Project Description

Lynn: Joan Cecily
March 5, 1928 ~ Feb. 19, 2020

Joan Cecily Lynn (nee McKenzie), of South Country Village in Medicine Hat, died February 19, 2020, at the age of 91 years, just 15 days shy of her 92nd birthday. Joan was born March 5, 1928, in Edmonton, to Ralph and Gladys McKenzie, the eldest of six siblings.

Joan was only 7 years old when her parents made the trek over the Rocky Mountains to BC—the land of milk and honey—in search of a better life. The family settled in Lumby, just outside of Vernon and near Rollings Lake. Joan went to school in Lumby until she finished Grade 9. She then went to work at The Bay in Victoria when she was just 16 and lived with her Aunty Eva. In the fall of 1949, Joan went to work as a nanny for the Hawkings family in Bentley, Alta. She loved children and enjoyed being part of this busy family. Joan’s younger brother, David McKenzie, answered an ad in the Western Producer and went to work on a farm south of Youngstown. The ad had been placed by a farmer from Youngstown named Pete, and he was looking for a “good, reliable farmhand. Women need not apply.” Joan was close to her younger brother Dave and she longed for a visit. She went to Youngstown to see him and met Pete for the first time in 1951. Joan loved stories about the cowboy way of life and wanted to meet a real cowboy. It was love at first sight and the rest is history.

Joan worked for the Hawkings family right up until she and Pete got married May 17, 1952, in Rimbey at the Church of the Nazarene.

Life on the farm at Youngstown and the flatness of the Prairies took some getting used to for Joan. Gone were the mountains, lakes and trees. She adapted to farm life and planted a big garden and lovely flower beds. Joan grew lots of tropical plants indoors as well. She had a natural green thumb and loved working in the garden.

Joan and Pete’s family grew when a son Art joined the family in 1960 and a daughter Betty in 1963.

Joan was always a bit unsettled around some of the larger animals. Gathering the eggs were usually reserved for Art or Betty as part of their chores, but there were times Joan had to do the task herself. Carrying the egg pail she made her way to the chicken house. She had to pass through the barnyard and if the horses were up near the barn, they would see her with the pail. The horses were sure she had a tasty treat for them and would run to her. This scared Joan and she would run too. She could not muster the bravery to stop, face these ‘ferocious’ horses and let them look in her pail. Needless to say, both she and the horses were out of breath by the time she got over the fence!

She was active in her church and loved going to the Youngstown Gospel Chapel for services. She taught Sunday school in the early years while Art and Betty were still quite young. She also was part of the Woman’s Institute in Youngstown and enjoyed the ladies’ get-togethers.

A talented seamstress Joan loved to sew and quilt. She was also an amazing baker and enjoyed creating tasty treats for her family. Joan enjoyed her trips to B.C. to stay in touch and visit family.

Joan and Pete stayed on the farm until 1984 when Pete’s health started to fail. They moved to Medicine Hat that same year enjoying their time in the city. Joan knew the bus routes and was not afraid to hop on the bus and spend a day looking through some of her favourite thrift stores. She always came home with some little treasure. One time, she was so excited to find some records and she purchased about 10 of them for a quarter each. It was not until she got home that it dawned on her she no longer had a record player to play her newfound vinyl. Pete and Joan attended the Glenview Church of the Nazarene in Medicine Hat and it was not until Pete had a major stroke in 2002, that she became part of South Country Village. It is here that she began to attend chapel at South Country and met the Chaplain, Bob Findley. Joan was a devout Christian and Bob was someone she came to appreciate so much as she watched him minister tirelessly to the needs of the elderly. Joan settled in a suite at South Country to be close to Pete who was now in continuing care and she would spend each day with him to see to his needs. Her devotion to him was amazing.

After Pete’s death in 2004, she had made so many friends at South Country, that she decided to stay. She moved through the various buildings as she entered each new stage of ageing. She made many friends during her 18 years there. She loved her friends and appreciated all the hard-working staff. Joan always wanted to write and publish her stories. That dream was realized in 2013 when she published her only book—a short story of leaving Alberta and travelling over the mountains with her parents as they headed to B.C.

Joan was a strong Christian woman who believed in treating people with kindness. She found that to be so much more positive than criticism. She lived her life in a humble, gentle and simple way. She was a person who prayed for her family and those in distress. She had a strong faith and has passed that on to her children. While at South Country, she enjoyed lots of outings, attending church, meals, and trips and seeing family when they would visit.

Joan was predeceased by her parents Ralph and Gladys McKenzie; her younger brother David and by her beloved cowboyPete. Those left to mourn her death are her son Art (Ronalea) Lynn of Redcliff; daughter Betty (Dell) Benson of Monarch; grandsons Edward of Medicine Hat and Jonathan (Danielle) of Edmonton; step-grandchildren Jered and Jesse of Medicine Hat, Kurtis of Nobleford and Carson (Vanessa) Benson of Acadia Valley. Joan has seven great-grandchildren and even though her memory began to fail her in her last years as dementia started to cloud her memories, she had such a love for all of her family, immediate and extended. She believed they were all precious in her eyes and the eyes of her Lord. She is also survived by her sisters Dora (Bob) Davidson of Vernon, B.C. and Jean (Ken {deceased}) Egge of Kelvington, SK.; brothers Doug (Janice) of Armstrong, B.C. and Mike (Geri) of Salmon Arm, B.C. and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, great-nephews and great-nieces.

Joan will be sorrowfully missed by her family, but we take hope in knowing the promises of our Father in Heaven that we will see her again.

Funeral Service was held at the Wurfel Auditorium, Medicine Hat February 25 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Bob Findley officiating.

A Service will be held at the Youngstown Gospel Chapel, 322 – 3 Avenue SE, Youngstown February 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Interment will follow in the Youngstown Cemetery.

Condolences may be expressed by visiting www.cooksouthland.com ) Honoured to serve the family is Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, Medicine Hat and Hanna Funeral Services, Hanna.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made directly to South Country Village, 1720 Bell Street S.W.  Medicine Hat, AB.  T1A 5G1.