Kathleen (Kathy) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 29, 1950 to Hazel and Joseph Pye. Growing up in a military family, Kathy and her five siblings lived in numerous communities across the country before settling in Cold Lake, Alberta. Kathy is the 4th child in the Pye family, with siblings Carol-Anne, Nancy, Kevin and Ken residing in Alberta, her brother Lorne resides in Ontario.
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Kathy graduated highschool in Cold Lake, later moving to Calgary where she worked as a telephone operator for the Alberta Telephone Company. Through mutual friends, Pauline and Jim Stoddard, Kathy was introduced to Lyle in 1972. After an evening at their house, Lyle offered Kathy a ride home even though she only lived a block away! Two years later they were married on June 7, 1974.
In 1975, her first child, Christine, was born, followed by Michael three years later. A visit to Lyle’s home town (Flin Flon) in 1979 prompted the move to Manitoba, as Lyle became part owner of Johnny’s Confectionery with his brother-in-law, Lavern Morran.
For twelve years Kathy lived above the store raising her kids and helping out in any way. She was a big part of establishing the craft section in Johnny’s! Being the people person she was, Kathy formed many friendships with staff and old timers at “coffee row”-- many of whom became life-long friends.
In 1984, Kathy and Lyle purchased a cabin at Bakers Narrows. The cabin provided Kathy with outdoor space that nurtured her love of flowers and gardening! It also introduced her to one of her very best friends, Dixie Meikle. Kathy and Dixie would spend their evenings with a short walk, followed by playing cards, drinking tea and sharing stories.
When Lyle retired in 1990, they moved from their home above the store into a new home that they built on Roche Blvd. Around this time, Kathy, along with her friend Dixie, had been active volunteers at the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Center. Kathy was encouraged to apply for a position at the Friendship Center where she would oversee the Handi Craft outlet up until her retirement in 2010. Kathy spent countless hours volunteering at numerous events, activities and fundraisers, all of which introduced her to a community of people that allowed the development of wonderful friendships, one of whom was Phylis Stadnyk. Phyl was the manager of the Flin Flon Public Library; together, the two of them would regularly share lunch and coffee breaks! Their friendship grew as they would craft together and take summer vacations to Cold Lake to visit Kathy’s family.
In 1996, Kathy and Lyle moved to the cabin year-round! As Lyle pursued his woodworking hobby, Kathy joined in the fun painting and crafting. For several years Kathy could be found at Christmas Craft Shows selling painted crafts and wood furniture.
Kathy and Lyle eventually gave up lake life and moved to Phelan Avenue in 2009 where she resided next door to another great friend, Karen Chaisson. Karen and Kathy regularly enjoyed back yard visits and card games while sharing laughs.
In retirement, Kathy joined the Alliance Church and was reunited with her love of God. Following a car accident, coupled with an early diagnosis of Dementia, Kathy moved to the Northern Lights Manor in 2015. She resided in the manor for 6 full years. In her early days, Kathy was a firecracker! She kept the staff on their toes as she sang, danced, and occasionally found a way to venture out claiming she was going home! As Dementia slowly took over her mind and body, Kathy lost her ability to speak and socializing became hard; fortunately, Kathy was cared for by numerous loving health care aides as her health continued to decline.
Family was important to Kathy. She spent countless hours researching her and Lyle’s family tree. She sought out and reconnected with long lost cousins, aunts and uncles -- she was the tie that kept so many of them connected, first by telephone, then later through Facebook and email. Visiting her family in Cold Lake was important; she made annual trips to spend time with her brothers and sisters and their families. In 2010, she finally ventured east with Lyle to introduce him to where she grew up. It was the trip of a lifetime that had been in the works for many years. Together they met up with family as they travelled throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Her love for her children was also very evident as she took such an active role in both their lives. She was their biggest fan, attending every curling game and supporting their interests. Friends were always welcome, especially at the lake. The cabin was often filled with the kid’s friends. Kathy proudly spoke of Michael’s travels throughout the world and treasured the unique souvenirs he would send her. She loved to help Christine in her classroom and was often found making special treats for the kids, or helping with decorating, cutting and laminating. When Christine married Mike Williams, Kathy was excited to have someone else to spoil. She’d bake him special treats and cook family suppers every Sunday. He’s sure she cooked a turkey at least once a month! She was ecstatic when Michael moved back to Canada in 2009 and welcomed his partner, Egi into the family; she began making regular trips to Regina for a visit.
Kathy was known as Gramma to her two grandchildren whom she treasured. She loved having them come stay over for sleepovers. Her home was filled with toys, books and puzzles for them to enjoy! She enjoyed vacations to West Edmonton Mall and Cold Lake with her grandchildren. Exciting times were spent at the beach and she treated Ava to a front row experience at a Live Elmo Concert. Ava’s favorite memories with Gramma include playing Go Fish and Trouble, as well as the bowls of Jello that were always in her fridge. Gramma was Joel’s biggest fan! She loved to watch him play soccer and hockey. She’d play endless games of hockey in her backyard and take him on adventures to various community events. Joel’s favorite memories of Gramma all seem to involve food - the treats and candies she always kept for him, the whip cream that she let him spray directly into his mouth, and the chocolate bars she’d buy from the treat cart at the manor so there would be something when he would visit.
Over the past few days we have received many messages and stories of mom -- a common thread was her generosity and spirit! She had an infectious giggle, a love for life, and was always up for a good time! She loved her family, friends, and supporting her community.
Kathy had the most giving personality. She could always be counted on to volunteer her time. She actively volunteered at Parkdale School when her kids were young. She was part of the Willow Park Curling Club Executive. She actively canvassed for both the Kidney Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She worked ‘tag days’ for Organ Donation and spent numerous hours giving her time to many of the Friendship Center programs and activities. Kathy was also an avid baker, regularly baking treats and delivering them to neighbours and friends -- she was famous for her Mars Bar Squares!
Kathy instilled a spirit of volunteerism and the importance of community within her two children. Her love of life and value of friendship was paramount. She was a giving person who touched the hearts of many. She will be forever missed.