It is with great sadness that the family of Finlay John Martin Cameron McLennan announces his sudden passing on Sunday July 15, 2012 at the Dr. Gendreau Personal Care Home in Ste. Rose, Manitoba. Dad was 77 years old.
Finlay was born on January 23, 1935, the first child and only son of Dr. Finlay and Gladys Joy McLennan (Martin) in Ochre River, Manitoba. He attended school and lived most of the rest of his life in Ochre River until moving to Ste. Rose in 2010. In 1962 he married the love of his life Wilma Skeavington on April 21 in a ceremony at the United Church in Sperling Manitoba. The happy couple settled in Ochre River and in 1966 they welcomed their first child Robert Finlay who was soon followed by Roberta Joy (1969) and then Kathy Lynn (1973). Finlay worked for a number of years with Golden Guernsey Dairy as a delivery driver. The last 12 years of his work life were spent with the Alcoholism Foundation of Manitoba at the Willard Monson Institute in Ste. Rose where he worked until retiring in 1992.
Since he was the son of a country doctor and nurse the home he grew up in doubled as the general hospital for Ochre River and area. As a boy he assisted his father and mother in a variety of medical procedures including the setting of broken bones, stitches, amputations and the occasional birth. He would also assist in the provision of end of life care for people who spent their last days in his house under the care of his father. This had a profound effect on dad and he developed a great respect and empathy for the sick and injured as well as a deep appreciation for life itself and its fragile nature.
Away from his home Finlay enjoyed a wide variety of pursuits which included music, he played both the piano and the drums, and athletics, he was a very good baseball player and boxer. He was rarely seen without his dogs Trixie and Toby.
The overriding passion of Finlay’s life was his family, he was happiest when he was at home with Wilma and the kids either gathered around the piano playing his favorite songs, or in the yard playing catch. He was a devoted, loving, caring father and husband. He was as well a selfless and generous man who would give the shirt off his back to a stranger if he thought they needed it more than he did. He readily and willingly gave to various charities and causes. Dad’s door was always open to anyone that needed assistance of any kind or a compassionate ear. He also had a very playful, subtle sense of humor which only those who knew him best got to witness. He had an insatiable thirst for history especially the war years and he would read book after book about both world wars and the major battles of each war. He was also an unofficial historian of Ochre River and had an uncanny ability, even into his later years, to recall events and people that had long faded from other’s memory.
He was very involved in the United Church in Ochre River as a member of the church choir and then in later years as the caretaker for the church. He was also a regular performer at the Ochre River variety/talent shows where he could always be counted on to perform a couple of high tempo numbers on the piano.
Finlay was predeceased by his father Dr. Finlay McLennan and his mother Gladys Joy McLennan (Martin), and son-in-law Randy Shippam.
Left behind to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 50 years Wilma, his son Rob (Rhonda) McLennan; his daughters Roberta Shippam, and Kathy (Wayne) Robinson ; his grandchildren Garth, Lara, Chenessa, Payton, Max, Sam, and Kaylee; his sister Marlyn Banister and half -sister Nancy Baker as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
The McLennan family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff of the Dr. Gendreau Personal Care home in Ste. Rose for making dad’s last year and a half of his life comfortable and enjoyable.
A memorial service celebrating Finlay’s life was held on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. at the Ochre River United Church with Rev. Ed and Georgina Loucks officiating. The eulogy was delivered by his loving son Rob and nephew Darin Banister. Interment followed in the Ochre River Cemetery. Active pallbearers were Finlay’s cousin’s Glen Henry and Wayne Martin, his grandson Garth McLennan, his nephews Brad and Darin Banister and Mark Dracass. All of Finlay’s friends are to be considered as Honorary Pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, Finlay’s family asks that donations be made to the Ochre River Community Foundation.