Landscapes 15

Stella Kaliel

1930 ~ 2021 (age 90)


May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest …

Stella’s children are greatly saddened to announce her passing on June 19, 2021.

Stella was born in 1930 in a small white washed homestead cabin near Thortonville, Alberta, fourth child to her recently widowed Ukranian immigrant mother Barbara Slobodian.   She was educated in a small country school at Thortonville and later in Fawcett, after her mother remarried and moved to another farm in the late 1930’s.

In the 1940’s Stella found employment in a large country store in Fawcett owned by Lebanese entrepreneur Alex Kaliel and his Scottish wife Lizzy.  In 1948 she married one of their sons, a war veteran, George V Kaliel.

In 1950 Stella and George established French Creek Farms, a large cattle ranch and grain farm near Fawcett, and built a home in the pine trees and raised and educated seven children.  After George died in 2001 Stella continued to operate the farm with 2 of her sons and their families, until she was hospitalized in February 2021.

Stella was witty, bright, independent, loving and kind.  She and George were welcoming and very supportive to their families, and their neighbours, newcomers and their community.   Stella’s kitchen table at meal time was one of the best and liveliest places one could hope to find.

Stella was an accomplished cattle woman, gardener, cook and artist.   Her pottery and ceramics grace the homes of many friends and family.  Most of all she was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother.  A source of inspiration, kindness and strength, and a role model, especially to her daughters, and many of her daughters-in-law and granddaughters. 

Stella and George were a wonderful couple.  Stella maintained the spirit of their home with dignity and grace after George passed.

Stella will be greatly missed but not forgotten, and will remain alive for generations to come in the memories of those who knew and loved her.

Stella was predeceased by husband George and two grandchildren, Theresa and Marc.  She is survived by her children Brian (Ida), Michel (Rhonda), Dale (Devona), Ruth (Roy), David (Mary), Edith (Michael) and Alexander, and by her siblings Mary, George, Annie, Lena, Steve, Dan and Jack.

Stella is also survived by 20 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren most of whom, as a family tradition, have spent their first months in the bassinet Stella used for her own children.   Her grandchildren and great grandchildren have been her abiding passion.   Hearing there were 3 more great grandchildren on the way in the difficult last months of her life rewarded us with her characteristic smile and a twinkle in her eye.  

The family wishes to thank Drs. Stephanie Frigon, Adam Paish, Matthew De Rego and the nurses and support staff at the Westlock Hospital and Westlock Continuing Care for the professional and compassionate care they provided to Stella in the last months of her life.  Also a very special thanks to Stella’s niece and very good friend Carol Woolsey for all the visits and support.

There will be a private family interment and a celebration of Stella’s life soon.  Details will follow through to family and friends.


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