Grace Alma McKinlay (nee Fraser) passed away peacefully at the age of 90 at Meaford Hospital with family by her side, on March 3, 2021. Born in Coboconk, Ontario on February 18, 1931, Alma was the seventh of eight children, daughter of the late Reverend James M. and M. Rebecca (Hogg) Fraser.
Alma was predeceased by Harvie, her cherished husband of 55 years, in 2010.
She was the loving mother of Duncan (Susan) McKinlay of Ravenna, Emily (Bruce) Sinclair of Goderich, Jonathan (Ada) McKinlay of Ravenna and Anna (Bruce) Paterson of Ravenna. Alma was predeceased by baby Edward M. McKinlay on December 3, 1968. She was the beloved Grandma of Jenny Cornell (Kevin), Mary Hindle (Jason), Robert McKinlay (Rachel), Brian Sinclair (Jenna), Laurie Hakkers (Jeff), Scott Sinclair (Danielle), Shawn McKinlay, Holly McKinlay, Ryan McKinlay (Kate), Matthew Paterson, and Sarah Paterson. She was the wonderful ‘Grandma-Great’ of Paige, Addie, Eva, Mae, Jack, Grace, Isabel, Leda, Jordan, Ellie, Adalyn, Ellie, Cora, and Fraser. Alma is fondly remembered by her many nieces and nephews.
Alma had fond memories of growing up in Trout Creek and made lifelong friends in Walters Falls, communities where her father served as the United Church minister. She attended Toronto Normal School and trained at Shaw Business School, after which she taught for a short time. She moved to the United Church Parsonage in Ravenna in 1948 with her family as her father was the new Minister. She met Harvie and they settled at Farview Farms to raise their family.
Alma was a poet and a dreamer, a historian and a storyteller who published several books of her own work and contributed to documenting local history. She was a teacher, nurturer, and caregiver, tending to all from small creatures dragged in by a child or farmer to friends and strangers in need. She was a singer who shared her voice with all from private quiet moments with babies, grandbabies, and great grandbabies to a longstanding place in the Grace United Church choir. She was a leader in her community through her long and active role in Ravenna and district Women’s Institute. Alma was the secretary at Grace United Church in Thornbury for many years, a role she embraced and thoroughly enjoyed. She had immense pride and love for her family and her community. She was a huge supporter of the Beaver Valley Fall Fair, each year entering baking, canning and photographs. She took as much pleasure in seeing the entries of neighbours and friends as she did ribbons on her own.
Alma was a person who could find the joy and the gift in any circumstance. She had a unique ability to be in the present moment and engage into it in the fullest. We have all been richly blessed for having had Alma in our lives and we carry our memories close.
McKinlay, G. Alma, “Brightness in the Dark” Farview Fancies 1977, Ron Cundy Printing, 1977, p. 4.
Brightness In the Dark
Nature likes to compensate
for days that are dark…
Robin’s bright red breast
as he sings like a lark
filling up a field
A bright sunny carpet
through the skies
no sunbeams yield.
of snow on the ground
Reflect bits of moonlight
with mirror lights
To make up for darkness
of long winter nights.
A private family graveside service will be conducted at Thornbury-Clarksburg Union Cemetery. Alma’s life will be celebrated at a later date when friends and family are able to gather safely.
As your expression of sympathy, donations to the United Church Mission and Service Fund would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted. www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca