Effie May Johnstone was born in Mont Nebo, Sask. on Aug. 16, 1927 to David Johnstone and Fanny Craig/McKay. She was the eighth of 10 children.
She attended the Hawkeye School at Mont Nebo with her siblings.
When she was 18 she went to Prince Albert where she had secured her first job cooking for the Prince Albert (All Saints) Indian Residential School. She never talked about her experiences there except to say that she used to sneak food to some of the younger girls, apparently, she was never caught because that of course would have been another story to tell.
She had to leave that position after a short time when she came down with appendicitis.
On Sept. 9, 1948, Effie May Johnstone married Joe Thornton at Canwood, Sask. They settled in the Sedalia area and had four children – Joe, Jim, Sharon and Wayne.
They lived on the Thornton family farm with Jack and Eleanor from 1948 until 1963 when the family sold the farm and everyone relocated to Sedalia and Consort.
Having come from a strong faith-based home she was very active in the local church in Consort and eventually, along with other family members, had a church pioneered in Sedalia which was active until she and Joe had to leave the area.
Together Joe and Effie ran the Sedalia Post Office for 45 years – she would have stayed in the job longer, but she was having to run back and forth to Consort where Joe was sequestered in the Consort Hospital with advanced dementia.
In 2005, Effie received an award from Canada Post acknowledging her as the longest-serving and oldest postmaster ever in Canada.
When space was available in the Hanna Long Term Care Centre, Joe was moved there for his care and Effie took an apartment in Hanna where she stayed until she too needed long-term care.
She is survived by her sister Joyce (Eugene Kraft) her children: Joe, Jim, Sharon (Bruce Ogilvie) and Wayne; Grandchildren: Sabrina, Ashley, Megan, Erin and Daniel. Great-grandchildren: Dimitri, Emerson and Paislee.
She was predeceased by husband Joseph Franklin Thornton in 2009, grandson Christopher Lee Thornton in 1994 and siblings: Winnifred (1937) Charles, Riley, Grace, Mona, James, Clifford, and Howard. and parents: David Johnstone and Fanny Craig/McKay.
A Celebration of Life was held on Sat. March 11, 2023.
If desired, donations in memory of Effie can be made to the Parkinson Association of Alberta, 6835 Railway St SE, Calgary, Alta. T2H 2V6.
Hanna Funeral Services Ltd. has been entrusted with the care and arrangements, 403-854-5956, www.hannafuneral.ca.