Shirley MacKay

Obituary of Shirley Doris MacKay

January 14, 1952 - Summerside, Prince Edward Island

April 30, 2024 - Calgary, Alberta


Shirley Mackay of Calgary, AB, passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in a tragic accident, at the age of 72 years.


Shirley was born on January 14, 1952, to Donald and Audrey Mackay (nee Stevenson) in Summerside, PEI. She grew up with her three siblings, Anne, Bethany, and John. Shirley spent her childhood at various Air Force bases in Eastern Canada and had fond memories of her time in Centralia, ON, and Greenwood, NS. The family was ultimately posted back to PEI, where they settled in Kensington.


Upon graduating from Kensington Regional High School in 1969, Shirley pursued her dream of becoming a teacher. She attended the University of Prince Edward Island from 1970 to 1972. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education from Dalhousie University between 1972 and 1977. After graduation, she moved "out west" to Calgary, AB, to begin her teaching career.


In 1977, she met her sweetheart, Wayne Cox, and they were married on Christmas Eve, 1979. In 1982, they welcomed their daughter Erin into their family. Shirley was a wonderful mother and the center of her family. In 2006, the family expanded when Erin married Andrew Siddall. Her greatest joy in recent years was becoming a grandmother to Sadie (2014) and Poppy (2017). She was an incredibly involved grandmother who loved spending time with her girls. Together they read books, sewed, baked, created art projects, and played outside. There is a "Mimi" "-sized hole in both of their hearts.


Shirley's gift was bringing people together and she loved being with family and friends. She was a bright light who welcomed everyone into her home with open arms and her incredible smile. Shirley created communities of friends wherever she went, including (but not limited to!) her aquafit and coffee group at the Calgary Winter Club, her cul-de-sac neighbours, the Sylvan Lake crowd, the retired synchro-swimming parents, and even friends from childhood who she kept in touch with via regular correspondence. Shirley cared deeply about others and loved to listen to and share stories. Her beautiful backyard garden was both a favourite hobby and a gathering place for family and friends.


She enjoyed being active, especially working out in the pool, riding her bike, and walking in the city, as well as nature. She was always up for a new adventure, and she loved to travel. Shirley and Wayne travelled together extensively, including many trips with Erin, Andrew, and the girls. Among her favourite destinations were New Zealand, England, Italy, and many destinations in North America. She especially loved returning to PEI.


Shirley was predeceased by her father Donald, and sister Bethany (John Cousins). She is survived by her husband Wayne Cox, daughter Erin Siddall (Andrew), granddaughters Sadie and Poppy; her mother Audrey, brother John (Eva Mah), and sister Anne (Wayne Barrett). She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Amy Porter, Laura Stevenson, Beth Mackay, John MacKay, Andrew Cousins, and David Cousins.


A Celebration Shirley’s of Life will be held in her honour at Commons Church (2404 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3S1) on Friday, May 17, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served afterward from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This ceremony is meant to be as social as Shirley was and all of her many family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and those of her family are welcome. Please wear bright colours to celebrate Shirley.


If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Shirley's honour to the Little Red Reading House in Calgary. Visit the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and when you reach the “What prompted your gift?” section, please note that you wish for the donation to go to The Little Red Reading House.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Shirley’s family here.


In living memory of Shirley Mackay, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Calgary Crematorium, 3219 – 4th Street NW, Calgary, AB, T2M 3A6, Telephone: 403-299-0111.


Celebration of Life

1:30 pm
Friday, May 17, 2024
Kensington Common Church
2404 Kensington Rd NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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