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Antonia (Ann) Ivall, 94

Antonia (Ann) Ivall, formerly of Atikokan, passed away peacefully in Calgary on Psalm Sunday, March 29, 2015 at age 94. Beloved wife of the late Edward L. Ivall. Loved mother of Faith, Lynn (Suzanne), Heather, and Glenn (Nancy). Proud Grandmother of Louis, Nadine, Kal, Meredith, Paige (Brad), Melissa, Michelle, Christopher (Marlys), Jason (Shawndra), and great-grandmother of Lincoln, Adrian and Jesse. Predeceased by her siblings, William, John, Anne, and Millie. Her surviving sister, Ellie, remains in Calgary.

Born to Anthony and Mary Halibisky, Ann was raised on a rural farm in Glenhope, Manitoba where she developed an early interest in art, music and history while at school. With the advent of WWII, Ann left home and met her future husband, Edward, in Port Arthur, Ontario. Soon after marrying Ed, he was shipped off to England on her 21st birthday to serve in Dieppe, Sicily and Italy. Reunited in 1945, they settled on a small island in the Lake of the Woods, Ontario where Ann began her life as the wife of a commercial fisherman helping Ed clean and pack fish while he strung nets on the stormy lake. Soon they were joined by the birth of their daughter, Faith, and then their son, Lynn. After a brief stay in Rainy River, they moved to the budding mining town of Atikokan, Ontario. Ann was an adapter and enjoyed the excitement of the bustling, frontier community that inspired a “make do” resourcefulness. Knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, gardening, canning, cooking, and making dessert to perfection all became skillsets she later passed onto her children. Here Faith and Lynn were joined by their too younger siblings, Heather and Glenn.
Faced with the closure of Steep Rock Mines (1979), Ann put her entrepreneurial skills to work with Ed to set up a summertime business making Home Made French Fries. From there, they purchased an acreage outside of Rainy River and built a second home complete with a garden, bee hives, and pheasants. Ann loved flowers and grew an abundance of Sweet Williams in memory of her late brother Bill. Their time at their country home was perhaps some of the best of their 60 years together.

Upon her husband’s passing (2002), Ann embarked on yet another journey. She left Atikokan for Calgary at the age of 82 and returned to her interest in art. She took lessons and painted while still growing her ever present flowers on her balcony. Ann was a big fan of the Calgary Stampede. Even in her 90’s she went almost every day with visiting family and always looked forward to returning the next year. Besides painting, Ann was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed biographies, or keeping up with the daily news in the Calgary Herald. Her favourite game was crib which she played, even on her last day, with her son Lynn. Her years of walking and exercise served her well and made it possible for her to live independently for nearly her entire life.

As a mother, she was a strong, spirited individual with a great sense of style, humor and fun. Ann’s life will be celebrated at the Trinity United Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 30, 2015.