Flora Jean BALLANTYNE (nee McLeay)
January 29, 1924 - July 5, 2019
Flora (Flo) Jean Ballantyne, aged 95, died after a brief illness with family by her side.
Flora was born January 29, 1924, on the family farm near Barvas, Saskatchewan. She attended Barvas School by sleigh in the winter and on horseback in the summer. In 1941, Flora moved to Yorkton to attain her grade 11 and 12 at the Yorkton Collegiate Institute. She lived with a family while attending school, babysitting and doing household chores to earn her board. Education was always very important to her and she often said it was ‘something no one can take away from you’.
After graduation, Flora began her career as a telephone operator in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan. She soon moved back to Yorkton to continue her career with Saskatchewan Government Telephones. In the spring of 1948, she met Robert (Bob) Ballantyne and after a brief courtship they were married in Regina on September 6, 1948. In 1949, they started their family and Flora remained home until 1963 when she returned to her work in telephones. While in Yorkton, Flora was very active in Knox Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir and participating in the Presbyterian Guild. She also spent time at her family farm, cooking meals and cleaning for her father and brother. In the spring of 1971, Bob’s job with J.I. CASE farm machinery transferred the family to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Flora briefly thought of not working, as driving in the large city was intimidating, but Manitoba Telephones offered a position she couldn’t refuse. In 1977, they were relocated to Red Deer, Alberta, where Flora began working at Alberta Government Telephones. She worked for over thirty years retiring as assistant Chief Operator. Flora was very proud of her career and would often tell her grandchildren she never called in sick, not even once!
After retirement, Flora and Bob travelled abroad exploring their Scottish heritage and spent several winters in Mesa, Arizona. Bob died suddenly in 1993 and a few months later Flora moved to Saskatoon to be closer to family. She was able to spend time with her younger grandchildren who lived in Saskatoon, and her older grandchildren who had moved to Saskatoon for University. Until the age of 90 she frequently drove by herself to Eastend, Medicine Hat and Yorkton to visit family. When home in Saskatoon she enjoyed her condo’s exercise group and visiting with friends. Following a long career in telephones, Flora still loved talking on the phone but embraced the new technology of the iPad and FaceTimed with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was a glamorous woman with her hair always perfectly coiffed, lipstick on and her trademark string of pearls around her neck.
Flora leaves to cherish her memory: daughters Candy Adam of Eastend,
SK, and Kenna (Peter) Mac Mahon of Saskatoon, SK; daughter-in-law Cathy Brotzell of Medicine Hat, AB; grandchildren Mark (Chantelle) Adam and sons Bennett and Charlie; Michelle Adam (Lee Racette) and daughters Jade and Jamie; Lindsay (Chris) Holland and daughters Isla, Rosalyn and Estella; Breonie Mac Mahon; Emmanuel Hillock Ballantyne; Anthony Mac Mahon (Ewa Wolniczek); and Kameko Hillock Ballantyne; sister Georgina Pfeifer, brother-in-law Harry Nixon, sisters-in-law Olive McLeay and Ethel Ballantyne as well as numerous nieces, nephews and their families. Flora was predeceased by her husband Robert Ballantyne, son Robert Ballantyne Jr., son-in-law Dwight Adam, brothers Donald McLeay and Colin McLeay, sisters Mary Upshall and Hazel Nixon, brothers-in-law Allen Pfeifer, Herb Upshall, William Ballantyne and Kenneth Ballantyne.
The celebration of life for Flora will be held Thursday July 25th at 3pm at Saskatoon Funeral Home with Rev. Roberto DeSandoli of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Canada in hope of a cure for her great grandsons, at Cysticfibrosis.ca or 2323 Yonge St, Suite 800 Toronto, ON, M4P 2C9.
We would like to thank St. Paul’s Hospital Saskatoon for the wonderful non-ageist care Flora received during her stay with them.
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