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Pete and Florence Travalia

Our Treasured Heritage
A History of Coalhurst and District
Pages 540-541
by Evelyn Herter and Walter Travalia

Pete came to Canada as a young man, and settled in Taber, Alberta. Florence, who was born in Sikeston, Missouri, was four years old when her family came to Taber, and homesteaded there. Pete and Florence were married on November 6, 1920. Although she was only fifteen years old, Florence was a good wife and mother. Pete worked in the coal mines and farmed while they lived in Taber where three children were born, two sons and one daughter.

In 1931 the family moved to Coalhurst, and farmed on the Park Lake Road. Florence's parents, William and Annie Hipp, and her sisters, Myrtle Pontarolo and Rebecca Berry, also had adjoining farms on the Park Lake Road. It was here in 1932, that a fourth daughter was born.

All four children attended the Rolling Hill School, which was about a mile and a half from home. In the summertime they walked or rode their bicycles to school. The wintertime, transportation was by horse and buggy.

Pete worked in the Coalhurst and Shaughnessy mines, as well as on the farm. He was a friendly man, and a good mechanic, who helped anyone who needed him. Quite often, late into the night, he was helping a neighbor or friend fix a broken down piece of machinery during the harvest season.

Pete's oldest son married and operated the old White Rose Service Station, on the west side of Highway No. 3. They had living quarters in the rear of the station. He joined the army in 1942 and after he left, the family gave up the farm and bought a house at the Riverbottom in Lethbridge.

Pete and another son took over the Service Station operation. They worked long hours, as it was a time of gas rationing, and someone was always running, out of gas-, that meant a tow home or to the gas station. With his mechanical ability, Pete kept many a car in running order.

Pete passed away on February 22, 1944 at age fifty-three, and Florence passed away April 14, 1982.

We have many happy memories of our life in Coalhurst - farm life- our Grandma's rhubarb and strawberry pie - on Sunday, going to Uncle Paul and Aunt Myrtle's place on picnics, and Aunt Myrtle making delicious homemade ice cream for all us kids. We are always so happy when we meet one of our friends from years gone by.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup