Obituary of Ivy MacDonald
Roseline Ivy (née Phelps) MacDonald
December 7, 1930, to June 19, 2022
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear Roseline Ivy (Ivy) MacDonald on June 19, 2022. The youngest of four children, Ivy was born to Flora and Archie Phelps on December 7, 1930. She grew up on the family’s farm in the Steep Creek district and attended Sask. Forks School. When her father left in 1939, Ivy grew very close to her uncles, John and Donald McCuaig, who became beloved father figures to her.
As the youngest of her family, Ivy was the little sister who loved to sing, draw, sew and help sort the mail at Uncle John’s post office. She was a bright student who enjoyed her studies and loved taking part in all of the concerts, presentations and sports events at school. She met several of her dearest friends when she was very young – including Mary (Given) Byrne, who was an integral part of Ivy’s entire life. Ivy spent a year in Canwood where she completed Grade 11 while living with her sister Eva who was working at the town’s bank. The sisters boarded with the Vaughan family, and Ivy enjoyed many happy times curling, attending dances and helping in the Vaughan butcher shop.
When World War II ended and the local veterans returned, Ivy caught the eye of her brother’s best friend, Ken MacDonald. Once the couple began dating, Charlie’s lifelong friend turned out to be the love of Ivy’s life. The couple were married in Steep Creek United Church on June 17, 1949, a day that Ivy recalled in vivid detail. Ivy and Ken’s family filled the church with wild roses on the eve of their wedding, and when they opened the doors in the morning, the heavenly scent of roses welcomed everyone to the couple’s happy day. Ivy never forgot that beautiful memory.
Ken and Ivy moved to their first home, a granary situated on a quarter of land just a mile away from Ken’s parents. One year later they began building a house as well as a family. Their first child Donna was born in October 1950 and was followed by Lynne in 1952, Kenneth John in 1955, Cameron in 1958, Neil in 1963 and Myrna (their “Centennial Project”) in 1967. As her family grew, Mom developed a close relationship with her parents-in-law, John and Lily. Granny and Grandpa MacDonald played an integral role in everyone’s lives. Mom’s mother Flora also came to live with the family in 1955, and she stayed for 27 years. Over the years Mom provided loving care and support to all the grandparents, and her children learned to respect and cherish them through her example.
On many Sunday mornings in the summer, Mom would load Granny Phelps and the kids into the car, pick up Granny MacDonald and her neighbour Mary Grassick on the way, and then head to the little white church for the service. Mom loved singing the hymns and teaching them to her kids. She particularly enjoyed teaching Sunday School with her sister-in-law Pat Phelps.
Mom spent hours telling us stories, teaching us to dance, helping us with school projects and participating in school clubs and events. She relished her life as a farm wife and mother, and we all benefited from her devotion to family. She was always happy to put the kettle on when she heard a vehicle drive into the yard. For many summers, our cousins from Edmonton came to stay for a couple of weeks, and mom would happily feed us all and organize games of prisoner’s base, lemonade, kick the can or ante-over.
When the grandchildren began to arrive in the mid-1970s, Mom was overjoyed to play with babies again. She loved to babysit, and she considered every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be a special gift. She could calm crying kids with a bath or a song, and they could always count on her for special treats — pudding with cream and sprinkles was a favourite. As the grandchildren grew up and moved away, she’d prepare care packages of soup, buns, cookies and jam for them to take home.
When Mom and Dad moved to Prince Albert in 1982, they joined the bowling league, took dance lessons and made many new friends. Mom became skilled at quilting and shared many laughs with her friend Fern Lamb as they worked on their projects. Mom enjoyed making quilts for all the new babies, and she was always so pleased to receive a thank you accompanied by a photo of a newborn sleeping on one of her creations. She also took ceramics classes, and she crocheted many intricate doilies and tablecloths.
A highlight for Mom and Dad was a trip to Scotland and England in 2003. They spent nearly a month touring the country with Dad’s cousins as they visited the places that they had heard so much about. Mom fulfilled her lifelong wish to see Granny Phelps’ birthplace in Kintyre, Argyllshire, while both Mom and Dad had the chance to walk the same streets as Grandpa MacDonald in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
When Dad’s health began to fail in 2003, Mom dedicated her life to caring for him and keeping him comfortable. Although their lives changed dramatically, Mom was always happy to serve tea and cookies to anyone who stopped for a visit. They were a devoted couple, and they made the best of their last days together. They celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary together in 2005 before Dad died in April 2006.
Even after Dad’s passing, Mom managed to remain optimistic and cheerful. She began scrapbooking and enjoyed reminiscing about happier times as she sorted through the old family pictures and made personalized albums for her children. Mom loved tending to her flowers, and she looked forward to her annual treks to greenhouses with her daughters and daughters-in-law to find new plant combinations for her pots. Mom’s grandson Donovan was a bright light as he helped her through that first year alone. Donovan lived with her while working and going to school, and Mom loved cooking and caring for him and sharing a nightly ice cream cone with him while they watched television together.
Our family’s loyal friend Sandy Spademan was also someone who brightened Mom’s days. She welcomed his daily visits for breakfast — a chance for him to check on her and make sure that she took her morning pills while he updated her on the latest news and maintained her house and yard.
Minister Nora Vedress and the congregation at Calvary United Church provided comfort and friendship for Mom as well. Donna and Donnie ensured that Mom attended the Sunday services and church functions, and she particularly enjoyed the Christmas concerts and baptism Sundays.
When her son Neil died of cancer in 2017, Mom grieved for her daughter-in-law Colleen and their young family. Losing Neil was a tremendous blow. Ivy’s deep faith in God and her church community helped her to find peace during such a sad time. In the past few years, one of her joys was to visit Neil and Colleen’s acreage — she loved to see their kids and to marvel at how much Neil’s trees had grown since she had last been there.
As Mom’s sight and mobility problems grew, she was comforted by the presence of her faithful grey kitty Fiona. In December 2021, Mom found a new owner for Fiona and moved to Good Shepherd Villas. Although she was sad to leave her home, Mom accepted her new life with optimism and grace. She particularly enjoyed the entertainment — a chance for her to sing those old songs and hymns that she loved so much. We are grateful for the genuine kindness of the staff at Good Shepherd who treated her with such dignity and compassion.
Mom appreciated every visitor who came to see her, and she particularly enjoyed her Saturdays with Myrna who always found fun ways to pass the day. Mom’s last outing was to the family farm where she had a chance to see all the new calves as she rode on the ATV alongside Cameron.
As we look back on a life well lived, we give thanks for the love and devotion of our wonderful, dear mother. We always knew that Mom loved us — we were so very lucky!
Mom leaves behind so many to mourn the loss of her life and love: her children Donna (Don) Thorsen, Lynne (Lenny) Gunville, Ken John (Cindy) MacDonald, Cameron (Anita) MacDonald, Colleen MacDonald and Myrna (Scott) MacDonald Ridley; her 16 grandchildren Scott (Cindy) Wright, Tobin (Emily) Wright, Cheralyn Thorsen, Carlee Thorsen (Steve Dowler), Kirstie (Evan) Lindsay, Korey (Nicole) MacDonald, Darcy (Robyn) MacDonald, Brennan (Allison) MacDonald, Jeffrey (Stephanie) MacDonald, Shawn (Amy) MacDonald, Donovan (Hilary) MacDonald, Ceilidh MacDonald, Nolan MacDonald (Tori Neuman), Reilly MacDonald (Jacey Schopp), Keenan MacDonald and Norah Ridley; her 25 great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law Rose MacDonald; and her many nieces and nephews. Ivy was predeceased by Ken, her husband of 56 years; her son Neil; her mother Flora Phelps; her special uncles Donald and John McCuaig; her parents-in-law John and Lily MacDonald; her siblings Charles (Pat) Phelps, James Phelps and Eva (Chuck) Vaughan; her brother-in-law James MacDonald and sister-in-law Harriet MacDonald; and her lifelong friends Mary and Marvin Byrne.
A celebration of Mom’s life will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2022, at Prince Albert Calvary United Church (114-25th Street East) with Rev. Nora Vedress officiating. The service will be recorded for anyone who is unable to attend. A link will be provided online once the recording is available.
Donations in Ivy’s memory may be made to the Calvary United Church or to the Colleston Cemetery.
To send online condolences, visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home and Crematorium, Marianne Turcotte, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, Sask., 306-763-3322.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ivy MacDonald, please visit Tribute Store