December 15, 1916 – October 2, 2019
Isabel was born December 5, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 2, 2019. Having lived for over a century, Isabel experienced many changes, inventions and adventures. Isabel spoke fondly of her days as a young girl growing up in Winnipeg. She and her family came west by train in the spring of 1930 primarily to escape the Great Depression. After staying with her father’s cousin near Peckhams Lake with her family she moved to Doyle’s Ranch near Fort Steele. Isabel attended school in Fort Steele and would regale her family with stories of her adventures, her special bond with her sister, of crossing the Wild Horse and travelling three and half miles to school by horseback or on foot.
Years later, Isabel volunteered at Fort Steele baking pies and telling stories of the ‘old days’ including winning the cross cut saw contests with her sister. After homesteading in the Bull River area, Isabel moved to town in 1942 where she worked in the Cranbrook Mercantile, “The Merc”. Isabel lived through two World Wars. During WW II, she was an active member of the Cranbrook Stagette Club supporting the war efforts on the home front. Following WW II, she married a dashing airman, Mac McPhee. They had three children. Isabel attended the United Church engaging in worship, bible study and for years volunteering for ‘The Cellar’.
Isabel had a love for life, friends and neighbours and especially her beloved family. Following the untimely death of her sister, Isabel maintained a unique bond with her niece and nephew, Gail and Gregg Atkinson.
She had a keen sense of humour, was a fabulous cook, enjoyed rides in the country, was wise, loved ice cream, chocolate, her pets most notably her dog Mollie and nature. Isabel was a woman of strength, style and grace. She was remarkable in many ways. Clearing the land of their “stump ranch”, Isabel and her sister manned the stump puller while their father chopped away at reluctant roots often sending the two girls flying when the final root was severed. As a member of the Cranbrook Historical Society, Isabel made significant contributions to the Cranbrook and District Key City Chronicles – 1898. In her 70s, she earned her driver’s licence. Isabel managed her home until she was 93 and her apartment until she was 101.
Isabel is survived by: her children, Marjorie McPhee (Wayne), Doug McPhee (Debbie), and Bill McPhee (Deborah), 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Isabel was predeceased by: her husband, Malcolm McPhee, parents, Helen and James Douglas, parents-in-law, Herbert and Pauline McPhee, sister, Marjorie Atkinson, brother-in-law, Bill Atkinson and nephew, Jim Atkinson.
Funeral service held October 7, 2019.
The family would like to thank Dr. S. Chesney, Dr. R. Lunge and everyone at the Dr. F.W. Green Home and The Pines for their exceptional care and enduring kindness.
Memorial donations can be made to Dr. F.W. Green Home or The Pines. Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Services. Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com
McPherson Funeral Service
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