Yvonne Vera Douglas, nee McKenzie, of Strathmore, Alberta passed
peacefully the afternoon of Friday, January 30, 2015. One week later a
memorial service was held at the Strathmore United Church followed by a
reception at the Strathmore Legion. Both events were well attended by friends
and family from across Canada. Here are some family pictures from the reception:
Front: daughter Marcia
& her husband Mike
Back: their daughter
Teren & her partner Duncan
Son Murray & his
Back: Murray & Marilyn's
son Steven & his partner Julie
Front: their children
Joel & Jessica
Murray & Marilyn's
son Layne with his wife Cathy & daughters Audrey in red & Ella
Murray & Marilyn's
daughter Alecia & her partner Adrian
Son James, his daughter
Cayla, his wife Chris, his daughter Keanna & her fiancé Josh
Yvonne's 3 children with
3 of the McKenzie clan, left to right:
Cherie McKenzie, James,
Yvonne`s sister-in-law Helen McKenzie (Cherie's mother)
Marcia, Murray, &
Sandra Epp (Yvonne`s sister)
Uncle Murray Douglas
from Montreal & namesake Murray Douglas
Uncle Murray and
Sisters Cayla & Keanne up close and personal
DOUGLAS, Yvonne Vera (nee McKenzie)
October 21, 1929 – January 30, 2015
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs.
Yvonne Douglas of Strathmore, Alberta at the age of 85 years. Yvonne passed
away peacefully at the Strathmore Hospital with loving family by her side.
Yvonne was predeceased by her husband Elmer in 2004 as well as her three
brothers, Peter, Bruce, and Rowland. She is survived by one sister, Sandra
Epp of Surrey, B.C.; sons Murray (Marilyn) of Calgary and James (Chris)
of Chestermere; daughter Marcia Gutsfeld (Mike) of Strathmore; six grandchildren,
four great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Yvonne was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and spent most of her life on
the family farm near Gleichen, Alberta, contributing to the farming lifestyle
as well as to the rural community. Always willing to do whatever it took,
she also waited tables at Wilsons Coffee Shop over several years and spent
twenty-five years as an on-call matron for the Gleichen RCMP detachment.
She will always be remembered for her love of cats, her willingness
to converse with anyone, and her pleasant, but always determined, nature.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to the Alzheimer Society
of Calgary (201, 222-58 Ave. S.W., Calgary, T2H 2S3) or the Strathmore
Hospital (200 Brent Blvd., Strathmore, T1P 1J9).
Some McKenzie history by brother-in-law
My visit with Yvonne in November 2008 was the most fascinating
I ever had. For the first time she showed me intriguing documents
from her grandfather - his BA & MA diplomas from from my Alma mater
Queen's University! These dated from circa 1885 (around the time my parents
were born). I was surprised to see that, in those days, each Queen's diploma
was signed by the Principal and each of the student’s profs, several of
whom were accomplished people in their field.
The 3rd document was a handwritten letter, on Queen's stationary, from
the Principal of Queen's, written to Yvonne’s grandfather at the time he
was completing his MA. The Principal then was perhaps the most famous Principal
that Queen's ever had - George Grant. The subsequently built 'Grant Hall',
a beautiful building for its architecture, is the signature building on
the Queen’s campus, still used on many occasions. George Grant was a long-time
Principal who really put this young university on its way. As a Queen's
student I went to many dances in Grant Hall, wrote many exams in Grant
Hall, and I graduated on May 15, 1948 in Grant Hall.
This letter by Principal George Grant to Yvonne’s grandfather was clearly
in response to her grandfather having discussed with him what to do after
receiving his MA. It was a long letter, 2 or 3 pages as I recall, in which
Principal Grant discussed the possibility that Yvonne's grandfather was
considering, which was to go to Law School. Interestingly, amusingly, Principal
Grant recommended that he not do this because, he claimed, "Law was getting
Instead, Principal Grant recommended to Yvonne’s grandfather that teaching
was more satisfying career than law.
Yvonne's grandfather was a very influential person in the development
of the Alberta region of the NWT before Alberta was established in 1905.
P.S. The 500 foot long McKenzie railroad bridge across Oldman River
in Fort Macleod, Alberta bears his name.
Yvonne married Elmer November
Elmer & Yvonne in 1997