Lillian May Wyse, Waverley volunteer, passes away at 102

WAVERLEY: A matriarch of the Waverley community who gave back to her community and local fire department auxiliary has died.

Lillian May Wyse, age 102, passed away May 21, 2021, at home. Wyse was born in Waverley on Aug. 16, 1918. She was the daughter of Alfred Thomas and Beatrice Boyd.

Russell Wyse Jr. remembered his grandmother letting them have a good time, but they all respected her authority. He spoke to us on behalf of the family.

“What she said went,” said Wyse in a message to The Laker News. “All she had to do was to give us that look, and we would stop whatever we were doing.

“I remember Uncle Vincent joking around, and at 101 years old she jokingly held her finger up. At 101, she was still in charge.”

Wyse Jr. said he recalled her being active, even up to the age of 100.

“She was very involved with the Church, and she volunteered in many other groups and organizations,” he said. “She modeled to us, if you are able, you serve. Help your family, neighbor, and community. Together we are better.

“She would always be there for our family BBQ’s, watching over us. Seeing us all together would make her smile.”

He said he recalls attending church picnics at Oakfield Park, and Strawberry pancakes with whip cream for brunch after church.

According to her obituary, she volunteered most of her life, contributing many hours to the Waverley community. She was a member of the Friendly Circle, president of the parents’ group for Brownies and helped with the Girl Guides.

For 35 years she was Treasurer for the Waverley Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary, also helping with fund raising, lunches and much more.

She was always involved with the Anglican Church in Waverley and now Fall River. Wyse was on the Spiritual Committee, church board, greeter for every Sunday service to the age of 90.

Wyse Jr. said the family home was always open with her big welcoming smile.

“Lots of food, lots of love. You could not pass by her house without stopping in,” he said. “If you drove by and did not stop in, somehow she would find out about it, and let you know, the next time you did visit.”

When Wyse Jr. married and started his own family, he asked his nanny what her secret was to raise such a large family.

“Her advice was to give them something strong to stand on. They can stand on God’s word,” said Wyse Jr. “Life is hard, and we need all the help we can get. With God’s help, we can fight for things that are right; Stand up for the powerless; and give our kids the spiritual foundation to navigate through life.

“She showed me the importance of family and sticking together. Supporting each other. Working hard to pave the road for someone else, so they could have a fighting chance to make it.”

He said the family gets its strong work ethic from their grandparents.

“We often say, their easiest day would be my hardest day,” said Wyse Jr. “The things she had to go through over her almost 103 years, I can only read in a textbook, but she lived it. She endured so much.”

Wyse Jr. said he had the honour to walk through the doors that she and others have opened for them.

“I do not take that lightly. That is to be respected, and not taken for granted,” he said. “I remember she was always encouraging us to believe that there is greatness within each of us, and to share that greatness. Don’t keep it for yourself, share it.”

Raising 13 kids in a small house, would take some kind of great work ethic, said Wyse Jr.

“She would often say “Kids today, always mess around too much.” Stay focused and do what you need to do. Work hard. Go get yours, and get it done. Don’t whine about what you can’t control,” said Wyse Jr. “Give that to God, and work hard on the things you are able to do.

“Nanny you will forever be missed, until the day I see you again in Jesus’ arms.”

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, there will be no visitation or funeral service.

Donations in Wyse’s memory may be made to St. Thomas Anglican Church in Fall River.