It is with profound sadness, but also much rejoicing that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Thelma Grace MacDonald (née Hayes) from her earthly home to her heavenly home. Mom passed away Friday, May 10, 2019 at the age of 95 years with her family by her side at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, SK.
Thelma leaves to cherish her memory her children Betty Mae (Brent) Leavins of Elrose, SK and family Bobby (Courtney), Vayda, Raina and Layla; Rebecka (Boyd) Bergstrom, Jessica, Cameron and Brooke; Brea (Greg) Friesen, Brandon, Jayse and Carter; Donald (Brenda) MacDonald of Three Hills, AB and family Nathan (Alisha Glemba) and Connor; Josiah (Mariah Gordon-Dyke); Heidi, Bethany, Isajah, Jesula and Sky; Mary (Bob) Montreuil of Rosetown, SK and family Jennelle (Landon) Schindel, Grayson and Brielle; Bobby (Shelby Nisbet); Graham (Nicole Vanderleest); and Chloe (John Dodds); Jacky (John) Weidman of Southfield, Michigan, USA and family Jocelyn, Jennifer, Johnny and Joanna; Bob (Chris) MacDonald of Elrose, SK and family Iain (Shelby); Curtis, Anna and Cameron; sisters Florence Jackson of Saskatoon, SK, Alice Youngs of Saskatoon, SK, Dorothy (Ken) Robertson of Victoria, BC and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband Bob in 1988, parents Maurice and Liliah (née Anderson) Hayes, father and mother-in-law Dan and May (née Wiltse) MacDonald, sister Margaret Palmer, brothers Gordon, Bill, Dick, Percy and Ross, brothers and sisters-in-law John Palmer, Harry Jackson, Jack MacDonald, Clare Youngs, Phyllis Hayes and Laviah Hayes and great-niece Justine Potratz.
Mom was born on June 27, 1923 in the Eatonia Hospital to Maurice and Lilah Hayes of Laporte, SK. She was the third oldest of ten children. She grew up in the Great Depression but like many of her generation spoke mostly of the fun they had.
She attended Bailey School, only a mile from their home and took her high schooling in Eatonia by working to earn her room and board. Mom went to Normal School in Saskatoon in about 1941 and from there taught for ten years in Cornfield, south of Eatonia, Kindersley, Coleville and Loreburn before coming to Elrose in 1950. This is where she met her “gentle, blue-eyed Bob”, the love of her life – thus, settling in this community. Mom loved teaching because she loved kids, we found a note among her things that read: “A teacher…takes a hand…opens a mind…and touches a heart”. Mom took many hands, opened many minds and deeply touched many hearts.
Mom and Dad married on December 20, 1952 and thus began her second career as a farm wife and mother to five children – Betty Mae, Donald, Mary, Jacky and Bobby. Mom and Dad were always hospitable and loved to have friends and neighbors in for coffee or cards. There was always room for one more at the table.
Mom had a simple but profound faith. She believed God was good and that we could trust Him. She was not fearful or a worrier, she was convinced that God would take care of us, it was our place to work and not worry about things we couldn’t control. Mom knew she had the assurance that she could call out to Him in her greatest time of need and that He would hear and care for her. At the age of 75, she expressed a desire to be baptized as an adult, thus making a public confession of her faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. With family and friends standing on the deck of the cabin, she was baptized in the waters of Clearwater Lake.
We, her five children were blessed to have her for as many years as we did and her 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren have experienced her great love, her graciousness, kindness and selflessness.
Mom took up residence at the Elrose Health Centre about 10 years ago and continued loving and caring for others there. We want to acknowledge our great gratitude to those that cared for Mom in her home there.
We will miss her greatly but trust she is rejoicing, reunited with Dad and so many others she loved. We are thankful she was taken “home” gently and that we were able to spend that precious time with her.
A Private Family Interment took place the morning of Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Elrose Cemetery and the Celebration of Her Life took place that afternoon at the Elrose Memorial Hall with Pastor Dan Esau and Pastor Tim Cadieux officiating. Tributes were given by her grandchildren and her son Donald, her grandsons Isajah and Johnny sang “I Can Only Imagine”, Kathy MacDonald was the pianist, Lawrence Edwards and Bob Youngs acted as ushers and Sandra Johnson and Annabelle Colwell tended the register book.
Donations in memory of Thelma may be made to Elrose Health Centre - Auxiliary P.O. Box 100, Elrose, SK. S0L 0Z0 or Elrose Volunteer Ambulance & Fire Department, P.O. Box 122, Elrose, SK. S0L 0Z0.