Norman Wilfred McKay
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November 2, 1918 - April 21, 2013
94 years, 5 months & 19 days young
Norman had faults, our mother Ruby disregarded them all and he flourished. Norman was born in Vancouver in the last week of World War I on November 2, 1918. He was raised on the family homestead north of Rosetown and the family outwitted the depression. In 1927 the family clan moved to Saskatoon expressly to attend Mayfair School. In 1937 Norm began working at Speer's Seed Company. He married Ruby Martinson on New Year's Eve 1941. This was a union of Scotchmen from Rosetown and Norwegians from Saskatchewan Landing. Together they had 2 sons, Doug and James.
Norman was a dutiful warrior and was quietly proud of his years as an RCAF member of 163 squadron in World War II. He was an officer in 406 squadron reserve from 1948 - 1964 and is a current member of 602 Wing. It was here, at the red airplane, that Ruby and Norman danced every New Year's Eve with Sara Ackerman and a bevy of airforce friends for 20 years. Norm always looked to the light and was nearly devoid of anger. He gently touched all challenges that met him. You would always find him telling a story, whistling or singing. He was an avid reader and was curious of how things came to be. He was ever the farmer, gardener and remained a dreamer. He was in search of ways to stand the test of time, making health, Shiatsu Massage and nutrition a priority in hopes to outlive us all.
Norm was not much for vacations but many years found him travelling north to Hatchet Lake FN @ Wollaston Lake and Jim finally got him to relax and fish. He has many Dene Friends. He loved to work along side his boys, grandchildren and great grandchildren and was a father to many. He lost his wife Ruby, and his second wife Marge, his brothers John, Wilson and Boyd, and sister Jessie Hamre (Vancouver), and a host of friends during the war years but forever retained a sense of humour. He remains hope filled about his son's Doug and James, his grandchildren Marcie, Jeremy, Jason, Jordan, Jerrick and Emily, and great grandchildren Chayce, Matteo, Quinn, Kynlie, Kingston, Jersey; his daughters-in-law Patti, Angie, Krissy and Crystal, and sons-in-law Ken and Todd. Norm's father Lorne had 11 siblings from the Miramichi and his mother Elizabeth had 5 siblings from Lanark, ON.
The Wilson's of Harris and CBC Radio continue the land legacy of his beloved prairie. He retains a special place in his being for all the cousins from Canada to Mexico and those family members still farming, Darlene Hartness, Connie Nickle, Mark McKay, and Don Draper, and all the relations.
Norm maintained a longterm relationship with Universal Realty, Tom and Burnell, and the Farmer's Market. 1953 Chevrolets and Henry J's. Norm's passions were horses, dogs, chickens, any machinery, seeds, tools, books, his bible, people friendships, LeeValley tools, buck knives, felling trees, long hours of work, wit and appetite, co-ops and wheat boards. He rejected sugar, white flour, big pharmacy and any type of tax money waste. He quietly voted for Tommy Douglas, the CCF/NDP for 71 years. Co-op number 5995. Our family is far from gentle but he is an inspiration to everyone to heal and endure.
For his last 12 days of life, as his lungs failed him, his home was St. Paul's Hospital, where the doctors, nurses, residents and support staff gave him every advantage to live another day. As a man of faith, he was not afraid to go home, and after 31 years, dance with his beloved Ruby once again.
Please join us in celebrating Norm's long wonderful life on May 5 from 12:00 - 7:00 at the RCAF Lynx Wing (red airplane), 2407 Ave C North. There will also be a second memorial to honor Norman's long standing relationship with his faith community at Elim Church 419 Slimmon Road on April 30 at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements entrusted to John Martens, Martens Funeral Home 306-934-4888.
*PS: All will miss you now and forever. Storm'n Norm'n was the common man, the common spouse, the common worker, the common Canadian. A flatlander always. He was so common he was extraordinary in a common fashion. And much like Chuck Sebestyen, a mentor to this family, these two men possessed the common touch but in very different venues.
Special friends, Peggy Strachen of Thetis Island and David and Pauline of Wollaston Lake.
"To you from failing hands we throw the torch ... "
Thanks to Chief Navigator, Sue, Deb, Dave, Pastor Bob, Father Bob, UKI Sugomota, Mary Denechezhe, Ormond McKague, cousin Jerome and Gwen, Orion and Wava of Minnesotta, Marion and Walter, John and Ann, Karishwavee, Peter Lily and John Elander, for getting us through the week and years.
"lang may your lumb reek on other people's coal"
If your name did not appear; by the grace of Norman, please pencil yourself in.
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Apr. 25 to Apr. 27, 2013