MACDONALD, Sheilah Scott
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February 2, 1920 - January 3, 2013
It is with heavy hearts we advise that a great lady has taken leave of us all, to rejoin her best friend and soul-mate Webster Sr. Strong, funny and courageous to the end, Mom passed away peacefully January 3 at Walden Heights Seniors Community in the caring hands of Martha and the rest of the loving and supportive staff ably assisted by Dr. Graham Hunter.
She would have wanted us to thank you for the attention and support you gave her in the time she was in your care and so we do – thank you all.
Mom was born in Winnipeg on February 2, 1920, the second daughter and third child of six children of Glenn and Florence Florance. She grew up in a warm and loving environment and maintained strong relationships with her siblings and their families throughout her life. She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Glenn and Roger, sisters Kate and Leslie, and her beloved granddaughter Claire.
Her family left to dearly miss her include: sister Gail Florance of Toronto, sons Web (Cindy), Barclay, Christopher (Diane), Bruce (Dorothy) and Roger (Laurel), together with granddaughters Jody (Trevor Johnson), Alison (Palmer West), Ciara and Keitha, and grandsons Brock (Tracy), Ross, Brenden and Tim. Her special wee ones, great- grandchildren Accius, Nate, Sophie Grae, Jules, Myles, Marlow, Emmeline, and Lio- Emile sadly will not experience the full on Gran but, like all, they will benefit because she was here and lived life as she did. Mom was a story unto herself.
After finishing high school at Kelvin in Winnipeg, she spent two summers as the dining room hostess at the chateau in Lake Louise, enjoying it immensely little knowing that Alberta would eventually become home.
With the outbreak of war, Mom enlisted becoming one of the original group of W.R.E.N.'s in the Canadian navy, an association she proudly maintained throughout her life. She did get a life-long prize while in service, meeting and marrying her junior officer Webster on October 7, 1944. He always acknowledged that she outranked him and would do so for the rest of time.
Thereafter life was lived in Halifax and Kentville, Nova Scotia before they moved their clan west to Calgary in August of 1957. As the mother of five (and arguably six) sons and many dogs, Mom had her hands full. That said, she never missed a beat with her children and grandchildren. Whether it was engaging in African treasure searches with the Ubangibangi, hunting Easter eggs, singing The First Noel at carolling, she was always a leader. The house at 240 - 38th was action central with the "Sarge" directing innumerable neighbourhood kids trying to figure out who had to go home and who was staying for dinner. Special ham sauce, chilli con carne, or the world famous stew, she made sure all ate exceptionally well. Summers at Lake George and Kingsport, traveling the open road, or simply relaxing at Ghost Lake all were memorable times and we regret the wee great-grandchildren will miss her in action, getting to know her as we did.
In conjunction with her junior officer, Mom instilled an interest in the world and love of travel in all her family, something which exists to this day. The travel logs and diaries which they compiled are a family treasure and clearly demonstrate the love of life they shared.
Beyond the family, Mom taught us to contribute. Whether it was volunteering as a palliative care counsellor, the guild at church, the Samaritan Club and Benny the Bookworm sales or, her passion, the Philharmonic Board, there was always time to engage and, if you did, you should do with enthusiasm. She did, and she will be missed by her many friends and colleagues she met through these endeavours.
While there will be an undeniable void, we are happy with the memories she has left and the examples she set. Most importantly, we are pleased she can rejoin her life's love and partner.
Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY'S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, AB) tomorrow, Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Development Department (205 - 8 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 0K9. www.cpo-live.com). In living memory of Sheilah Macdonald, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Jan. 9 to Jan. 18, 2013