February 27, 1925 – Pincher Creek, Alberta
September 19, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
Patricia, beloved wife of the late Israel Finestone of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully on September 19, 2014 at the tender age of 89 years.
One of eleven children, ten girls and one boy, born to Antoinette and Guillaume Biron, Patricia was the first baby born at St. Michael’s Hospital in Pincher Creek. Raised by loving parents in a devout Catholic home, her faith remained strong to the very end, never wavering from the love of her Lord.
As a young woman, Patricia worked as a waitress at the Waterton Café for two years to support her pursuit of becoming a teacher. She went to University “on a bologna sandwich” and began her teaching career in the Hamlet of Bodo/Daysland, Alberta. It was there that she met many lifelong friends and the man of her dreams, Israel Finestone. They were married July 5, 1947. They shared a prosperous life together and while still teaching at various schools across Alberta she played an active part in the family fur business, Finestone’s Fine Furs LTD. Patricia became the youngest principal, at the age of 20, at Bowness High School. Patricia was the founding Beauty Culture Teacher at St. Francis High School in Calgary and supported the opening of numerous other programs across the Calgary Catholic School District and Calgary Board of Education. The legacy Patricia leaves is exemplified by the inclusion of her story and that of her daughter, Bernadette, in the book published by the University of Calgary, “My Most Memorable Teacher”, celebrating 100 years of Alberta Teaching Excellence. She continued to inspire young people to be the best they could possibly be. Patricia and Israel became the proud parents of their loving daughter, Bernadette, and Patricia made the decision to become a stay at home mother from 1960 to 1967. Later they would become adoring grandparents to a beautiful granddaughter, Kelly Page McGowan.
Patricia served her church and community in every way possible and many would become benefactors of her efforts. She was a fundraiser for African children, for the Children’s Cottage in Calgary and for St. Mary’s University College. She initiated a number of scholarships in the names of friends and family and those scholarships continue as a support to students accomplishing a post secondary education at St. Mary’s. She was a Life Member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) for over sixty years and was the recipient of the Elsie Yanek Award for her service to the Catholic Church community. She was the recipient of the Rotary Club Integrity Award and was a proud member of Epsilon Pi Tau (EPT), an Honor Society of Educators. A musician by heart, she played the accordion, piano, organ and guitar always singing or humming an old favorite. One of her proudest accomplishments was singing with the Calgary Catholic School Board Choir in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1982.
Patricia was a master at the game of bridge: her passion was unwavering throughout her lifetime. Intelligent, witty, poker-faced and sly she regularly “trumped” her opponents. Her sense of humour served to deliver her through many trials in her lifetime.
Patricia is survived by her daughter, Bernadette McGowan (Jeff Norfolk), her granddaughter Kelly Page McGowan, and numerous family members and friends.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church (835 Northmount Drive N.W.) on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. A private graveside service will be held in Pincher Creek, AB at a later time. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family gratefully requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Patricia Finestone Educational Scholarship c/o St. Mary’s University College, 14500 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 1T4 Telephone: (403) 531-9130 or www.stmu.ca.
In living memory of Patricia Finestone, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: 403-241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences