Obituary – McVean, Peggy

Passed: April 28, 2013
Longtime south shore and Slave Lake resident Peggy McVean passed away on April 28, 2013, in St. Albert, after an illness. She was 87. Christened Vivian June Watson, but always known simply as ‘Peggy’, McVean was a founding member of the Widewater Athletic Association and was notable for her many years of active involvement in that organization, as well as the local seniors group. “She really did dedicate her life to her family and the community,”says son Chris.Peggy was born in Vulcan Alberta in 1926, and moved to the Swan Valley with her family a few years later. After a short time there, the family moved again to Canyon Creek, where Mr. Watson set himself up as a mink rancher, a farmer and a drayman. “He had a team of horses,” says Chris,“and he hauled freight.” Peggy went to school in Canyon Creek as far as Grade 8, after which she found work at the local post office and store.When she was 16 she met Don McVean; they married three years later, in 1945. Together they raised three children – two boys and a girl.
They raised plenty of mink too, being part of that thriving industry that took advantage of the abundant fish in Lesser Slave Lake. Peggy and Don were founding members of the Widewater AthleticAssociation, putting down $500 of their hard-earned money along with some of their neighbours, to help establish the local ball diamonds. One of the legacies of that effort is the Widewater Sports Days, which celebrates its 54th year this June.
Harry Bartlett, the chief organizer of the current Widewater Sports Days, spent a lot of time in the McVean home when he was growing up, and remembers Peggy very fondly. “A kind-hearted lady,” he says. “The most wonderful smile, and laugh. Never, ever said a bad thing about anything.” Peggy worked for many years at the hospital in Slave Lake – starting in 1968 and retiring in 1990. Widowed in 1993, she spent a few years living at the Legion Manor in Slave Lake, during part of which time she worked part time at the Lakeside Leader. In 2006, she moved to a seniors’ residence in Villeneuve, to be closer to her sister. A funeral was held for Peggy McVean in St. Albert on May 4.

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