Illene Annie was born on December 3, 1921 in Elderslie Township to parents Wallace and Mary (Thomson) Lowe. She joined older brother, Roy, on the Lowe family farm on the 4th of Elderslie. Illene attended and completed her elementary education at S.S. #12 in Elderslie Township. Unfortunately, given the times, Illene did not pursue a high school education and began working.
A few years later, while out at a local dance, Illene was introduced to Charles Harvie, seven years her senior. The young couple soon started dating and were married on October 30, 1940 at Geneva Presbyterian manse in Chesley. The newlyweds soon settled on the 4th of Elderslie and began farming. Charlie enrolled in the armed forces on May 27, 1940 and spent a year in Camp Borden before being sent overseas from 1941 – 1945, as part of the WW II efforts. Illene and Charlie welcomed their first child, a daughter, Isabel, in 1941. Upon returning from the war, the Harvies were blessed with three more children, Doug (1946), Ferne (1947) and Wallace (1958).
In addition to caring for the children, Illene also helped on the farm. Illene's mother, Mary, lived nearby and was always there when the need arose to help with the children. When Wally entered school, Illene returned to the workforce at Parkview Manor in the laundry department. She remained there until her retirement. Then she and Charlie moved into town. The year was 1978.
Illene spent many hours over the years quilting, knitting and crocheting. This allowed her to enjoy a pastime she loved as well as socialize with ladies in the community. She and Charlie were always ready to have a game of cards, especially Euchre and Solo. They also did some travelling, venturing West to visit family and East for vacations. Illene was active with the Scone Crafters, the Solo Club and enjoyed lawn bowling. At home, she loved following her beloved Toronto Blue Jays and would never miss a good curling match on TV. She kept up with news through the local newspapers. She was also an excellent cook, just ask her sons! There was of course her pies (particularly apple), homemade buns and even her turnip (Doug's favourite, not Wally's! :)
Illene's faith was always an integral part of her life. She attended church regularly in her youth and that tradition continued as she raised her family. Sadly, Illene faced many tragedies in her life, with the loss of her daughter, Isabel, in 1991, her husband, Charlie, in 1993 and daughter, Ferne, in 2008. These losses weighed heavily on her and during these extremely difficult times her strong faith was ever present. After her move to Hanover in the late 90's Illene became active with St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church until her health would no longer allow it.
She loved her family dearly, doing whatever she could whenever the need arose. Not only did she pay this kindness forward to family and friends but also to anyone in need. In her later years Illene was a strong supporter of helping children through UNICEF. She loved receiving progress reports and pictures of these beautiful children and their families, as their lives improved with her small donations.
Eight years ago Illene moved to The Village in Hanover. Here she enjoyed socializing with friends and remained active. When her health began to decline she moved into the long term care facility where she received excellent care and support. Sadly, Illene passed away at The Village Long Term Care, Hanover, on Monday, December 17, 2018 in her 98th year.
Loving mother of Doug (Jean) of Glencoe, Wallace (Valerie) of Chesley and mother-in-law of Glen Majury of Southampton. Illene will live on in the hearts and minds of her grandchildren Kari-Lynn, Jo Ann, Teresa, Steve, Kim, Kevin, Krista, Dana, Brett and great-grandchildren Taylor, Devin, Cory, Matthew, Meghan, Georgia, Brook, Cody, Kyle, Scarlett, Kane and Kesler. She was predeceased by her husband Charlie (1993), daughters Isabel Majury (1991) and Ferne Hammell (2008), brother Roy Lowe and her parents Wallace and Mary (Thomson) Lowe.
Friends and family may call at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Saturday, December 22, 2018 from 12 noon until the time of the funeral service at 2 p.m. Spring interment in Chesley Cemetery.
Memorial donations to Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Diabetes Association or Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.Send to friend