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(403) 527-6455 901 13th Street SW
Medicine Hat, AB
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Obituary - Mavis Poulsen

Mavis Poulsen

1924 - 2019

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Poulsen(2019)

August 20, 1924 ~ November 29, 2019

It is with saddened hearts we share the Fond Farewell of ‘Gramma Mae’ as she was known to so many. Mavis O. Poulsen passed away in Medicine Hat, Alberta, on Friday, November 29, 2019, at the age of 95 years, surrounded with love and music. She leaves to cherish her memory her Alberta family, Maureen (Bob) Laidlaw and their children Heather (Rob) Hart (Ryler, Chase, Levi, Kassidy); Karla (Garth) Porteous (Kiara, Landon (Kale in Heaven), Makaya); Wes (Lydia) Laidlaw (William); Janice (Jess) Donahue (Megan, Brady) and her son’s Florida family, the late Jerry (Crystal) Olson and their children, Kathryn (Brad) Morem (Luke, Grant) and Courtney (Vivian) Olson (Sebastian). She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Beckerleg; brother, Bunny Harry (Gail) Johnson; brother-in-law, Bruce Olson; sister-in-law, Jane Ballard as well as extended family and friends. Mavis was predeceased by her parents, Violetta and Harry Johnson.

Mavis lived an extraordinary life in her 95 trips around the sun! The key to her longevity was not her diet, it was that she blossomed wherever she was planted. She had an adventurous spirit, and was always an optimist at heart. On a cold and rainy day, she would always say, “I think the sun is going to shine!”

She was born in Salmon Arm, BC, and grew up in Airdrie and Calgary. Together with her husband, Jerry, they raised a family in the 1950’s Happy Day Era. After her husband, Jerry, passed away in a church maintenance accident, she worked at The Great Falls National Bank. In 1974, she married Russell (Swede) Poulsen, who shortly after passed away in a single-engine plane crash. In 1980, she married George Johnson, and life took them to Scottsdale, AZ, for a few years before his passing. She remained in the Sunny South where she enjoyed 29 years of Jerry’s family, baseball games, Valley Presbyterian Church, the McCormick Ranch Women, scoring for the PGA and following the AZ Coyotes. During these years, she traveled the world, but she was always the happiest sitting around a table with her family and friends. In 2009 and with dual citizenship, she moved back to Medicine Hat to live by her daughter and her family. While enjoying all the family’s school, music, and sporting events, she became a Red Hat Lady along with Maureen that developed into a real sisterhood. At 92, she enrolled in the Cyber Senior Course so she could send and receive pictures and messages from near and far. She loved pictures! With her Wellington Family, she was the BINGO Queen and she liked working at the Tuck Shop. She enjoyed Mondays with Marten, Sunday afternoon church, reading with the school children, going to the band concerts and enjoying coffee afterwards.

Mom will be remembered for her generosity, finding the “in things” before they were in. Her passion was knitting beautiful lace baby shawls for all her great-grands; sewing lovely clothes in her younger days; baking cinnamon rolls, cakes, and chocolate chip cookies; loving to iron and garden; being the best cheerleader for one and all, always having a soft spot for children, and touching everyone’s lives in a special way! She was a Grand and Classy Lady with beautiful dimples. She was loved and will be greatly missed by all!

A Celebration of Life will be held at Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, 901 – 13th St. SW, Medicine Hat, on Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. Burial will take place in Great Falls, MT, on a warm and sunny day.

Memorial donations in Mavis’ name may be made directly to the Town of Bow Island Library Fund, PO Box 100, Bow Island, AB, T0K 0G0. Mom loved the little children so the funds will be used to help complete the new outdoor library solarium during the summer of 2020.


  1. Ken and Sheri Mastel:
    Dec 02, 2019 at 07:03 PM

    Sorry for your great loss, your mom was such a special lady, I’m glad we got the pleasure of knowing her. She could brighten any day♥️

  2. Cheryl Chabeniuk:
    Dec 02, 2019 at 09:51 PM

    Maureen (Bob) and family. It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of your Mom. Aunt Mavis was a wonderful, kind and a very giving individual. She made happiness wherever she went. I will cherish all my great times we shared over the years. I hope your memories will help carry you through the difficult days ahead. Sorry I can’t be there on Dec 8 but our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    From my family to yours
    Your cousin
    Cheryl Chabeniuk

  3. Robin and Connie Knibbs:
    Dec 02, 2019 at 10:28 PM

    Our thought and prayers are with you all! How wonderful that your Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother was with you for 95 years. May you cherish all those wonderful memories of a very special lady!

  4. Brenda Lea MacPhail:
    Dec 02, 2019 at 10:54 PM

    So saddened by the news of Mavis’ passing. Such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Sending you our love and hugs as you go through this difficult time.

  5. Debby Edwards:
    Dec 03, 2019 at 12:04 PM

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet mother. She always had a smile for everyone. I loved getting to know her as she shared our quilting days and quilt trips. Know that our prayers are with you and your family and that you will receive the comfort you need in the following days.

  6. Brenda Donner:
    Dec 03, 2019 at 02:23 PM

    Thinking of you all at this most difficult time. Great-Aunt Mavis was such a lovely, special lady. Her optimism and joy of life were truly inspirational. She will be dearly missed.

  7. Mike & Julie Johnson:
    Dec 03, 2019 at 04:17 PM

    Mavis was a unique and amazing lady. It was our good fortune to know her.
    Mike & Julie

  8. Cori Barley:
    Dec 03, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    My heart is with all of you. Mavis will forever be close to my heart, truly a beautiful lady inside and out.

  9. Michele Stubbs:
    Dec 04, 2019 at 01:39 AM

    I have such fond memories of my Great Aunt Mavis. I had the pleasure of staying with her during my first trip to The Desert. I enjoyed spending time with her. She was such a wonderful person!

  10. Bonnie and Noel DeBruyn:
    Dec 04, 2019 at 10:15 PM

    Maureen, Bob and Family,

    We are so sorry to hear of Mavis' passing. She will be remembered by us with great fondness. May your many happy times together sustain you throughout the coming days, months and years. Farewell Auntie Mavis.

    Bonnie, Noel and Family

  11. Ken & Bev Hadlington:
    Dec 06, 2019 at 01:36 PM

    Maureen (& Bob) Our condolences on the loss of your Mom.

  12. Alex & Irene Onody:
    Dec 07, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Sincere condolences extended on the passing of your Mom. She certainly had a full and exciting life and you were so blessed to have her in your life all those wonderful years. Miss her and cherish all the memories.

  13. Linda Fifield:
    Dec 08, 2019 at 07:33 PM

    Maureen, Bob and family:
    Very sorry to learn of Aunt Mavis’ passing, she was a very special aunt. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Linda, Jason and Raeanne

  14. Brad Dunham:
    Dec 14, 2019 at 06:44 PM

    To the family of Mavis, I am so sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of serving your mom, grandma, great-grandma, over the past year at The Wellington. She always put a smile on my face everyday when I seen and served her. I just found out December 13 as I no longer am at the Wellington as of December 1. My favorite memory of Mavis will be her politeness and patience, always having her Vanilla Ice Cream after every meal even on Sundays after Brunch! My thoughts are with you all. Brad

  15. Janet Popel:
    Dec 17, 2019 at 06:52 PM

    Maureen and Bob;
    So sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. I know you will miss her terribly. My thoughts are with you both now and on that warm sunny day.

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