Anastasia (Nettie) Pickering, was born in September 1929, on Sec 17-T10-R24, W2, near Kayville, Saskatchewan, to parents Dumitru and Anastasia (nee Banilevic) Flutur. Nettie was the youngest of 14 children, and moved to Bjorkdale, in the height of the great depression, when she was 5 years old. The family was moved from a 2-storey wooden house, on the prairie, to a log cabin with a dirt floor, 2 ½ miles south of Bjorkdale. Mom kept asking when they could go back home. Over the years, the new farm became home to her, and she spent the next 83 years there. Nettie received her schooling at Bjorkdale, and that is where she met her future husband, Norman Pickering. They married in the winter of 1947, and raised a family of 4 on the original Flutur homestead.
Mom was a farm wife, and spent her days along side of dad, farming, tending to the livestock, growing a garden, and keeping the household fed and clothed. In the early years of marriage, clothes were washed by hand, and water was drawn by rope from a well. As technology advanced, mom would get the available electric appliances, but had particular resistance to replacing her old wood cook stove, with an electric one…it just didn’t bake the bread the same as the old polished wood stove did….a new house was built in 1976, and mom got new custom made ash cupboards, which she was very proud of. In her spare time, mom enjoyed crocheting, camping and working in her very large garden. Through the years, she made everyone of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a handcrafted afghan. On the farm, mom especially enjoyed her farm dogs, past and present. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s mom had casual off farm jobs, which included babysitting for neighbours who had jobs, as well as at Mrs. Grant’s giftshop in Bjorkdale. Mom belonged to the Bjorkdale ACW, UACW, Bjorkdale Choir, Crooked River Legion, and took courses in homecare and first responders for the Bjorkdale area. She regularly attended church in Bjorkdale, Porcupine Plain, and later in Tisdale. Still actively helping with the work, as Brian and Doug started to farm, mom and dad began taking bus trips to the States, over the course of a few years, in the winter months. They went to Nashville, and California, as well as shorter trips to Alberta and B.C. Of all the places they travelled to, mom said she enjoyed home the best. Mom particularly enjoyed the occasional combine ride and driving the grain truck. Her main job at harvest, besides delivering meals to the field, was testing the grain moisture level, first feeling it, then biting it, and finally confirming the moisture with the grain tester. Mom even spent one Mother’s Day picking stones on a newly acquired quarter of farmland that they had purchased.
Mom lost dad in 1998, but continued living on the farm, and kept gardening, doing puzzles, driving her van, and as we would tease her, being the straw boss to the continued farming operation. In 2005, mom rekindled a friendship with, Gordon Bodholdt, an old family friend. They took their time to get reacquainted, and eventually spent 9 winters in Osoyoos B.C. throughout the years that followed. Many good friends and memories were made on these trips. Mom eventually moved to a condo in Tisdale SK, where she remained, until health reasons forced her to take up residence at New Market Manor in Tisdale. She remained there until her passing. Mom received regular visits from her family and friends, and daily visits from Gordon.
Nettie is predeceased by her husband, of 51 years, Norman; parents Dumitru and Anastasia Flutur; father-in-law, Edward Pickering; mother-in-law, Elizabeth Pickering; 9 brothers and 4 sisters; numerous brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Nettie is survived, and missed by children, Shirley, Brian, Douglas (Ruth), Marvyn (Bev), 6 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends, and her very special friend Gordon.
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