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McBRIDE, Grace Minett

May 25, 1923 – Milo, Alberta
June 16, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Our Mom, and Mama, as she was called by her grandchildren and great grandchildren, passed away on June 16, 2018 at the age of 95 years.

Grace’s story began on the family homestead near Milo, Alberta on May 25th 1923. Her parents were Albert and Helena Bushell who had six other children, sons Jack and Albert and daughters, Dorothy, Lena, Nellie and Mary.
Mom had a happy childhood although life was tough on the farm, with no running water, phone or electricity. After completing grade 10, she moved to Calgary and started working as a waitress. In 1941 she answered a recruiting call to work in an ammunitions plant in Toronto as part of her contribution to the war effort. When she returned, she fell in love with Robert (Bob) James and they married in 1944. The child bearing years started soon afterwards and Grace and Bob produced a brood of five.
Grace, seeking some sanity away from her kids, started working in the book department at the Hudson Bay Company in the mid 50’s. It wasn’t long before she was recruited by Alberta Book and Novelty where she managed the book department, growing annual revenues from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars before she retired in 1976.
While Grace and Bob divorced in 1964 they remained friends until Bob passed away in 1995. Grace met Ralph Hall in the late 60’s and they were great companions until Ralph passed away in 1999. At the age of 83, Mom married Don McBride. The pair had 7 wonderful years together visiting with their many friends and travelling around Alberta exploring heritage sites until Don also sadly passed away in 2012.
Mom was tenacious in her pursuit of knowledge. She was proud of the fact she started using a computer when she was in her late 50’s and continued to do so until her eyes failed her in her 90’s. She loved to travel and there were cruises through the Panama, to Alaska and from New York to Quebec City, trips to England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and parts of Canada and the US.
She had many artistic talents and used them to create special memories for her family. Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren and there was nothing she would rather do then have a “tea party”, create a special birthday cake or cards, sew pajamas, or make a doll or stuffed bear.
Mom wrote poetry and you were lucky if you were a recipient of one of those poems. She played the organ and harmonica by ear as she had never been taught to read music. She had a love for gardening and for many years recreated the English country side in her back yard. She was passionate about Christmas and wanted her Christmas village set up earlier every year. Just a few weeks ago she asked whether we should start thinking about pulling the decorations out of the closet.
Mom’s feistiness and humor served her well throughout life. She was a model of strong will and sheer determination right up until the end of her story here on earth. Mom had a great life to look back on and loved to reflect on how much the world had changed in her lifetime.

We love you and miss you Mom.
Grace is survived by her sons, Gord (Shelley) James, Ron (Karla) James, Don (Karen) James, Rick (Susanne) James, her daughter Marilyn (Joe) Pfaefflin, her daughter-in-law Judy James, 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, her brother Albert Bushell, her sister-in-law Ellen Vause and numerous very special nieces and nephews.

A private celebration of Grace’s life will be held at a later date. Grace asks that in lieu of flowers or memorial tributes you do an unexpected act of kindness for some less fortunate soul. Condolences may be forwarded through

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Condolence Messages

  1. T, L, & K Lawson

    We were sorry to read of Grace’s passing. We always enjoyed our visits with her and will cherish those memories. Sincere sympathy to all the family.

    Tim, Lois & Kirsten Lawson

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