Mary Christena (Sunde) Borneman

May 26, 1913 ~ January 29, 2022 (age 108)


Mary Christena Sunde was born May 26,1913 to John and Alma Sunde at their home in the Murraydale district. She was the seventh girl, followed by five brothers and another sister. Grandma said the family home was always filled children. Not just with her siblings and some of their children, but with nearby neighbor’s children. Some came to play, and others were there waiting for their mothers to give birth, as Alma was a midwife. Grandma said, she and her brothers and sisters were happy, and everyone had their chores to do. She attended school at Aylesford and Hay Creek.

Later on she worked for the Buckingham's and Colonel John Douglas Moodie (a police magistrate) and Geraldine Moodie (a pioneer photographer). Grandma said that Mrs. Moodie had to have her tea served at precisely the same time each day on a well laid tea cart. One thing that Grandma disliked was being allowed only two squares of toilet paper per use.

Grandma met Norman Borneman at a dance in Maple Creek. He whirled her off her feet, and they were married on October 7, 1935. After they were married they moved to Bassano, AB where Grandma told of living in an old train car. She cooked for the other men that worked with Grandpa. It was in Bassano where their daughter Shirley Alberta was born. After her dad became ill, they moved back to live on their homestead, 12 miles SE of Maple Creek. Tracy Charles was born in 1946.

Visiting and staying on the farm was a town kid's dream come true. There were so many animals to make into pets. We had so many adventures. We explored the forest. had picnics on the Big Hill & in the fields, played in the creek, rode horses and even Grandpa's calves. Later in life I remember telling Grandma I remembered her having the biggest hips ever, as Grandpa would chase us up to the house and the four of us would hide behind her, peeking around those hips, as Grandpa scolded us for riding his calves.

Grandma and Grandpa attend numerous dances. Hay Creek school was one of their favorite places to go. They always made sure they saved a dance for the grandchildren. If we got tired we would go into the cloakroom and fall asleep on the pile of coats.

Grandma was a hard worker. She was always doing something. Cooking, milking cows, separating milk, making butter and cottage cheese, baking, gardening, sewing and crocheting. She even made time to decorate wedding cakes, but no matter how busy she was, she always had time to rock us in the rocking chair and give our faces her special perkle.

Grandma and Grandpa moved to Maple Creek in 1980. Grandma's green thumb made their yard look like Butchart Gardens. They enjoyed fishing, a bit of travelling, and of course a good game of cards. Grandpa passed away in 1987 after 52 years of marriage. Grandma continued to live in her home and loved to attend local bingo games, gardening and caring for her flowers. She even went on a few casino bus trips.

At 83 years young, Grandmas had her first airplane ride. We went to Vancouver for her sister and brother in law's anniversary. When you approach Vancouver they make a sharp turn over the ocean, and Grandma let out a scream. Everyone on the plane was looking at us. The stewardesses were quick to let everyone know it was her first ride, and everyone clapped. Grandma was quite strong minded, and on the way home she was sure the clouds were smoke, and there was no changing her mind.

When you went to Grandma's house you never left hungry. From the time you entered the door she was trying to feed you. She baked almost every day. Her cookies, squares, zucchini cake, bran muffins, etc, etc., were the best you ever tasted. Nothing gave her more joy than if you could stay for coffee, a snack, and of course, a game of cards.

Grandma broke her hip, and in 2017 she went to live at Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility in the Prairie Oasis House. She missed her independence, and especially not being able to make her visitors a cup of coffee. She enjoyed taking part in the House's activities. She did crafts and boasted about being one of the best curlers in the Wii competition. She said, bingo was alright there, but the prizes were only chocolate bars and chips. Grandma enjoyed giving the great great grandchildren rides on her wheelchair. A couple of them even asked for a wheelchair for their dolls for Christmas because of this.

The pandemic was hard on Grandma. She missed her visitors, and often asked where everyone was as we visited through the window screen.

Grandma had a stroke, and passed away on Saturday, January 29, 2022. She was predeceased by her parents John and Alma Sunde, her husband Norman, her seven sisters, Gertie, Ellen, Julia, Ann, Agnes, Clara and Dolly. Her five brothers, Albin, Eddy, Lloyd, Selmer, Joe and their spouses. She was also predeceased by her daughter Shirley and son in law Ralph Jones, grandson Darcy Jones and great grandson Michael Christie.

She is survived by her son Tracy. Grandchildren, Debbie and Pat Bischoff, Daryl and Sheryl Jones, Shirley Jones, Dwane and Rhonda Jones, Rhonda (Randy) Borneman, Brett and Tammy Borneman. Eleven great grandchildren, nine great, great grandchildren as well a numerous nieces and nephews.

As I wrote this I was reminded of the poem "The Dash". It speaks of the dates on a tombstone, from the beginning to the end. We note that the first is the date of birth, and the last the date of death, but what matters most is the dash between those years.

For the dash represents all the time that was spent alive on earth.

And when you pass away only those who loved you know what the little line is worth.

It matters not how much we own.

What matters in how we lived and loved, and how we spent our dash.

Grandma lived 108 years on this earth, and I believe she showed us how to live our dash. She loved unconditionally, she was a listener, a teacher, a role model, a problem solver, she never judged and always had a shoulder to cry on.

Rest in peace our Beautiful Angel. You are loved, and will never be forgotten.

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Private Family Service
February 4, 2022

2:00 PM
Live Stream
Facebook, SK S0N 1N0

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