2011-07-30 Memorial Service

After a year, we realized that my parents were not returning. We organized a memorial service to be held in the historic St. Albert Church on July 30, 2011. This date would have been my parents 59th anniversary.

The public was invited, and many people attended – offering their love and support. These excellent photographs were taken by Selena.

Eulogy by Nicole Walshe

My name is Nicole Walshe and I am the eldest grand daughter of Lyle and Marie McCann.

 I have the honour of speaking today about my grandparents lives.

I’d like to begin by thanking everyone for coming today. Your love and support means so much to the family. I know Grandma and Grandpa would be humbled seeing this church full of people.

Lyle and Marie had three children: Bret, Lance and Trudy.

They had five grandchildren: Brett, Nicole, Russell, Mika and Morgan

And two great grandchildren: Benson and Chantelle.

Both Lyle and Marie were born in rural Alberta.

Lyle was born at home on their farm near Red Deer, Alberta on August 24, 1931 to Tom and Estella McCann. He had three brothers: Grant, Jack, and Clifford. He had two sisters: Maxine and Lois.

Marie was born in Torrington, Alberta on October 15, 1932 to Aim-l and Anna Waltz. She had four sisters: Alvina, Alice, Lydia and Verna. She had two brothers: Victor and Don.

Lyle and Marie were married July 30, 1952 in Torrington, Alberta. In the early years of their marriage they ran a local country store near Innisfail. Both Bret and Lance were born there. Then they moved to Edmonton where they had Trudy. It was in the mid 60’s when they moved to the community of St. Albert and they lived in the same home in Grandin for the rest of their days. Their neighbours became close friends over the past 40 years.

Lyle was a long-haul trucker for most of his career. He travelled to places throughout Alberta, British Columbia and North America. He loved the serenity of driving across the beautiful Canadian countryside.

 Marie was a proud stay at home Mom who enjoyed gardening and floral arranging. Her passion was raising her three children. 

 In their later years, Lyle & Marie loved camping in their motor home. For many years, they would travel to the United States for the winters. They also loved to curl and Grandpa loved to play a game of pool while Grandma would bake a Saskatoon pie in the cooler months.  In the summer, they loved fishing and attending country music festivals.  Both Grandma and Grandpa loved nature and were proud Albertans who knew so much about the birds, plants, trees, and wildlife in the province.

I’d like to share with you all some lyrics from a song that I’ve listened to that have helped me to cope with the disappearance of Grandma and Grandpa.

Look down – the ground below is crumbling
Look up – the stars are all exploding

It’s the last day on earth
In my dreams
It’s the end of the world
And you’ve come back to me
In my dreams

Between the dust and debris
There’s a light surrounding you and me

And you hold me closer than I can ever remember being held
I’m not afraid to sleep now, if we can stay like this

In my head I repeat our conversations
Over and over til they feel like hallucinations
You know me – I love to lose my mind
And every time anybody speaks your name I still feel the same
I ache, I ache, I ache inside

If it were the last day on earth and I could meet Grandma and Grandpa again, I would want to say thank you to them for everything they taught me.

I’d thank Grandpa for teaching me to listen. Grandpa told the best stories. You could sit for hours and learn so much. He was such an intelligent and humorous man who captured the attention of those who were lucky enough to listen.

I’d thank Grandpa for teaching me the importance of kindness. Grandpa had such a gentle nature and made everyone in his presence feel special and important. 

Grandpa- I miss your warm eyes, your caring words and your compassionate smile. I will always remember you sitting in your chair by the fireplace, reading a newspaper in your cardigan and slippers. You were a true gentleman whose chivalry and polite manner will never be forgotten.

I’d thank Grandma for teaching me about really good food.  Grandma made the most delicious dinners and sweetest desserts that Grandpa adored so much. I will treasure and share your incredible recipes with family and friends and proudly tell them it was made from your heart.

I’d thank Grandma for teaching me the beauty of one’s home. Grandma’s home was always impeccably presented with a comforting and welcoming presence. It was a place you always wanted to be in and you always felt relaxed in.

Grandma, I will miss your infectious laughter, your legendary shoulder massages, and your warm good byes. I will always remember you dressed with such class, in your beautiful earrings, hair done, high heels and scarves. You will always be a lady of style and grace in our hearts.

I’d thank both of you for teaching me the importance of a healthy marriage. The way you adored one another. Grandpa was besought with Grandma and she felt the same of him. They always called eachother terms of endearment, most commonly “Darling”.

When Grandpa would come home from a trip, Grandma would draw him a long bath and they would sit and talk and simply be together. Thank you for teaching me that being in love is the foundation for a happy family.

Today would have been your 59th wedding anniversary. In my heart I can imagine you holding each others’ hands as you always so fondly did.

Since your departure, you are still teaching me the importance of family.

If I could see you again Grandma and Grandpa, I would thank you for being such inspirational grandparents. I would tell you that you will always be in my everyday.

In my heart

and in the memories of my mind. I will tell my daughter Chantelle all about you

and you will live on

within all of us

forever.

Eulogy by Russell McCann

Good Morning Everyone, my name is Russell Lyle McCann, the third grandchild of Lyle and Marie and this is my sister Mika Irene McCann.

They lived a remarkable life that inspired us greatly. We are here to commemorate the good things that my grandparents spread throughout their lives. My grandparents were special, and as we grew up amongst them, they took time to show us the beautiful things in life. Such as a squirrel nibbling on dinner, or the stillness of Ghost Lake as the light of the sun reflected of its silent and peaceful water. My first fish caught was with my grandparents; it was a moment of great pride! We have lots of memories with my grandparents, enough to ramble all day long, but maybe some other time.

When I and my sister were little, going to our grandparent’s house was a very special event. Whether it was just for a cup of tea, or Thanksgiving Dinner, Grandma and Grandpa always treated us with great stories and warm hospitality. We always looked forward to Grandma’s cooking, she was superb in the kitchen. Her pies were my absolute favourite! When I was old enough Grandpa taught me the arts of pool and cribbage. Pool was a little one sided as Grandpa had been playing for many years, but cribbage was more of an equal game. Cribbage never got boring with him; it was always a new experience ending with a smile and a high five. My grandparents lived by the rules, always looking fancy and on time. It was a blessing having them as my own grandparents, as others have that unique and special bond between theirs.

A year and 2 months ago, my grandparents, my family, also Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bret, we are all right here in the Sacred house of God. We were here that day because I was lucky enough to be finishing Grade Nine, and a Graduation Ceremony was being held here in our class’ honour. That’s the day i received my last gift from my grandparents, it’s a pair of gleaming cufflinks and that is my first  pair. I am proud of wearing them today, and for the next many years of my life, I will treasure and keep these safely in my possession. I will always cherish that evening. When I was growing up, grandma was always there to watch over me, although I forget parts of it. It is a warm feeling to know she was my guardian.

Our grandparents never failed to show up to my sister’s dance recitals, and that’s been going on for 10 years! Our last day with my grandparents is very vivid In my mind, it is the day my grandparents were looking to buy a new SUV from Ford in North Edmonton. That day will stand brightly in my head, and we are glad that there are no regrets after their never ending departure. Before we parted for the last time, we had planned for a fishing trip. It has been a few years since my last trip out to Ghost Lake, and I was excited to go on another trip with them. We wouldn’t stop talking about it, making plans for the 25th of July 2010, headed north to make another humble trip to Ghost Lake.

 It’s a shame that my grandparents were unable to telI me most of their life stories, while I am too young to reminisce the “old days”. While my grandparents watch over me, I plan to live along the good path, keeping them proud and warm in my heart. Their presence was a blessing, and I wish we could have had coffee ‘n doughnuts for years to come, but for the present time, I will have to have strong faith and dreams of anything I please with them.

I’ll miss their perspective and their gentle humour, their surprising depth and scope of their knowledge and the warmth they extended to everyone they met. I’II miss my grandparents dearly and I will treasure their memories forever. I love you grandma and grandpa!

Thank you aIl for coming out, it means a lot to me and my family.