'She knew how to keep herself busy': Saskatchewan's oldest resident dies at 113
SASKATOON -- The oldest person in Saskatchewan has died at the age of 113.
Reita Fennell, a resident of Melfort, died on Saturday with family by her side, according to an obituary posted on the Melfort Funeral Home website.
Affectionately known as “Deat”, Fennell was born on November 20, 1907 in Melfort. It was just two years after Saskatchewan became a province.
At the time of her death, Fennell was the third oldest known living Canadian.
"She was a resilient woman in the way she had to get her driver's licence at the age of 60 due to her husband losing his eyesight," said Carmen Irvine, Fennell’s granddaughter-in-law.
"I have too many memories to have a favourite but I got the most pleasure seeing how happy she was celebrating each of her birthdays once she hit 100 years of age."
Irvine said among the many changes and events Fennell experienced throughout her long life, including two pandemics, one of the most significant was the widespread arrival of electricity.
"Just to be able to flip a switch to turn on a light rather than burning candles or kerosene lamps … I know electricity was most appreciated in the kitchen when all sorts of appliances came out," Irvine said..
"She lived thru difficult times but emerged with such a vibrant zest for life."
Fennell loved to enjoy her family and friends, Irvine said, and enjoyed cooking, baking, crochet work, and playing her keyboard.
Fennel also liked to go for walks and attended church every Sunday, Irvine said.
*She knew how to keep herself busy."
In an interview In 2017, at the time of her 110th birthday, Fennell’s granddaughter said she had lived a long life because of her faith, healthy eating and staying active.
A private family funeral service will be held Wednesday.