It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arlene McCuaig, beloved wife, mother, Grandmother, Aunt, teacher and friend; in the Invermere hospital April 13, 2009. Born Arlene Yvonne Louise Hayes on February 16, 1923 in Major Saskatchewan, she attended grade school at Earl Grey, Sask. and high school at Strasbourg, Sask. before going on to Regina Normal School to complete her teacher;s qualifications. She taught in one-room schools in Gainsborough, Lumsden, and Saskatchewan before her marriage to Duncan Stewart McCuaig (Stew) on december 19, 1944 in Earl Grey, Sask. Arlene continues to teach in Gibbs for the next two years before they moved to Flin Flon, MB where Stew worked in the mine. In 1947 they moved to The Pas, MB where their daughter Valerie was born. A year later followed in 1952 was their son Warren.
In 1953 they moved to Campbell River BC where Arlene resumed her teaching. A year later they moved to Calgary where Arlene took in boarders for a couple of years. Many of these young men continue to stay in contact with Arlene and Stew. It was through theses fellows that she was affectionately dubbed ” Mrs. Mac ” a nick name that stayed with her throughout her life.
In 1957, Mrs. Mac opened the Jiminy Cricket Kindergarten when she and the family moved to Ogden in S.E Calgary. The basement of the family home became a bustling learning centre for hundreds of young children as Mrs. Mack prepared then with strong foundations to enter grade 1. Mrs. Mack has stayed in the hearts and memories of so many of her former students as evidenced by the number of calls, letters, and visits she received from these students as they moved on to further schooling and occupations and become parents and grand parents. Mrs. Mac closed her private Kindergarten in 1974 when Kindergartens were incorporated into the school system.
At that time, Arlene and Stew retired to their family cabin at Fairmont hot Springs B.C. where they have continued to entertain the correspondence and company of students past and children present who have graced Arlene’s doorstep and her life. She was well known for her well-stocked peppermint jar and her candy drawer which led her to being known fondly as The Candy Lady and sometimes The Peppermint Queen.
Arlene was predeceased by her son Warren Douglas McCuaig, and her brother Ted Hyles and sister in law Erna Hyles and her mother and best friend Pearl Hyles. She will be deeply missed by her husband of 64 years (Duncan) Stewart McCuaig, daughter Valerie Tannis Blazina and son in law Norman Arnold Blazina, daughter in law Cheri Louise McCuaig , grand daughters Kelcy jay and Kwynn Rachelle Blazina and Jaime Rae and Madison Carly McCuaig. As well as all her precious nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. She loves and valued them all and counted herself so lucky to have them in her life.
Special thanks go out to the wonderful ladies of the Home support and to Dr. Maria Dibb and the medical/ nursing staff at the Invermere Hospital for the kindness and care that Arlene and family received during the past 7 weeks.
As per Arlene’s request there will be no service, but donations can be made in memory of Arlene McCuaig to the Harmabee Education Association for the education of young girls/ women in Kenya and Tanzania. Collected monies will go to the 3 year high school education of a girl in Africa as the girls are not given the privilege of an education past grade school. Please make cheques payable to
(with reference at the bottom of cheque to – Harambee Education
Fund in memory of Arlene McCuaig.)
Address: Box 1507
Salmon Arm, B.C.
All donations over $20 will be issued a receipt from Harambee for tax purposes.