Eileen (Barth) Wagner
Eileen Mildred Ysobel Barth was born to John and May Barth on August 12, 1922, in Lestock, Saskatchewan. When Eileen was two years old the family moved to Millet, where her father opened Barth’s Billiards and Barber Shop. After moving, her mother gave up her teaching career and became a homemaker. As Eileen was the oldest of five children, she spent a lot of time helping her mother out with household chores and caring for her younger siblings.
Eileen attended school in Millet, where she enjoyed playing sports and competing in track and field. On sports days she would often come home with many ribbons. Some of her other pastimes included curling, ice skating, and Scottish Dancing, as well as taking part in C.G.I.T. (Canadian Girls in Training). Eileen also had a strong love for music, singing, and dancing. Her love of music came naturally to her, as her father’s family had an orchestra and her mother was a talented pianist.
At the age of twelve, Eileen met Don Wagner. The Wagner farm was located just west of the town of Millet. Their relationship developed while playing football with their group of friends. Since Eileen owned the football, Don had to spend time with her if he wanted to play. Eileen and Don were married on March 25, 1941, and made their home in Millet. They raised three daughters: Marie, Donna, and Patricia. Don was manager at the Millet Creamery at the time, and Eileen kept very busy at home. She spent many hours baking squares, cakes, or cookies for different occasions. Eileen enjoyed socializing. She held Tupperware parties, hosted the Ladies Birthday Club, and was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Rebekah Lodge. Eileen also became a “rock hound” and joined the Lapidary Club, making jewelry out of polished rock. She also did leather tooling, making herself a purse and wallet. During this time, Don, Eileen, their three daughters, and Ruff (the family dog) began spending their summers at Pigeon Lake. Many fun-filled summer weeks were spent at the Ouimette cabins in Mulhurst.
When Don was transferred in 1962, the family moved east to Daysland, Alberta. Once settled in their new home, Eileen became involved in the Hospital Auxiliary and the Lions Club. The family began camping, developing a love for the outdoors. They travelled extensively throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the Northern and Central regions of the United States. Sometimes they traveled alone, but usually with friends and family. Some of the more exciting spots they traveled to were Hawaii and Las Vegas.
In 1973 the Don was once against transferred, this time to St. Paul, Alberta. When Don retired in 1983, this became their retirement area. They bought a lake lot at Bonnie Beach and parked their trailer on it, then bought a van to use for traveling. They spent most of their summers at the lake. Eileen loved to fish, and would catch and cook them for Don, but would never eat them herself.
When Don passed away on June 4, 1989, Eileen moved back to Millet. She became an integral part of the community through her volunteer work. Whenever someone needed a helping hand, they could depend on Eileen to be there. She kept herself busy volunteering in the United Church Goodwill store, the Millet Legion, and the Millet Museum. In the museum, she worked with collections, drawing artifacts on catalog sheets and taking inventory with her good friend Madge Plant. She used her baking skills to bake goodies for various town functions, and also became involved in arts and crafts. Eileen still had a passion for traveling, so she visited Mexico, the Oregon and Washington coasts, Vancouver Island, and Los Angeles, where she visited Disneyland twice and rode on many of the rides. One of her most memorable experiences was dancing to big band music on the Queen Mary in Los Angeles.
When Eileen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, she moved to Wetaskiwin to be cared for in the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home and Wetaskiwin Long Term Care. She loved to “kibitz” around with the staff and they enjoyed teasing her back. Eileen passed away September 7, 2012 with her family by her side.