With a feeling of great loss, the family of Muriel McPhail of Carberry, announce her passing on April 10, 2021, with her daughters at her bedside.
Muriel was predeceased by her husband Gordon, her parents Len and Jessie Murray, her sister Margaret Baron and in-laws Mac and Dorothy McPhail, Joe Baron, Joe Flood, Bob McPhail, Don McPhail and Doreen Smith.
She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered for her enthusiasm, energy, ambition, tenacity and indomitable spirit by her daughters and their families: Sharon and Brian Salt, Braden and Carla; Lori and Blair Salt, Brianna and Chris Renwick, Gavin, Aidan, Calin and Briar; Miranda and Brent Bromley, Devlan; Audrey and Randy Turner, Ryan and Ailish, Taig, Orla and Quinn; Danna and John Kopp, Lola and Miller; sister-in-law Bernice Flood, brother-in-law Bob Smith, her many nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends and acquaintances in Carberry and a lot of other places all around the world.
Muriel was born in Brandon on July 28, 1928. She lived nearly her entire life in Carberry and her heart didn’t stray very far from there, even though she travelled all over the world. She and Gordon were married in Carberry on May 14, 1952.
All who knew Muriel know that she was a prolific knitter, an avid gardener, a baker famous for her scones, a faithful Blue Bombers season ticket holder, a real true people person, who loved to meet someone new, but never wanted to lose contact with an old friend. She enjoyed many intergenerational relationships and was game for any social event from the symphony and theatre to a “horse race” at the golf course or an outing with the Red Hat Ladies.
She played many roles in her life. It was a privilege to have her for a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who would do anything for you. She faithfully kept in touch with her extended family on both sides.
She was a leader in the community: an Elder and organist at Knox Zion Presbyterian Church, a past president of the Chamber of Commerce and a long-time member of the Ladies’ Curling Club. She has held offices on the Carberry Plains Cemetery Board, IODE, Communities in Bloom and the Criddle Vane committee. Muriel was intensely proud of her home town and felt Carberry had been good to her and her family and she wanted to give back. She told her daughter once, “My day is complete when I have done something for somebody else.”
She was a mentor to others in the travel industry, helping many newcomers learn the ropes. She was a teacher, giving organ and piano lessons and accompanying vocalists. She was an historian and archivist, with a wonderful memory for events and people of the past. Preserving and respecting history was very important to her. She was an entrepreneur. The first business she owned with her husband Gordon was the Palace Theatre in Carberry. Then they built their own business, McPhail Agencies Travel and Real Estate. She was a traveller. She loved to visit places near and far and was an excellent travel companion, always ready to explore on a tour or relax at Happy Hour. On her travels, she took time to write postcards to many friends back home. She returned many times to some of her favorite places: the Australian Gold Coast, Portugal, Palm Springs and Victoria. Her daughters enjoyed some very memorable trips with her to New York, Bermuda, the Maritimes and most recently a Mediterranean Cruise. She took her grandchildren on trips both as children and young adults. Even the great grandchildren have travelled with GG. She was an environmentalist, passionate about composting and recycling even before it was common. She hated to throw anything out. “There’s still some good in it.” was a favourite saying.
Muriel lived life large. She never wasted a moment idling around. Her “Muriel stories” are legendary. She was a role model and an inspiration as an exemplary citizen and she has left a legacy of civic duty, good deeds and kind words. There is no stopping her spirit and many will hear “Mother Muriel’s” voice in their heads for years to come.
Muriel left “suggestions” for her funeral and we would like to acknowledge that if we were not under Covid 19 protocol, these are people that she had requested as pallbearers: John Burke, Jim Scott, Philip Balabanski, John McNeill, Grady Stephenson, Randy MacDonald, Debbie Arsenault, Gwen Shamanski, Follko Buurma, Don Hardie, Kurtis Graham and Ken Van Damme.
Thank you to Dr. Sherrie Wray for her concern, wisdom and guidance while Muriel was still at home, to the admitting doctor, Dr. Adria Van Niekirk and to the compassionate, competent, caring crew that are the nurses at Carberry Health Centre. You are amazing people. We want to acknowledge the dedicated home care aides and nurses that helped Mom to stay in her own home for so long. That’s what she wanted and you helped to make it happen. Thank you very much. Thank you also to White’s Funeral Home for guiding us through a difficult time.
A private service will be held at Carberry Plains Cemetery. Mary Ella Proven will be the officiant. We hope to have a great big celebration of her great big life when we can gather again.
In lieu of flowers, Muriel has requested that friends and relatives consider signing up for Organ Donation at SignUpForLife.ca or give blood to save a life. Donations in her memory can be made to Carberry Plains Cemetery, Carberry and Area Community Foundation or Carberry Health Centre Palliative Care.
The service will be taped and available for viewing on White’s Funeral Home website: www.whitesfh.ca
I’d like the memory of me
To be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
Of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo,
Whispering down the way,
Of happy times and laughing times
And bright sunny days.
I’d like the tears
Of those who grieve,
To dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave
When life is done.
The family would like anyone who knew her to raise a glass in her honour this week and hug someone you love.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Muriel Isabel McPhail, please visit our floral store.