McKinlay, Grace 'Alma'

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

Golden dandelions

filling up a field

A bright sunny carpet

through the skies

no sunbeams yield.

 

Winter-white carpets

of snow on the ground

Reflect bits of moonlight

all around

Providing brightness

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

Details

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.

Donations: United Church Mission and Service Fund
Make a donation in memory of Grace 'Alma' McKinlay


Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. Shirley & Paul Woolner
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Johnathon, Emily, Duncan, Anna and families. You are all in our thoughts at this time. Loosing a mother is one of the hardest things. During a pandemic, will add another dimension to it. Know that there are many of us with memories of your mother and her many contributions to her community. She was a caring, loving person who will be greatly missed by all.

    Reply
  2. Melanie & Lance Giesbrecht & family
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    She was a beautiful woman and will be missed. Our condolences to the entire family.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Sheridan
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Sincere condolences to all of Alma’s family. I was saddened to see she had passed. I have many fond memories of Alma while working at Errinrung and a wave across the street when she would be out for her walk.
    Stephanie Sheridan

    Reply
  4. shirley moore
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    The members of St. Vincent Women’s Institute certainly enjoyed and had the benefit of Alma’s company for a great many years.
    She will always be remembere in our group as a great joy!

    Reply
  5. Michael Atkins
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Our families have been friends for many years. It’s times like this we have to remember the good times.

    Reply
    1. Wendy McCulloch
      Saturday, March 6, 2021

      So sorry to hear of Alma’s passing. Condolences to all the families. A Beautiful written tribute. A strong beautiful women that will be greatly missed and touched by so many. Another Angel has her wings.
      Wendy and Karl McCulloch

      Reply
  6. Sandra & Randy Pyatt
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Dear Family of Alma
    This is a beautifully written tribute for a wonderful lady. Alma gave so much to so many. Alma will be cherished, remembered and her life celebrated by all of you. Her legacy lives on with each of you.
    Sending our deepest condolences and hugs.
    Sandra & Randy Pyatt

    Reply
  7. Frank & Janet Bassingthwaite
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Duncan and Sue
    Janet and I were saddened to hear of your mother’s passing. Our paths would cross occasionally over the years. Our conversations would always be interesting, very often about family which obviously was of great importance to her. Your wonderful obituary told us a lot about your mom’s many talents and interests. May your many fond memories be of comfort to you at this time

    Reply
  8. John and Diana Bailey
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Alma was a wonderful person that we consider blessed to have known… Harvie and Alma were the first to welcome us to the area at Thornbury United Church..

    I know it is because of their great example that their children and grandchildren are so welcoming and kind.

    Our condolences to the family… she will sorely missed!

    Reply
  9. Murray & Ilene Stephens
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    We would like to extend our sincere sympathy to all of Alma’s family.
    Living in Ravenna for many years we got to know Alma and Harvie and their family
    very well.

    Murray & Ilene Stephens

    Reply
  10. Eileen Gamble
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Alma was a beautiful lady who cared about her family, friends and the community.
    I used to chat with Alma when I was visiting the residents at Errinrung Retirement Home.
    Cherished the memories.

    Reply
  11. Gary & Sharon Long
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Duncan, Emily, Jonathan & Anna: Sorry to hear about your mom. She was a great lady and always had time for a chat. Her accomplishments are outstanding. Cherish the many memories. Gary & Sharon Long

    Reply
  12. Gwen Hutchinson
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    My sincere sympathy to all of Alma’s family and friends.

    Reply
  13. Joan Wagg Weldrick
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    To the McKinley Family
    My sincere condolences to you in the passing of your mother.
    I have known her for many years since I was a small girl when they moved to Ravenna.
    Our families were intertwined over the years as the kids were together a lot through the years.
    She was a good person through and through.
    Sincerely, Joan and family

    Reply
  14. Donna Ireland
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    My sincere sympathy to all the family. Alma was a special cousin and I always enjoyed her Christmas cards with her family news. I even received a phone call from her last fall. My daughter and I use her pickle cookbook. I also have some of her other books. She did so well for her 90 years. I am thinking of all of you.
    Elva Kerry

    Reply
  15. Catherine Hetu
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    on behalf of my mother Donelda and the family we would like to express our deep condolences to her family at this time. I am sure she will be missed at the various family gatherings. she will certainly be noted by her absence at the annual church service. my family’s thoughts are with you at this time. take care and stay safe.

    Reply
  16. Ed &Kathryn Pountney
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Duncan Susan and family.
    Our condolences and deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your Mother. Thinking of you at this time of sorrow.
    Ed and Kathryn Pountney

    Reply
  17. Caitlin McCullam-Arnal
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Dear Alma,

    Thanks for helping raise one of my best friends—your granddaughter Mary.
    Also thank you for writing and leading the way for other rural people to write and share.

    Love Caitlin McCullam-Arnal

    Our condolences to Alma’s family as you loose such an important person.

    Caitlin and Dale Arnal

    Reply
  18. Shelley Gibbons
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    We were shocked to hear of Alma’s passing. I was just speaking to Ada a couple of weeks ago & talking about Alma’s 90th birthday the next day & how it couldn’t be celebrated because of Covid. How sad, she so deserved a celebration with friends & family.
    Sending deepest condolences to the whole family. Ravenna & the whole area have lost an amazing lady.
    Ron & Shelley Gibbons

    Reply
  19. Gail Ardiel
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Shane, Gail & None Ardiel would like to express our condolences to the McKinlay family.
    It is hard hard losing a parent, but we have wonderful memories of your Mum and I know that these memories will live on for many years.

    Reply
  20. Wes Sparling
    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    Most sincere condolences to all of Alma’s family. She was always so happy to chat with me during
    my visits to Errinrung. I feel I have known her for several years as my grandmother spoke about the
    Fraser family often as she thought very highly of Rev. Fraser while he was the minister at Walter’s Falls U.C.
    She will be missed but never forgotten!

    Reply
  21. Bonnie Hammond
    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    To Alma’s Family – I was saddened to hear about Alma’s passing – she was a great lady! I had known her for many years – she was always interesting to talk to & she had an opinion on every subject which was usually correct! Her family was so important to her – you will all have many wonderful memories! Enjoy them – laugh & even cry a little – it is all part of the healing process to help you get through this difficult time!!
    Take Care! Stay Safe! God Bless! Bonnie Hammond

    Reply
  22. Linda Teed
    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    To all of Alma’s family and friends
    A truly genuine lady who loved life and everything and everyone in it. She enjoyed visiting, talking and listening. Hold on to the memories, the smile and quotes she would come out with. Wonderful to have had all those years with her.
    Never forgotten.
    Linda Teed

    Reply
  23. Barry Moore
    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    My sincere condolences to the entire McKinlay family in the passing of Alma. Alma will be missed by the many people of the area that knew her. She was a great neighbor to the Moore family and the many residents of Ravenna and the surrounding community. I will miss her at the Rock Union annual services.
    Cherish the wonderful memories of Alma.

    Reply
  24. Stephen Leeder
    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    To the Family of (Aunt) Alma McKinley,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Although it has been a long time since I was a child and our family visited with yours, I still have fond memories of those happy times at your Mom and Dad’s farm. They always welcomed us with open arms and hearts. You are in my thoughts at what must be a difficult time in your lives.

    Reply
  25. Karen and Andy Starret
    Sunday, March 7, 2021

    Jonathan and Ada. We are so sorry for your loss. There is no one in the world that can replace our mothers. Our prayers and sincere sympathy are with you and your family during this difficult time. If you need anything please reach out to us.

    Karen & Andy

    Reply
  26. Barb and Willis Camplin
    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Willis and I were saddened to hear about your Mom’s passing. We were very glad to have both your parents next door to us for so many years. Your Mom will be greatly missed by everyone in the community as well as by your family.
    Barb and Willis Camplin

    Reply
  27. Tracy Langlois
    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Sending deepest Condolences to the entire family.
    Hugs,
    Tracy Langlois

    Reply
  28. Sharanne MacDonald
    Monday, March 8, 2021

    To all the McKinlay family
    Alma had the loveliest smile and presented a calm, sunny disposition. She was a willing leader and also was a participant. When I was a tour guide, I asked Alma to assist in making a song book to use on bus tours- keeping in mind- there were no computers and I needed 50 copies! She did so gladly. Writing and publishing poetry (I have the books) would have been considered unconventional in the farming community at that time- Alma had the confidence to do so- a modern woman. Alma & Harvie opened their door to several, sheltering them in time of need. Their patience, thoughtfulness and work ethic show itself in all of you. Memories of Alma will last for several generations as you continue to tell her story. My deepest sympathy on the passing of your Mom, Grandma & Great Grandma.

    Reply
  29. Kathleen Millard
    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Condolences to family.
    And memories
    Of years gone by
    With smiles and love.
    Peter and Kay Millard

    Reply
  30. brian crawford
    Tuesday, March 9, 2021

    Shawn and family, so sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  31. John Dickson
    Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    I have had Grace’s “Fact and Fancies” on my desk recently. Sad to hear of her passing, but very glad I met her briefly, likely through a Church office, where I looked after the photocopier, etc. Fond memories indeed, of this inspirational author, and wonderful lady.

    Reply
  32. Murray Adams
    Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    Duncan,and families, I’m sorry for the passing of a great mother,and friends to many,our condolences, murray &Sandra

    Reply
  33. Valerie Shaw
    Thursday, March 11, 2021

    My condolences to the McKinlay family on your loss. Always enjoyed talking to Alma, she was a most accomplished lady. You have so many wonderful memories to share.

    Reply
  34. Rosemary Johnson
    Saturday, March 13, 2021

    My sincerest sympathy to all of the McKinlay family. I have many fond memories of your mom at all the many occasions that took place in Ravenna. She took pride in her family and her community and will be remembered by many.

    Reply
  35. Joan Hutton
    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    My condolences to the McKinlay family. I always enjoyed my chats with Alma through the years.
    You have many wonderful memories to cherish.
    She will be missed by family& community.

    Reply

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