Obituary of Marion Andrea KELLY (nee Scrymgeour)
June 22, 1945 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
June 4, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta
Marion Andrea Kelly (nee Scrymgeour) of Calgary passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the age of 74 years after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.
Marion was born in Winnipeg to Charlie and Valdine Scrymgeour on June 22, 1945. She shared many happy years in her youth playing piano, sewing, dancing, and participating in church youth activities. She spoke often of her fun summers spent lake-side at Gimli with good friends and family. Soon after Marion graduated from the University of Manitoba, she became recognized for her excellence in public relations initially with Manitoba Hydro and subsequently as a Government Liaison with the Manitoba Garment Industry. Marion moved to Calgary following her marriage to Lorne Kelly in 1971. In Calgary, she continued her career in public relations with Calgary Power, adding her sense of humor to their workplace and often hosting local television programs. During the early years of motherhood, Marion opted to stay at home to raise her girls until they were launched into school. Following, Marion became a Certified Financial Planner and began a second career. Here too, Marion was recognized for her outstanding contribution. Before retirement Marion held the position of Senior Advisor with Money Mentors.
Marion often accepted leadership positions in her volunteer work, including the Home Economics Association, Up to Something Singers, Youth Singers of Calgary, Calgary Aquabelles, Foothills Academy, Calgary Aquamums, Calgary Stampede Kitchen Theatre and her local Church.
Marion is survived by her husband Lorne, her daughters, Andrea (David) McMillin and Michelle (Tyler) Burpee; sister Valdine (Sigfred) Hernes of Norway, brothers, Lyle (Sandra) Scrymgeour and Stephen Scrymgeour (Heather Kuntz); as well as her granddaughters, Isabelle and Gabrielle.
Marion will be long-remembered as a devoted wife, a loving and courageous mother, a beloved sibling and a cherished friend to many.
Marion would have loved to have had friends and family gather together, celebrating her life, however due to the COVID 19 pandemic, a Private Family service will be held. A recorded version of the memorial will be made available on the McInnis and Holloway website following the service. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Marion’s obituary at www.McInnisandHolloway.com.
For those wishing to, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Alzheimer Society of Calgary, 800, 7015 Macleod Trail S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2K6, Telephone: (403)290-0110, www.alzheimercalgary.com or to a charity of one’s choice.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Providence Care Home as well as staff at Home Instead and to St Andrew’s Presbyterian (in particular their Side by Side Program staff and volunteers), for the excellent care that Marion received.
In living memory of Marion Kelly, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD SE, CALGARY, Ab, t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403- 256-9575.
Here are a few stories about Marion that Lorne would like to share
- Marion was an excellent student. She worked hard and liked to be at the top of the class, a position she occupied often. Her Father, Charlie, told the story of the time when she was studying for Convocation Classes. At the end of the first class, the teacher asked if they had any questions. Marion held up her hand, “I have just one; what’s the highest mark you’ve ever given out?” Later, when the marks were tallied, there was a new top mark. Marion’s name was beside it.
- Marion and her sister Valdine were very close. When together, laughter occurred often. There was no better example of this than the day Marion and Valdine visited a self-serve gasoline station, driving my new car. Marion hadn’t realized that the gas cap was hidden behind the rear license plate. When Marion & Val pulled up to the “self-serve” gas station, they didn’t have a clue where to find the gas cap. They began pulling at all parts of the car, the fender, taillight, chrome strips; desperately trying to find the fill cap. That’s when the laughter got out of control. And it wasn’t a muffled laughter; it was hearty, the kind of laughter that made their sides sore and their knees buckling. The lady in the next car, realized what was happening and joining in. What a scene. It was a gift Marion had; she could laugh at herself hardier than anyone else.
- There was a gathering at our church where Marion and her friend Lynn Judd were taking part in a promotional skit. The two of them were at the front of the sanctuary, dressed up in full Beavers costumes. The costumes were dark brown padded coveralls with wide floppy tales at the back. On her head, Marion wore a red and white Canada toque and in her mouth were a set of oversized rabbit’s teeth. Lynn was the “set up gal”, leaving Marion with the punch lines. More than a few of the punch lines were ad-libbed, and they were funny, coming easily, one after another. On that night, if Carol Bernett had been in there, she would have been upstaged by Marion. The whole sanctuary became engulfed in an uproar. She had folks rolling in the aisle with laughter. And she loved it as much as everyone else.
- Marion held many volunteer leadership positions. She was good at it. No one was better organized, and no one made these things more fun than Marion. Her support crew adored her; they loved every minute they had together. For several years Marion chaired the National Synchronized Swimming Competition. Those on her committees told me that Marion made it so much fun, that they were tripping over one another to get in line for the next one. I think that’s the way she’d like to be remembered.
- We were fortunate to find a wonderful care home for Marion. We would visit her often. After one of those visit, Michelle said she wanted to remember her mother when she was in her prime of her life and full of sunshine. Michelle went on to tell me of the time when the two of them were swimming together as AquaMoms. When they approached the admission desk, Marion smiled at the young attendant, joked a bit and then asked about the attendant’s family. Michelle said later, Marion spoke to the attendant as if they were old friends. This same thing happened a couple more times as they made their way to the change room. Marion seemed to be on a first name basis with all the staff and casual workers. It didn’t seem to matter what their station was; Marion treated all of them with respect and showed a genuine interest in them as individuals; as if they were old friends. That was Marion, making each day a bit brighter for those around her.
- Maureen Flack approached me recently and said she will never forget the time Marion greeted an older man following the church service. The older man was very thin and wore a suit that was old and wrinkled. He seemed comfortable being alone. He stood quietly by himself in the corner of the foyer for a short while and just before he was about to leave, Marion went over, smiled at him and introduced herself. He smiled back. They visited for a short while, before Marion noticed his shoes were not tied. Worried he might trip on them, Marion bent down and tied his shoes. Maureen said she will never forget Marion act of kindness.
- Marion & I met at the Winnipeg Canoe Club. At the Canoe Club, it was common for groups of young people to meet up and share a few laughs. These impromptu gatherings were right in Marion’s wheel house. Marion & I were sitting around a table with a few other couples. Marion worked the table like a conductor leading a symphony orchestra; engaging everyone in conversation, facilitating rounds of laughter. It was a beautiful thing to watch. When Marion went off to visit the powder room, a fellow from the next table came over to me. He was a total stranger. He had been observed Marion’s magnetic personality, and marvelled at how she had charmed everyone; it was obvious that we were all having a wonderful time. The fellow then said, “I hope you appreciate how lucky you are, having someone like that in your life.” I said that I did, and as I shook hands with that stranger; it occurred to me what a wonderful gift he had given me; an appreciation of my good fortune.
I know the girls and our extended family feel the same way. Marion was our rock, dedicated, supportive, and loving. We know she is in a better place now but we’re sure going to miss her.