden" was sung by Mrs. Ivor McIvor. Internment followed in Stettler's Lake View Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Dan Binkley of Calgary, Arthur Webb, Leland Fisher, Glen Howard, Bob Shepard and Herman Richardson.
Copy of Page from the Book of Remembrance in Clareudon, California at Pilgrim Place May 30, 1950|