Leona Margaret Keshen, known to most of us as Marge, was born in Birch Hills, Sask. on July 23, 1937 to Emily McNabb.
Marge was raised by her grandparents and grew up as a sister to Emily and her siblings. She spoke often and fondly of her times and memories with this family.
Spending most of her childhood in Fenton, Sask., Marge often recollected her grandparent’s home and the chores she was assigned. As she grew older, her responsibilities increased. She often spoke of fitting her work on the farm and in the house around her school days and homework.
One of Marge’s chores was to make sure that the living room stayed clean, neat and ready for company. She and her younger nephews and nieces were not allowed to go into this room unless company was visiting. Many Sundays after church were spent in the living room with neighbours and their instruments playing and singing their favourite gospel songs. Learning to play the organ and learning these songs helped build Marge’s love for music.
When she was 15, Marge moved to High Prairie where her sisters, Val and Ethel, were living. Marge was hired at the hospital and enjoyed her many responsibilities. She loved to tell stories in particular about being involved in the delivery room.
Marge married Joseph Keshen on Dec. 7, 1953. She was 16 years old. In the years that followed, Marge and Joseph built their family starting with Leona in 1954 and stopping with Gregory in 1971.
Marge changed her career by working at the Park Hotel, Merner’s IDA and then finally the Medicine Bottle.
Marge was a busy lady, always working, raising her seven children and helping out Joe’s mother, Sophie, as she needed her. Her home was also open to a few extras who needed a home base while they started their working careers.
Marge appreciated her continued connection to Emily, meeting her brother and sisters that Emily had with her husband, Carl. Emily and Marge’s siblings, based out of Calgary, met often through the years by traveling back and forth. Marge’s family and Emily’s family were able to become close over the miles through these trips and numerous phone calls.
There were often family workbees making perogies, cabbage rolls and kinidely. When the kitchen wasn’t filled with family members, you would often find neighbours helping out. She taught her granddaughters to make all the cultural foods. She believed the traditions must carry on. Anyone willing to learn was welcome.
Even after her retirement from the drugstore, Marge’s door was open to many workbees for any upcoming family occasions.
Anyone who came to Marge’s door was welcomed with a spot at her kitchen table, a cup of coffee and a snack. That didn’t change, even in Marge’s last days in her home.
Marge passed away at the Royal Alex Hospital on April 5 due to complications from cancer. She was 79.
Marge was predeceased by: her grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth McNabb; her mother, Emily Von Ludendorf; and her husband, Joseph Keshen.
She will be dearly missed by: her seven children, Leona Hume- niuk [Carey], Butch, Terry [Lisa], Ronnie [Dianne], Charlene Martin [Keith], Gary [Barb] and Greg [Michelle]; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; her brother and sisters; as well as numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and other extended family.