Obituary of Grace Laura McIlmoyl
Grace Laura McIlmoyl (nee Berkan) passed away peacefully in her sleep, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at the age of 101 years. A daughter of German Baptist immigrants whose families came to Canada from Russia and Poland seeking freedom from war, poverty, and religious persecution, Grace’s life was marked by both struggle and abiding faith. Grace was the fifth of eleven children born to Fred and Martha Berkan, March 27, 1919. Born on the heels of WWI, Grace lived through the Great Depression, built artillery shells during WWII, and battled tuberculosis for several years in Fort San in the 1950s. She married Fredrick Hales McIlmoyl in 1945, and together they raised two sons in Southey, Saskatchewan.
Throughout her life, Grace was a pillar of strength in her family and community. A devout member of the Southey Baptist Church, she exemplified the spirit of her faith by devoting her life to serving others, caring for her father and husband in their final years, and through her work with the museum and library, knitting caps for newborns in the NICU and lap afghans for people in need, supporting several World Vision children and many missions, and delivering Meals on Wheels well into her 80s. Grace touched the lives of many. Those who knew her remember her as an avid gardener and bird watcher, a wonderful cook, sewer, quilter, and crafter, and a woman who always had time for her family, friends, and neighbours.
Grace will be lovingly remembered by her sister, Ethel; her sons, David (Therese) and James; eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; her siblings, William, Roy, Viola, Gordon, Gladys, Elmer, Norman, Walter, and Floyd; and her great-granddaughter, Uma.
The family would like to thank Maria and Monica and the wonderful staff at the Gardiner Point Care home for the exceptional care they provided for Grace over the last years of her life.
A family memorial service will be held in memory of Grace, at a later date, upon the lifting of restrictions on social gatherings. Memorial donations may be made, in her name, to any charity of choice.