|Alice Mary Hartt was born May 26, 1909 in Derry New Hampshire.
She was the first daughter born to Frank Herbert Hartt and Minnie Beatrice Hartt. The family of four boys and two girls were living in Lowell, Mass. at the time of Minnie Beatrice' death in 1913 or 1914. She died in childbirth. Frank Herbert Hartt remarried Florence Ada Greenleaf and the family immigrated to western Canada in 1915 settling in the Hanna district. Alice had started her schooling at the age of four years and by the time she was 17 she had finished school and a course in Garbutts business college in Calgary and had a job in an insurance office in Calgary. Cecil had worked for the CNR and completed five years training as a machinist at the company's training shop in Winnipeg in 1923. In June 1927 they were married and established a home in Hanna. Times were hard for our mother for the first few years. She lost both her father and her stepmother just 2 and 3 weeks before the first daughter, Beatrice Ada was born Feb. 7, 1928. It must have been a very difficult time for her. The following year Viola May was born, May 10, 1929. Another girl, Joyce Irene was born June 14, 1930. There was still one more girl, Marlene Beverley was born July 14 1932. Mom and dad also raised another girl, Jean Ann born Dec. 11,1940 and she became our sister.
I am the third daughter, Joyce, and I have a great many positive memories of my parents. During the thirties when conditions were pretty stark on the prairies, mother did sewing and whatever else she could for many people, and when Dad was "laid off" he worked for the farmers at harvest time. I can remember him working at the hospital boiler room occasionally to help pay off a bill. Mother was a beautiful seamstress and very resourceful. I don't ever remember wearing store bought clothes as she made all our dresses, coats, snowsuits, and many hand knit sweaters, hats, mitts and socks. I also remember the parcels she would lovingly assemble to send to our uncle Newton when he was overseas in the army. She baked fruitcakes in Crisco tins and careful packed them with knit scarves and socks she would knit.
My parents were both active in the Church of Christ in Hanna. Dad served as an elder and was church caretaker. Mom served as treasurer for a goodly number of years. I learned a lot of arithmetic from helping wrap coins for her deposits.
Once we were all finished school she worked for a few years in a dry goods store in Hanna. Eventually the CNR operations were phased out of Hanna and the family moved to Calgary in 1953. Mother served as dorm matron for the Alberta Bible College where most of her daughters were enrolled. I guess it was a natural outcome that 2 of the daughters married student ministers. The following year she accepted a job with the John Howard Society where she soon became office manager. She worked at that job for many years but was forced to retire at the age of 67 in 1976 when she was diagnosed with cancer. The most powerful testimony of my mother's strength and courage was the quiet dignity she maintained throughout her long illness and approaching death. Our mother was indeed a "lady". She died April 6, 1995 in Calgary. She was 85 years of age.|