Anne Mckenzie

Obituary of Anne Mckenzie

September 3, 1936 – Toronto, Ontario

May 29, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Anne McKenzie (nee Sproule) died peacefully at home on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, with a selection of plants just waiting to be added to her beautiful garden.


Anne was born in Toronto, ON, on September 3, 1936, to the visionary geologist John Campbell (Cam) Sproule and the accomplished Harriet Maude (Maude) Riley from one of Calgary’s pioneer families. Anne’s younger sister, Judith (Judy) Sproule, arrived shortly after, and the family of four embarked on travels around the world led by their father’s geological exploration. Anne had a wonderful, roving childhood in South America that involved shoe checks for scorpions and surprise gifts from the field, once even two spider monkeys for pets.


After thirteen moves in eight years, the family decided it was time to return to Canada. Anne was a quick study, despite many new schools, with her favourite subjects being art and English. Anne left Calgary after high school to study interior design at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. The 1954 Freshie Week Queen caught the eye of dashing fellow student Hugh McKenzie and thus began a love story for the ages. Their wedding in Calgary was immediately followed by a move to Vancouver, BC. There, the newlyweds started not only a new life but also a family with the arrival of daughters, Christine, Lynn, and Emily, making many new friends along the way. After a wonderful beginning on the West Coast, Calgary beckoned again. The family of five then settled for good and soon became a family of seven with the arrival of sons, Richard and David.


Days were full of many friends, activities, and pets swirling around the family home on Montcalm Cr. SW. Dinners with the McKenzie clan were glorious evenings of conversation, laughter, and chaos. The door was open to everyone, and above all, to dogs. Josh, Riffa, Louise, and Rosie loved noodling about Anne’s Garden amongst the bees and peonies as much as she did. Summers were spent in Millarville, AB, with Anne and the girls riding horses in the country and Hugh and the boys hunting wasp nests.


As soon as David was launched in school, Anne returned to school herself. This time for art at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD, now Alberta University of the Arts), where she made lifelong friendships with her instructors and fellow students, including the inimitable David Janzen. Anne spent many joyful hours at art school and later in her studio with her dear friend Meg Van Rosendaal while still somehow making it home in time to prepare dinner for the family. Anne was a longstanding member of Calgary’s art community, and her 2007 exhibit, “Louise”, at the Stride Gallery in Calgary showcased her commitment to the discipline of painting. In recent years, winter art trips to Mexico provided the opportunity to practice both painting and Spanish. Anne’s dedication to painting never ceased, and the results grace the walls of many lucky friends and family. Anne remained a lifelong supporter of the arts, including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Alberta Ballet, and Calgary Opera.


Anne was the beloved wife of the late Hugh Allen McKenzie (1996) and the devoted mother of Christine (Jeff Peterson), Lynn, Emily (Ross Thurston), Richard (Audrée Lortie), and David (Anjali Das); cherished grandmother to Jack, Charlie, and Maude Peterson; Stephanie Koenig; Owen and Laura Thurston; Madeleine, Hugh, and Lucas McKenzie; and Thomas, John, Elizabeth and Henry McKenzie. Anne was predeceased by her grandson, Max Koenig, in 2018. Each grandchild had a special connection to Anne, their amazing “Haha”, “Nee”, “Grannie Annie”, and “Granny Boom”. It was not a birthday without Anne’s signature rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Once the grandkids arrived, Anne’s famous bacon brunch with a walk on the ridge was the highlight of the week. Anne was adored by her sister Judy, her cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends from coast to coast.


Funeral Services will be held at St. Barnabas Anglican Church (1407 7 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0Z3) on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. All are invited. Until then, we ask that you spend some time in a beautiful garden and remember our Mom, maybe with a beer, some Twizzlers, and a game of Scrabble.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Anne’s memory to the Alberta University of the Arts, 1407 14 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4R3, (403) 284-7600, Alberta University of the Arts - Donations


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


In living memory of Anne McKenzie, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.


Funeral Service

1:30 pm
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
St. Barnabas Anglican Church
1407 – 7th Avenue N.W
Calgary , Alberta, Canada
(403) 283-3035
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