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MACDONALD, Sheilah Scott

February 2, 1920 – January 3, 2013

It is with heavy hearts we advise that a great lady has taken leave of us all, to rejoin her best friend and soul mate Webster Sr. Strong, funny and courageous to the end, Mom passed away peacefully January 3 at Walden Heights Seniors Community in the caring hands of Martha and the rest of the loving and supportive staff ably assisted by Dr. Graham Hunter.

She would have wanted us to thank you for the attention and support you gave her in the time she was in your care and so we do – thank you all.

Mom was born in Winnipeg on February 2, 1920, the second daughter and third child of six children of Glenn and Florence Florance. She grew up in a warm and loving environment and maintained strong relationships with her siblings and their families throughout her life. She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Glenn and Roger, sisters Kate and Leslie, and her beloved granddaughter Claire.

Her family left to dearly miss her include: Sons Web (Cindy), Barclay, Christopher (Diane), Bruce (Dorothy) and Roger (Laurel), together with granddaughters Jody (Trevor Johnson), Alison (Palmer West), Ciara and Keitha, and grandsons Brock (Tracy), Ross, Brendan and Tim. Her special wee ones, great grandchildren Accius, Nate, Sophie Grae, Jules, Myles, Marlow, Emmeline, and Lio-Emile sadly will not experience the full on Gran but, like all, they will benefit because she was here and lived life as she did.
Mom was a story unto herself.

After finishing high school at Kelvin in Winnipeg, she spent two summers as the dining room hostess at the chateau in Lake Louise, enjoying it immensely little knowing that Alberta would eventually become home.

With the outbreak of war, Mom enlisted becoming one of the original group of W.R.E.N.’s in the Canadian navy, an association she proudly maintained throughout her life. She did get a life long prize while in service, meeting and marrying her junior officer Webster on October 7, 1944. He always acknowledged that she outranked him and would do so for the rest of time.

Thereafter life was lived in Halifax and Kentville, Nova Scotia before they moved their clan west to Calgary in August of 1957. As the mother of five (and arguably six) sons and many dogs, Mom had her hands full. That said, she never missed a beat with her children and grandchildren. Whether it was engaging in African treasure searches with the Ubangibangi, hunting Easter eggs, singing The First Noel at carolling, she was always a leader. The house at 240 – 38th was action central with the “Sarge” directing innumerable neighbourhood kids trying to figure out who had to go home and who was staying for dinner. Special ham sauce, chilli con carne, or the world famous stew, she made sure all ate exceptionally well. Summers at Lake George and Kingsport, traveling the open road, or simply relaxing at Ghost Lake all were memorable times and we regret the wee great grandchildren will miss her in action, getting to know her as we did.

In conjunction with her junior officer, Mom instilled an interest in the world and love of travel in all her family, something which exists to this day. The travel logs and diaries which they compiled are a family treasure and clearly demonstrate the love of life they shared.

Beyond the family, Mom taught us to contribute. Whether it was volunteering as a palliative care counsellor, the guild at church, the Samaritan Club and Benny the Bookworm sales or, her passion, the Philharmonic Board, there was always time to engage and, if you did, you should do with enthusiasm. She did, and she will be missed by her many friends and colleagues she met through these endeavours.

While there will be an undeniable void, we are happy with the memories she has left and the examples she set. Most importantly, we are pleased she can rejoin her life’s love and partner.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Development Department, (205 – 8th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 0K9)

In living memory of Sheilah Macdonald, 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. Neil L. Jennings :

    Web, Cindy, and the rest of the family,
    Linda and I saw the obit for Mom in the Herald and want to extend our sincere condolences for the loss. We cannot attend the services on the 19th because we will be in California visiting with my Mom and Dad, both of whom are now in their 90th year. Sadly, I know that it is most likely only a brief time now until we are living your present moment. We are secure in knowing that your family support will be stalwart during this time. We are thinking of you.
    Neil and Linda Jennings

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  2. Arthur and Barbara Lutz :

    To Web, Cindy & family,

    We were saddened to hear of Sheilah’s passing. She was a great lady and one we were pleased to know.

    We were particularly touched by the comment in the obituary about Sheilah rejoining her life’s love and partner of whom we have very fond memories and who we often think about when we are in Kentville in the summer.

    We will, unfortunately be out of town on January 19th and unable to attend the funeral. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers,

    Arthur & Barbara Lutz

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  3. Beth Grant and family :

    Dear Bruce, Dorothy and Brenden,

    Sincere condolences from my family to you and your extended family on the loss of your beloved mum, mum-in-law and Gram.

    It has been a few years since our young adult /parenting days but I can still recall with fondness the many fun times with your family …and the stories!

    May your memories bring comfort as you grieve the passing yet may they bring smiles, laughter and pride as you celebrate a life well lived.

    The only thing that lasts longer than sorrow is love.


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  4. Jim, Ross, BJ, Nicole and Janae Macdonald :

    What a great lady! She gave so much and has left a wonderful legacy. We remember her charm and great sense of humour. Reading her obituary has made us laugh and cry. We will miss her. Thinking of The Macdonald’s West at this time.

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  5. Patricia Compton :

    Barclay and family, please accept our sincere condolences, your mom was just a delight and left me with many good laughs. My Mom would have liked to attend the service, however at 95 she’s just a bit to frail for the weather. Our thoughts and hearts are with you at this time.

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  6. Mickey and Lamya Abougoush :

    Web, Cindy, and Barclay
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May she rest in peace.
    Mickey and Lamya Abougoush

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  7. Honourable Nick Taylor :

    Peg and I will miss our Ghost Lake, sailing companion, and bosom buddy. How lucky we have been to have her here in Alberta these many years. Our sympathies to the Boys and all the family which we will miss seeing as we will be out of the province on the 19. May God Bless.

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  8. Patrice Taylor :

    I join with my dad, Nick Taylor and mom, Peggy in sending my condolences to Sheila and Web’s children and theirs. “Mrs. MacDonald” always seemed to me, living next door at Ghost Lake in my teens, a lady who lived thoroughly, bursting in colour: gliding in a flowered moomoo over dry prairie grass with guests at the table. On the shores of a prairie lake, Sheila has the soul of a sea captain, at least 200 years old. In her own life she calls to all around her: “Live!” just as two centuries earlier she exhorts her shipmates: “Shake a limb there, there is not a minute to lose!”

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  9. To my Macdonald cousins
    I wish I could be with you to celebrate Aunt Sheilah’s life. She was quite a role model in my life. She was determined and expected the same determination in others. My thoughts are with you and your families. I know that you have wonderful memories which is the great legacy that we are left with.
    My sympathy, Jane

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  10. You have my sincere condolences.

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  11. Tudor Beattie :

    My sincere condolences to the Macdonald clan. Sheilah was a wonderful lady and a good friend of my late parents, Nancy and Hartley Beattie.

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  12. Mary-Ann & Garry Bullard :

    Our sincere condolences at this time. Sorry for your loss. Sorry we could not attend the services.

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  13. Danny Shannon :

    Roger & Webster & family,
    Very sorry to hear of the death of your mother.
    Danny & Patti Shannon

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