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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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RATHWELL, Kathleen May (nee Simpson)

April 20, 1930 – Tompkins, SK
March 29, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Kathleen left this world surrounded by the circle of love that was her family on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the age of 83 years.

Kay was born and raised in Tompkins, SK and lived there until she was nineteen, when she moved to Calgary. She attended Henderson College of Business, where she received her diploma in secretarial arts and then worked for Great West Life Insurance Co. She married Merl McKay in 1953 and left the work force to raise her three children. She returned fifteen years later and was a long-time employee of Gulf Canada until her retirement.

Kathleen was an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, both in Tompkins and Calgary. She was a very dedicated volunteer, notably at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and, for many years, with Theatre Calgary, including the Banff-Calgary Road Race, ATP and Lunchbox Theatre. She was always very active, square dancing with Merl in the early years of their marriage. She joined Al Anon in an effort to understand Merl’s alcoholism and maintained a close network of friends through this. She became an avid hiker and globetrotter, travelling to Paris and Europe with Janice, England with her mom, New Orleans with Verna and numerous other exotic destinations such as Australia, the Dominican Republic, etcetera.

Kay was a very talented seamstress, sewing clothes for her family and grandchildren. She even whipped up an evening gown for Donna to wear, the same day she made it. She made some beautiful dresses for her granddaughters and made all of her grandchildren beautiful, sequinned Christmas stockings and Christmas nightwear every year.

She married her soul mate, Douglas C. Rathwell in 2003, and with him they travelled to Alaska, England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, Eastern Canada and various other places. They were often seen supporting her children or grandchildren at their various events and activities including horse shows, team penning’s, soccer and hockey games. Doug was almost considered staff at the Garrison Green Carewest, as he was an attentive and constant presence in her room.

She is survived by the love of her life, Douglas C. Rathwell and his son Keith, her sister Verna (Bob) McGillivray, her daughter Donna (Terry) Smith, daughter Janice Steedman, son Kelvin (Lorie) McKay and six grandchildren – Kathryn and Megan Smith, Jordan and Aiden Steedman and Carmen and Sean McKay. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Ralph McKay. She was predeceased by her parents, William R. Simpson and Ivy H. Simpson, her sister Dorothy Wilson, her brother Russell Simpson, her first husband Merl S. McKay, and her brother-in-law Norman McKay.

A Celebration of Kay’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the charity of the donor’s choice. The family wishes to thank Kay’s excellent caregivers and Dr. van Wyk at the Garrison Green Carewest, who went above and beyond the call of duty in their care and attention of her.

In living memory of Kathleen Rathwell, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Dorothy McCreary :

    Dear Doug and Kay’s family,
    I have known Kay for a number of years from Centennial and Friendship Chapters and have enjoyed the friendship that we had. I will definitely miss our wonderful conversations and memories. She was a very special lady who will be dearly missed by all whose lives she touched.

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  2. kath Daley and Vickie Rickes Perth Australia :

    So sorry to get the news of Kay’s passing. You both showed me such hospitality when I have visited Calgary. I remember breakfasts that carried on till afternoon tea time! Kay made me a Christmas stocking which I still use every year. She left me with many happy memories.
    Kath and Vickie

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  3. Doug I am so glad that I was able to get to know Kay. I have wonderful memories when Dad and I went to Calgary (and Lethbridge) to visit my Western cousins. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She was a special lady. Thinking of you, love Bevx0

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  4. Carlene Mckay :

    Our Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family through this grieving time, all our love Carlene and Glen

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