January 19, 1931 – August 3, 2019
Our Mom was a lady. She was born to parents, Ken and Mable (Everett) McKinnon, younger sister to Bob and older sister to Betty-Ann and Gloria. She was very determined and grew up enjoying the farm life in Murillo, working side by side with her parents, uncles, aunts and cousins and it was there she met her lifelong friends. She regaled us with stories of her youth, sometimes hard but mostly happy times. Many a winters’ day on their way home from school, she and her sisters voices could be heard singing across the snow covered fields. She always said she loved the sound of her mother’s voice when she sang; music remained an important part of our Mom’s life.
She grew to be a beautiful, determined and able young woman and she caught the eye of Jim Armstrong. They were married in 1951 and began their life together in a small apartment in Westfort then moved to both Stevens and Odean following Jim’s work building roads for Abitibi until finally settling on Broadway Avenue in Vickers Heights. Together, they had six children Kenneth, Thomas, Margaret Ann, Robert, Ronald and Betty-Ann. Mom was a tireless worker and welcomed all house guests at the drop of a hat. She always had the coffee on and was ready for a visit. When Jim sadly passed away in 1968, Mom stayed strong, remained the head of her house and was so grateful for help provided by uncles, aunts, family and friends.
In 1970, she married Dale Scott and had one final child, Shannon. She and Dad were the picture of love. Mom instilled in all of us the importance of work and play – she had an amazing imagination, was a great prankster and loved to laugh. She would start water fights in the summer and always have hot chocolate and toast ready for us after school in the winter. Many nights were spent in the living room where she would play the piano and sing and encourage us to join in. We will all remember her beautiful voice.
When the kids had all moved out, Mom and Dad sold the family home to our brother Tom and his family, and moved to Nanaimo, where they stayed until their return to Thunder Bay to help care for Dad’s elderly mom. When Dad passed away in 2006, Mom eventually moved back to Nanaimo where she stayed until her last days.
Along with all those children came grandchildren, who she so cherished. All of “Grammy’s” grandchildren are familiar with the most amazing stories that she would tell as she cuddled them on her knee – giving all the characters different voices; or going for walks, looking at every flower, bird, tree and rock – everything had the possibility of a story. She was also blessed with great-grandchildren and she adored each and every one of them – encouraging their imaginations, singing, playing trucks, reading books, telling stories and just listening to them. Our sister Betty-Ann said, “growing up with Mom as our Mom, we always had to share her with everyone” and these words say it all. Mom was first to lend a hand, always had a kind word and encouraged all she met. She had this ability to make every single person she met, feel like they were the most important person in her life. She was a sparkling example of dignity, grace and love and helped us become capable, self-confident adults. Her family was the most important thing in her life and we all felt it.
In the last days of Mom’s life, she was blessed to be able to speak to all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her sister Gloria and some wonderful nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was able to say good-bye, give us a smile and comfort us. She got strength from her strong faith as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses; she believed there were better things to come and she was looking forward to all of it.
Mom, you were our champion, keeper of secrets, teacher of lessons and example of kindness and love. We will aspire to be kind to each other and our neighbours, just like you.
Mom will be lovingly missed by her sister, Gloria Ross; brother-in-law, David Oja, children; Ken (Mary-Anne) Armstrong, Tom (Jo-Anne) Armstrong, Margaret Ann (Doug) McGlenen, Bob (Wendy) Scott, Ron (Wanda McNeil) Scott, Betty-Ann (Waylon) Jolly and Shannon (Doug Fletcher) Scott; grandchildren, Joseph (Alicia) Scott, Kevin Armstrong, Erin (Paul) Gardiner, Travis (Breanne) Armstrong, Leslie (Dustin) Dziver, Kerri-Anne (Lloyd) Stansell, Cody (Alicia) Scott, Shane Scott; 15 great-grandchildren, and her nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
To send a condolence to the family please visit www.yatesmemorial.ca
Yates Memorial Services, 250-248-5859.
“Lives Cherished and Celebrated”
Yates Memorial Services
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