Edna Houston was long-time Beach volunteer

Edna Somme Houston, 1916-2012, was born in the Beach as Edna Young.

Her roots go back over 150 years, with family history in places including Picton and Fergus, Ont., and the state of Florida. Her father’s health necessitated working in a southern climate, so the family went back and forth between Florida and Toronto.

Edna was the youngest of three girls, including sisters Maxine and Madeline. Her middle name, Somme, was given to her because she was born at the time of the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, during which her uncle lost a leg fighting for Canada.

Edna attended Williamson Road Public School, and lived most of her life at 150 Lee Ave.

Edna married the late William (Bill) Houston in 1941. They had no children. Bill was associated with the late sports and media mogul Jack Kent Cooke, who owned radio stations, magazines and the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball team. Bill was the last general manager of the Leafs.

Edna was a consummate automobile driver, and the couple travelled across Canada and the U.S.

The lounge at the Beaches Recreation Centre was renamed in Edna Houston’s honour in 2003.

Edna was always involved in many charitable and volunteer events in the Beach. She was on the advisory council for the Beaches Recreation Centre for over 35 years. She was very active in all facets of the centre, and is responsible for naming the Spring Sprint.

Edna also volunteered her services at the East End YMCA on Kingston Road, organizing dances every Wednesday. She was involved at Adam Beck Community Centre, and volunteered her services at St. John the Baptist Norway Church for bazaars and special events. She was also involved in the seniors’ program at Kew Gardens – the list goes on and on. She received many awards for her service in the Beach over the years.

Edna befriended many people over the years, offering guidance and counsel. She was a true Beacher, and a feminist, and she will be missed by her many friends.

Edna leaves behind family in Florida, a nephew, Gordon Munro, a grandniece, Tammy Aratari, and several grandnieces and great-grandnieces and -nephews.


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