Former Frodsham teacher dies in Canada

A FORMER Frodsham teacher has died in Canada at the age of 92 – some two years after her husband who had also been a teacher in Frodsham.

Lilyan Ira Arthurson was a high school teacher in Frodsham where, after being widowed she met her second husband, Doug Arthurson, who was a teacher at the Manor School.
They emigrated to Canada in 1975 where they both resumed their teaching careers.
Graham Stokes, Ira’s son by her first marriage said: “Wife, mother and matriarch to her extended family over the years, Ira flourished through family ties and the love they provided her. She was recently undergoing treatment at Nanaimo Hospital, Vancouver Island, after a fall, when she left us unexpectedly but peacefully at the age of 92.”
Ira was born in Widnes in December 1927. She married her first love, Ron Stokes, in 1949 and they had two children, Graham and Helen. After they reached school age she qualified as a teacher and taught as a high school teacher in Frodsham.

The family moved to Kingsley but Ron died of cancer in 1965 leaving Ira to soldier on as a single parent but still managing to continue her teaching career.
She married Doug Arthurson in 1970 and five years later the family emigrated to Canada to join Ira’s brother, also named Douglas, and his family in Kelowna, BC.
Ira and Doug travelled extensively before and after retirement. Ira enjoyed painting, reading, visiting friends and family.
After her husband died, aged 90,  in 2018, Ira moved into Kiwanis Village, Nanaimo, where she was able to maintain a degree of independence and take part in the seniors’ community.
Ira was cremated in Nanaimo and the family hope to arrange a memorial service in late August at St Michael’s Church, Kelowna.

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  1. I was a pupil of Doug Arthurson at the Manor School up to year 4 in 1969. I would like to add my appreciation to those who were also taught by this great teacher. I’m sure he inspired many of his students, as he made learning such a pleasure and stress-free.

  2. I came across this obituary while skimming through several online merseyside publications. The name “Ira” caught my eye as it is unusual, especially for a woman. After reading this summary of Ira’s life I then realised that I knew both Ira & first husband Ron many years ago when we were all members at the ICI Rec. in Widnes. It is indeed a small world sometimes!
    Ron Stokes was very active in Tennis and Badminton being one of the top players at the club, and Ira also played; they attended many club functions together. They were both a lot of fun to be around and enjoyed the club’s social life together. I talked to Ira on several occasions and she was a very pleasant person who was very proud of her husband and two children and often spoke about their exploits.
    Which brings me to another memory perhaps 10 years later in the early 1970’s which I would want to share with Ira had I ever had the opportunity. The occasion was a cricket match at the ICI Rec. between Alvanley CC and the club’s senior team. I believe the date may have been in May as the FA Cup was being broadcast the same day and Leeds United were playing. Alvanley had won the toss and put the ICI in to bat, but after perhaps a half dozen overs Alvanley’s quick bowler had to leave the pitch to respond to an alarm incident at his Bank (Manager). The Alvanley captain called on a tall young man to take over bowling duties, his name was Graham Stokes!
    Yes I rapidly realised that this was Ron’s son as he quickly became the focus of attention within several of the ICI team watching from the pavilion who had also recognized the name. The pitch was quite damp from overnight rain and Graham was able to cut the ball significantly off the wicket due to his height and was also getting a lot of bounce on some of his deliveries too. To cut a long impressive story short Graham took 7 wickets for 25 runs to the amazement of his captain (wicketkeeper) and team mates. He was cheered off the pitch after what was one of the most impressive spells of bowling I have ever seen at that level. When the absent opener returned to the game the ICI innings was over and Alvanley CC went on to win easily.
    I know Ira would have been thrilled had she been there to see her son’s performance that day and I just want to share this particular memory and pass on my respects and sincere condolences to the family whether they be in the UK or Canada. Ira was both a devoted mother & wife.
    JD T.

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