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FINESTONE, Patricia Marie

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.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Our deepest condolences to you Bernadette on the loss of your mother, Auntie Pat will always have a special place in our hearts and she will be dearly missed

    Paul and Wendy Biron and family

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  2. Bow Cliff Seniors would like to express our sympathy to the Pat Finestone family on her passing. Izzy and Pat joined our seniors club at least 20 years ago and we enjoyed their company very much. After Izzy’s passing Pat continued playing bridge on Tuesday afternoons. I was blessed to have met them in the beginning and have enjoyed many stories and jokes. She will be missed. Sincerely Hilda Townsend

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  3. Lillian Niro and family :

    Bernadette and Kelly Page, my heartfelt condolences to you both on the loss of your mother / grandmother. Pat was a wonderful person and a real mentor in my life. She was a good friend and will be missed by myself and many others that she took under her wing in Beauty Culture. I’m sure she has a special place in heaven and will send her Angels to watch over us all. All my love Lil

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  4. Bernadette McConville and Alan Mallett :

    Bernadette, Alan and I were deeply shocked to hear about your mother. I only spoke to her 3 weeks ago, we laughed and joked and I was planning on seeing her in November. We were going to go to the Casino, which she loved to have a play at the slot machines, and playing bridge with her. I will miss her so much, and she will be greatly missed in the community. Bernadette and Alan.

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  5. Christel Keller :

    Mrs. Finestone was an amazing lady. I met her many years ago when she taught at St. Francis. She became my sisters godmother so we kept in touch over the years.
    While losing someone as special as she was is hard I feel at peace that she is back with her husband and other loved ones..
    Thanks for everything Mrs. Finestone..
    Christel

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  6. Sue Jensen ( Gafiuk) :

    I am so sorry to hear the loss of this amazing woman. She taught me many things that will always stay with me. My thought and prayers are with Bernadette and Kelly Page.

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  7. Michael and Anna Rossi :

    Dear Bernadette,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
    Our most heartfelt condolences,
    Anna and Michael

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  8. Barb Fabijan-Waddell :

    Dear Bernadette, Jeff and Kelly,
    I am so sorry to hear the news of Pat’s passing. Please know that you are and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. May you be held in God’s gentle embrace as you journey through the uneven landscape of mourning and loss.
    Peace and blessings… Barb

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  9. Bernadette,
    Today, while on vacation in Europe, I have learned of the passing of your mother and my dear friend, Patricia. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers. A mass will be offered at the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral here in Vienna/ Austria in Pat’s memory, tomorrow September 23.

    -Dianne Lowe ( Early, Rosgen)
    Victoria, BC

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  10. Dear Bernadette,
    My deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. I travelled with Pat when the Calgary Catholic School Board Choir went to Israel and I have many fond memories of her from that trip especially the role she played as one of the Three Wise ‘Women’ at our Christmas Day celebration. After this trip, whenever I met her, she was most warm and gracious. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sharyn Favreau

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  11. She was much loved and appreciated. A great teacher and friend. Many fond memories.

    Margaret

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  12. Dear Bernadette – I am so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I had recently spoke with your mother and we planned to get together. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but I did have several long conversations with her. One of our last conversations she was telling me stories of how she and my mother became friends and we both laughed at some of the antics they pulled off over the years. I will always remember your mother most fondly and as a real class act. I feel privileged to have known her.
    Love Leanne

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  13. Bernadette,
    I’m very sorry for your loss . Your Mom was an extraordinary teacher to many of us who had the honor of being taught Beauty Culture from her. I learned many life skills from her that still carry me through life. I was fortunate to also see the Mother side of her as I was also a friend to you. I will always remember her as a very warm and kind person. My thoughts and heart are with you and your family at this sad time.
    Cathy Erskine ( Nadon)

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  14. Ian & Penny Ashby :

    A grand dame, a fine lady and great family. We are so sorry for the loss of your mother/grandmother. You are in our thoughts.

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  15. Lina &Mary /Lombardi :

    Dear Bernadette,
    We want to express our deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved mother. Mrs. Finestone was our mentor who sowed the seeds to our success and we will always be grateful. We will always remember her.

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  16. Carol Schlachter :

    Dear Bernadette:
    The Calgary Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League extends our condolences for the loss of your dear mother and our CWL Sister. Patricia’s devoted commitment to the CWL and her community will forever be appreciated. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  17. Lidia Bomba-Sorbo :

    Dear Bernadette,

    It was with sympathy that I read about your mother’s passing. I know how big a part mom played in your life and how much you will miss her. Please accept my sincerest condolences and I hope that you and your family will take comfort knowing you are thought of.

    Lidia

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  18. Today my heart was so saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs Finestone, she was a very fine lady. She taught me beauty culture in 1971 to 1973 at St, Francis high school. She was the one that gave me the confidence to make it in my career, even in some moments that I could not do it. She was there to help and always with encouraging words and a warm smile, she will be deeply missed.
    YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY THOUGHTS, REST IN PEACE

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  19. Bernadette and Kelly Page, just a note to extend my sincere condolences to you both on the death of Pat. I know it wasn’t unexpected, but is sad nonetheless. I will especially miss her notes to me at Christmas where she exhorted me to continue with writing…hahahah..it was she who should have done the writing! At any rate, I was sorry to be unable to attend her funeral and burial in Pincher Creek. I was lead to beleive that the burial would be in a few weeks’ time…ah well, it is what it is. Please contact me either by phone or email Bernadette. I’d love to spend some time talking with you. Yours in love and sincere “cousin-ship”…do take care My Dear….thinking of you always…Marcy

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  20. Bernadette, I was so sad to hear of your mom’s passing. I adored
    your mom and was inspired by her every time we talked. I knew
    something was wrong when I phoned awhile back. Hope you and
    Kelly are well and remember all she taught you. I am not sure
    if you remember me but I dealt with your mom at Scotia Bank until
    I retired in 2007. I did meet you and Kelly a few times.

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