Minnie PlumDecember 8, 1921 ~ May 27, 2017 (age 95)
MINNA (MINNIE) PLUM nee CARSTENSEN
DECEMBER 8, 1921 – MAY 27, 2017
Do you hear someone humming and singing? You will know it must be Minnie Plum. Even with all the challenges throughout her life, she always had a smile and a song in her heart.
Minnie Carstensen was born to Anna and Chris Carstensen on December 8th, 1921 in the Riding Hill/Gallivan area.
Minnie attended Riding Hill School, which was close to home. She enjoyed playing ball and used to bring home many ribbons from Track and Field Day. Her sister, Anna, spoke of how “Minnie could run like a deer”. That’s probably why, soon after a recent cancer operation in St. Paul’s Hospital, a male patient much younger than her came along in the hallway with an IV pole to get his exercise. They were getting Minnie up to see if she could go for a walk as she had become so weak from the operation. The nurse jokingly said maybe they should have a race, and immediately, Minnie took off and left him “in the dust.” Everyone was shocked at her, and, of course, this generated a good laugh. Even though she was in her nineties, she was still going strong.
Minnie spent a short time away from home in 1942, working at Seven Sisters Falls in Manitoba. In 1943, she received a Home Nursing certificate from The St. John Ambulance Association. In May of 1948, she married Ronald Plum of Kindersley. Shortly after their marriage, they had to uproot from their Kindersley home to go and help out at Minnie’s parents’ farm because her mother was ill with diabetes. After her mother passed away in 1950, they stayed on and took over the farm with her father continuing to live with them. Ron and Minnie had two children, however, after delivery issues with her first-born son, Harvey and then Carol (whom Minnie teasingly called the “3 a.m. brat”), they must have decided to call it quits.
Minnie was multi-talented, which is, of course, a necessity if you live on a farm. One of those talents was her ability to shoot partridges, which provided meat for the table. On a hot day, Minnie and Anna enjoyed working in the garden in shorts and a halter top. The only problem was that they did not want to be caught wearing this attire. If a car came down the road, Minnie and Anna would hide in the caragana hedge until the car went on by. Baking, sewing, gardening, the housework, and taking care of all the animals was part of everyday life. Minnie used to sew for her family, enjoyed making quilts, and was very creative with crafts. There were always times for friends though, and knowing that Minnie was an excellent cook, even the Raleigh and Watkins men knew when dinner was on the table.
Even though Minnie was very busy with farm life, she always found time for music. Minnie’s mother used to play violin for dances, and following in her footsteps, Minnie also played in a local band with good friends, Alene Hardy, Clayton McLain, and Ernie Hebson. Minnie could play the piano, guitar, accordion, violin, and mouth organ (and No, not all at once!) Minnie would often play cards and games with family and friends. She was always up to skunking you in a game of cribbage.
Minnie was active in many organizations, teaching Sunday School, and active as Secretary-Treasurer for Sunday School, both at Riding Hill and Gallivan. She was President of the United Church Women for some time receiving a Life Time Membership in 1992.
In 1987, after selling the farm, Ron & Minnie moved into Battleford. They thought they were busy before, but it seemed as though life sped up even faster. They became very close friends with their new neighbour next door, Nora Krake, and she introduced Minnie and Ron into all sorts of activities. Thanks to Nora, Minnie took up painting and loved it. Thus, their circle of friends became even greater.
She found great joy in competing at the local fiddle contests, honoured with 2nd place in 1995. She loved to sing, and like her husband, Ron, could also yodel. She sang soprano and/or played an instrument in different groups: the Cut Knife Clayton McLain Museum “Kitchen Kats”, the Hillcrest Singing group and Battlefords’ United Church Choir.
She was honoured for 25 years involvement at the North Battleford Western Development Museum and for her many years of service at the Battlefords Hillcrest Centre, the Pioneer Association Gang and the Saskatchewan Hospital.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Harvey Plum and Carol Carstensen; her beloved sister, Anna and husband, Vic Juba, her brother-in-law, Ernal Plum and sister-in-law, Darlene St. Cyr.
Harvey has one daughter, Christine and a grand-daughter, Jessica. Carol has two sons, Kelsey, with his son, Trevor; and her son, Joseph & Aleksandra with newborn daughter, Lela. Minnie was happy to meet her new great grand-daughter via internet before she passed. Also nieces and nephews will fondly remember Aunt Minnie.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ronald Plum; parents, Chris and Anna Carstensen; her sister, Bertha Anderson, and her brother, Henry (Hank) Carstensen.
Minnie was a beautiful spirited woman, who worked with her life filled with challenges, but right to the end, she still had her wonderful smile. Now at peace, Minnie is free.
Minnie Plum’s Memorial will be held Friday, June 9th, 2017 at the Battlefords United Church at 2 pm.
Please make donations to the charity of your choice or to the Rockhaven Cemetery c/o Box 27, Rockhaven, S0M 2R0.