338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Rosanna Marie Nowlan
January 4, 1931-January 13, 2024
Marie died on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Veteran’s Village in Saskatoon, after a short respiratory illness. Her family and friends will remember her sense of humour, her kindness, her determination, curiosity about people and places, and her devotion to her family. Her 93-year story included numerous chapters, many of them alongside her late husband, Roger, and devoted to her eight children and their families, including six grandchildren. Her last chapter was short, as she had only recently moved into Veteran’s Village at Sherbrooke, and still thought fondly of her previous home at Parkville Manor.
Marie’s story began in Elkhorn, Manitoba, where she was born the second child, first daughter of Earl Grey Lund and Mary Margaret (Polly) Lund (nee Cole). She grew up in a warm, loving family and extended family, listing her cousins as some of her friends growing up. She was given a lot of responsibility and independence at a young age, which may have helped prepare her for being the mother of eight. She loved being a mother of a large family, sometimes joking that she should have had more children. She was happiest when surrounded by her family.
Marie spent her early years in Elkhorn. After high school, she left home to work in Winnipeg before deciding to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was during her time stationed in Lac St. Denis, Quebec, that she met Roger Nowlan in nearby Morin Heights. This began another chapter in her life. They married in 1954 and started their life together, moving from Moncton to Chatham, New Brunswick; to Montreal; to Churchill, Manitoba; Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay); The Pas, Manitoba and Melville, Saskatchewan. The family seemed to grow with each relocation, and in each new home they lived, they formed lasting friendships.
As a family friend described her, she was a quiet force in the Nowlans’ family life. Marie managed to raise her young family amid the moves, often volunteering in their activities, such as 4H (sewing, not farming), and alongside Roger in minor sports. They spent many hours working in the canteen at Melville Millionaire games alongside some of their friends.
During her time in Melville, in addition to her volunteer activities, Marie worked at the public library. She always had several library books at home and instilled a love of reading in many of her children.
Marie and Roger supported all their children in their extracurricular activities, putting many miles on the 9-passenger station wagon to drive them to not only local events such as dance recitals and school plays and hockey games, but to hockey and baseball tournaments and other events around the province. They enjoyed many camping vacations over the summers, travelling to Eastern and Western Canada, visiting family and friends along the way. Throughout their years in school, Marie was an advocate for her children, often showing that defiant streak that she had demonstrated since childhood. As many will attest, she didn’t hesitate to question authority, especially if they were wrong.
Marie thrived in her role as wife and mother and household manager. She was a very good seamstress, making many of the family’s clothes. She passed on the values of hard work, careful financial management, and practicality, and she always put her best self forward, usually with a smile on her face. She was happy to help with grandchildren and pets after her family left home and expanded. She liked hearing of the adventures of her children and grandchildren, as she was always interested in other countries and cultures. In recent years she shared some of her own memories of childhood with her family.
She was an avid baseball fan, travelling with Roger to spring training in Florida, and to visit the baseball hall of fame. She loved the Blue Jays and she also loved watching curling on tv. They also shared a love of music. Marie loved musicals, but their record collection demonstrated very eclectic tastes.
Not long after the youngest child graduated from high school in Melville, and after Roger retired, they moved briefly to Regina. They also spent some time as free spirits, travelling with their trailer and visiting friends and family around Canada and the US. They eventually bought a home in Saskatoon where the family enjoyed many happy gatherings over the years. It was so much like their house in Melville that the family felt very much at home.
Well into Marie and Roger’s retirement, but prior to the health issues that slowed her down, Marie joined Curves, where she exercised regularly, showing that you are never too old to try something new. When more health issues led them to sell their house and move to Parkville Manor it was the start of another chapter. With the sale of the house and subsequent downsizing, Marie regretted that she could no longer offer her visiting family a place to stay. The house had become too much for them to manage, but they had many wonderful memories of their life there.
Many people who knew Marie spoke of her kindness. During her time at Parkville Manor, Marie always made an effort get to know everyone, including the staff, and to learn their stories. She loved having family members visit, and introducing them to her friends there.
Marie had recently celebrated the Christmas season by taking the family in Saskatoon out for dinner, saying she wanted a good steak! She had also celebrated her 93rd birthday on January 4, enjoying the visitors, calls, flowers, and treats.
“The song is ended but the melody lingers on.” Irving Berlin
Marie’s story will live on in the family she and Roger created and nurtured all their lives.
Marie is survived by her children, Diane (Terry), Judy (Lee), Doug (Christine), Gail (Lachlan) McLeod, Patrick (Nicole), Ron (Nataghia), Gary and Sharon; her grandchildren, Giselle (Shaun) and Monique Nowlan, Ariana (Foster) and Jared McLeod, and Owen (Chaela) and Benjamin Nowlan; and her brothers Roy (Nancy) and Ron (Glynis) Lund.
Marie was predeceased by her parents, Earl and Polly Lund; loving husband, Roger; her brothers Blair and Reginald (Reg) Lund, and sister Doreen Fowler.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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