amherst memorial service

Catherine Macfarlane

Catherine Macfarlane


Saturday, February 6, 2021
1:00 to 3:00 PM
Amherst Mortuary Service Centre
925 Sherwood Avenue, Coquitlam, BC
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Obituary for Catherine Macfarlane

December 4, 1940 – January 29, 2021

Catherine Macfarlane passed away in her home, while she was sleeping, at the age of 80. As we all know, she has been struggling with health issues and we thought we were losing her sooner. But she be a strong and a very determined lady, she held on and was able to get out of hospital and gave us a few more months. She was glad to be home and enjoyed watching tv and chatting with family on the phone. Covid made things hard. But we are grateful that even with the restrictions, we got to see her a little.

She was born in a small one-bedroom home she shared with her mother Julia George and her father Isaac George. She had a lot of brothers and sisters, whom she lost few when she was young.

She and her siblings were taken from home at a young age and placed in residential Catholic school. With the loss of being with family, her mom only speaking native tongue and the kids not being allowed to speak Indian made it hard for them all to adjust and difficult being separated from family. When she was able, she ran away and hid with her sister Madeline. She stayed hidden and helped taking care of her nephews and nieces.

She didn't get to complete school and left at around the 8th grade.

She helped out for years, but eventually she met her love, Ronald Macfarlane, got pregnant and married and lived in Richmond. In those days, you were not allowed to marry a white man and my mom had to give up her status and live outside of the reserve.

She worked in the cannery and I can still remember at a young age her riding my brothers banana seat bike to work, in her white jumper and green headscarf.

She had four children and she worked and we had a nanny to help take care of us: Ruby, a wonderful lady.

Ronald was away up north fishing a lot and their marriage didn't last long . They divorced and my mother met her second love, Robert Edgington. They grew closer over the time, all while she was raising four kids alone. As time went by, they fell in love and had 2 twin children: Tim and Tom. She spent her life busy and full. Her four children, their two children and Robert’s two children from his past marriage made the total of a family with 8 kids! They came to stay weekends at first, and then Robert’s son came to live with us permanently. Then later as teenager, Robert’s daughter also moved into the household.

She did a lot of net work, knitting sweaters; she also grew and canned a lot of fruits and vegetables. They went hunting and filled the freezers with moose deer and pork and beef sides. Big family needed to make ends meet and filled the pantry and freezer every summer season. As kids, we helped and learned to can preserves of all kinds. We blanched and kept fruits and vegetables in the freezers too.

She had lived in Steveston in a big house with her 2 children, where she then moved to the end of No. 2 road and had 2 more children.

After the birth of her youngest son, She was alone raising 4 kids. She then settled with Robert, had twins and moved to a house on Woodwards: a one bedroom with den. The twins lived in the den and the other 4 children from her first marriage shared the attic: one room with 5 beds.

Her stepson and stepdaughter started to come and stay on weekends.

After 3 years, they saved enough and moved to Dover Road’s 4-bedroom house with a two door garage and a big yard and a carport.

Mom spent a lot of time knitting and doing net work and do black cod traps. They lived here for a long time. When the twins were teenagers, they moved to White Rock and bought a log house. The twins were still living at home.

With Robert’s health failing they sold the house and bought a condo in White Rock down the road from the hospital. But he passed and she then sold the condo and moved in with the twins and son Ronald whom they had bought a house for.

She lived with them for a year or so then Tim sold the house and she moved in with Tom in Surrey for few more years. Then they moved to Guildford area together.

She lived there for long time and it was her last home.

She had a lot of interests in fishing with a rod, knitting Indian sweaters and hats. She knitted wool socks and slippers which everyone loved.

She drew well, but didn't pursue the skill. But she was still quite good. Plants she loved: she grew a lot of large gardens of vegetable and fruit trees, and of course canned and froze them all year after year.

She would spend every summer with all her kids peeling, canning, pickling everything: skinless peaches and pears, purple plums, green gages, green beans, apple sauce, beets, peas, mincemeat. One freezer was full of frozen vegetable and fruits, another freezer was for salmon, beef and pork complete side cut up to save. They also had a few freezers in garage with deer meat and moose meat as well as one filled with bread.

She made everything stretched and fixed. She mended all everyone’s clothes.

Catherine was a Catholic. But when she got divorced, she was no longer accepted. So she didn't go anymore.

Her best achievement was being a wonderful mother and grandmother. She loved and adored her family, through thick and thin and all the trials, s0he did the best she could under a lot of difficult circumstances.

She had taught us all how to try and get along and forgive and remember how important family is.

Catherine had a funny sense of humor – a bit dry, but if you knew her, you would appreciate her needling in fun and always speaking direct and to the point.

I can honestly say my memories of her growing up was going from second hand stores and swap meets, endless driving for garage sale and consignment stores. She made every cent count and we never went without.

She would take long walks and let her kids collect bottles to give them a chance to have few pennies to spend. We loved it.

She took us fishing on the docks and we caught bull heads and sucker fish.

For many years, she enjoyed bingo and slots, holidays away to Vegas or Reno. Her sister Madeline would visit and stay and take care of the kids and the house.

Her sister was her rock and they were very close. They went Berry-picking blueberries or strawberries together during summers for work. Their closeness was remarkable.

Casino were her last past times and her health prevented air travel. So she absolutely loved their monthly family trips to casinos to bring family together. She spent a lot of late nights and she was often lucky. But she never got rich doing those.

Her favorite drink was martinis with lots of green olives. She always hinted to get few extra olives (and yes, she always got those extra olives). She loved to have a drink and often reminded us that she was a full-grown woman and if she wished to have a drink, she was going to. She loved singing and laughing and spending time with her family.

Blue is her favorite colour and she loved Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Tom Lee Jones, Patsy Cline, Elvis and Johnny Cash. She loved a song by Dolly and it meant a lot to her “Love you to the moon and back”. She received PJs and teen shirts with this slogan and wore it to casino every month for luck. Her granddaughter Shawna and daughter Valerie also received these shirts and PJs and all three wore them to share them together.

Catherine is survived by her children: sons Dennis Macfarlane, Tim Edgington, Tom Edgington, Ronald Macfarlane and daughter Valerie and grandchildren: Shawna-Lee, Kodie, Kyle, Rodney, Samara, Miranda, Scott; great grandchildren: Lilly, Dayton, Skyler, Sayori, Trayton and Devon.

Catherine was predeceased by her husband Ronald Macfarlane Senior, her second love Robert Edgington and her brother and sisters, and by her mother Julia George, her father Isaac George, son Douglas Macfarlane and stepdaughter Leah Edgington.

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