MARTIN, Eleanor Lydia (Luft)

December 17, 1924 – June 13, 2021

Eleanor Lydia Martin (Luft) was born December 17, 1924 at Calgary, Alberta. She was the eldest child of John and Elizabeth Luft.  Her early days were spent on the family farm west of Didsbury where she was soon joined by three brothers, Lawrence, Norman, and Donald.

In 1938, the family moved south, settling south and west of Cremona.  These were not easy years starting from scratch, breaking land, raising cattle and eking out a living on their new homestead.  Christmas 1942 brought tragedy when Eleanor’s mother died suddenly, leaving Eleanor to raise her three younger brothers (no easy feat at the best of times!) and run the homestead while her father ran the farm.  As always, Eleanor took on this challenge with a positive spirit, indomitable courage and her always sunny disposition.

She milked cows from an early age (a skill she used for most of her life on the farm) and cooked and cared for the family despite her teenage years, serving as a mom to her three brothers.  Her cooking skills were legendary, and were no doubt honed at this early age.

In the late 40’s, Eleanor found her attention distracted from her unending chores by a young man from Saskatchewan, Ray Martin, who was visiting their neighbors, the Duguids.  That mile walk or ride on saddlehorse soon didn’t seem to be all that long and on June 27, 1951, they married in Didsbury, Alberta.  With her brothers now fully grown, Eleanor and Ray headed out to Saskatchewan to start their life together.  This proved to be short lived and a few years later the couple sold their land in Saskatchewan and moved to Big Prairie, northwest of Cremona.

Ray and Eleanor were inseparable, working together each and every day to build their new homestead.  Their first house was a small red shack which Eleanor soon made into a home until they had saved enough money to build their eventual farmhouse.  Every day would find them working together, growing feed and cereal crops, raising livestock, milking up to 30 cows, shipping cream and milk daily to Calgary and building their homestead. 

Over the years, Eleanor spent countless hours tending to her garden and yard where her flowers were beautiful, and the lawn and farm site always immaculately maintained.  In addition to helping on the farm and milking cows with Ray, her house was always filled with family and friends, card games, great food and limitless laughter which she brightened every moment by her positive and happy disposition.  No one left her house without a smile on their face and an extremely full belly!

Over the years, they began to enjoy travelling and camping in their motorhome.  They splurged with the occasional trip to Hawaii and saw much of western Canada.   

In 2001 they decided it was time to move off the farm and they had a new house built in Cochrane – a real treat for Eleanor as she loved to cook and entertain and took such great pride in her spotless and welcoming home. 

In 2012 they moved into the Bethany Care Centre where she enjoyed 9 wonderful years sharing the fellowship of staff, old neighbors and residents.  As always, Eleanor brought with her to Bethany that lifelong positive outlook, her infectious laugh and gentle kindness which touched everyone around her.  One never heard anything negative from Aunt Eleanor as she demonstrated her amazing skill to turn every challenge into a positive and see the good in everything and everyone. 

Ray passed peacefully on Eleanor’s birthday last year.  Eleanor has joined him some 6 months later, leaving us on Sunday June 13 at 96 years of age.  She truly was an amazing woman of strength, selflessness and a sunny disposition that will always be remembered. Eleanor was predeceased by her three brothers but is survived by her sister in law Norma Watson of Rosetown, Saskatchewan and numerous nieces and nephews.

Our deepest thanks to the dedicated and amazing staff at the Bethany Care Centre who not only have cared for but enriched the lives of both Ray and Eleanor for these many years.  Eleanor truly enjoyed every moment of her time and sunset years at the Centre.

Due to provincial Covid restrictions a service will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cochrane Bethany Care Centre.

Arrangements entrusted to Florence (Flo) Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – email: – Ph: 403-932-1039

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  1. On June 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm Corrine Leask Said:

    I’m sorry to hear about Eleanor’s passing. She was the cheeriest person I have ever known. What a beautiful tribut you have written for her.

  2. On June 24, 2021 at 9:58 pm Sandy Jaeger Said:

    Dear Luft Family:
    What beautiful pictures of your Auntie! Rod and I really enjoyed being the “across the back fence neighbors” in Cochrane, and enjoyed chatting about Mrs. Martin’s sweet peas or the state of their garden through the summer. I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss, and Rod and I send our deepest sympathies.

  3. On June 25, 2021 at 7:52 am Sandra McMorland Said:

    So sorry to hear of the Martins passing. They were treasures in West Terrace for many years. Lovely neighbours! I’ll never forget neighbourhood parties and Eleanor’s epic potato salads!