On December 17, 2020, after 90 years, Rose Fidelis Berry-McDonald (nee Stumborg) suddenly died 28 years to the day after the passing of her great love and husband Richard W. (Dick) Berry. She was born the second youngest of 10 children into the farming family of Henry Stumborg and Mary Kramer at Bruno, Saskatchewan. Rose’s surviving siblings are Florence (Julius), Julie (Bill), and Alvin (Agnes). She was predeceased by Clarence (Lorraine), Jerome (Margaret), Bernard (Elvira), Agnes (Wilfred), Eleanor (Henry), and Eileen (Walter).
Rose was educated at St. Ursula’s Academy convent in Bruno by the Ursuline Sisters who imparted her deeply Catholic nature.
Rose and Dick started their relationship by correspondence after Dick’s mother visited a school friend from Regina. Marrying in 1953, she moved to Edmonton as the Berry family built and operated the River Heights Grocery store at the top of Connor’s Hill, serving their own freshly grown produce from the adjacent garden.
By 1959, with the new subdivision of Hardisty booming and Imperial Oil recruiting, the couple sold the store and set deep roots in the community of Fulton Place where they would raise six boys: James, Lionel, Adrian, Glenn, Miles, and Daniel who gave her 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. The house was modest, with a huge blank canvas of a yard, a true gardener’s dream. They took to designing and planting themselves with Rose tirelessly weeding the grass and tending the garden. Every autumn she would spend time canning fresh fruit and veg, the spoils of her labour. The home grew as did the family, and the yard was a perfect space for boys to romp.
As a devout Catholic, a strong matriarch, and a loving mother, Rose always looked out for ‘her boys’. She was a generous volunteer who faithfully exemplified her Christian beliefs in action through the Catholic Women’s League, United Way, and St. Vincent DePaul. She was deeply moved by Kennedy politics where no one would be left behind by our leaders, and once used her organizational skills as a federal campaign manager. She recognized the need to ‘age well’ as she helped produce and host the Shaw Cable TV program ‘ Seniors Alive ! ’ and volunteered with the Grey Nuns Hospital Palliative Care program.
In retirement, after Dicks’ passing in 1992, Rose reignited her passion for travel and eventually completed 27 international trips, many with her new companion, Lloyd J. McDonald after they married in 1997. She maintained a goal to stay ‘healthy and happy’ (as she would typically reply when asked), bowling with the ValEsso Annuitant Club, using her recumbent bike, and walking around her condo until her final days when she suddenly passed into the arms of Our Father to join the love of her life.
Upon the feast day of Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a reading was dedicated in her honor. An online chapel remembrance followed by a sharing of fond memories will be held at a future date. An interment gathering will be planned when public health conditions permit. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Resurrection Catholic Parish in Edmonton.