JOHNSTON, Patricia Irene
March 17, 1927 – Wynyard, Saskatchewan
June 15, 2021 – Calgary, Alberta
Our mother, affectionately known as "Darling" by family and close friends, was born on March 17th, 1927 and died quietly on June 15th, 2021. True to her exceptional planning and organizational skills, she had written her own obituary, which we, her daughters Brenda Fredrick and Patricia Weatherup (John Bray), have expanded upon. Predeceased by the love of her life Bill, her parents Laufey and PO (Oscar), her beloved sister June and nephew Patrick, brother Garth, and niece Leah. She is also survived by the joy of her life, granddaughter Ashley and two very special great-grandchildren Aianna and Chayton, her brother Curtis (Leslie). Very special in her life were niece Carol Cruickshank (David) and nephews Peter and Patrick (Rosie) MacLean and their children and grandchildren. Always close to her heart were brothers Garth and Curtis and their children Pam, Julie, Sandy, Robin, Leah, Tony, their spouses, children and grandchildren.
Darling was born in Wynyard, Saskatchewan and when her father, PO Enerson, phoned her grandmother Helga Bjarnason to announce her birth, as a March 17th baby, Helga said she should be a Patricia, and PO then gave her "Orena" as her middle name after his sister who had died in the 1918 Spanish Flu, (and so that she would have the same initials as her father: POE. When her birth certificate arrived, her middle name was noted as Irene so her initials became PIE).
She served on the Seniors Nursing Home Review Panel in the 80’s, was the founding Vice-Chair of the Ronald McDonald House, Board Member, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Board Member, Canmore Hospital Foundation and volunteer in long term care. Darling was a passionate advocate for people living with special abilities (her mother's sister had Down's Syndrome so Darling's experience advocating and caring for the vulnerable began at a very early age). When the girls were going through her things they discovered she continued to advocate for the disabled through letters to the government up until a few years ago.
Hosting legendary dinner parties, Darling was an exceptional cook - and very particular about decorum: heaven forbid anyone arrive at the table wearing a hat or rumpled their napkin.
Always a fashionista, her sense of style was everywhere. Darling loved to sew and her cupboards and closets were full to the brim with fabric and notions for the next project.
Darling had a beautiful voice, and excelled in Royal Conservatory Voice and Piano in her adolescence, and as a young woman she also loved to jitterbug, winning a trophy the year she broke her leg dancing.
As her dear friend Leslie Reed reminisced "...my heart is filled with her stories of Iceland (Vinaterta - the cake whose name I could never pronounce but rolled off her tongue like silk AND tasted so wonderful").
As many have expressed, Darling was a dynamic woman, soft and kind, but one didn't cross her or tell her that something couldn't be done, because you’d only fuel her fire and she'd find a way to make it happen.
We cannot express enough our gratitude and love for the exceptional care givers at We Care through Home Care. We had the best Case Manager in Sade Olutogun and mom's particular "angels" as she called them who right until the end went above and beyond providing compassionate care, Jackie Moses, ED at Revera Evergreen, along with all of the staff, Dr. Das for his compassionate understanding, Alberta Health Palliative Care Team, private caregivers who helped us keep mom at home as long as we could, and Rena and the staff at Chinook Hospice who saw her through a peaceful passing.
To her friends and neighbours, we thank you for loving our mother.
Mom, there is a hole in our hearts. Hoping you are now with your beloved Bill tripping the light fantastic amongst the stars. A Private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Pat’s obituary at www.McInnisandHolloway.com. In Lieu of flowers, Memorial tributes may be made directly to the Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta, 111 West Campus Place N.W., Calgary, AB T3B 2R6 Telephone: (403) 240-3000, ext. 143, www.rmhsouthernalberta.org or the Canmore Hospital Foundation, https://canmorehealthfoundation.com/donate.
In living memory of Patricia Johnston, 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.