Macnab, Sharon Lynne “Sherry”

On July 29, 2020 Sharon Lynne “Sherry” (Chynoweth) Macnab passed away peacefully at the age of 86 in Edmonton, Alberta. Sherry lived a full life of faith, bringing people together, taking joy in the happiness of others, and living life with an enthusiasm and warmth that brightened any room she entered.
Sherry will be deeply missed by her husband of 64 years, Ross Macnab; their three children: Carol (Ron Rault), Sandy Hansen, Bruce (Kathryn Ruckman); six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She will also be deeply missed by little sister Dawn Fortson of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee; nieces and nephews; and many friends.
Sherry’s sharp mind and curiosity fueled her many interests, hobbies, volunteering, and gave her the adventurous spirit to travel the world. Sherry was a teacher, an accomplished Bridge player and a powerful and elegant swimmer who taught all her children, grandchildren, and 2 future Olympic medalists how to swim.
Born in Laurium, Michigan on May 1, 1934 Sherry (Sharon) Chynoweth Macnab is predeceased by father Harold, mother Marion (Quello), sister Gerry DeWitt, and brother Dennis. Sherry was born and raised on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The family moved to Greater Detroit in her teenage years, where she attended Redford High and later the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating in 1956.
While at Michigan, Sherry met Ross Macnab of Montreal, and they married in 1956. After spending time in Lansing and Montreal, they moved to Edmonton in 1963. Here among so much else, she taught school, raised a family, perfected her Christmas spirit, and spread never heard before Upper Peninsula colloquialisms. Sherry loved family and friends warmly, laughed heartily, and made every day a bit more fun for those around her. In retirement, Sherry and Ross wintered for many years in Palm Springs, California, where they made many friends and lavished attention on their grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the management and staff of the Lifestyle Care Centre in Leduc, Alberta where she lived for the last seven years. The dedicated and loving care of daughter Sandy and Centre staff enabled Sherry to shine through her long battle with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
Announcement of a service to follow.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer and Dementia Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

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It has taken me awhile to be able to write this, but here it is.

Family was so important to my mom, she was the glue that held us together. My mom was a happy person and she wanted everyone else to be happy too. She was never petty and never spoke unkindly of others, even if they deserved it. My mom taught me to treat others the way you would like to be treated and to imagine yourself in the same situation so you could better understand where they were coming from.

My mom loved being around people. She loved going out and she loved entertaining. She took gourmet cooking classes, flower arranging, she curled and played softball. She played bridge. She canvased for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and worked blood drives for the Red Cross. She looked forward to spending much of the winter in Palm Springs for swimming, golfing and seeing a whole different group of friends.

My mom loved watching my brother, Bruce, play hockey. If you walked into an arena while my brother was playing you didn’t even need to look around, you just followed her voice to find where the family was sitting

My mom graduated from The University of Michigan which was where she met my dad. My mom was very intelligent. She played duplicate bridge. I don’t know how to play bridge and from what I understand duplicate bridge is really difficult. However, she also played an odd type of crossword puzzle game with my dad. It went something like this “Sherry what’s an 11 letter word meaning GRADUATION and the third letter is N?” My mom would answer, “CONVOCATION.” Often she would have to spell the word so it would fit into the puzzle. On to the next word, “Sherry what’s a 6 letter word meaning DOG that ends in an E?” My mom would answer “CANINE,” spell the word if my dad couldn’t get it to fit and then it was on to the next word. Personally, I found the process it bit bizarre but they both seemed to enjoy it. My dad is also very intelligent, however, this is not apparent when completing crossword puzzles or spelling.

Brought up in an Italian Catholic family, my mom was of the opinion there was never a reason to miss mass. We traveled a lot. The first thing my mom would do when we arrived at our destination was to find out where and what time church was. We could be in Upper Slobbovia and somehow within minutes she would have the details. She told me once that she had considered training as an FBI agent, I think she would have been great at interrogation.

My mom moved with her parents and siblings to Detroit when she was a teenager. She taught me about Jim Crow law, the Detroit riots, school segregation…That is why I preferred books like The Underground Railroad and Fredrick Douglas Fights for Freedom over Nancy Drew. My mom is the reason I teared up when I watched the funeral procession of John Lewis cross the Edmond Pettis Bridge. My mom didn’t often vote in the US Elections but she made sure she voted for Obama in 2007 as the first African American President. I’ll vote for Kamala Harris as the first woman of color for Vice President, as I know she would have.

My mom loved telling stories, some of which included a few more details than I thought necessary. After awhile I’d say “Long story long” and that would speed it up a bit. Turns out my son says my stories also have much unneeded detail.

For several years my mom did not know who I was and didn’t seem to like me. This broke my heart. On visits I would cry in the car all the way there and then cry in the car all the way home. Then it got to the point that I was crying while I was visiting. I wish I was stronger like my sister, Sandy, who was so devoted to my mom during this time. I know it was just as difficult for Sandy, but she still did it and I’ll always be grateful.

There was one visit though that was very special. I read that Alzheimers patients liked dolls so I bought her the most lifelike baby doll I could find. It looked like a baby about 3 months of age. I took the doll out of the bag and handed it to her. My mom’s face just lit up. She held that baby very gently and kissed her on the forehead now and then. When it was time for me to go she carefully handed the doll to me. I told my mom that the doll was hers to keep and to take care of. She was SO happy. That’s the visit I think of when I have to think of that time. I still cried in the car all the way home but they were tears with a touch of happiness.

Over the course of my life, whenever I have made a choice contrary to what my mom thought was the right one, she would tell me I had more guts than brains. After saying goodbye to my mom and as I was removing the Personal Protective Equipment, a voice in my head said “You have more guts than brains.” Well that may be true in many cases, Mom, it wasn’t in this instance. My gut, my brain and my heart all told me what I had to do. Long story long, I really miss my mom but I’ve really missed her for years

Al and Jan Davey

Ross and Family
Al and I were so sorry to hear of Sherry’s passing. We know she is at peace now but she will be very much missed by her family and friends. We had many good times in hockey arenas, on holidays, playing bridge, curling and at parties. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all today.

Shirlee White

Ross and family _ I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember Sherry’s spontaneity and her zest for life. My thoughts are with you. My best wishes to you and the family.

Anita Jocksch (DeLuca)

Ross, Carol, Sandy, and Bruce,

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families. I have so many wonderful memories of Sherry from my years growing up when our families were neighbours. She was always smiling, so very thoughtful, and a true friend. I know my Mom looked forward to her phone calls and occasional visits well after they were no longer neighbours. She brought many smiles as her love and passion for life was often contagious.

JP DeWitt

I wish I had more memories of my Aunt Sharon. As a child, I remember a few formative moments when I got to know my adventurous great aunt. At the time, I was a young kid growing up in rural Michigan.

To me, my aunt was a trailblazer. She had moved internationally, soon after university, to what I understood was the metropolis of Edmonton. There was, after all, an ice skating rink in the mall–I had never heard of such things. Moving out of Michigan, away from some of the family, I knew my Aunt Sharon as a courage and an independent woman. Her life always sounded so exciting.

I haven’t seen her for too many years, but I will remember my Aunt Sharon showing up with my Uncle Ross (or Uncle “Walrus” before I could properly pronounce his name) coming back to Michigan for visits and indulging her sister’s grandchildren, making us smile, making us laugh.

Diana Gauthier

Sherry’s great personality was evident in her infectious laugh, wonderful hospitality and friendship.
We met Sherry when Roger was a grad student at the University of Alberta, with Ross as his advisor. Sherry and Ross welcomed us to Edmonton, inviting us often to their home.
One memorable event was when Diana and two other grad student wives, all of us with little kids and living in student housing, decided one morning at 9 a.m. to play bridge. A fourth was needed. Sherry was called and came right over. That was Sherry: fun and friendship.
We are glad that we remained good friends over the years and are saddened by her passing.
We extend sincere condolences to Ross and all the family.
Roger and Diana Gauthier,

Gloria Cazes Deley

Sending our deepest sympathy to Ross, Bruce, Sandy, Carol, spouses and the many grandchildren. Sherry sounded like an incredible lady that will be missed by many. May all the wonderful memories you all have of her give you courage and strength in the months to come.

Matt and Gloria

Debora Marsh

Aunt Sharon was everything it says and more. She had a funny way of calling all of us kids “stooges” and her favorite saying, or maybe she just said it a lot, when addressing us was, “How are you stooges doing?” For some reason that always made her smile, and of course, we smiled too.

Aunt Sharon wasn’t very tall, but she had a big personality which filled rooms with laughter and love. Even though she, Uncle Ross, Carol, Sandy, and Bruce lived far away, we saw them regularly as we’d take family vacations to meet for several weeks each summer. We spent time on a dude ranch in Wyoming, stood on glaciers in British Columbia, and enjoyed bathing Banff’s hot springs.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ross took me to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, which was surreal to the 15 year old me. I watched Edwin Moses win the Gold medal in hurdles, or at least win his heat to qualify for the finals. It was pretty impressive to see people from all over the world coming together to share in the celebration of humanity through sport.

When I think about Aunt Sharon, I am pretty sure that her laugh is something I will never forget. She was always quick to smile and usually when she did, her warm brown eyes would crinkle at the sides, she’d tip her head back slightly, and her energetic and infectious laugh would escape, inviting everyone around her to join in.

Corvin and Alison Uhrbach

Ross and family We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to you all on your loss. Although we never met Sherry, she sounds like a lovely and interesting person, who will be deeply missed.

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