1932 - 2022
Ellen Currie Waldie passed away on Friday August 26 at Grace Hospital. She is survived by her children, Bruce (Christelle), Mark, Sloane (Shelly), and Noelle (Bryon); nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; her sister Iris (Grant); brother Art; and numerous nieces and nephews. Ellen was predeceased by her parents, Lester and Violet Currie; her loving husband Murray; and her son Clyde.
Mom was born at the old Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. In her youth she lived in Winnipeg, Riverton, and Selkirk. She and Dad were married in 1954, and they shared over 60 years of life together.
While family was the most important thing in Mom’s life, music was a very close second. She sang in church from an early age, and was a member of the Sturgeon Creek (Prairie Spirit) United Church choir from 1967 until she was no longer physically able to continue. Mom also served on several church committees in various roles, including chair of the board.
Ellen Currie began singing with Johnny and his Musical Mates in 1947, and was a regular member of the band until about 1952. After a brief reunion with the band in the 80’s Mom began singing with various dance bands in Winnipeg, mostly at Seniors’ dances and in retirement homes. Until the death of her longest-lived musical collaborator, Dan DeBaets, she would often perform several times a week. During one 15-year period she never had fewer than 100 gigs a year, and often had many more. Her active repertoire, which she could perform entirely from memory, comprised over 2,000 songs. She remembered those songs even after her memory had made it difficult for her to do many other things.
Mom and Dad loved to travel, and they never missed the chance to go on a trip, either near or far. They spent summers at the cottage at Spruce Sands, and loved to receive visitors, which they did as often as they could. They loved ballroom dancing, Scottish Country dancing, and in younger years they would put on demonstrations in costumes that Mom loved and that Dad dutifully wore, although maybe with a bit less enthusiasm.
Most of Mom’s family died before their time, and she considered herself very fortunate to have had such a long and fruitful life. Because of this, we will be celebrating Mom’s life on what would have been her 90th birthday. The celebration will take place at 2:00 PM on Tuesday October 4 at Prairie Spirit United Church (207 Thompson Drive) in Winnipeg.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice.
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