May McBain

Obituary of May McBain

Dorothy “May” McBain passed away Saturday morning, January 13, 2024, with her family by her side.

May was born April 1, 1931,  the first child of George and Dorothy Virgo.  She was born on the Elf Conway farm at Loyalist, Alberta with nurse, Mrs. Labla in attendance.  George and Dorothy moved around to farms in the Consort, Helmsdale and Lovedale areas.  It was at Consort that sister Donna joined the family on August 14, 1938.  May started her schooling at Lovedale, at a one room school.  She was a keen student and enjoyed her math and science studies.  From the Johnson farm at Lovedale, they moved to Cereal where George was in charge of the town lighting plant.  It was here that May developed a love for skating and many lifelong friendships.  Her brother Johnny joined the family in Cereal, March 22, 1941.

May’s stay in Cereal was to be one of her longer residences.  She finished her elementary and junior high grades here.  Next was High School and that required a bus ride to Chinook.  Four years of high school with Mr. Charyk as her teacher.  She always spoke highly of him because he liked math and sciences as well.  It was during these high school days that May developed a love of music and dancing.  There were piano lessons and lots of community dances.  Her last year of high school she boarded with the Hughes’ in Cereal.  The highline power had made it to Cereal, so the rest of the family moved to Alsask, Saskatchewan, where George ran the lighting plant.

Upon completion of high School, May joined the family in Alsask and started employment with the Royal Bank.   However, there was a fella back in Cereal that she had met at a dance.  So a train ride between Alsask and Cereal for dances, to see Ken McBain, became a regular occurrence.  It was on one of these trips back to Alsask that the conductor reassured her that he would wake her up should she fall asleep.  And that he did.  

A bank transfer from Alsask to Cabri, and the offer of a promotion to Regina, encouraged Ken to pop the question.  So, wedding bells it was, on November 10, 1953, in Calgary, with Ken’s brother Alex, as best man, and Alex’s wife Mae, as bridesmaid.  A community dance was later held for them in Chinook.

For the first year of marriage, they lived with Ken’s parents, Ken and Jessie, on a farm south of Cereal.   Kevin arrived February 28, 1956, and Karen, August 2, 1958.  Many fun years were had visiting with family, friends, and neighbors.  Of course, there was lots of hard work during the week, but on weekends there was always a dance in a nearby community!  They rarely missed a weekend of dancing.  Other interests during the farm years were gardening, cross country skiing, curling, golfing and watching the grandchildren. They enjoyed a road trip to Vancouver, Victoria, and Coeur de Laine, Idaho.  In 1975, a family Christmas trip to Hawaii was a huge highlight for May.  As Ken’s health declined, in 1998 this required a move to the Oyen Long Term Care facility.  May decided to move to Palm Villa apartments to be closer to Ken.  After 46 years of marriage, Ken passed away March 31, 2000.

After Ken’s passing, May joined the Senior’s Club and enjoyed many years of floor curling and senior dances in Oyen, Hanna, Consort and Kindersley.  May also started playing piano at the All Saint’s Anglican Church in Oyen, and enjoyed the music practices with Peter White and Ken Mick.  She also volunteered with Oyen Ministerial Association as treasurer and played piano at the Long Term Care for Reverend Dr. Catherine Holland’s services for many years.

In 2015, May decided she wanted someone else to cook her meals, so she moved to the Oyen Lodge.  During these years, she enjoyed visiting, cribbage and playing other games.  COVID-19 restrictions showed up at the Lodge in March, 2020 curtailing most activities.  This is where, and when, a decline in health started, that required her to move to the Oyen Long Term Care facility in April, 2022.  May was reluctant at first but with the loving care of the staff she soon warmed to her new surroundings and enjoyed being there for her final days.

May was predeceased by her husband Ken,  parents George and Dorothy Virgo, brother John Virgo, sister Donna Cofield, and brother in law Glenn Cofield.