Connie MacDougall (April 4, 1925 – January 25, 2020)

On Saturday, January 25, 2020 Connie MacDougall of Spirit River, AB passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, at the age of 94 years.

Mom was born in Holden, AB on April 4, 1925, the eldest daughter of Dora and Pursey Barlow. From a small farm where she learned about hard work and perseverance, Mom moved to Edmonton to attend normal school for 6 months. Then, at the age of 18, she began her 28-year teaching career. Mom started in one-room schoolhouses: first in Saddle Mountain close to Woking, then White Mountain School and after that Willowvale School. Teaching duties included driving a team of horses, attending to the horses, warming the school with a wood stove and starting the soup for a hot lunch for students. Luckily, a young man who lived close by began helping Mom open the school in the mornings. Mom married that man, Arthur MacDougall in 1947, adding farmer’s wife to her many duties and responsibilities. They started their family in 1950 and had three daughters. Mom continued her teaching career in Spirit River. After Dad passed, Mom married Kester Lillico. She always spoke fondly of her extended family. She was an amazing wife, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, sister, teacher, friend, Church/community leader and volunteer. She was a role model, an inspiration to many and was loved by all who knew her.

Mom was recognized by our province and received the Caring Canadian Award from the Governor General of Alberta. She devoted time to CGIT, 4-H, Sunday school as superintendent, and local spokesperson for the community. She wrote history books, made quilts for all her grandkids and tutored them as well. Her buns and jam were famous, winning red ribbons at Fall Fairs. She loved to play cards and, in later years, enjoyed the fellowship of the Happy Hour Club. She also spent many hours working with the Spirit River Hospital Auxiliary Board. Mom travelled to many countries with family and friends, and documented each trip with poetry.

She was a woman of strong faith and lived by this motto daily: “Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the places you can, as long as ever you can.”

She will be lovingly remembered by her children: Marilyn (George) Saunders, Sandy (Rick) MacDonald, Linda (Jack) Lefley and her extended family Betty (Peter) Stewart, Bonnie (George) Flintoff, Bill (Dulcie) Lillico and Mick McRann, as well as 17 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and 9 great great-grandchildren.

Mom was predeceased by her husband Art MacDougall, her second husband Kester Lillico, sister Muriel Anderson, parents Dora and Pursey Barlow, little brother of a few months old, and, from the Lillicos: Sandra Flintoff and Andrew Thibert.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 2:00pm, at the Spirit River Centennial Hall (4812 44 Ave.).

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Spirit of Peace United Church (Box 267, Spirit River, AB, T0H 3G0) or the Central Peace Health Complex Auxiliary (PO Box 866, Spirit River, AB, T0H 3G0).

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