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May 26, 1925 – Nov 19, 2021


Esther Hagel (nee Arndt) passed from this world in the Canmore General Hospital on November 19, 2021, after a highly productive and generous life, at the “Grand Old Age” of 96 years.

Since moving to Canmore from Medicine Hat in 1983, Esther quickly became affectionately known to everyone in our community as “Grandma” and was renowned for her excellence as a cook at the old Canmore hospital on Hospital Hill and the current Hospital on Bow Valley Trail, as well as cooking at numerous events such as the Miners’ Day Picnics and community ball games. For many years, Esther never missed a Friday night Bingo at the Canmore Legion.

A long-time resident of the Bow River Seniors Lodge, in her latter years she knitted and crocheted literally hundreds of Afghan and other blankets, and perhaps thousands of dish cloths, that were unselfishly donated to homeless charities like The Mustard Seed in Calgary and the Tuck Shop at the Canmore Hospital.

Born on the family homestead in Golden Prairie, Saskatchewan in 1925, as one of a family of ten children, she raised four children of her own with her husband, Rueben, who predeceased her in 2005. Esther will be affectionately remembered by Peggy Amatt (John), Kelly Hagel (Wendy), Susann Britton and Danny Hagel. In particular, Esther celebrated and loved her grandchildren, Jillian Amatt, Ryan Hagel, Ashlee Gregus (Kelly) and Brett and Chad Britton, and her great grandsons, Kitson Gregus and Jett Gregus.

The family would like to thank Dr. Morin and the amazing staff of the Bow River Seniors Lodge for the exceptional care that they offered to Esther during the final years of her life.  

Cremation has taken place. At Esther’s request, there will be no funeral.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember Esther are encouraged to make a donation in Esther’s name to the Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation or to Bow Valley Regional Housing.

Photo credit, with thanks, to Pam Doyle

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