Wallie (Frances) McCurdy
Frances Joan was born in Barrie, Ontario on May 17, 1929 to parents Frank and Annie (Gilchrist) Livingston. She was the youngest of five children, joining older siblings Ray, George, Howard and Helen. Frances spent her youth growing up in the Barrie area, enjoying her childhood. She was also a very talented vocalist and enjoyed participating in the local variety and talent shows, singing in the Hanover Choir, and often sang at many weddings.
At the age of 19 Wallie left home to attend Owen Sound Business School. One evening, while skating, she ran into a classmate by the name of George “Ross” McCurdy. The two hit it off immediately and were married the following year, September 28, 1949 at Wallie’s home church, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Barrie.
Ross’ family owned McCurdy’s Tire Shop in Chesley and sadly Ross’s dad passed away earlier that year, so Ross was responsible for taking over the family business. As newly weds, Ross and Wallie immediately moved into the apartment above the store. In 1950 they welcomed their first daughter Wendy, with Ann completing the family in 1953. With their growing family space was tight so the McCurdy’s soon moved to the McCurdy home on 2nd Ave S.W. When not caring for and raising her young daughters Wallie usually could be found at the store helping customers find exactly what they were looking for. By this time they had expanded the business from just bicycles and tires to radios, batteries, appliances and sporting goods. When not at home or work, Wallie could often be found helping, supporting and enjoying a good laugh with her mother-in-law, Jane.
In her spare time, Wallie enjoyed sewing. She was very gifted and spent hours on end cross-stitching. Wallie was also active in her church, Trinity Anglican Church, regularly singing in the choir and volunteering with the Guild. She enjoyed her fair share of time at the hockey rink where she was either cheering Ross on as a player or coach. She was always there to support him and help out wherever needed, washing countless jerseys throughout the years and also assisting with the odd parent issue here and there! 🙂 Wallie loved the outdoors, spending time in her gardens, or just a good old fashioned bike ride! Something she continued into her 80’s. Every summer, the McCurdy’s headed for the cottage in Port Elgin on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday evenings. Countless memories were made there throughout the years as they enjoyed entertaining friends and family. Most evenings included a toast, while sitting by the front window, watching the sunset.
Sporting events in the winter months were a favourite pastime. Wallie was a skater who loved to skate faster than everyone else. She spent countless hours at the arena skating with the family and assisting the figure skating committee. She sewed many, many skating costumes. She loved to cross country ski. Sunday was ski day and with Ross and their co-operative dog Asker, they would head to the local ski trails. The most time Wallie spent on the ice was at the old, and new Chesley Curling Clubs. If she was not curling in competitions (4, ten end games in a day, with a straw broom!), she was playing in bonspiels, perfecting her out turn, raising money for the club, and hosting her friends for the Boxing Day Spiels.
Wallie’s family was extremely important to her throughout her life. She loved returning to Barrie, when possible, to visit members of the Livingston family. Her love for her husband and daughters was ever-present, but a new twinkle appeared in her eye when she became a grandmother. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and took every opportunity to maximize the time spent with them. Wallie was their biggest supporter and always wanted what was best for them. When time allowed it, Wallie and Ross enjoyed traveling and together they enjoyed exploring Canada, Florida and the Carribean.
Sadly life forever changed for Wallie in 2010 when her beloved Ross died. She surrounded herself with the love and support of her family and friends and continued into the next chapter of her life. In 2013, Wallie sold her home and moved to The Village in Hanover. Here she loved playing bingo, or the occasional game of cards, and always enjoyed celebrating birthdays with her friends. Wallie’s final move came in 2017 when she called McVean Lodge home. It didn’t take long for her to settle in here as well and the staff and fellow residents soon became an extension of her family. As recently as last year, Wallie was still singing in their small choir.
On Friday, October 16, 2020, in the 92nd Season of her life, after many wonderful, fulfilling years, Wallie has decided to rest. We admire her zest for life, family and loving others.
Mom will be loved forever by her daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, Wendy and Terry O’Neill; Ann and Saul Mimran; Shannon and Kevin Rankka, Brody & Parker; Jordin Mimran and Mira Singh; Tamara and David Lubotta, Jake, Aston, and baby brother on the way; Zoe and Ira Jelinek, Seleste and Sunny. She will reunite with her amazing husband Ross who left her 10 Seasons ago. Predeceased by her parents from Barrie, Annie and Frank Livingston and her siblings Ray (Mary); George (Alma); Howard (Pat & Nancy); Helen (Bruce); and mother-in-law Jane McCurdy.
Wallie’s family will be celebrating her life privately as we all continue to be safe. Interment will follow, beside her beloved Ross, in Chesley Cemetery.
Sadly 2020 has been difficult for our charities and our seniors. Wallie would be honoured if you donated to a charity of your choice. She would also be smiling if you were able to reach out to a lonely senior friend or family member and share your memories.