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Christena (Keating) Buckingham

September 8, 1916 ~ July 18, 2017 (age 100)

BUCKINGHAM - Christena (Teeny) (nee Keating) September 8, 1916 - July 18, 2017 

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Christena “Teeny” Buckingham of Shellbrook on July 18, 2017, at the age of 100 years young. 

Teeny was born on the family farm in the Roselea area, northeast of Shellbrook.  She was born to Catherine and Jim Keating.  Mom had three brothers, Neil, Wib and Lorne, and twin sisters Elsie and Ivy.  As a young child the family moved from Roselea, to a farm 1/2 mile north of the  Hilldrop school. This is where she grew up and called home.  Trips to Shellbrook were rare occurrences, with her mother catching a ride with a neighbour to buy supplies with her cream cheque. Mom remembers her dad as a fun loving guy.  He would sit by the heater and sing songs on a cold winter’s night with Teeny on one knee and Wib on the other.  The sudden passing of her dad when she was a little girl resulted in many hardships for her family.  It was a sad and hard time for a single mother of six children,  but they got through it together, working side by side, this is where she developed her deep sense of the importance of family. 

Teeny often talked about her childhood, enjoying walking the rail fences, riding her pony Star, skating on the slough behind their farm, visiting with the neighbours and playing card games. As a teenager, she enjoyed dances at Pleasantville Hall.  They would get a “pick up band” to play, and the family would go by horse and sleigh to enjoy the music and fellowship.  

Teeny married Gordon Buckingham on July 28, 1936 and were happily married for 73 years.  They had three children, Garry, Glenda and Gail. She did many things throughout those years to stretch the dollar, canning fruit, homemade baking, making dish towels from flour sacks, and sewing clothes for the family. 

Teeny started work at the Shellbrook Hospital as a nurses aid at the age of 50,  working there for the next ten years.  Teeny’s uniforms were kept as white as snow and as crisp as could be, and her nursing shoes were always freshly polished. She enjoyed these ten years very much, making many friends, and good memories. 

Gordon and Teeny built a new house in Shellbrook in 1989 and she always said it was on the best lot in town.  They would enjoy watching from their window the children at play in the school yard, or spend countless hours playing Canasta and Chinese Checkers.  Mom never dreamt life would get so easy, just turn up the thermostat and have nice warm heat, central air conditioning, and an automatic washer and dryer. 

Teeny lost the “love of her life” after 73 years of marriage. Following Gordon’s passing, Teeny continued to live in her own home until the age of 100 years, with the help of family, friends and Home Care.. She loved to spend her time with her family as they were the most important thing in her life, going for car rides or visiting at the house.. A highlight in recent years was at the age of 99 she went on a helicopter ride over all the familiar places where she had lived. Her family loved to hear her life’s stories and memories, enjoy her wit and her one liners, and admired her qualities of determination, straightforward nature, and fierce independence.

Teeny will be lovingly remembered by her children: Garry (Sharon) Buckingham, Glenda (Jim) Munro, and Gail (Bruce) Storry, her eight grandchildren and their families  Chris (Val) Galloway and sons Brett, Matthew, and Evan; Dawn (Rob) Balic and daughters Brooklynn and Adrianna;  Jonathan Galloway, Jennifer Galloway, Janelle (Chris) Gosselin and sons Burk and Torr, Angela Storry, Teanne (Mat) Sommerfeld and children Mya and Colton, and Kyla (Jason) Assie and children Easton and Madelyn; her sisters-in-law Margaret Smylie and Ruth Buckingham; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. 

She was predeceased by her husband of 73 years, Gordon Willian Buckingham in 2009; her parents James and Catherine Keating, her brothers Neil (Eunice) Keating, Lorne, and Wilbert (Eileen) Keating.  Her sisters: Elsie (Russell) Belfry and Ivy (Frank) Belfry; her sisters-in-law Mary (Jim) Hartnett, and Reta DeRosa; her brothers-in-law Stan (Agnes) Buckingham, Art Buckingham and Jim Smylie. 

Teeny’s Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, July 22nd at 11 am at the Shellbrook Seniors Center, with Murray Hannigan officiating. Scripture readings were by Dawn Balic and Angela Storry. Soloist was Glenda Munro, singing “In The Garden”.   Eulogy was by Gail Storry. Organist was Dave Hjertaas with Shellbrook Community Choir singing.  A private internment at Shellbrook Cemetery was held prior to the Memorial Service.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations were made to Shellbrook Home Care, or Shellbrook & Districts Health Services Foundation - Long Term Care.  

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