Want Family

pg 783 More Big Hill Country 2009

Charles and Sissy Want Family by Larry Want

Charles William Want was born on September 30, 1896, in the Town of Basingstoke in the County of Hampshire, England. He had four brothers and one sister. When he was 13 years old he signed on as a coal stoker aboard a merchant ship headed for Canada. 

Upon arriving in eastern Canada he started to work his way westward, by working for the Canadian Pacific Railway. When he reached Turner Valley, Alberta he found work with the drilling rigs, looking after the steam boilers. 

On June 1, 1915, he signed up and took an oath to join the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in WWI. He lied about his age and stated he was born in 1890. He was five foot, four and a half inches tall, and weighed 149 pounds. Charles served with the #49 Canadian Infantry Battalion and was wounded once at Ypres, Belgium, and twice in France. The pay was fifteen dollars per month plus a field allowance of ten cents per day. He received an honourable discharge on June 4, 1918.

In 1925 he married Sissy Sara Hunt and they had four children: Leonard born in 1927, Clarence in 1929, Mary in 1932, and Dorothy in 1937, all born in Calgary. 

On September 6, 1939, Charles Want signed up for WWII but because of his previous war wounds was found unfit for combat duty. He did serve in the Canadian Army as a steam engineer and a cook until being honourably discharged on October 8, 1940. 

For the next 30 years (approx.) Charles worked as a steam engineer for Alberta Wood Preserving, the forerunner of Domtar. Charles died in the Colonel Belcher Hospital on June 6, 1959. Sissy passed away at the age of 82 and her remains were interred with her husband at the Burnsland Cemetery in Calgary.

Leonard and Rowena Want Family 

Charles and Sissy’s oldest son Leonard “Len” was dating Jean Crown, daughter of Ernie and May Crown of Cochrane and Jean introduced Len to a farm girl, Rowena Mable Cook “Cookie”. On October 7, 1946 Len and Rowena were married at the Hillhurst United Church, Calgary. Len’s cousin George Johns and his sister Mary signed as witnesses.

Len worked at Alberta Wood Preserving, which changed its name to Canada Creosote and eventually Domtar Wood Preserving, for 39 years. Rowena worked part-time at the Dairy Queen, previously located on Richmond Road, and then she found full-time employment at the T. Eaton Co., Catalogue Sales Department. She worked there for 12 years.

Len and Rowena had four sons: Charles Leonard, born August 1949, Lawrence Grant, born February 1950, Edward Gerald, born September 1952 and Lloyd Alan born December 1953. 

The Want family lived in Calgary but spent a lot of time on their farm in the Cochrane area NW Sec 15, Twp 25 Range 4 W5M. In 1972 the family moved into a new house on the land and continued to raise cattle and grow hay. Rowena had a very large productive garden and she became active in the Lochend Ladies Club. Sewing and shopping or bargain hunting were her favourite past times. Len and Rowena were most happy when the house was full of family and friends. The grandchildren spent many a summer, living on the farm. They rode horses, drove tractors, cut, baled, and stacked hay, and helped at calving time. 

Rowena was always conscious of breast cancer being in her family so she scheduled regular medical exams and tests. In the fall of 1998, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In 1999 she went through an operation and several months of chemotherapy and drugs. She passed away, at home on May 28, 2000. 

Len ultimately sold the acreage in 2007 and bought a condo in Cochrane. He keeps busy having coffee with friends, visiting the post office for the mail, watching hockey, attending Legion activities, and spending time with special friends. 

Charles Leonard Want “Charley” was a member of the Navy Cadet League. After graduating from high school, he started apprenticing as an insulator for his future father-in-law John Benninger. 

Charley married his high school sweetheart, Heidi Benninger on August 22, 1971. They had one child, Steven born in September 1973. Charley is still in the insulating business, and he and Heidi live in Sicamous, British Columbia. Steven lives in Calgary and is also an insulator. 

Larry and Gayle Want Family 

Lawrence Grant Want “Larry” joined the Cubs, Boy Scouts and at the age of 12 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets #538 Buffalo Squadron for seven years. Through the Air Cadets he received his private pilot’s license in 1968. After high school he attended Mount Royal College for a year and then transferred to the University of Calgary, Business Faculty, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1975. Articling for a Chartered Accountant Degree took another three years. 

Summer jobs in the 1970s involved operating construction equipment and when Len and Ed purchased a John Deere backhoe from Allan Hall in 1979, Larry put it to use, working for Alberta Government Telephones and L. Want and Sons Backhoe Services Ltd. was born. Larry spent half the year digging ditches and the other half doing accounting and tax returns. As the years progressed and construction activity intensified, 

Larry gave up his Accountant’s Office in the Shell Building in Calgary and started to buy more excavating equipment. Gravel trucks, excavators, trailers, and pipe pushers were added to the business. 

In the early 1980’s Larry met Helen and Earl Armstrong and subsequently met their daughter, Gayle Denise. After spending holidays and going on ski trips together a wedding ceremony took place on May 6, 1989, in the Cochrane Community Hall. Larry was exceptionally happy and proud because he now had two daughters Kari Lee and Dawn Katherine. 

Kari and her husband Gord live in Calgary with their two dogs. Gord is a cabinet maker and Kari is a Gas Operations Analyst. They spend their spare time camping, going on cruises, and riding their motorbikes. 

Dawn lives in Cochrane and has her own successful House Cleaning Business. She was married for a brief time. Two beautiful little girls keep her life active and full of surprises. Jordyn Doris was born July 24, 1996 and Hayley Helen was born December 4, 1998. Both girls participate in the local gymkhana club as well as taking swimming lessons yearly. Jordyn also plays in the junior school band. The girls recently started a paper route, delivering the Cochrane Times to 206 subscribers.

Larry and Gayle live on part of the Cook/Want family farm. Gayle now works part-time at the Royal Bank in Cochrane but there is always something to do with the granddaughters on a daily basis. Larry’s outside activities include sitting on the Board of Directors for the Cochrane Lake Gas Co-Op and participating in CHAPS. Larry served eight years on the Municipal Planning Commission and volunteered as a member of the North Cochrane Area Structure Plan. Gayle volunteers her time at Glenbow School. 

Edward Gerald Want “Ed” joined the same RCAC Squadron as Larry and earned his private pilot’s license as well. At one time Ed wanted to farm but the cost of land, equipment, and a house all at once, changed his mind. 

He started to apprentice for a sheet metal ticket with Don Wigton and Tony Helfrich. He played a lot of hockey, went to a lot of dances, and chased a lot of Cochrane girls but this came to an abrupt halt when the R.C.M.P. accepted his application in 1979. Some of his positions have been to Onion Lake and Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Yellowknife, Cambridge Bay, Ottawa, High Prairie, and Calgary. 

While at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, he met and married Shannon Smith on April 2, 1983. (See Ed Want Family Story) Shannon currently works at the Cochrane High School while Ed is now a Staff Sgt. and after 29 years with the R.C.M.P. is preparing for retirement. His favourite pastime is “Horse Reigning”. 

Lloyd Allan Want, the youngest son of Len and Rowena, was also an air cadet for a few years. At the age of 16, he left home to be on his own. He got a job as a security guard and eventually enrolled in Police Science at Mount Royal College. 

After graduating from Mount Royal, Lloyd married Gloria Bernie. They had two boys Trevor Lloyd born May 1, 1977, and Troy Edward born July 17, 1979. 

Lloyd served with the Barrhead Police Department for three and a half years and then moved to the Medicine Hat Police Department where he retired as a Staff Sgt. after twenty-six and a half years of service. 

Lloyd married Dee Anderson in Great Falls, Montana on November 7, 1990. They have 80 acres in the Dunmore area, adjacent to the Elk Water National Provincial Park. Dee works at the Medicine Hat Police Station while Lloyd looks after their horses, goats, cats, and dogs. 

Lloyd’s son Trevor works as an oil field operator and has a six-year-old son named Conner. 

Lloyd’s second son Troy is employed by Schlumberger. On May 27, 2006, Troy married Janelle Seidel. They live in Medicine Hat and have a beautiful baby girl, Erika Nicole who was born on March 16, 2008. 

While Rowena Want was working at Eaton’s she met a bright young co-worker Linda May Etsell of Kindersley, Saskatchewan. They instantly became good friends. Linda came to live with the Want Family for a number of years and became the daughter Len and Rowena never had. Linda graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1975. 

The Sporting Goods Department was right next to the Catalogue Sales Office and this is how Linda met Richard Rispin. They were married in 1973 and have three children: Geoffrey Richard born April 15, 1977, Lesley Leanna born July 1, 1978, and Dean Cameron, born June 3, 1984. Lesley and her husband Scott are expecting their first child sometime in October 2008. 

The family home is in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Edward Want Family 

“Hillhurst United Church was the scene of a wedding, October 7th when Miss Rowena Mabel Cook, youngest daughter of Mrs. Grace Cook of Cochrane, became the bride of Leonard Howard Want, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Want, of Calgary.” (from “The Old- Timer”, Cochrane, November 8, 1946) 

My name is Edward Gerald Want. On September 26, 1952, I was born at the old General Hospital in Calgary, to Leonard Howard Want and Rowena Mabel Cook, the third of four sons and a daughter. We lived in the city but spent plenty of time in the Springbank area at our Uncle Gerald and Aunt Carmen Cook’s home, and also at my granddad Cook’s just north of Cochrane. 

My childhood was not unusual and I did what most kids did in their youth – I attended school and played sports. My passion for hockey sometimes overtook my studies so I never made the honor lists or received awards of distinction. 

As I was completing high school, I became cognizant that my hockey ability was not going to get me to the NHL and I had better obtain my high school diploma with a plan toward secondary education. 

I worked at several jobs from construction to operating heavy equipment. In 1973 I moved to my grandad’s farm with my Mom, Dad, and older brother, Larry. We purchased some beef cattle and slowly acquired farm equipment. I worked on the neighbor’s dairy farm to earn extra income. I kept at it in spite of the fact that there were many times a manure-drenched tail flipped in my face or a heavy hoof landed on my toes!! These good times could not continue, and I moved on to seek employment with local businesses in Cochrane: Wigton’s with Don and Sheila Wigton, and Zodiac Sheet Metal with Tony Helfrich. 

During my spare time, I played hockey with the Domtar Jets. I also attempted riding a few broncs in local rodeos however, I always seemed to lose my hat and had to get off the bronc to find it!! Could never seem to win anything…..

I became friends with several local Cochrane RCMP members who convinced me that I had some qualities that the RCMP were looking for. In May 1979 my dreams finally came true and I was accepted to RCMP Training Depot in Regina. The training was arduous but fulfilling. My first posting was at Onion Lake, Saskatchewan. I stayed in Onion Lake for close to a year before being posted to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. It was during my short stint there that I met my future bride, Shannon Lee Smith. Shannon was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but had lived in Meadow Lake most of her life. In February 1982 a transfer to Pelican Narrows took place which made ‘courting’ a long-distance experience. Shannon and I were married on April 2, 1983, and immediately moved to Yellowknife, NWT where our son, Shane Tyler, was born on April 9, 1984. Cambridge Bay was our next posting then back to Yellowknife where our daughter, Kaylee Morgan, was born on February 28, 1988. 

We enjoyed our years in the north and made many good friends, however, our nomadic lifestyle was not yet over. Shannon and I moved our young family to Ottawa in 1988 when I accepted a posting in the War Crimes Unit. Much of my time was spent traveling overseas to the former Czechoslovakia, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Israel, and the United States. 

In July 1992, a transfer took us to High Prairie, Alberta. While there, I was seconded from the RCMP and formed a native police force. Five years later, in 1997, we again made a trek back to my roots, Cochrane.  

Mom and Dad were still living on the farm and our young family loved being so close to their Grandma

and Granddad. In August 2000 we moved into a new house in their hay field and became part of the Cook/Want colony! Unfortunately, Mom passed away two months prior to our move. 

Shane is currently attending the University of Calgary in International Relations. He loves hockey, languages, and traveling. Kaylee is in the General Studies transfer program at Mount Royal College and hopes to one day become a teacher. She enjoys riding – her biggest passion is working cow horse! 

Since the kids have graduated, I have again become involved in riding mostly on the reining circuit. Shannon has worked at Cochrane High School for a number of years and has taken some painting and quilting classes. We thoroughly enjoy living ‘on the farm’, and being able to keep our horses, dog, and cats! Our future plans involve traveling, and at some point – grandchildren!

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