MacKAY, Christina

Mrs. MacKay Photo
August 8, 1925 – January 23, 2015

Christina MacKay of Cochrane, Alberta passed away on January 23, 2015, at the age of 89, but her larger than life persona will not be forgotten.

Christina was born in Wishaw, Scotland on August 8th, 1925. After being swept off her feet by a Canadian soldier named James MacKay, she landed in Canada at Pier 21 in a boat filled with seasick warbrides, Arriving to her new home on William St. with no running water, no refrigerator, and an outhouse, at the tender age of 21, she was undeterred and embraced Cochrane with her spunk and charm, and called it home for the rest of her life.

Affectionately known as Chrissie, everyone knew her for her sense of style and fashion flare. She had many loves: to hug every human being she could, a cold glass of chardonay, a dozen white roses, her little dog ‘Precious’, the town of Cochrane, and a good party filled with family and friends. Her ability to work a room would put Dale Carnigie to shame, and no one could match her social calendar. For a small package on the outside, she lived a very big life. Chrissie had strong beliefs in which she never wavered; you have to walk every day, MacKay’s Ice Cream was the best, it’s o.k. to have wine at lunch, and the Man of Vision should be holding an ice cream cone.

She is survived by the Southern Alberta Institution “MacKay’s Cochrane Ice Cream”, that she established with her husband Jimmy in the 1940’s. The legacy she helped start is continuing on through the third generation. Her children Allan ( Marlaine ), Heather ( Garry ), Rhona (no, not Rhonda) ( John ) and Robyn ( Bruce ) , were all born and raised in Cochrane. She has 5 grandchildren; Dana, Meghan, MacKenzie, Katie and Joelle, 6 great grandchildren; Chantelle, Isabella, Sidney, Colin, Murphy and Porter. She is also survived by her beloved brother Tom and his family, who live in Calgary, Alberta. After the passing of Jimmy MacKay in 1983, Chrissie met her retired Prince Charming, Dale Tetterington. After a traditional courtship, she married Dale and together they cruised and toured the world in a style true to an Ice Cream Queen.

A Celebration of Christina’s life will be held at Cochrane Alliance Church, ( 902 Glenbow Drive, Cochrane ) on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 2:00 P.M.
In lieu of flowers or donations, we ask that you take a moment to hug your child, grandchild, friend, or walk in her memory for a moment, an hour or a day. “Time waits for no one.”

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  1. On 27/01/2015 at 1:40 pm Ann & Dave Beattie Said:

    Dear Heather, Allan, Rhona and Robyn – we are so sorry to learn of your Mum’s passing. As one of those indominitable war brides who settled in Cochrane, she will always have a place in our hearts. We hope the memories and laughter she created throughout her life wraps you and all her extended family in a warm embrace as you tuck her memory deep into your hearts. Love, Dave and Ann (Neilson) Beattie

  2. On 27/01/2015 at 3:19 pm Elaine MacDonald Said:

    The town will forever remember the gracious matriarch of the McKay family. She truly was a special lady and will be missed.
    My condolences to Robyn, Rhona and all the family.
    Hugs, Elaine

  3. On 28/01/2015 at 11:01 am Bob Whitfield Said:

    Heather, Allan, Rhona and Robyn, Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We have many memories of your Mother. The friendship of your Mother and Dad with the Whitfield family. Take great pride in the great Mother you had. We will be unable to attend on Saturday but will be thinking of you. Bob and Truda Whitfield.

  4. On 29/01/2015 at 11:30 am Brian & Lynda Anderson Said:

    Rhona, Robyn and family,
    We’re very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. Chrissie will truly be missed by everyone who has had the pleasure to meet her and know her over the years. She alway went out of her way to have a conversation with both Lynda and I and I will truly miss her always letting me know that I was “a hansom man”. Yes, she was a bit of a flirt. Unfortunately Lynda and I will not be able to attend on Saturday as we will be in Hawaii, but we will definetly have a glass of cold Chardonay at lunch and we will toast her memory. Our thoughts are with you and your families.

  5. On 29/01/2015 at 1:07 pm Brigitte Matshes Said:

    Allan, Heather, Rhona and Robyn,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. You are in my thoughts and my most sincere condolences to you all.

  6. On 29/01/2015 at 1:18 pm Nicole Perryman Said:

    Rhona, Robyn and family, my sincere condolences in the passing of your mother. She was an amazing inspiration to the community of Cochrane and her legacy will live on. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. On 29/01/2015 at 2:28 pm Carolyn Molstad Said:

    Heather, Allan, Rhona and Robyn my condolences to you and your families on the passing of your Mom. Chrissie was indeed a larger than life figure in our little town of Cochrane and not someone that will be forgotten.

  8. On 29/01/2015 at 5:06 pm Glen Gryzko Said:

    Rhona, Robyn, Allan and family. Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your mother.
    From the little time I did spend with her, she showed an amazing spirit and energy that defied her years. It is never easy losing a loved one and I want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  9. On 30/01/2015 at 12:59 pm Warren & Mary Anna Harbeck Said:

    To all of Christina’s family: Mary Anna and I join with the great throng of Christina’s fans in expressing our sadness over her passing. Unfortunately, another commitment prevents us from attending the celebration of her life tomorrow. But we personally will continue to celebrate her life among us in our own hearts as long as double-dips in sugar cones are served. Blessed be the memory of the Ice Cream Queen!

  10. On 30/01/2015 at 3:07 pm Gloria Johnson Said:

    Dear Heather, Allan, Rhona, Robyn and families. I`m so sorry to hear of your mom`s passing. Had many chats with your mom,whether she was in the bank or I was on my break sitting on the bench in front of MacKay`s having a Ice Cream.Many cherished memories over a great number of years. My sincere condolences to your family. Gloria

  11. On 31/01/2015 at 10:24 am Rashelle Said:

    To the Mackay family.
    I only met Christina twice, but she made such a tremendous impression on me. She was so passionate about everything she talked about and had a magic way with people. I had the lucky opportunity to take mrs.Mackay on a day trip to Canmore one week and Bragg Creek the next. On the car ride there & back she would entertain me with her life stories…about being a war bride…about moving to Cochrane (with no toilet or running water!)…about the time she met the queen..about opening Mackays…about how much Cochrane has changed over the years…and about her love for Hawaii. I could hardly get a word in edgewise! But I didn’t mind.
    When we went for lunch she would order wine and insist I have a glass too. I had to kindly decline as I was “on the job”, although working for Mrs.Mackay was no work at all.
    Walking the streets of Canmore she wanted to go in every single store. 1 hour turned to 2 hours, and 2 turned to 3! Christina would stop and chat with every person she could on the street or in the store and would always make a point to let the store keeper know “what a lovely store they had.” She definitely had the gift of gab and had a way of drawing people in and making them feel special.
    When we stopped for ice cream at Mackays everyone knew her name and she was treated like a celebrity. Ice cream buyers wanting a picture with her or to shake her hand. It brought such a smile to her face. The thing I liked best about her was she greeted everyone, friend or stranger, with a hug!
    Even though our friendship was short lived I feel privileged to have met such a special lady. I still think of her every time I drive by Mackays and I know she will be missed by many.
    Hugs to her family, friends & loved ones
    Rashelle Elburg

  12. On 31/01/2015 at 11:01 am Gayle Dionne Said:

    Hi, Rhona, Robyn, Allan, Heather and all of the family. I sit here thinking, and remembering all the years your Mom walked past our old yellow house, going to work dressed so nice and with a step, you would like she was late. I still can see you Mom sitting in the restaurant (the Seven Stars) drinking her coffee on her break,away from the busy store, The booth was so much bigger than her, she would have something in her hand to read. Then later in life when we met, she would say– Oh Gayle, give me a big hug and tell me a story abut something that happened in her life or how our Cochrane was changing. She will be truly missed by all. This is a sad day. Hugs Gayle

  13. On 31/01/2015 at 3:31 pm Carolyn Roth Said:

    My most sincere condolence to all of Christina’s family. What can a person say except what an “Amazing Women” and such a wonderful world see lived in. We were all so blessed to have her in our garden of friendship. She lived Aloha each and every day, and her Ohana was everything. I will celebrate her and we will meet again at Hugo’s on the Rocks with a wee glass. Much love to you all and may all the wonderful memories carry you thru. God speed Christina, Mahalo my friend. xo

  14. On 31/01/2015 at 4:46 pm Jill & Judy...the twins Said:

    Allan and the girls…..your Mom was the best! When we were kids, she and your Dad kept you all busy….but we had a grand time and often remember and laugh over many humorous “incidents”…great memories. Your Mom had a presence about her and her Scottish lilt fascinated us. She was one smart, classy lady and I (we) will all miss having a wee visit with her! She knew how to live and was a great role model.

  15. On 01/02/2015 at 8:06 am Darcy Sauer Said:

    Thinking of you all..I only had the pleasure of meeting your Mom one time, it was at Starbucks on a sunny day . Robyn, you & your Mom were having coffee and you introduced me to her. I remember how struck I was by the immense love & pride in your eyes as you told me this was your mom…really. I never forgot that and it made my heart smile. I enjoyed our little visit & got a small snapshot of this amazing woman.
    Her passing will leave a huge hole but I can bet she will always be with you…we can only all wish to leave such a legacy. When I read her obit I thought ” now that was a life well lived”
    Blessings to you all…love & light to your Mom on her journey.
    Darcy Sauer

  16. On 02/02/2015 at 7:06 am Valerie Vassie Said:

    Dear Rhona, Robyn, Allan and Heather and your families…..I had such a joyous time with your Mom and loved her energy and her spark. She befriended me at the Heavenly Outhouse and our years there were so enjoyable with her impromptu visits. She would open the front door and say, “oh good you are here. I am going down to the store to help out and I will be back later” That was code for I would appreciate a lift when I am ready to go home. We would have a drink together and visit and it was just such a wonderful time. I wish you all the best of memories and the knowledge that she was incredibly proud of her wonderful family and spoke of you all with such love. We will all miss her. Valerie Vassie

  17. On 02/02/2015 at 2:05 pm Ralph Spanier Said:

    Dear Heather and Garry and Your Families,
    I was extremely saddened the learn of the passing of your dear Mother and Mother-in-Law. I’m devastated that I could not attend the funeral as I did not get the news until today.
    I always called her “Mrs. MacKay” and I regarded her as a true Cochrane icon.
    I’m certain that fond memories will be cherished by all of you forever.
    Please accept my sincerest condolences at this time.

  18. On 04/02/2015 at 1:07 pm Dale Murray Said:

    Hi Allan, Heather, Rhona, Robyn and families,
    I am so sorry to hear of you moms passing and I would like to pass along our deepest condolences on behalf of the Murray family.
    Cochrane wasn’t our only connection, as we also had our overseas relations with our aunts Greta and Jean Blyth from Dundee and your grandmother Mrs. Beck and Chris. It was not uncommon for our aunts to tell us that they were visiting with your grandmother and or Chris when at home or on their holidays. I will always have a fond memory of a trip to Big Hills Springs for a barbeque with our combined families. As well, I will remember going to your store for a treat and how thoughtful, kind and fun you mom was.
    Hugs Don, Anita, Duncan and Dale

  19. On 04/02/2015 at 2:49 pm Erik DeWiel Said:

    Heather, Allan, Rhona and Robyn I’m very sorry to hear about Mrs. MacKay’s passing. Funny, like so many others, I always called your mom, Mrs. MacKay and your dad Jimmy. Bad upbringing I guess. Sounds like she had a full life with lots of love. I remember her with much fondness. Take care, Erik.

  20. On 06/02/2015 at 10:04 am Julie Hofer and Shirley Helmig Said:

    Our sincere condolences to Robyn, Rona and all the family on the passing of your Mom. We have so many fond memories of Chris. She was full of energy and laughter and was always so kind. My Mom was telling me stories from many years ago about when Chris first arrived in Canada. It wasn’t always easy but she never complained and was instantly loved by the people of Cochrane. We will miss seeing her at community teas and miss our visits on the bench in front of MacKay’s. Please know our thoughts are with you during this sad time and that she will be greatly missed. Love Julie and Shirley.

  21. On 07/02/2015 at 3:55 pm Leta Hart Said:

    Thinking of you at this sad time.
    With sympathy,
    Leta Hart (nee Zilm).

  22. On 05/12/2015 at 9:55 am Fred Rumak Said:

    I am truly sorry to find out about your mom’s passing. I was looking up another obit and came across hers. I read the newspaper every day and when she passed, I was away. I was related to the late Joe Quigley who married my aunt Mary. I knew your both mom and dad. We met in the late 70’s when I moved from Winnipeg to Calgary. Your dad and I were cousins of sort. We always stopped in at MacKay’s and I still do to this day. Please accept my belated sympathies. Warm regards Fred Rumak

  23. On 15/09/2017 at 9:05 pm Kathy Drewes Said:

    I only met Christina MacKay once, outside of MacKay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane. I was pregnant at the time with my first child; it would have been in 2011, during the summer. She chatted with myself and my husband who was originally born in India, and asked him about his experiences. She told us stories of customers, and stories of being a war bride, and stories of Cochrane. She was enchanting. She said she loved good wine. I remember her so well. Such warmth and beauty; she made the universe brighter just by being. I am sorry she is gone.