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FLORENCE ANNIE FINLAYSON (nee HAYES) Flo slipped away in her sleep before dawn had broken on Friday, January 21st, 2011; although she enjoyed a very healthy life, the last couple of years have been ones of declining health. Losing her sight was especially difficult, but she faced that as she did everything challenging: with great courage and no complaint. Granny was born and raised on a farm near Dungannon, in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland on April 4th, 1929. Following her nurse's training in London England, she boldly sailed for a new life in Canada. Upon arrival, Flo settled for a brief time in Toronto, where her sister Ida and brother John were then living. Two years later, she left for Winnipeg, arriving on Dominion Day, 1955, where she continued her nursing career at Misericordia General Hospital. On Remembrance Day of that year she met her husband Jack on a blind date. They married December 17th, 1955 after a five week courtship, moving eventually to Windsor Park where they raised their children, Michael, Leslie Anne, Joan, and John. Granny retired from her position as evening supervisor at Misericordia in 1988, after a long and rewarding career, and was very happy to have time for her many interests. She was especially glad to have the opportunity for uninterrupted recreation at their cottage on Lake Manitoba. There Flo's gift for gardening really blossomed. Out of the chaotic undergrowth along the lakeshore, the eminently practical Granny patiently established an absolutely magical garden where all her grandchildren loved to frolic. Many times we would come for a wee visit and find her patiently tending it. Nevertheless, she dropped everything for her family (or any visitor in fact), to get treats for the grandkids and take them on a lazy stroll. Her open-hearted hospitality was always in evidence. Flo was an extremely talented knitter, creating beautiful garments not only for her family, but for anyone who had a new baby, or was in need of a sweater or toque. Whether cooking dinner for loved ones, scouting garage sale treasures to delight them, or watching golf with Jack, Granny took immense pleasure in her life. She was predeceased by her tiny daughter, Leslie Anne, in 1960, parents, John and Sarah Hayes, as well as brother John and sisters, Rachel, Susan, and Sarah (known as Pauline). Left to remember her with love and thanksgiving are her dear husband and constant companion, John (Jack), son Michael (Nancy) and granddaughters Anne, Emily and Kathleen; daughter Joan Holbrook, grandson John and granddaughter Abigail; son John and grandson Ty. Also left to remember her are her sisters Ida Berry of Winnipeg, Joan Hayes in Ireland, brother Alec also in Ireland, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel at Glenlawn Memorial Gardens, 455 Lagimodiere Blvd., with (the) Rev. Nancy Finlayson officiating. There will be a reception following the service. In the last two years, her vision and activities were much diminished by macular degeneration. Though she loved flowers, Granny would encourage that anyone so inclined make donations instead to the Misericordia Eye Care Centre, c/o Misericordia Health Centre Foundation, 99 Cornish Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1A2. Her family wishes to extend their appreciation to the paramedics, police officers, and medical examiner who attended at the house, for their compassion and kindness. Glen Lawn Funeral Home www.glenlawn.ca 982-7550
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on January 24, 2011