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McBEAN, Esther Winnifred

February 25, 1926 – Innisfail, Alberta
January 3, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Esther Winnifred McBean left us on January 3, 2019, after a brief illness. As she often said, she was blessed, with a life enriched by soulmate and husband, Al McBean, cherished family and friends, and a wide variety of interests. Al’s death, almost two years ago to the day, was a devastating blow to Mom. But even that did not extinguish her ability to find joy and positivity in life. She spent her last few days telling us all how much we were loved and appreciated. We hope we were able to send her off to a much-anticipated reunion with Al, secure in the knowledge of our own great love and appreciation for her.

Esther was born on February 25, 1926 in Innisfail, Alberta, to parents Winnifred and John W. McAllister. She grew up with older sister Jean and younger sister Muriel on the family farm just north of Antler Hill, the highest point between Calgary and Edmonton. Esther attended high school in Red Deer followed by Normal School in Calgary. She embarked on a teaching career at age 17, teaching in one-room schools at Big Hay Lakes, Hill End, and Niobe before moving to Calgary. Esther and Al first met on a train, and there was no looking back once they encountered each other again at Penleys’ Dance Hall in Calgary. They were married in July 1948 and celebrated their 68th anniversary in 2016.

Esther loved to dance and made consistent efforts to pass that love on to Al over the years, with little to show for her efforts. Al had better luck with golf; Esther was determined to learn and she and Al enjoyed golfing at home and on trips south with friends for many years. She was excited to visit the Old Course in Scotland during their European travels. Esther’s other passions included music and art. She was a skilled pianist and spent many a raucous hour leading the basement band, with her grandchildren playing enthusiastic percussion. She created in pastels, watercolours and oil and was never happier than when she was painting in the wild.

Esther leaves behind sister Muriel Reidy; children Linda Raasveldt Lambe (Byron Lambe), Karen McBean (Paul Murray), and Ken McBean (Carol Chapman); grandchildren Brian Murray and Erin Murray, Barbara McBean, Jacqueline McBean, and Kiri McBean; niece Kathy McLellan; nephew Duane Sharman (Maureen Sullivan); nieces and nephews Nicki Wilson and Jack, Garth and Bob Burak and their spouses, all of whom were dear to her. She was surrogate mom to many but in particular, to lifelong family friend Donna Crawford and Maureen McNally. Esther was predeceased by her parents, by her beloved sister Jean Burak, and by many special friends.

We are grateful for the compassionate care provided by the staff of Foothills Hospital, Unit 54 over the last several days. Special thanks to Jasmine, Chelsea, Debra, Melissa and Van and to Dr. W.J. Mayhew, whose moustache Esther greatly admired.


In living memory of Esther McBean, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY, AB, T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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  1. Dear Ken and Family,
    So truly sorry to hear of your Moms passing. We had a lot of good laughs and much fun golfing over at the Elks club..
    Take care
    June Phythian and Jona Way

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