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FOX, Elizabeth
JOHNSTON, Thomas James
McHARG, Sarah Jane
DUNCALFE, Percival Alfred
JOHNSTON, Sarah Agnes Mabel

DUNCALFE, Sarah Ethelyn Evelyn


Family Links

McBURNEY, Richard Cecil

DUNCALFE, Sarah Ethelyn Evelyn

  • Born: 1 Nov 1926, Miami, Pembina Valley, Manitoba, Canada
  • Marriage: McBURNEY, Richard Cecil on 1 Oct 1949 in Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Died: 21 Mar 2018, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada aged 91
  • Buried: 28 Mar 2018, Maitland, Grenville, Ontario, Canada

bullet   Cause of her death was colon cancer.

bullet   Another name for Sarah was DUNCALFE, Lyn.


bullet  Death Notes:

She died at Kingston General Hospital at 1:50 p.m.

bullet  Burial Notes:

She is buried at Roselawn Cemetery.


bullet  Facts and details for :

She had a residence in 1949-1974. These are the years after marriage while her husband was in the Navy. There were numerous moves and postings, some of the details as follows. After marriage in 1949, they lived in a furnished house in Moncton while he was completing basic training. In August 1950, he was posted to Churchill but she was pregnant so she stayed with her parents in Winnipeg. In May 1951, his family joined him in Churchill. They lived with the Yorga family until September 1951. They were in their own PMQ, J row, until the Spring of 1952. For part of that time they shared their PMQ with the Levasseur family. He was on course in Ottawa in 1952 and posted to Gander in August 1953. His family lived in Winnipeg until February 1954 when they joined him in Gander. Second daughter was born there and in January 1955, he was posted back to Ottawa. The family joined him in May 1955 and they lived with the Laurie family. He contracted polio in August 1955 and was in hospital and they stayed there until November 1955. They returned to Gander in November 1955. In April 1956, he was posted back to Ottawa and initially they lived in their trailer. Over the fall and winter they lived with the Bernacki family. In the Spring of 1957 they moved to a house on Highway 31. In October 1957, they moved to a PMQ in Gloucester. In the Summer of 1958 he was posted to Victoria. Intially they lived with the Hartley family and then moved to a house in Langford. For much of this time he was at sea. His third child was born there. In 1960 he was posted to Churchill. He went ahead and the family joined him in July. They lived in PMQ, J row. In July 1962 he was posted to Ottawa and they lived on Clementine Blvd. In July 1964, he was posted to Washington D.C. They initially lived with the Cameron family and then lived in a house at 5211 Dalton Street in Camp Springs, Maryland. In 1967 they were posted to Gander and lived in a PMQ. In August 1971 he was posted to Alert for six months and the family stayed in Gander. In 1972, he was posted to Ottawa and they lived in a house on Pullen Avenue.

She lived at 40 Reid Street in Corner Brook, Division 5, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in 1974-1989.

She lived at 1914 Sharpes Lane in Brockville, Leeds, Ontario, Canada in 1989-2014.

She lived at 1914 Sharpes Lane in Brockville, Leeds, Ontario, Canada in 1989-2014.

She lived at 229-529 Kingsdale Avenue in Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada in 2014-2017. This was a retirement home called the Kingsdale Chateau.

She lived at 236-4567 Bath Road in Amherstview, Lennox and Addington, Ontario, Canada in 2017-2018. This was the Briagate Retirement Home.

Her obituary was published in the Ottawa Citizen, Brockville Recorder & Times and the Kingston Whig Standard on 24 Mar 2018. It read as follows:

MCBURNEY, Ethelyn (Lyn) Peacefully at Kingston General Hospital on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Lyn McBurney (nee Duncalfe) at the age of 91 years. Beloved mother of Dawn (Dan Braund); Laurie (Wayne Bower); and Scott (Kim Hender). Cherished grandma of Jaclyn (Matt) Dobbs and Rachael Braund; Katie (Daniel) Steinfeld and David (Amanda) Bower; Shilo, Tessa, Liam, and Aiden McBurney; and great-grandmother of Emily, Jacob, Joshua, Sarah, Liam, Charlotte, Aalia and Ella. Also survived by her brothers Lyle and Delbert, her sister Ione, and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her husband "Mac" and her brothers Stewart, Lester and Jack. Dedicated Navy wife (1949-1975), mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a wonderful hostess and baker. She touched the lives and hearts of many throughout her travels and in her family life. Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at Irvine Memorial Chapel at Roselawn, 2451 County Road 15, Maitland on Wednesday, March 28 from 1-3 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. A funeral service to honour and celebrate Lyn's life will be held on Wednesday, March 28 at 3 p.m. at the Irvine Memorial Chapel at Roselawn, Maitland. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Maitland. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Brockville Wesleyan Church or OSPCA Leeds and Grenville Branch will be gratefully acknowledged. Send condolences, place a donation, light a memory candle or share a special thought of Lyn online at www.irvinememorial.com .

Her funeral was held on 28 Mar 2018 in Maitland, Grenville, Ontario, Canada. Her daughter Laurie McBurney gave her eulogy, as follows:

To start, I want to tell you three short vignettes about my mother.


We sat talking about her funeral, my mother and I. She was sure and certain what she wanted and she made me write it down that day in 1995.

There was to be:
No open coffin.
No cremation. And
No singing of Amazing Grace.

Those were her marching orders. If you know my mom, you know when she gave you her marching orders, you hop to it.

She hated people staring at her, so no open coffin. Check.

Her style of Protestant faith does not condone cremation. Check.

She hates Amazing Grace. Ok, a surprise to me, but check.

Then she handed me a clipping out of the newspaper. "I'd like this read," she said. "At my funeral."

On it was written the poem Katie just read to you.

Well, I was shocked.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.

This was not reflective of the mother I knew. My practical let's get on with life, stiffen your backbone, there's no point in complaining about things, mother.


I felt this same surprise when we sat in an office in this very funeral chapel, my sister, my mom and I, picking out medallions for the headstone that marks mom and dad's grave. We picked an anchor for Dad, the Navy man. Then it came time to choose her medallion. She picked a hummingbird. Well, first of all I would not pick a bird as a symbol of my mother. A tiger, maybe. A beautiful, strong oak tree, yes. And of all the birds I would pick to symbolize my mother, a hummingbird would be at the bottom. Wise Owl, check. Fierce eagle, check. Even busy little chickadee, yep. But my mother chose this tiny, ephemeral, flashing scrap of a bird-dom. I told one of my uncles, my mom's brother about this event. I laughed and asked, "Can you believe that's what she chose?" And he said, "Yes she's always been shy."


I stopped by to see her one day earlier this year and she was looking at something in my dad's photo album. "What are you doing," I asked. "Oh, I'm reading this copy of your father's eulogy," she said. She had forgotten I had written it. "So, what do you think," I asked. "It's alright, if you only want to hear about the good side of a person," she said.

Now, mom asked me to write her eulogy. So, mom, here we go. I hope this is a fair representation of both sides of you.

To all of you here gathered to remember mom, or your grandma, great-grandma, aunt, cousin and friend, I want to say, "Thank you for dropping by. " Because this is what she would always say to me when I visited her at her retirement home.

And I want you to know a child never really, truly knows her parents. The poetic, ephemeral, fragile, hummingbird side of my mother I did not know for most of my life. Perhaps someone else can speak to that. I learned a little of it in the past few years as we visited on winter afternoons and drank coffee together on summer days as we sat in the car overlooking Lake Ontario, and ate McDonald's hamburgers. We each had a kid's meal, and she really loved the French fries.

However, my mother has always been a symbol and source of strength to me. She had strong opinions and strong ethics and strong character and strong faith and sometimes, a strong hand with the wooden spoon on our backsides.

Let me tell you of my mother.

She was born on the Manitoba Prairie in 1926, the third child and the first girl in the family. She eventually had three more brothers and a sister. They were poor, it was the Depression and life was hard. Her dad worked as an extra hand on farms in the area, her mom look after the brood of seven children, helping out financially where she could, by doing things like selling pots and pans door to door. Mom was always on the go. Playtime was active time, whether it was playing outside or playing house. She loved her only sister, Ione, but Ione continually disappointed because she was a book lover. "We'd be playing house, and I would go over to Ione's house for a tea party, and there was no tea ready or table set up. There'd she be, reading a book," mom told me. Mom was no book lover. She fiercely hated school, to the point where she once spent an entire day hiding in an outhouse rather than attending class. If you've ever been in an outhouse, you'll know that's a dedicated hatred. The family eventually moved to Winnipeg, where Mom left the halls of higher learning, with great glee, I'm sure, to work as a telephone operator. She often visited a relative's farm in Hartney, Manitoba, where she met a gangly, but handsome, farm boy named Richard Cecil McBurney whose dark hair flopped disarmingly over his forehead. Not only was he good-looking, but "Mac," as he became known, had ambition to travel, and Mom had itchy feet. He joined the Navy in 1947, they married in 1949, and the adventure began.

They lived in many places, north to Churchill, Manitoba, south to Washington, DC, west to Victoria, BC and east to Gander, Newfoundland. Along the way, she gave birth to three children, one in the west, one in the east and one, dead center. And she made comfortable, welcoming homes for us across the country, often sharing a house with other couples and their families due to the shortage of housing after the war. She often told me the story of sharing a house in Gander, Newfoundland with a couple who had four sons. They had the downstairs, mom and dad and Dawn and I, the upstairs. Mom remembered her fridge was located at the top of the stairs outside their living quarters, and the hungry horde of little boys belonging to the downstairs family would continually raid her food supplies.

We lived in Victoria for two years, dad away at sea for most of it. When Dad received his next posting, the big news was the Navy was sending him to Churchill, Manitoba by himself. They left Mom behind in BC to drive the rest of us there. Scott was 6 months old, I was five and Dawn was nine. I cannot imagine myself doing that drive. She wended her way through the Rocky Mountains - no superhighway then, the roads were winding and steep with precipitous drops off the side. Dawn was put in charge of our baby brother in the back seat, changing diapers, cloth diapers, mind you, feeding bottles, entertaining, I, with my delicate middle child nature and convenient propensity to car sickness was ensconced cozily in the front beside my mother, which, I will note, my sister has never let me forget. Mom had to leave our car in the Pas, Manitoba, and catch a train to Churchill, where our dad met us at the train station.

And I could tell you many stories like that.

Stories of mom moving two little kids to Ottawa from Newfoundland by herself and visiting her polio-stricken husband in the military hospital for months while he recovered. Mom holding down part-time jobs most of her life while changing locations every few years, raising kids and making appetizing meals and a lovely home for us. Mom managing an accolade-winning hotel with her husband in Corner Brook, Newfoundland after he completed his military career. Mom finally owning her first home at the age of 63 in Brockville and welcoming children and grandchildren and dogs and cats and hamsters and budgies to come for holiday meals and celebrations and knitting us all together through shared experiences and memories. Mom having to give up that home much against her will and make a whole new life in retirement homes in Kingston.

Mom had backbone and strength in spades. As such, she did not tolerate malingering and feeling sorry for oneself. As children, this translated into having to definitely prove you were sick before being allowed to stay home from school. If we came downstairs on a school day complaining of a sore stomach or a headache, she'd tell us we'd feel better after we took a shower. That lowered the temperature of our fever enough to be whisked off to school. I believe all three of us have stories of vomiting in the classroom or hallways at school. I remember feeling quite self-righteous after being sent home from school with mumps. "What was your mother thinking sending you to school?" the teacher asked me. "I don't know," I said shaking my head over the abuse.

However, once you proved you were sick, you were well-taken care of. Cinnamon toast. Ginger-ale. Trays brought to the couch. For maybe 24 hours. Then you were expected to be on the mend.

It was the third day after I had an operation in hospital, and I knew I should be pushing myself to get up and have a shower but it all just seemed like too much to face. My mother came in to visit, didn't waste any time on social questions like "how are you feeling?" She fixed me with her steely gaze and asked, "When was the last time you washed your hair?" I got up and wash my hair. And I felt the better for it.

Now, the hair thing was a big was big to her. She felt significantly sorry for my sister and me, having inherited her fine, thin air. Now take a look at my brother's mop of curls. "Of course, the boys always get the good hair," she said. That didn't stop her from trying to torture our bad hair into good hair. Home perms were a fixture of our lives, and we learned by example to wind our hair around brush rollers daily. She herself kept up kept up that daily ritual almost to the end. As a matter of fact, that's how Scott, Dawn and I knew she was really sick. "Mom didn't curl her hair today," I would report to my siblings worriedly. Dawn phoned the next day and the same story. After the third day of no curlers, we knew she had to be taken to the hospital.

Yes, Mom was always turned out well, and would often look at her children and sigh in exasperation over their bad taste in clothing. Her clothes fit her to a T, even if they had to be tailored to do so. Shoulder seems were right on the shoulders, leg length exactly precise. She would never buy clothes over a size 16, no matter if she might, and I say this very quietly because she might be listening, might possibly have comfortably worn a size 18 at one point in her life. The one good thing for her out of this whole sickness over the past year was her weight loss. Dawn recently bought her a size 8 pair of pants. "They fit me quite well," she told me in a very pleased tone of voice.

But these are the surface things of a person's life. Mom's character went deeper than clothes and hair and house decorating. If her life followed a series of roads and paths across the country, her faith was a super-highway that connected them all together. No matter where we moved, finding a home church was a priority. The attendance record of the three of us kids began on what was called in the old days "The Cradle Roll." Are Sundays followed a routine: Sunday school at 10, church at 11, and roast beef dinner for lunch, then Mom and Dad went back to church at 6 for the evening service while we kids, when we were old enough, stayed home and watched Walt Disney World on TV. We went to Daily Vacation Bible School, Crusader Girls and Youth Club. We paid our dues as angels and shepherds in Christmas pageants. However, we never were chosen for the pinnacle roles of Mary and Joseph. I think those roles were reserved for the children of the mother who volunteer to sew the costumes, and that would never be our mother.

Did our mother proselytize? No. Unless you count her ostentatiously turning her wine glass upside down when the waiter offered to pour her a glass of wine in a restaurant. Did she have long eloquent prayers at family gatherings? No. Did she preach to us? No.
But the Bible was always out on the table somewhere in our house and the pages were well-thumbed. I never saw her pray, but I know she did, she committed the three of us kids to the Lord, she prayed for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren every day. She was in evangelical parlance, a prayer warrior.

And that faith showed in her life. People turn to her in times of trouble. A friend and his daughter after his wife committed suicide; all three of us kids when life overwhelmed us; friends who lost babies; nephews and nieces who lost their parents. Hers was a strong shoulder to lean on, the practical way forward. Her door was always open, her table always extended to fit one more person for a meal. As a matter of fact, I think that's how she snared husbands for me and my sister. Dan and Wayne both fell for the dinner invitations and the ever-present pies, cakes and cookies on her kitchen counters before they ever fell for Dawn and me. And now that I think of the way Kim loves dessert, it may well it may have been the way Mom captured her heart for Scott.

And that faith shows in the lives of her children, children-in-law, grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law and great-grandchildren. She was interested in your lives and loved and was so proud of every one of you. Dawn, Scott, Katie, David, Jaclyn, Rachael, Shilo, Tessa, Liam, Aiden, Emily, Jacob, Joshua, Sarah, Liam, Charlotte, Ali; we all are offshoots of the same root that brought that faithful, beautiful, strong, poetic Sarah Ethelyn Evelyn Duncalfe, into this world. Those we love, she loved and brought them into the family; Dan, Wayne, Kim, Daniel, Amanda, Matt, Matt, Mattie. You each brought something unique and special to our life. She love to see you and hear of your adventures and view your photos on Facebook and Instagram, even though she never quite got the hang of swiping pictures to the left or right.

And the time grows short here in the question still remains. How do you speak of a mother's life?

Jann Arden sings the song called "Good Mother." And the lyrics go:

"I have a good mother
And her strength is what keeps me here
Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward. Be yourself. Just be yourself."

Dawn, Scott and I had a good mother. We have a strong mother. And I thank God for her and her faith. Because of that we will see her again.

Love you, Mom .


Sarah married Richard Cecil McBURNEY, son of Hugh McBURNEY and Mary Maude PASSMORE, on 1 Oct 1949 in Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Richard Cecil McBURNEY was born on 6 May 1925 in Underhill, Westman, Manitoba, Canada, baptized on 9 Nov 1969 in Gander, Division 6, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada,1 died on 12 Nov 2014 in Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada and was buried on 15 Nov 2014 in Maitland, Grenville, Ontario, Canada.). The cause of his death was heart failure following an operation for a broken hip.



1 Gander Baptist Church (Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada), Baptisms, Richard Cecil McBurney (1969), issued 9 Nov 1969.