Katherine McAlear

Published May 5, 2021

Katherine McAlear

23 August, 1927 – 3 May, 2021

It is with incredible sadness that we the family of Katherine (Fraser) McAlear, mourn the loss of our dearest “Mum”, “Mummy”, “Grandma”, “Momma Kay” and “Great- Grandma” whom we loved with all our hearts. Her peaceful passing, in her home of ninety-three years, on Monday, May 3rd, 2021 came as she was surrounded by her loving family and with her beloved Scottish music playing in the background.

Mom was a St. Andrews girl, born on August 23rd, 1927 and raised on the Fraser family farm, just west of the village, by her parents, Dan Fraser and Henrietta McGillis. As their only child, Mom, had a simple country upbringing of playing outside, helping with farm chores (the least liked being, gathering the eggs since the “chickens would peck your hand”) and playing with nearby friends. She attended St. Andrews Catholic School for both her elementary and secondary school education, where her faith, first nurtured by her parents, was further nurtured by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Mom enjoyed the friendship of many classmates and although she claimed to never being an honour roll student, she made her way through and went on to study at the Commercial College in Cornwall at the age of seventeen. She amazed her grandchildren with stories of having to room in Cornwall because of it being too far to travel daily. She was only able to come home on weekends if she received a ride from a family friend and then have her father pick her up in the village with the horse and buggy. After achieving her certification as a secretary, Mom made the big move to the city of Ottawa to work for the government, but the big city had no allure and home she came after a few months.

She then found secretarial work in Cornwall at Courtald’s Rayon Manufacturing plant, where she worked as a secretary to the purchasing agents. It was there that her beautiful red hair caught the eye of Assistant Purchasing Agent, Dalton McAlear and as the saying goes, “The rest is history.” Dalton and Katherine (Kay) married on January 24th, 1949 at St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church on a cold winter morning.

After setting up in a little home in Cornwall, it was not too long before Kay and Dalton were on the road towards parenthood. First came Charles (Charlie), then Gerrie, Donald (Donnie), Shawn, Maureen, Karen, and Paul. As her parents aged, it was back home to St. Andrews, to the farm, where the city boy Dalton took on the task of farming with his four young sons and a growing family. No children could have asked for two more loving parents. Somehow, Mom managed a busy household of seven children, a farm and later a career as a medical secretary at the Hotel Dieu Hospital. Somehow, children were dressed and ready for school each morning, delicious meals were on the table each evening, stories read before bed, flower and vegetable gardens planted and lots of laundry hung on the clothesline. All her children were active in sports, which Mom loved. From hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, softball, broomball, and highland dancing events Mom once again somehow managed to find time to attend these activities ready to cheer us on or console us through losses. She cared for her children lovingly, guided them with wisdom, protected them when needed and supported them in every endeavour.

As the nest emptied over time Mom began to take up hobbies and interests for herself finally. A friend and neighbour taught her cake decorating which led to some delicious birthday cakes over the years. She then took up the creative craft of quilting after finding a half-finished quilt tucked away in a drawer. It became quite a passion of Mom’s for many, many years till her hands became too arthritic to hold a needle and thread. Several family members and friends have her beautiful handiwork laying across their beds today. Puzzles were also a great pastime in her later years with grandkids helping her with a piece or two. Mom and Dad were also able to get a bit of travelling done during their retirement years which Mom thoroughly enjoyed! From trips to British Columbia to see family, to bus trips through the United States, to winters in Florida, Mom took advantage of the opportunity to see and try new things.

Time passed and sadly Mom was predeceased by her parents Stephen Donald James (Dan) Fraser and Henrietta McGillis as well as by her dear husband Dalton McAlear and their son Gerrie. She is survived by her children; Charles (Sandy) of St. Andrews, Donald (Margie) of Matawatchan, Shawn (Laurie) of Avonmore, Maureen of St. Andrews, Karen McClenaghan (James) of St. Raphael’s and Paul of Long Sault. She is also survived by her precious 17 grandchildren that brought her such joy and whom she loved with all her heart and by 16 great grandchildren who brought her pride and warmed her heart. As the last “McAlear” aunt she is survived by many nieces and nephews that she loved dearly. Mom, Grandma, Momma Kay, Great Grandma you will be missed more than words could ever say.

The family would like to thank those who have given Mom amazing health care over the years. Her doctor, Dr. Mary Smar, cared for her for many years with thoughtful dignity and tenderness. The Bayshore Homecare Solutions and Paramed nursing care were of great assistance to Mom and the family. A special thank you as well, to family friend Janie Wheeler, who truly went above and beyond being a “good neighbour” and helped to care for Mom so lovingly. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the St. Andrews Parish Restoration Fund would be appreciated by the family.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the M. John Sullivan Funeral Home, 341 Pitt Street (across from city hall) Cornwall. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday May 8, 2021 at St-Andrews West Church at 10:30 AM. Friends and family are invited to join via Facebook at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/louis.groetelaars

Online messages of condolence may be made in the obituary section of: www.mjohnsullivanfuneralhome.com