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 Irvina Frances “Vina” <I>MacLean</I> Alexander

Irvina Frances “Vina” MacLean Alexander

Pittsburgh, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Death 1 Oct 2001 (aged 93)
Edmonton, Edmonton Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Burial Lethbridge, Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Plot Block 23 lot 11 Grave 59EC
Memorial ID 100339462 · View Source
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My Mother was born in Kingston Ontario on Dec 3 1907.Her birthstone is the turquoise and we always gave her a large bouquet of giant yellow and white mums for her birthday.
She remembered being close to her Grandparents Daniel and Grace MacLean and talked about the farm and `visits with her grandparents there. She spoke about the kind lady her Grandmother was with her white curly hair and gentle laugh. It seemed she was a great Mother and Grandmother. Mom always had a fondness for Ontario and spoke of it as God's Country with all its beautiful trees, especially in the fall with all the beautiful colored leaves and of course all the lakes and rivers. I remember her taking a train ride back there when I was about 18. I came down to stay with my Father to keep him company in her absence but I wish she had included me on this excursion because I know she met Aunt Emma and a lot of other relations and those memories would be precious now.

The MacLean family lived for around 5 years in a stone house on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. It was a new home completely furnished by Maude Hutton's parents. It had an upstairs and both floors had hardwood flooring. This is where my Mother was born. Apparently it was on property owned by Daniel MacLean her Grandfather. And I quote her from the Book Water Works Wonders in which she wrote...`
`Five years ago I had the good fortune to visit my birth home. My grandfather's farm had just been declared an historic property. I could hardly believe the wonderful condition it stands in today. Even the barns were in excellent condition. My Grandfather had a cheese factory and five sons and not one of them was interested in working in a cheese factory.
After spending a few years on the farm, Frank MacLean her father, wanted a change so he decided to sell the farm and move west.The family spent a year in Kingston before their great trek west where Mary Elizabeth Maude had many prosperous brothers living.
Around the time that she was school age Mom and the family `moved to the RedCliff area in South eastern Alberta.

By then Mom was 6 years old and she had a younger brother Ernest Daniel 4 named after his Grandfather and a younger sister Mary Etta Grace a baby, named after her Mother and Grandmother and her Aunt Nettie. Speaking of names, Irvina is a very different name and I often wondered where it came from but if I look back through anestors, surprisingly this name pops up quite often.

In Redcliff in 1914 they witnessed a cyclone which did a lot of damage but thankfully they only suffered broken windows to their home.
Her father became a house builder and built several properties but unfortunately rents declined and this did not prove a very prosperous thing.Next her father got a job
in a steel rolling mill. It was a well paying job but a hot and dangerous one.
On Feb 7th 1920 my Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Maude had her last child a son Orton Alvin MacLean. Mother says the winter was very cold but they stayed cozy with gas heat and gas lights. After this Frank MacLean operated a small dairy farm. Finally after a few years another decision had to be made either expand the dairy herd or sell it.So he decided to move the herd of cattle to the Lethbridge area and continued to live and work in that area until his retirement and death in 1956.
During that time my Mother studied to be a piano teacher. She attended Mount Royal College in Calgary and got her degree in music and then she taught piano often riding on horseback to her pupils. To get enough money for this degree she worked the summers in Waterton National Park at in the kitchen of The Prince of Wales Hotel making salads. In 1939 she married Percy Alexander who she had met at dances in the River Junction Area south of the city where he farmed together with his brother Herman. Mom then became a farm wife but she was constantly in the city doing her charity work. She served the Lethbridge Hospital Auxillary for over 60 years. She was also an Eastern Star Lodge Member and got her life pin for work with the United Church Women. She led a CGIT group at the church and was co founder of a 4H Sewing Club beside being an avid bridge player and a member of our local club the Fort Whoop Up Women. She accompanied the Southminster Senior Girls Choir^(of which I was a member) on journeys to Calgary for competitions in the Kiwanis Musical Festival. Besides this she was an excellent seamstress cook and baker.
My parents sold the farm in 1966 and moved into Lethbridge where Mom continued her charity work. During that period my parents did a lot of travelling to the USA, Europe, China Japan, Indonesia, Philipine Is. etc and the Caribbean. They had many cruises and really enjoyed travelling.
My Dad passed in 1982 but Mom continued to live on her own, It wasn`t until 1995 that we decided we should move her to Edmonton where eventually she found seniors accomodation. She passed away in a nursing home on October 1 2001.
In conclusion I can say that my Mother was loving and kind but she was determined, disciplined and in control of her life. She was greatful for life`s good fortune and she taught me to be the same. She lived by a set of values and principles from which she never deviated. When she gave advice and she often did, it was good solid information pointing you in the right direction though sometimes as a teen I could not always see it her way. But now I appreciate even more all the good things she did for me and the sacrifices she made. I miss you Mom... we had fun on that cruise together in 1991 and I miss all the shopping trips and the lunches out and all the Christmas Dinners and most of all your love and support. Love you always Mom.

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  • Originally Created by: Bear Hugs
  • Added: 7 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100339462
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Irvina Frances “Vina” MacLean Alexander (3 Dec 1907–1 Oct 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100339462, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge, Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta, Canada ; Maintained by MARILYN PETERSON NORRIS (contributor 47917792) .