Monica McKinley

Monica Mary McKinley (Cribbin)

Saturday, May 3rd, 1924 - Friday, July 24th, 2020
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Monica Mckinley
May 3rd, 1924 - Friday, July 24th, 2020

It is with great sadness that the family of Monica Mckinley announces her passing.

Monica was born on May 3rd, 1924 in Dublin, Ireland to Elieen and Thomas Cribbin. She grew up in a house on Saint Patrick’s Road surrounded by her brothers Joe, Tom, Jim, Bill, and her sisters Terry and Girlie (Breda).

Monica was especially close to her sisters, and they would often travel together as a trio. Monica briefly moved to London, England with Girlie in the 1950’s but returned home to Dublin after a few months. In February of 1957 Monica traveled across the Atlantic with her sister Girlie and her nephews Dan and Hugh, as well as her niece Lorraine. The group stopped briefly in Edmonton, Alberta in 1957 before they moved to Eldorado, Saskatchewan where she met her husband Jack McKinley as she stepped off the plane. Monica eventually ended up moving to Edmonton and staying in the area for 30 years. In 1994, Monica moved to Calgary with her son, John and his wife, Cathy and stayed there until her passing.

A light in Monica’s life was her husband, whom she was married to for 33 years. Jack was a Canadian veteran who was 7 years her senior. They were married in Calais, Maine, USA, in July of 1961 and on June 8th, 1965 Monica gave birth to her first and only son John, whom she treasured for the rest of her life. Monica was also like a second mother to Hugh, Dan, Lorraine and Bernie McCaffery, the children of her sister Girlie. She provided care for them throughout their childhood.

Monica worked at Volkswagen and Phillips in her younger years while living in Ireland, but after moving to Canada, Monica dedicated her life to motherhood. The family enjoyed many wonderful years filled with celebrations and vacations to Ireland, Hawaii, and Vancouver to name a few. Monica held her extended family very close to her heart and would get together with them any opportunity she had.

Monica was an extremely giving woman with a heart that radiated kindness. She was a devout Catholic who was led by her faith, and spent her life following in the footsteps of God. She was truly the embodiment of what a Catholic should be and influenced those around her to be just as kind and giving as she was.

Monica loved to travel, and had many days filled with tropical vacations in Mexico with her son, nieces and nephews. Though Monica didn’t have access to formal education growing up, she was an avid reader who had a love for autobiographies, especially those written about the Kennedy’s or the Royal Family. She was a brilliant woman who impressed everyone she met with her cunning wit and hilarious humor.

A light in Monica’s life was her daughter-in-law Catherine and her granddaughter Mara. Mara was born in December of 1999, and Monica loved and cherished her dearly. Monica often helped take care of Mara throughout her childhood. She was an excellent storyteller with a vivid imagination that filled their days with light and laughter. Mara attributes much of who she is now to her Grandmother.

Of all things Monica was, she was a survivor. She battled breast cancer, congestive heart failure, a hip fracture and a bowel recession. She won the fight with them all. Monica also suffered many losses in her life, including the loss of her husband in 1993 who passed on due to lung cancer. She was also predeceased by five of her siblings, her niece and nephew, and many of her friends. Monica took the pain of these losses with grace. She held everyone she lost in her heart, never letting them become forgotten. She was a fighter and never let the trials of life get the best of her.

The morning of July 24, 2020, Monica took Jesus’ hand and went peacefully to her final resting place. Her family mourns her loss but are also consoled knowing she is no longer in pain, and has joined her brothers and sisters in Heaven to live forever in God’s love. Monica is survived by her son John McKinley, daughter-in-law Cathy McKinley, granddaughter Mara McKinley, her brother Joe Cribbin and sister-in-law Joy Cribbin as well as many other nieces and nephews around the world whom she thought of as her children. Her friends and neighbours will also be touched by the news of her loss, as whomever Monica knew she cared for deeply, no matter what the relationship.

She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, my friend, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Monica please visit Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services (403) 277-7343.
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Irene Gruber Cribbin

Posted at 06:20am
Dear John, Cathy and Mara,
Memories I cherish of auntie Mon, a beautiful woman with a heart of gold, go back to before that stormy night of 1957 when, with her sisters, niece and nephews, a convoy of family members set out to accompany the group to Shannon airport. Gale force winds were so bad that night, it was reported next morning how trees had fallen all over Ireland causing disruption and damage. How lucky they all were, they made it safely to their destination.
How sad we as children felt as we knew we were losing loved ones to a North American adventure. Things were different back in the 50ies and crossing the pond did not happen with the same frequency as it does nowadays. As we grew up and family increased on both sides of the atlantic, we were blessed that times changed faster than we'd imagined they could. Nanny Eileen got a chance to go to Canada and the USA for several months, to be with her children and grandchildren. We looked forward to reliving our own cherished childhood memories whenever family came back to the old sod..
What wonderful reunions we then enjoyed !! Your mum was gifted and very unique; with ease, intelligence and sharp Irish wit, she was able to tell a story and have the audience enraptured or with tears streaming down their faces from laughter, depending on the story.
In life, a chapter may close but another one is opened. Mon confidently gave her hand to Jesus to take her to a place of peace where life continues free from any pain. Your kindness and love will be remembered, honoured and cherished by all of us on both sides of life; the earthly and the eternal.
Your loving niece and godchild Irene

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