Edmund James SEMPH


Edmund James

Jan. 20, 1924 – Dec. 14. 2014

Edmund James (Ed) Semph, late in his 90th year, passed away peacefully while sleeping, at Shepherd’s Care Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. Affectionately known as “Uncle Ed” to the many people who were touched by his love and concern, Ed devoted the latter part of his life to serving the Lord as grounds keeper at Salem Acres, Elnora, Alberta. His role encompassed being a residence counselor and elder to the youth that gathered at this Christian conference centre and Bible school camp. Ed was well known for his artistic talent and his bas-relief wood carvings are cherished by those who received them as gifts. Ed’s life began in the small village of Ushmore, Russia, now Ukraine. As political oppression in that country built, his parents Adolf and Adelina made plans to emigrate to Canada with their children in 1927. Ed was four years old at the time. Landing in Montreal, they were soon on their way to a small farm property near Esk, Saskatchewan. The family moved to St Catharines, Ontario in 1941. Ed apprenticed in stonemasonry and plastering and soon became a master craftsman. He then partnered with his brother Leonard in this aspect of the construction business. He married Joyce Lucille Brown, of Detroit Michigan, May 10, 1953. After a few years in St Catharines, they moved to Forest, Ontario, where they raised their three children as well as farmed purebred Angus cattle, a beef feedlot. Ed moved to Alberta in 1981. “Uncle Ed” farmed at Salem Acres Bible Camp for 29 years. He was on his way to visit his brother in Creston B.C. in October 1980. He swung around to Salem Acres to see what it was like. He liked it so well, he stayed for 29 years helping out. He took care of the chickens, turkeys, horses, greenhouse, flower beds, and vegetable garden. He did carpentry work, stone masonry, plastering and spent hours on the lawn mower, mowing the lawn. He took time to invest in the lives of young people, encouraging them to love the Lord. His favorite book was the Bible. Jesus Christ was the most important person in his life. Uncle Ed found his peace with God through faith in Christ when he was living in Ontario. He will be missed by all who knew him. Ed is survived by his children Marilyn “Maril,” of Brampton, Ontario, Stephen (Steve), of Big Valley, Alberta, Janis (Shhadeh) and her sons Shaffik and Adam, of London, Ontario; his sisters, Emiliania “Emily” (Davis) and her children Tara and Bradley; Linda (Shilling), her sons Gary, Hugh and David; Mary (Ross) and her son Jeffrey and daughter Pamela; Edna (Harris) and her children Heidi, Cindy and Brent; brother Leonard’s children Jerry, Judy, Daniel, Tim, Robbie and Susie; brother Irwin’s son Randy; sister Freda’s children Charles, Stanley, Cindy and Penny; and brother Herbert’s children Christine and Howard. Ed is predeceased by brothers Leonard, Irwin, Herbert and sisters Ella and Freda. Visitation to be held from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, Sunday December 21, at the Elnora Drop In Centre, Elnora Alberta, will be followed by interment at 11:00 AM, at Elnora Cemetery. Returning to the Drop In Centre, a memorial service will follow, at 1 PM. Ed’s children thank the dedicated nursing staff and the friends that faithfully visited him and read his beloved Bible to him as his own eyesight failed. He treasured your friendship and companionship, Jenny McKenzie and family, Verna Bellerive and Paul Gould. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to Salem Acres Bible Camp, Highway 590, Elnora, AB T0M 0Y0.


Trochu, entrusted with arrangements. 403-442-2123.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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