Obituary of Annie Quinn
Annie Quinn passed away at Riverside Health Complex, Turtleford, SK on December 5, 2023 at the age of 100 years.
Annie is survived by: two sons, Bill Quinn (Lynn Creech) of Turtleford SK, Brian (Shirley) Quinn of Peterborough ON; six daughters, Kathleeen (Brian) Hantke of Lloydminster AB, Linda (Matthew) Russett of Turtle Lake SK, Norma (Terry) Butz of Dewberry AB, Carolyn (Clint) Marsh of Turtleford SK, Laura (Kevin) Rogers of Maidstone SK, and Lila Quinn of Westlock AB; sixteen grandchildren, Jeff (Dianna) Hantke, Karen (Adam) Hirmer, Ian (Alissa) Hantke, Rosslyn (Joe) Gallant, Colin Russett, Alison Vick (Jesse Huxter), Keegan and Brett Marsh, Corey (Sara) Scott, Justin (Jessica) Scott, Samantha (Jessie) Gibson, Leteisha and Payton Wagman-Rogers, Quinn Link (Danni Boyko), Cianna Link and Zabrina (Josh) Dittmer; twenty-one great grandchildren, Connor and Grayson Hantke, Emily, Ada and Heidi Hirmer, Gaia Courel and Clark and Charlotte Hantke Shae, Raelyn and Marisa Gallant, Sage and Sienna Huxter, Cally, Sawyer and Duff Scott, Liam and Abigail Gibson,Kaylynn Boyko, Avery and Oliver Link; two great-great grandchildren Ryder and Aspen Gallant; special niece and nephews, Margaret Lenko, Gordon (Anne), James and Carl Stinson.
Annie was predeceased by: her loving husband, George Quinn; daughter-in-law, Veronica Quinn; grandson, Shane Vick; parents, Robert and Margaret Kidd; sister, Martha Caron; brother, Stanley Kidd; and brother-in-law, Raymond Stinson.
The Funeral Service for Annie will be conducted from Turtle Lake Mission, Turtle Lake, SK on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 2:00 PM. If you are unable to attend in person, you may view the live streaming of the service posted on McCaw Funeral Service website under Annie's obituary at the time of service.
Donations in memory of Annie may be made to Turtleford Health Complex (Auxiliary).
Annie's funeral card can be viewed or downloaded from the link below.
Presented by Rosslyn Gallant, Karen Hirmer, Cianna Link, Zabrina Dittmer
Good afternoon, everyone, we are Rosslyn, Karen, Cianna, and Zabrina. It is our honor and privilege to present to you the eulogy of our grandmother, Annie Quinn.
Annie Quinn lived a quiet but tremendous life full of adventure. Her passions were her family, the outdoors, and providing for her family. She saw many changes in her 100 years, from horses to automobiles, from handwritten letters to the crazy boom in technology and communication. She thrived on being busy, which came in very handy with all of her youngsters.
Annie was born in Stowlea, Saskatchewan, in the St. Walburg area, on November 6, 1923. She was the third child to Irish immigrants, Margaret and Robert Kidd, who together made many happy memories in the small three-room log home, shared with her older siblings, Martha and Stanley.
Annie’s parents ran the Stowlea post office for thirty-two years and farmed a small cattle farm, where Annie was an invaluable helper. Living through the Great Depression and then the second world war caused many hardships, took Stanley from the farm, and the family had to be self-sufficient, but also earned extra money from running the Post Office, selling eggs and cream. All this before electricity and all the luxuries that modern conveniences provided. The family took time to listen to radio programs and even owned an old-time gramophone. Music was provided by neighbors at dances, from a work crew that built the new modern larger home, or from songs sung by family members.
In winter snow was melted in a boiler on the cookstove for washing clothes and the reservoir on the stove was kept full for laundry, dishes, and personal needs. Her mother used a hand operated washing machine. The wooden tub swung back and forth on a metal stand. This action cleaned the clothes as they rubbed against the washboard surface on the inside of the tub. Homemade bar soap was often used. Clothes had to be hung indoors to dry overnight in the wintertime or in rainy weather.
Butter was made with a wooden barrel type churn that was hand and foot operated. The capacity would be about three gallons of cream, which would yield eight or ten pounds of butter. The buttermilk would be washed from the butter, salt added, then the butter was put into a wooden butter press to make into one-pound packages, wrapped in butter paper and sold later in Marshall’s store in St. Walburg. The buttermilk was saved for use in baking. Surplus went to feed the young pigs.
School days began for Annie in 1930 with Miss Jackson as teacher at Cottage Grove school, a one and one half mile walk or ride from home. The school was heated with a large box heater at the back of the schoolroom. A barn supplied shelter for the horses of the students at the school. School days were work, but she found pleasure in ball games, being with good friends, and school picnics.
Annie’s love for horses was lifelong. She had a good friend in Dan and spoke fondly of Ginger. She recalls learning to ride horseback, bareback. Her first horse was Bobby, a horse with a sharp back-bone! When she got a chance, she would go for a dip in Big Lake while she checked the cattle in the pasture on her dad’s second homestead, mostly on Sundays. She especially enjoyed riding to town on horseback for binder repairs on Dan, an eighteen-mile round trip!
Annie continued at Cottage Grove until Grade 10, and completed her Grade 11 by correspondence with exams written in Spruce Lake. She would ride her bike, which she learned to ride at 16, or go on horseback. During her school days, Grandpa Quinn moved into the district. He was hired by the family to dig the cellar for the bigger house, an arduous 4-day task, requiring pick and shovel and water to soften the hard soil.
Grandpa Quinn heard the call and enlisted in the army in 1943, a major source of pride for our family, but a challenging time, both physically and mentally, for all those in service. A short time after Grandpa’s return, he grabbed a loaded shotgun which was falling off his hay wagon, resulting in a major injury to his right hand. Many months were spent in hospital recuperating from this accident.
With George out of the hospital, a new love blossomed, and an elopement was planned in September of 1947. A quick wedding in St. Walburg followed by a train ride to Saskatoon where they found work, George at the YMCA as a lifeguard and Annie as a housekeeper. Bill’s birth, in December 1948 soon followed. He was premature and a few months were spent running back and forth to the hospital while he grew strong and healthy.
The decision was made to move back to the Stowlea area to be closer to family. They spent some time on Grandpa’s homestead there before they were able to purchase three quarters of land west of Turtleford, with the help of the Veteran’s Land Act. The land required much clearing, stone and root picking, and plowing, without the help of modern tractors. Everyone lent a hand. The hard work was evidenced by the productive farm that it is today.
More children kept arriving! Brian in 1951, Kathleen in 1954, Linda in 1957, Norma in 1959, Carolyn in 1963, Laura in 1965, and Lila in 1967. Almost a ball team, their friends would joke! When Lila was born, Geroge was 61 and Annie 43. Six short years later, the grandchildren started arriving.
The large family thrived in a two-bedroom home for many years, crowded beds, and lack of modern conveniences... life was interesting and challenging. Geroge would help rock the babies, but reportedly never changed a diaper! The girls remember piling 4 into a double bed at night, and two young girls in the bed with mom and dad, and the boys on the couch. The boys and Kathleen recall sleeping in a granary to enjoy a little space … but had to share with the mosquitoes! A new home was purchased and moved onto the property from Butte St. Pierre in 1968, and what a luxury that must have been! 5 bedrooms! Annie continued to grow bountiful gardens, collect berries, raised pigs and chickens, and filled the basement cold room with food for the year: mounds of potatoes, onions and carrots, canned peaches and raspberries, canned chicken, and crabapples. The freezer was full to the brim with beef, pork, chicken and vegetables. All this while raising kids, hauling water, cutting grass, milking cows, baking bread twice a week and cooking meals, changing diapers and even sewing and knitting a few items – for fun! Everything was homemade! Grandma never complained! She kept herself and the kids busy helping out with the chores but she was always willing to drive the kids up to the lake for a swim and visit with Grandpa and Uncle Stanley. A picnic lunch was packed and a Sunday afternoon was often enjoyed at Brightsand Lake. She continued to enjoy having horses around and taught all her kids to ride, even some of us grandkids were lucky enough to learn too.
The family has continued to grow over the years. The girls all have children of their own, a great source of pride and joy for Grandma. Grandma helped babysit, hosted many family celebrations, and continued to have a busy life: crocheting, knitting, gardening, visiting friends and enjoying life. The family loved going for a good cup of tea, a homemade cookie, and a nice long visit, finishing with a tour of the greenhouse and yard. Grandma had the most beautiful flowers and a bountiful garden filled with an assortment of vegetables, berries and fruit. Her love of gardening continued late into her eighties.
She and Grandpa were married for fifty-five years. The family recalls them dancing in the kitchen, going for long walks and playing cards together. They really were the best of friends having long talks in bed with a cup of tea in the early morning before all of the kids got up. They taught us the true meaning of love and devotion. We learned how to work hard while having fun and how to appreciate that the little things in life really are the big things. Family truly was everything to them!
Grandma loved to travel starting with a trip to Boston in her early twenties to visit her Aunts, Uncles and cousins. She made a few trips to Ontario to visit her sister Martha and her family. She also went to Scotland with Grandpa to visit his side of the family. She and Grandpa went to Fiji and New Zealand to visit her cousins on her Dad’s side. She enjoyed bus tours to Alaska, Eastern Canada and the Northern United States. When Grandpa passed away in 2003, the girls and one cousin took Grandma on a bus tour of Ireland. There she climbed the thirteen stories of the windy, narrow staircase and she kissed the Blarney stone, twice. The following year a trip to Vancouver Island was on the itinerary where she saw the beautiful flowers at Bouchard Gardens. Auntie Kathleen took Grandma to see where Auntie Linda and Uncle Matt live in Mexico. A year later, four of the girls and two grandchildren took Grandma back to Northern Ireland and to Kircaldy to see where this family all started. A granddaughter and Grandma enjoyed another trip to New Zealand in 2008. The next trip was to see Bill in Yuma and her last big trip was back to Mexico when she was 90.
Annie moved into Turtleford in 2011, then into the Turtle River Nursing Home in 2014. Her sweet demeanor and pleasant attitude made her a favorite amongst staff and residents. She continued to enjoy visits from family and going out for a drive. Many hours were spent doing word search puzzles, playing Kings in the Corner and Scrabble all while enjoying a good cup of tea and catching up on the latest family news. She loved looking through the family photo albums and the Stowlea history book.
Grandma loved to write stories about her life and all of her memories. Much of what we shared today came from handwritten accounts and hours of reminiscing with her family. She was so excited when family and friends came to visit. She made each of us feel special and loved. We all felt that we were her favorite and often teased her and each other that we were indeed her favorite. She really was the best Mom and Grandma! Her stories and her laughter will be truly missed, not to mention her beautiful blue eyes that could light up a room, her warm and loving hugs, her wave and heartfelt “Cheerio”.
Some things Grandma remembers from her childhood:
Her mother’s hymns and Irish songs and lullabies to help her sleep at night.
Her dad singing Irish songs including Molly Darling.
Receiving parcels at Christmas from her mom’s sister Aunt Annie in Boston.
Christmas concerts, waiting for Santa and staying awake as long as possible on Christmas Eve.
Staying at Aunt Carrie and Uncle George’s home in Spruce Lake and being nicknamed Peggy.
Riding on the harrow cart on Uncle George’s knee.
Attending church services in Cottage Grove school. Also Sunday school at school Friday afternoons with student minsters when they came to the district for the summer months.
Trips over muddy roads with the Model T Ford and attending a church service at Vic Reads home where she was baptized by Revered Manson (Mrs Read’s father) and one of the first missionaries in the area.
Trapping gophers and carrying the water to drown them out for the dogs to catch. The municipality paid one cent per tail to help encourage the children to keep down the gopher population. Once she even got her fingers caught in a gopher trap.
Being an outdoors person and someone saying that she was a tom boy and that it was written all over her face. This was on a first meeting and she didn’t think that was much of a compliment however it must have been at the time.
Enjoying school days and many school friends and playing softball each summer at school and some evenings at Madden’s or Pinske’s fields.
Getting her first bike and learning to ride it at about sixteen years of age. Riding it to Spruce Lake to write Grade 11 exams at the school there. Once Frances Callbeck and her rode their bikes to St. Walburg, each donated a pint of blood the Red Cross, and then almost fainting after riding the nine miles home and taking a large drink of cold water at the well.
Learning to drive a car at sixteen years of age when her dad bought a 4-cylinder Whippet.
Having a fox terrier dog called Spot who was clever at learning tricks and was good at chasing cattle rounding them up to bring home.
Going to town to have a tooth pulled and running and hiding instead. The tooth didn’t get pulled that day as dad and Tom Tracey were there that day and they decided to let me off easy because of my attitude.
Hauling firewood from the bush by team and sleigh. Stanley and I each drove a team about five or six miles. Stanley cut down and loaded her sleigh first. She took it home while he continued working on his load. Between 10-15 loads were the usual sign of a regular woodpile. A sawing outfit was then hired, and several neighbors came for a wood sawing bee. Melvin Magnuson sawed their woodpile for several years.