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Diane Merle McCallister
On Wednesday, August 1st, 2018, Diane passed away after a short illness. She was the youngest daughter of Nellie and Bert (Albert) Shirtliffe of Starbuck. She is survived by her husband Basil McCallister, sister Lynn Walker, nephew Sean Walker (Shannon Harding) along with four grand nephew’s and nieces (Kyra, Shanara, Stewart and Sophie). Brothers-in-law; Irvin (Judy) and Lorne (Maureen) McCallister.
Diane was raised on the family farm and attended the Elm Bank Elementary school which had been built by her Grandfather and neighbors, later attending Starbuck High School. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with degrees in Science (Home Economics) and Education. Her first teaching job was in The Pas and then later she moved to Portage la Prairie and taught High School. It was in Portage that Diane met her future husband Basil and they were married in 1972.
Shortly after their marriage, Basil constructed a house on the McCallister family farm north of Portage where they actively farmed until the late 1990’s. Diane continued teaching for a number of years and then made the decision to retire and assist Basil in farming activities and was active on the board of the Portage Credit Union. While farming, Diane and Basil made time to travel to locations within the UK, Australia, New Zealand and extensively within Canada and the US. Farming and the local community were extremely important to Diane and she created many lasting lifetime friendships to this day.
After retiring from farming, Diane and Basil turned their traveling to points farther south and joined a number of RV caravans and toured Mexico. This is where they found a favorite winter retreat, returning to Lode de Marcos on the west coast at least 13 times with both current and new friends.
In the summers Diane and Basil travelled in their Cessna 170 with the Century Flight Club coast to coast in Canada, travelling as far west as Nanaimo, north to Whitehorse and Yellowknife and east to PEI – again making friends along the way.
Donations in memory of Diane can be made to the Canadian Celiac Association, 825 – Sherbrook St., Winnipeg, MB R3A 1M5.
The graveside service celebrating Diane’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Portage la Prairie. Reception to follow at McKenzie United Church, 85 – 11th St. NW, Portage la Prairie, MB.
Messages of condolences can be made online at www.omegafuneralhome.com