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Marjory Jean Strain

Obituary

Marjory Jean Strain (1921-2022)

Marjory Strain died peacefully at the age of 100 on March 14 in Nanaimo BC, where she had lived since 2010. Previously she had lived in North Battleford SK after the death of her husband, Ted Strain in 1993.  Though she no longer lived in Saskatchewan, it was forever in her heart.  She was always interested in crop reports from the farm, and she remained an avid Rider fan to the end.

Marjory was born at the Scott SK hospital, eldest child of John and Annie (Leach) Scott, a local homesteading family. She attended East Prospect School with her siblings, Don and Dorothy. Her high school education was mostly by correspondence. Meanwhile, her Grain Club experiences made her very knowledgeable about grain varieties and weed identities. 

As a teen during the war, she trained as a dressmaker.  She had a natural talent as a seamstress which she would later foster in her daughters.  She was skilled in all forms of needlework, and she took great pleasure in sharing her creations with her children and their families in her signature selfless way.

In the 1940’s she attended the Normal teaching program in Saskatoon and then taught in several schools, Phippen, Cottesloe and Prongua, between Wilkie and Battleford SK. About 1947, she began teaching at Whitewood Lake School, where she soon met Ted Strain, a local young farmer, at a school dance.

Ted and Marjory married in 1949 and began mixed farming nearby. She is now survived by eight children: Jean (Len) Lazzarotto, Donna (Peter Feldman), Norma (Robert) Waddell, Murray (Joanne), Brian (Margaret), Keith (Kelly Grill), Dale, and Sheila (Neil) Whyte. She is also survived by twenty grandchildren and at present twenty-seven great grandchildren.

Marjory kept the farm accounts and handled pedigreed grain sales to regional farmers. With husband Ted Strain busy with farm organizations, such as Sask Wheat Pool and Saskatchewan Farmers’ Union, Marjory managed everyday life with the family and farm. Eventually Ted would become President of the National Farmers’ Union in 1980 for several years and later served on various farm advisory boards in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Occasionally, Marjory accompanied him on these trips and also kept an alert eye on farm and government politics.

On the farm Marjory kept a large garden, raspberry, strawberry and potato “patches” which kept her canning shelves and cold storage full, and her family fed during cold Saskatchewan winters. 

Grandchildren remember her being a formidable opponent when they played her a game of Crib and, her favourite, Scrabble, and later Words with Friends.  Ever the gracious lady, in her final years, when she was in the throes of dementia and unable to express herself fully with words, she would surprise everyone with a comment that expressed her warm wit and sense of humour.

Her real delight was attending family functions, especially family weddings, and hearing about the next great grandchild on the way. Though she was largely isolated since 2020, we are grateful that the local families were able to have weekly visits with her during the COVID pandemic. The family hopes to gather safely in July for a graveside service in North Battleford and celebrate her long fruitful life.

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