It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ms. Gladys “Rae” Eckford on Thursday, January 12, 2017 from Jackson House Residential Care in Ashcroft at the age of 93 years.
Rae was born on September 7, 1923 in Vermilion, Alberta to parents William James Eckford and Hester Mae Eckford (need Branham). She graduated from Vermilion High School in 1941 and moved on to attend the University of British Columbia, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1950. She married Donald (Alexander) Baird on May 6, 1950 in Vancouver and worked as a teacher in both West Vancouver and Burnaby. Rae went back to school one more time in 1981 and received her Applied Nutritional Science Diploma.
Rae served in the RCAF, becoming a Flying Officer in the early ‘60’s, and was the oldest veteran residing in Ashcroft. She was involved in writing and producing the RCAF report for radio across Canada, as well as writing articles for the Ashcroft Journal on behalf of the museum. She was a member of the Motor Sports Club of Ottawa starting in 1963. She was fond of animals, especially birds and cats, and had a great love of flowers, art and history. This love of History is what lead her to work at the museum in 1986.
Rae is survived by her sister Maxine in Washington, one niece and her two nephews. She was predeceased by both her parents and her younger sister Joan.