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JOHNSTONE, Marion

June 30, 1938 – Drumheller, AB
April 13, 2014 – Calgary, AB

E. Marion Johnstone (nee Turner) of Calgary passed away on Sunday April 13th, 2014 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by her family at the Carewest Sarcee Hospice. She is survived by her loving husband and best friend Glen, her son Craig (Val), daughter Gayle (Mike), daughter Lynne (Dean), grandchildren Stephen, Nicole, Peter, Keith, Courtney and Spencer, brother Bill (Irene) Turner, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Marion was predeceased by her parents Margaret and Gordon Turner of Stettler and her sister Joyce (Eric) Bisgrove of Kimberley.

Marion was born in Drumheller on June 30, 1938. She grew up on the family farm near Munson, Alberta. When she was 10, they moved to Stettler where her father ran a farm implement dealership for many years. She attended high school there and graduated as a Registered Nurse from the University of Alberta in 1960. She married Glen Johnstone of Stettler in July of 1960. They moved shortly after to Regina, Sask. where they settled happily into life, becoming diehard Riders fans and starting a family. Marion worked as a public health nurse in both Saskatoon and Regina as they moved between the two cities. She volunteered with the Kinettes Service Club in both cities, spending many hours assisting with various community initiatives. In 1976 Glen was transferred to Calgary and the family moved to Lake Bonavista where they lived for over 30 years.

Marion continued nursing and was one of the first graduates of the Grant MacEwan program for Occupational Health. She took a position with TransAlta Utilities becoming their first nurse and writing her own job description, establishing a benchmark of hard work and high achievement. She founded many programs within the company promoting health and wellness, providing much needed support and counselling for those experiencing substance abuse problems. It was also her job to fly in to remote plants to check the health and safety of field workers where she proudly wore her hardhat. She did this without complaint many times each year despite a fear of flying. Marion was a dedicated TransAlta employee for 16 years until her retirement in 1998. As a TransAlta retiree Marion, along with Glen, was active in the TransAlta Retirees Association (TARA) involved in many projects including the Food Bank garden, and it was with great delight that Marion drove the tractor whenever they would let her. She was a regular contributing columnist to the TARA newsletter, providing health and wellness advice.

Marion was a lifelong member of the United Church and she and Glen have been members of McDougall United for more than 35 years. Ever the organiser, Marion was very involved with the church helping in any capacity required whether leading CGIT or chairing various committees. Both Marion and Glen were active participants with Inn From The Cold, for indeed Marion exemplified a spirit of giving and community involvement throughout her life.

Family was central in importance for Marion and she spent as much time as she could with her parents at their cottage in Rochon Sands on Buffalo Lake. She also spent a great deal of time at the Johnstone family farm just outside of Stettler and she greatly enjoyed the regular Johnstone family reunions. Her deep love for Glen was always evident as was her love and concern for her children. Marion took great delight in her six grandchildren and often her own children would receive a phone call from Marion saying, “I need to see those grandbabies!”

Despite various health challenges which included a diagnosis of Stiff Person Syndrome in 2005, Marion remained positive, meeting every challenge head-on. She maintained her sense of humour throughout and had a joke or quip for most situations. Her optimistic outlook, steadfast work ethic and love of life permeated everything she did. Even when dealing with her own significant health issues right up to her time in the hospice, Marion was concerned with the health and welfare of all those she knew and loved whether friend or family. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

Thank you to the wonderful nurses and staff at the Carewest Sarcee Hospice. They made Marion’s last days as comfortable as possible and their care and compassion are greatly appreciated by all of Marion’s family and friends. For those who so wish donations may be made in her name to Calgary Inn From The Cold, The Arthritis Society or McDougall United Church Benevolent Fund.

Funeral Services will be held at McDougall United Church (8516 Athabasca Street S.E.) on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Marion Johnstone, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. alex and shirley chrumka :

    Thinking of you and extending our sincere sympathy on your loss.

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  2. Jim and Barrie Munro :

    Glen, Lynn, Gayle and Craig: It is with deep sadness that we saw the obituary this morning. We will always remember the Marion of the 70’s in Lake Bonavista, when Cathy and Lynn were inseparable; even our cat Tabby used to find his way over to your home on Bonavista Drive. We are so sorry for your loss, and will always be amazed by Marion’s indomitable spirit even through all her trials and pain. Sincerely, Jim and Barrie and family.

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  3. Sheila and John McHutchison :

    Dear Glen,
    Saddened to read in today’s paper that your beloved Marion has died.
    Sheila and I extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family at this difficult time in your life.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Sincerely,
    Sheila and John McHutchison

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  4. Brad/Margaret Lagore :

    Aunt Marion was one of the bravest people I had the honor to know and call family. Her sense of humour never left her, and we will miss warmth and laughter. Our thoughts and support go out to you and the family now, and always.
    with love
    Brad and Margaret

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  5. Shirley(Limpert) Stroud :

    I am so sorry to hear of Marion’s passing. Please except my heart felt condolence Glen and family. I am so glad that I got to talk to Marion that day I phoned. It was so great to reminisce of days gone by. She was a gem.

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  6. Heather and Brad Moore :

    We were so saddened to hear of Marion’s passing. Our hearts go out to all of you at this very difficult time. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers now and always.
    Sincerely,
    Heather and Brad Moore

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  7. Richard and Norma Trumble :

    When I had a breakdown at TransAlta in the early 1990’s, Marion was the one who recognized my pain and distress. She was instrumental in saving my life. I moved on to enjoy some of the best years of my life, thanks to her kindness and perception. I am now 77 and very sad to see that she passed on with the very same illness that took my Mother years ago. Sincere condolences to her family.

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  8. Kay [Annable] Clark :

    Dear Glen
    I was very saddened to read in the Calgary Herald of Marion’s passing. We have had no contact, really, since high school. but I will never forget her. How we laughed and played our summers away at her parents cabin at Buffalo Lake. I know that everyone will remember a kind funny woman beloved by all.
    My sisters Pat and Lee join with me in offering their condolences.

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  9. Stan Wylie :

    Just a short note to offer my condolences to Marion’s family. She will be missed. I had the honour of knowing Marion in my TransAlta days in the Lake Wabamun area. I always looked forward to her arrival and smiling, carefree way. She was well respected by all staff.

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  10. Floyd Mulligan :

    I was sorry to hear only today about the loss of Marion to her family and many friends and associates. A great lady who helped many of us at TransAlta to improve our health and prevent injuries, or other wise survive unexpected health events. I always looked forward to her health updates in the TARA news. Marion will be missed.

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  11. Bob & Ivene Ellis :

    Glen – we read Marion’s passing in the U of A “Trails in Memoriam” page today
    Aug 20. We have not been in touch for many years but wanted to send our condolences to you. We were shocked to see her name actually and are really sorry. I then looked up her obituary on line and read her life history. It sounds like you had a busy wonderful life together. Such a long time ago that Marion & I started in Lab training in 1956 at the UofA hospital then she switched to nursing. We now live in Pitt Meadows BC after living in Richmond BC for many years. We do not get back to Stettler very often. We hope you are doing OK and get this message. We wish you well. OLD Friends Ivene & Bob Ellis

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