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Alberta (Birdie) Louise McKenzie (nee Pittman)

Alberta (Birdie) Louise McKenzie (nee Pittman) was born in Regina on November 28, 1929. Within a year she relocated with her parents to Weyburn, where she lived for most of her life.
Alberta (Birdie) Louise McKenzie (nee Pittman)

Alberta (Birdie) Louise McKenzie (nee Pittman) was born in Regina on November 28, 1929. Within a year she relocated with her parents to Weyburn, where she lived for most of her life. She received her education from Weyburn Collegiate Institute and was in the Graduating Class of 1947. She was very active in sports, playing on the high school basketball team, excelled in speed skating and was on the City of Weyburn's competitive swim team. She taught figure skating and was involved in the Rotary Carnival, not only choreographing and mentoring many young athletes of the day, but also designing the costumes for the annual event. She enjoyed bowling, but readily admitted that she wasn't quite as good as other family members. Bertie's work ethic was developed at an early stage in life, delivering newspapers, and working as an usher and ticket taker at the local theater. With the loss of her father in a tragic electrical accident, the task of helping her mother with the business and her siblings was added to her daily chores. Even with the addition of extra life duties, she was able to maintain a love for playing bridge. In fact, she was known to play bridge in school and restaurants. Occasionally she and her siblings would skip school, just to play the game. Playing cards remained a passion throughout her life. On February 19, 1949 she married Douglas McKenzie of Regina, Saskatchewan. They resided in Ft. MacLeod, Alberta, Humbolt, Watrous and Regina. They finally choose Weyburn in 1955 for the community in which they wished to raise their three children, Sandra "Sandy", William "Bill" and Stuart "Stu". Besides raising the family and working at Woolworths, Bertie honed her bookkeeping skills and obtained a position at the Weyburn Mental Institute, where she worked as a clerk, bookkeeper and secretary. She spent many years as the Executive Secretary until her retirement. She loved the outdoors, enjoyed camping, swimming, water skiing and boating, and spent many summers travelling to Northern Saskatchewan in pursuit of such activities. Birdie contributed to the development and success of Weyburn's Pee Wee Hockey tournament, billeting players and turning her basement into a toque manufacturing operation. There was always a hub of activity at these times. She was an avid curler and although she had to retire from the sport due to arthritis, never gave up her love for the game. She enjoyed the sport so much that we children dare not call before checking that there was not a game in progress. Every year she made an attempt to attend a major event, even travelling to Red Deer, Edmonton and Regina to do so. Her love for the Riders and football was also indicated by the no call rule. She rarely missed watching the game. Birdie could be found playing crib and whist four times a week at the Legion and Senior Center. She liked to organize and made sure everyone who wanted to play would have the opportunity, whether that was finding someone a partner or making sure everyone had a means to get there. She also enjoyed and looked forward to her monthly casino bus to Regina and occasionally would take a trip to Carlyle, Moose Jaw, or Winnipeg, enjoying the camaraderie amoungst her friends. Birdie dedicated an insurmountable number of hours volunteering with the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She was a strong, committed member, attending meetings, helping out where needed (her fancy sandwiches were legendary) and serving on the executive. She held the position of President twice. She also was actively involved with the Weyburn Quota club for a number of years, holding numerous office positions in that club as well, including President. For over 25 years she volunteered for the Soo Line Boxing Club, contributing anywhere her skills were needed. Her thoughtfulness, compassion, willingness to help others, commitment to her friends and family were her strengths. She had an open door, open heart policy. Above all that, what she treasured most was our family. She loved playing silly card games, and looked forward to the laughter, joy and love that surrounded the kitchen table. She was our mentor, our matriarch, our friend, our rock and our MOM, and her legacy is living life to its fullest. She will be truly missed by her family, friends and community. Bertie was an original. A funeral service was held Saturday, November 5 at Grace United Church, Weyburn with Reverend M. Barnabas officiating. Interment took place at Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn. Donations may be made in memory of Alberta (Bertie) Louise McKenzie to the Weyburn Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Condolences may be left at: Arrangements entrusted to Fletcher Funeral Chapels Weyburn, 306-842-5432.

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