Audrey Fay Gebhart (nee Lyness) passed away peacefully on September 12, 2023, at the age of 88, surrounded by loved ones at the Prairie View Health Centre in Mankota, Saskatchewan. She was born on June 18, 1935, in Kincaid, Saskatchewan.
Audrey is survived by her loving family: son Howard (Roberta) Gebhart, daughter Fay Kohl, and son Vern (Mary Ellen) Gebhart. She leaves behind cherished grandchildren: Jenine (Anthony) Vernda, Lindsay (Curtis) Haubrich, Kyla (Brad) Tetreau, Travis Gebhart, and Tysen (Meagan) Gebhart. She is also survived by her adored great-grandchildren: Eira Vernda, Rhett and Lane Haubrich, and Axton and Paisley Gebhart; brothers-in-law Reinhold (Sheila), Norman (Louise), Glen (Betty); sister-in-law Helen; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Audrey was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ed Gebhart (2016); son-in-law Rick Kohl (2005), great-grandchild, Sawyer Gebhart; her parents Claude and Sadie (nee Graham) Lyness; brother Jack Lyness; Ed’s parents John and Elizabeth (nee Foster) Gebhart; brothers-in-law Henry, Herman, Jack, Otto, Ernie and sister-in-law Alice.
On October 8, 1956, Audrey exchanged vows with Edwin Gebhart. Together, they embarked on a journey of hard work and dedication, labouring on the land. Their first winter, they looked after Audrey’s parents' place while they were away. The next fall, Audrey and Ed went to work at Jack and Sam Dunn’s ranch, thirty-five miles south of Mankota, three miles from the USA border. They worked tirelessly for the next 17 years.
In 1969, when Return Country School closed, they purchased a farm from Jack Dunn to ensure their children had access to education as there was no busing down south at the time.
Later Ed and Audrey purchased the Dunn Creek Ranch they entered a partnership with Ed's brothers, Reinhold, Jack, and Herman which marked a significant chapter in their lives. The love they held for the Ranch was evident, and in 1984, they returned to it, embracing it wholeheartedly.
In 2001, they sold the Ranch to Grasslands Nations Park, acquiring Warren Klein's farm south of Mankota. Audrey's heart belonged to the open spaces, the horses, and her faithful companion, Cody. She found joy in the simple pleasures of life and spring was her favourite time of year. The beauty of crocuses and buttercups, the grazing of Hereford cattle, and the melody of the birds, especially Robins. She loved to grow evergreens and flowers and found great pleasure in watering and tending them.
Audrey was an active Ranchette volunteering many hours preparing lunches and serving at the cattle sales. Her spirit was as boundless as the prairie, and she revelled in the rhythms of life on the ranch. Audrey and Ed loved to dance, and many fond memories were had attending dances. She also enjoyed visiting with her neighbours and close friends. She cherished every moment spent with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Service to celebrate Audrey's life will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the Mankota Agricultural Hall, Mankota, SK, with Reverend Janelle Shaw officiating. A gathering for lunch and fellowship will follow. Audrey will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Ed, at the Zion Lutheran Cemetery, south of Mankota. Memorial donations in Audrey's memory can be given to the Mankota and District Auxiliary for the Prairie View Health Centre, Box 390, Mankota, SK S0H 2W0.
Audrey's legacy of love, hard work, and appreciation for the beauty of life will forever be etched in the hearts of those who were fortunate to know her. She will be deeply missed, but her spirit will live on in the ranch land she loved so dearly.