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Date of Passing: Feb 23, 2021

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After a long battle with Parkinson's Disease Ann Bays passed away on February 23, 2021, with her daughter by her side.
Ann was the daughter of Hank and Mary Churchill. She used to say she grew up along the #3 Highway; Cartwright, Clearwater, Carmen and Crystal City. As the daughter of a farmer, Ann learned to love the Prairies, riding horseback, feeding the cattle and as one of her favourite songs said, she was, "Home, home on the range."
After high school, Ann went into nurses training and graduated in 1954 from the Winnipeg General Hospital. Back in the day you had to be an R.N. (registered nurse) in order to become an airline stewardess. So, in 1955, having grown up on a farm, and never having flown on an airplane before, Ann set out for an adventure and became a flight attendant for T.C.A. (Air Canada). Ann used to tell the story of how Oscar Peterson was on one of her flights and how Oscar gave all the stewardesses backstage passes to see his concert in Montreal! Exciting days indeed! Not wanting her nursing skills to lapse, Ann went back to being a nurse and worked at hospitals in Minneapolis, Children's Hospital in Winnipeg and she helped set up a nursing unit in Pinawa. Ann made lifelong friends throughout her nursing career, namely June Berg and Margie Thompson who are like her second family.
In January, 1964, Ann married Jack Bays. They went on to have three children, Michael (Sandy), Jacqueline and Barbara (Andre). Ann was always an involved parent and community member. She was a Brownie and Girl Guide Leader. She loved volunteering at the kids' schools and at church. Ann spent many hours shuttling the kids to hockey rinks and swimming pools and she was their greatest fan! Ann was a wonderful cook and often had family and friends together to warm up after a day of cross-country skiing or have laughs at games nights. Ann loved music: Frank Sinatra, Peter Paul and Mary and Leonard Cohen. Ann volunteered at the Health Sciences Centre teaching pre-natal classes and helping with a new mom's drop in called, Cradle Chat. Ann spent time over the years volunteering in Jacqueline's elementary classrooms, helping with reading groups and special crafts. The students were always excited to have a visit from Mrs. Bays! Ann and Jack worked with Jimmy Carter on the Habitat for Humanity Build. Ann was always concerned about giving back to the community, supporting the downtown, The House of Peace with Sister Lesley and Rossbrook House.
Perhaps her greatest joy was witnessing the growth of her five grandchildren, Pam, Katie, Rachel, Jacob and Brendan. Over the years Ann and Jack would have yearly trips to Ottawa to visit the kids and they delighted in playing cards, watching dance recitals or hockey games, reading books together or simply enjoying a good coffee with conversation at the kitchen table. Each summer the family would all spend time at the cottage on Lake Winnipeg. It is there where Ann found joy in the simple things: gardening, walking along the lakeshore, knitting and spending time with family friends. Ann taught her children and grandchildren to respect the Earth, be kind and love others. As we watch the moon over Ponemah and the stars sparkle on Lake Winnipeg, we will think of you and hold you in our hearts forever.
Thanks to Wendy and all of the third floor staff at Golden West for their care and compassion over the years. A special thanks to Darlene and all of the recreation staff at Golden West; your Tuesday night music programs put smiles on the faces of so many residents and it was the highlight of the week for many involved. Thanks also to Susan and Fenella who visited Ann faithfully prior to the pandemic, your visits brightened Ann's days. And finally, thank you to Kelly, Jacqueline's beloved golden retriever, who brought Ann comfort and joy over the last few years. We love you Mom and we will miss you dearly. Rest In Peace.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkinson Canada, 7-414 Westmount Drive, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1P2 or Rossbrook House, 658 Ross Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3A 0M1 or The House of Peace, 211 Edmonton St., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1R4.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Bardal Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 27, 2021

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Ann was a second cousin to my father, C. K. Smith (Smitty). I have many fond memories of Ann from my childhood. In the early days she would often stay with my parents on layovers while she worked for TCA. I was only 5 or 6 at the time, but very much enjoyed the visits of this glamorous, exciting flight attendant. She always seemed to have treats! Bow Wow, a stuffed animal she gave me, became a lifelong treasure of my brother David. Later on she would take my friend Jill and me to the movies, flipping off her high heels to drive. I think Jill and I saw The Parent Trap for the first time with her. My parents and Jack and Ann stayed in touch over the years. While they lived in St. James, I would sometimes babysit for them. On occasion Ann and I would meet for lunch when she lived at Fred Douglas and we would run into her at PTE from time to time. I was glad to be able to visit with Ann at The Boulevard while she resided there. Deepest sympathy to your family at this time. Susan Smith - Posted by: Susan Smith (My father was her second cousin.) on: Apr 24, 2021

  • What a wonderful write up for a wonderful woman! It's nice to know there are people like Ann in this world. My condolences to you Jackie and to your family. - Posted by: Kay Garrity (Friend) on: Mar 09, 2021

  • So glad we got to spend time with Ann when she lived at The Boulevard. One of the saddest things in this difficult time is that we cannot gather together at funerals as we used to do, to share our grief and our cherished memories. Ann was a cousin of my father, who was born and grew up in Swan River. Our lives intertwined throughout the years. Deepest condolences to Jacqueline, and the rest of the family. - Posted by: Katherine Smith (cousin) on: Mar 09, 2021

  • On behalf of the WGH/HSC Nursing Alumni we extend our sincerest condolences to Ann's family and friends. All of Ann's nursing classmates of 54B have fond memories of Ann, both professionally and socially. They remember Ann as a great nurse and wonderful kind person. May she rest in peace. - Posted by: MARIAN Ulyatt (WGH/HSC Nursing Alumni Friendship Convenor) on: Mar 05, 2021

  • Ann was a kind hearted and feisty woman who was always ready to carve out a new trail. I am so grateful for her friendship and encouragement over the years. Some of her Christmas gifts are brought each year and we give thanks. The House of Peace remembers her with great gratitude. My heart goes out to each of you. Love, S. Lesley - Posted by: S. Lesley Sacouman (Friend) on: Mar 01, 2021

  • My sincere condolences Jacqueline. - Posted by: Jodi Horst (Former Coworker of Jacqueline) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • Our thoughts are with you. Deepest condolences to the Bays family. - Posted by: Heather and Lew Wilson (Friend) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • The beautiful picture of Ann brought so many memories flooding in to our day, although Ann was thought of often in spite of the distance between us. We learned so much about generosity, hospitality, love, commitment and caring for our fragile earth from Ann while she lived in Thunder Bay, but mostly during our visits to Promenade where Ann happily and generously opened her home to us. We shared great food and wonderful conversation and Ann will always be thought of with great love. May she Rest In Peace. Barb and Al Fugelsang - Posted by: Barb and Al Fugelsang (Friend) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • My heartfelt condolences to all of Ann's family. Ann was such a kind and wonderful woman who I felt privileged to know. A close friend to my great-aunt Amy on my Dad's side of the family, as well as such a dear friend to my second cousin June Berg on my Mum's side. Many years ago Ann and I were co-executrix's for Amy's estate and we had so many great conversations. She will be always remembered by so many. - Posted by: Rhonda Gorham (Friend) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • Our deepest sympathy to the Bays family. We will remember the many happy times spent together at the lake. - Posted by: Pat & Steve Thullner (Friends) on: Feb 27, 2021

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