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Willa Joan McIlwain
March 12, 1936 ~ September 21, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Willa, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away on September 21st, 2023, surrounded by family in her hometown of Biggar, Saskatchewan.
Willa was born to parents William and Ceil Labrecque, in Biggar on March 12th, 1936, the eldest of 8 children. While growing up in Biggar, Willa took every opportunity to visit her Grandparent’s farm by Handel, Saskatchewan, where she developed a love of horses that would last her entire life.
Willa married Edward McIlwain (d.1981) in 1956 and they raised 7 children together in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. In 1992 Willa moved back to Biggar to care for her mother, which allowed her to reconnect with extended family. In 1997, Willa met Bob Wisemen, the spouse with whom she spent the rest of her life, until his passing in 2022. They lived together on his ranch by Burns Lake, BC, until returning to live in Biggar in 2010.
Willa’s family was her greatest love, and she had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren. She looked forward to Easter each year as her family and friends gathered in Biggar to celebrate with her. Willa also enjoyed family time spent playing cards and Tile Rummy, a game she taught her children and grandchildren to play, and many hours were spent playing what became and remains a family favourite pastime.
Willa will be lovingly remembered by her family and friends as a kind, loving, funny, witty, pragmatic, and wise woman with a beautiful spirit and adventurous nature. Willa is survived by her children Jan (Ron), Sam (Keith), Kelly, Shawn (Diane), Reg (Sheila), 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild, brothers Jack, Don (Darlene), Murray, (Florence), Brad, sisters-in-law Bonnie-Jean, and Cathie, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Willa is predeceased by spouses Edward McIlwain and Bob Wiseman, children Laurie and Darren (Tammy), brothers Reg and Ron, and sister, Diane.
Willa’s immediate family would like to extend a special heart-felt thank-you to her dear cousins, Marlene, and Eileen, for the love and friendship they shared with Willa over the years. The family also want to sincerely thank the staff at Biggar LTC for their loving care of Willa in her final years.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Salvation Army.
The Vigil of Prayer for Willa will be held Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 7:00PM. The Funeral Mass will be held Friday, September 29, 2023 at 2:00PM. Both services will be held at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Biggar, SK.