Florence Louise McKenzie passed away at the Consort Long Term Care Center September 29, 2011 at the age of 86. Florence was born January 11, 1925 to Ernest and Alice Cullen at Didsbury, AB. She was raised with her younger siblings Shirley and Bob on the family farm east of Didsbury. School started for her in a one room country school where she discovered her love and passion for books, learning and children. The fall after completing high school, she went to Calgary to attend Normal School.
Due to the shortage of teachers at that time she was sent out in January to finish a term at a school south of Coronation and boarded at the McKenzie farm. She returned to Normal School for another six weeks and then began a lifelong career of teaching. Florence’s early teaching positions were centered in the Didsbury area.
Despite the distance between Didsbury and Coronation, Donald McKenzie and Florence Cullen were married in January of 1949. Over the years she continued to teach, raise a family and help on the family farm. She was a loving and supportive mother to Joan and Alister. They lived on the farm until 1979 and then moved into Coronation. Florence retired from teaching in June 1982. Donald and Florence enjoyed travelling on bus tours to various points in Canada and the United States.
She volunteered at the Hospital Gift Shop, the Library and raised a large garden of vegetables and flowers.
She kept busy with handiwork as each grandchild received a crocheted afghan upon graduating from high school and later a framed cross stitched picture for their homes.
She enthusiastically attended all hockey, volleyball, basketball and baseball games, 4-H activities, piano and dance recitals and all other special occasions that the grandchildren were involved in.
After all this she was never too busy to read and share a story with a child.
Florence and Don moved to the Consort Senior Citizens Lodge in 2004 and then in 2005 to the Extended Care at the Consort Health Center.
Florence was predeceased by her husband Donald, her brother Bob, sisters-in-law Margaret (Bill), Bessie (Bob and Stan), brothers-in-law Alister (Pearle) and Ian.
She is survived by daughter Joan and her husband Doug Hadwin, son Alister and his wife Lorna McKenzie; grandchildren Kimberley (Graeme) Thain, Julie (Todd) Nelson, Rick (Erica) Hadwin, Joanne (Cody) Carfantan, Scott (Cara) McKenzie, Colin (Natasha Johnson) McKenzie and Alana McKenzie; great grandchildren Natalie, Allyson, Alexandra Thain, Jarret, Greg, Andria and Zachary Nelson, Jessica, Vanessa, Kate and Gracy Hadwin and Bryce Carfantan; sister Shirley (Chris) Randers of Olds, sister-in-law Lila McKenzie of Coronation; numerous nieces, nephews and special friends.
Funeral services were held at Trinity United Church, Coronation on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2 p.m. with Rev. Sue Hertell officiating. Granddaughter Kimberley Thain gave a loving tribute. William McClary presented “Danny Boy” accompanied by Ross Dabrusin on the piano. Pianist Linda Osetsky played for the congregational hymns “Old Rugged Cross” and “Take My Hand Precious Lord.”
Florence was laid to rest at Coronation Cemetery with grandsons and grandsons-in-law Graeme Thain, Todd Nelson, Rick Hadwin, Cody Carfantan, Scott MeKenzie and Colin McKenzie serving as pallbearers.
The 12 precious great-grandchildren released balloons at the cemetery, with special memories attached for great-grandma. Family and friends gathered at the Golden Age Drop In Centre for a time of fellowship and a luncheon prepared and served by the Sunshine Club.
Memorial donations may be made to Coronation Cemetery or to the Consort Hospital Auxiliary for Long Term Care. Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium entrusted with care and arrangements. 403-578-3777
Card of Thanks
We would like to thank Dr. Raath and the entire staff at the Consort Long Term Care Health Centre for the kind and compassionate care Mom received all the years she lived there. Thanks to Rev. Sue Hertell for the visits and the comforting service, Linda Osetsky for the music, Trinity United Church members for leading the singing, William for the solo accompanied by Ross and the Sunshine Club for the lunch.
We wish also to thank our friends and neighbours in Coronation and Consort for all the food, flowers, prayers and phone calls you sent to our homes. Thank-you to Verna and staff of the Parkview Funeral Chapels and Crematorium for their help and guidance.
Joan, Doug Hadwin & family
Alister, Lorna McKenzie & family