The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
CAROLYN FAY MacDONALD July 13, 1959 to February 20, 2005 Passed away at the Flin Flon General Hospital after a very courageous battle with cancer. She was predeceased by her father Kenneth MacDonald. Carolyn is survived by her mother Ruth MacDonald (Russ Belous); companion Tony Markham and his children Chris, Candice and Samantha; daughters Karla Schram (Brad McIntyre), Candice Redman; son Steven Redman; grandchildren Brooke and Alexander McIntyre; sisters Barbara Campbell (Ken Grindle), Brenda (Ron) Neufeld, Tracy MacDonald; brother Lawrence (Bonnie) MacDonald; nieces and nephews Carrie Campbell; Brent and Gail Neufeld; Brittney and Jordan Holland and Elizabeth MacDonald; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Carolyn was cremated with a memorial service held February 23, 2005 at Dadson Funeral Home. The eulogy was read by Terry Boydell as follows: On July 13, 1959, Ruth and the late Kenneth MacDonald proudly welcomed Carolyn Fay into their family. The boys at work told me she was a "Ross Laker". Others have told me she was a "Channing girl". I'll leave politics out of this and say she was raised in Flin Flon. At the young age of 16, Carolyn took a job working for her Uncle Norris and Ken Rosenberger out at the Tyrell Lake Sawmill. At the age of 18, Carolyn packed her bags and headed off to Alberta. The rigs were calling, the draft rigs, that is. She was working for her Uncle Jack and Aunty Darlene in their bar, in Bruderheim. Here she met and took a shining to a young man named named Richard Schram. In 1979 the two tied the knot. Shortly after, Carolyn was blessed with her first child, a baby girl, "Karla Ann", on November 8, 1979. In 1986, shortly after Carolyn's father Ken passed away, she returned to Flin Flon with Karla. "Home is where the heart is." Here in 1989 Carolyn met Ron Redman. Together they had two beautiful children, Steven and Candice. Steven Edwin Kenneth was born September 11, 1990. On December 27, 1991, Candice Lois Fay was born. Carolyn met her best friend and the love of her life, Tony Markham, in 1992. The two of them have been together ever since. Carolyn raised her three children as a single mother. In the ten years I knew Carolyn she never complained. It didn't seem to matter what was in her way, she just stuck her chin out and moved forward. I think she did a great job. Carolyn was very proud and fortunate to be present at the birth of her first grandchild, Brooke. She got to spend a lot of time with Brooke when Karla returned to school to get her high school diploma. They enjoyed taking walks together, just Grandma and Brooke. Sounds like a grandmother's dream to play with the grandchild all day then ship her home at night. Carolyn also furthered her own education, taking computer courses, first-aid, safe food handling and WHIMS training. She even went and got her driver's license even though she never owned a car. Carolyn turned the tables on Karla in 2001 when she took a job at Bakers Narrows Lodge as a housekeeper. I don't think it works the same when the mother pawns her kids off to her daughter. Luckily the three made it out alive. In September of 2002, Carolyn found out she was going to be a grandmother for the second time. She was hoping she would finally get a grandson. Unfortunately, in October of 2002, Carolyn was diagnosed with cancer. Once again, she stuck her chin out and went forward, this time she had Tony stuck firmly to her side. On March 24, 2003, Carolyn was once again in the delivery room with Karla, waiting for the arrival of her grandchild. Sure enough she was blessed with her grandson, Alexander Karl John. I think we all know how hard the two fought to overcome this situation. Carolyn bravely taking anything the doctors could throw at her and Tony encouraging her on. Taking chemotherapy in Flin Flon and going to Winnipeg to take radiation for six weeks, with Tony once again by her side. Through this whole time I never heard a pessimistic word. I never saw a tear. I did hear a lot of "I can beat this." In fact, I actually started to believe her even though I knew the odds. Unfortunately for us all, Carolyn passed away peacefully on February 20, 2005 with Tony by her side at the Flin Flon General Hospital. She is missed and loved by all. I would now like to relate a couple of remarks that the family has about Carolyn. We know Carolyn was a true blonde. She had numerous discussions with her family about being the third oldest child. They would tell her she was the third youngest. She would never agree with them even though she was the middle child of five. I find the big question here is how many true blondes are there in this family! Carolyn loved to play cards, but she didn't like to be partnered up with one of her sisters. There would be quite the discussion if Carolyn played the wrong card at the wrong time and they missed a "trick". Carolyn has three sisters and one brother, and only the family knows which sister this was (right Brenda). I had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn and her family ten years ago. Shortly after I became single. I moved into a little house at 304 Parkway. The realtor never mentioned it came with kids. In fact, I didn't know it came with kids, until one day I was trying to dig out some old shrubs. And a storm suddenly struck. "What are you doing," "can I help," "why are you doing that?" Then a big black cloud across the street. "Leave that poor man alone," but they really weren't bothering me and wanting to keep the peace with my new neighbours, I said, "Don't worry, they're O.K." That was my introduction to the kids, Steven and Candice. In fact, they joined me the new few days of hard labour. Then one day there was a new voice at the top of the hole I'd dug. I looked up to see old sneakers leading to knobby knees leading to cut-off jeans. And I thought I wonder who this kid belonged to, then I realized that voice had asked me if I wanted a beer. That was my introduction to Carolyn. It was also the last time I actually completed a project I started in my back yard. But more importantly it was also the first time I got to take a seat at the "shrine". Most of you know what I'm talking about, the "picnic table". Over one short summer that picnic table and the regulars that sat around it became a close knit family. Even though I seemed to be the only guy there all the girls became comfortable with me. When they realized I was just sitting around with friends and didn't want any complications. But the laughter and the gossip flowed along with the drinks. It was a comfort zone, a place to get away from it all a few short steps from Carolyn's door. One thing I could never figure out. Everyone said Carolyn had a boyfriend named Tony. I didn't believe it, I'd never seen anybody. Was he a ghost! But one day I noticed a car. It kind of came and went. But sometimes it went away longer than other times but it always came back. Tony, I could never figure out why you didn't like sitting outside with 12 girls and 16 kids. But that was your prerogative. And all of us thank you for letting Carolyn be Carolyn. Carolyn taught me some important things sitting on that table. 1) When you haven't rode a bike in God knows how long, don't ride it down the steepest hill in town, and secondly, don't use your head as a brake. 2) Falling upstairs can be more painful than falling downstairs. 3) No matter how many times you flush an engagement ring down the toilet it always comes back. 4) No matter how strong and tough you think a girl is they're no match for a spruce bug. Just cover your ears and get out of their way. You can laugh later. And God forgive it to be a nice fluffy bumble bee. As fall moved on to winter, we moved inside and the kitchen table became the picnic table. But I couldn't look out my window and see who was outside so these times didn't happen as often. But I did learn about another side of Carolyn during these days when we were able to sit together by ourselves. She was very proud; I'll call her a hider. She hid her emotions very well. Carolyn could stretch a dollar further than anybody I know (except Karla) but if you looked closely you could see it in her eyes when one of the kids' birthdays or Christmas was coming and she didn't think she could give them what they deserved. But to her that was her problem and her problem alone. Thank God, she had a shining knight in a blue Ford Marquis. Then there were other times when she and Tony might have been having a little vacation apart from each other. You could see the love and longing she had for him. But she'd never show it. You had to look for it. Heck, I knew Tony would be back so she must have known it too. Tony, the family and I would like to say thank you, you have been an inspiration to all of us. I don't know how many miles you drove, how many doctors' offices you sat in, how many nights you sat with Carolyn. But you took a load off everybody's shoulders. But mostly, Tony, we want to thank you for giving us a gift. A gift I believe Carolyn had been looking for her whole adult life. Unconditional love. I believe that no matter how sick and sore she was in her heart, she was as happy as she had ever been because she knew you loved her! A girl couldn't ask for more. Once again, thank you! I was hoping to have at least one more sit down at the picnic table with Carolyn. Every spring we'd sit at the table, freeze our buns off, and talk about how we loved to watch the world turn green. But this year there will be a hole. Even though it will hurt I know Carolyn will be sitting at her own picnic table telling me and all of us to Stick Your Chin Out and Move Forward. Carolyn, you are such a great inspiration to all who knew you. Thank you for having us in a part of your life. You will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all of us. Love your family and friends. Ushers were Hal (Bennet) Martin and Mike Wilson. Honourary pallbearers were all of Carolyn's family and friends. Following the service, a lunch was held at the Salvation Army Citadel. Dadson Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.