May 22, 1934 – Vilna, Alberta
September 6, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta
A lifelong Albertan, Gertrude (Trudie) McLaren was born in Vilna, Alberta and grew up with three sisters on the family farm in Ashmont, Northern Alberta. She moved to Edmonton to complete a BA in History (with distinction) at the University of Alberta before traveling to Seattle to complete a Master of Library Science (MSc) from the University of Washington.
Trudie worked at several public libraries in Edmonton before joining the University of Alberta Archives as a Librarian in 1968, then Assistant University Archivist in 1974. She also served in various capacities, including Secretary, Vice-President and Board Member at Large, for provincial, national and U.S. archive organizations, in addition to teaching workshops and giving lectures on archive management.
While working, and after retiring in 1995, Trudie was a Contract Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta and an active member of – and volunteer for – several professional organizations, including the CFUW and HIV Edmonton. The latter created the Trudie McLaren Volunteer Award of Excellence, which was awarded to Trudie in 2006 for her contributions over fourteen years as the organization’s volunteer archivist and has been presented to worthy recipients annually ever since.
Throughout her life, her love of history, art and music – plus natural curiosity – influenced many of her journeys around the world, which included trips to China, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Japan, Italy, Greece, Ireland, England, Czechoslovakia and, closer to home, Oregon and Alaska in the U.S. and the Yukon, Vancouver Island and the Maritimes in Canada.
Her travels also provided her with an extensive book and art collection, which she supplemented by supporting local, provincial and Canadian artists and authors.
She was also a strong advocate for the Garneau Community Association, where she lived for more than fifty years, frequently attending debates at Edmonton’s City Hall on contentious issues facing her community.
And you can’t talk about Trudie without mentioning her love of cats and the many rescues and adoptees she took into her home over the years, providing them with a safe and pleasant environment throughout their lives.
When Trudie’s health affected her ability to remain in her home, she moved to The Ashbourne, an Assisted Living facility in the Garneau community in Edmonton. In 2017, her health declined to the point where she needed extended care, and she was moved to Calgary to be closer to her immediate family caregivers. On September 6, 2018, she passed away peacefully in her sleep, with her sister Joan by her side.
She leaves behind her sisters, Joan Doyle and Carole Hourigan and their husbands, Thomas Doyle and Robert Hourigan; nieces and nephews Rowena, Joanne and Connor Doyle (Calgary), Mary Doyle (Edmonton), and Chris and Rob Hourigan (Surrey and Pitt Meadows); and great-nieces and nephews, Anthony Doyle (Calgary), Doyle and Jasper Holloway (Edmonton), Ryan Hourigan (Vancouver), Isabelle and Angeline Doyle (Calgary), and Dylan and Markus Hourigan (Fort McMurray & Pitt Meadows).
Trudie was predeceased by her parents, Dorothea (nee Bertnik) and James Bloor, her sister Mildred Doyle, brother-in-law Joseph Doyle, and her nephew Chris’s wife, Daniela Hourigan.
Not to be forgotten are her numerous friends, colleagues and former classmates from around the world, most of whom Trudie has known for more than thirty years.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Anthony Catholic Parish (10661 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB) on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 1:00 p.m., with a reception to follow. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
The family would like to thank the medical, care attendant and administrative staff in the Supportive Living and Long-Term Care units at Millrise Seniors Village in Calgary and at The Ashbourne Assisted Living apartments in Edmonton; R & R Seniors Care; and the doctors, specialists and staff in Alberta Health Services who managed Trudie’s care in both cities.
In living memory of Trudie McLaren, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences