Evelyn Eva Marie McLean, resident of Moose Jaw since 1963, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2019, wrapped in the love of her daughters and caregiver. Her death follows a lengthy decline from dementia. Evelyn leaves to mourn daughters Donna, Tammy and Jacqueline (husband Bruce Jones); grandchildren Graem Law and wife Crystal, Madison Law and partner Riley, Tess Degenstein, and Adrian Metzler and partner Genny; great-grandchildren Noah, Owen and Zoë as well as many loving relatives and friends.
Evelyn (Mailhiot) was born on November 18, 1934 into a large French Canadian family in Alida, Saskatchewan. She was the seventh child in a family of 13 including 6 sisters and 7 brothers. Life on the farm in the harsh climate of Southern Saskatchewan was not easy but Evelyn’s positive memories of her early years, and of her family of origin, helped sustain her in the last years of her life. At age 17 she moved from the tiny town of Alida to Winnipeg, Manitoba to work as a nurse’s aide in the Misercordia Hospital where she did pioneering care of polio patients in the “iron lung”. While in the big city she splurged on a few high fashion items in which she “turned heads” at dances when she returned to her home town. She met her future husband, Donald George McLean, while working as a nurse’s aide in the Redvers General Hospital. They married on August 31, 1957 and moved around southern Saskatchewan following Don’s career in the oil boom. Daughter Donna was born in Redvers in 1959, Tammy in Weyburn in 1960 and Jacqueline in Regina in 1962.
Don and Evelyn settled in Moose Jaw in 1963 where Don worked at the newly-opened Kalium Potash plant in Belle Plain. After working as a home care aide for a few years Evelyn returned to formal education, receiving her grade 12 in 1973 and her Certified Nursing Assistant Diploma in 1974. She was immediately hired at the Union Hospital in Moose Jaw where she worked until her retirement in 1996. Evelyn was a natural healer, caring for AIDS patients in the early years of the disease, practicing alternative medicine, hands-on healing and loving touch before they were a common practice in medicine. In Hebrew, the name Evelyn means “life”. And Evelyn lived her life to the fullest. She found opportunities to laugh even in the most challenging of times. She was a wonderful nurturer and shared her warmth and compassion with all those whose lives she touched. She loved being a mother and grandmother and would travel to Regina to care for sick grandchildren on a moment’s notice. The headstone she shares with her husband appropriately reads “Mother to All”. In her younger years Evelyn enjoyed dancing, gardening, cooking for her family, camping, canoeing and walking her dog in Moose Jaw’s beautiful Crescent Park. She also enjoyed travelling abroad until her husband of 55 years passed away in 2012. In their later years Don and Evelyn, who he playfully called “Bambino,” enjoyed a loving and caring relationship.
After many years of caring for others in their time of need, Evelyn’s family so appreciated the loving care provided to her by the staff of Providence Place and her special companions, Dianne, Lorraine and Judy during the last few years and days of her life.
There will be a celebration of Evelyn’s life well-lived, beginning with Prayers on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Providence Place Chapel, 100 2nd Ave NE in Moose Jaw. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 1064 3rd Ave NW in Moose Jaw, followed by a reception at the church and a private interment at Rosedale Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, 2550 12 Ave, Regina, SK, S4P 3X1 or to Providence Place Foundation, 100 2nd Ave NE, Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 1B8. Arrangements are entrusted to W.J. Jones and Son Funeral Home. In living memory of Evelyn, a memorial tree planting will be made by Jones-Parkview Funeral Service. Please see our online book of condolences at www.parkviewfuneralchapel.ca and www.wjjonesandson.com (Obituaries). Kelly Scott, Funeral Director.