CHRISTENSEN – Monica Margaret Christensen

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    CHRISTENSEN – Monica Margaret Christensen passed away at home in Toronto on January 3, 2022 at the age of 101. Never one to hurry, everything, other than teachers, doctors and her beloved garden, could wait. Which is why Monica was 98 when she ventured aboard her first cruise, the Queen Mary II, for a transatlantic adventure. Thanks to a (belated) DNA test, she discovered unknown cousins everywhere, and solved a genealogy mystery stretching from Perth County back to Ireland. She took a rock from the patch of Sligo earth her ancestors had toiled on for so long, before some fled to Canada in the 1840s, and a brick of peat to remind her of their paucity of heat. She was delighted to spend a morning at Killoran’s Traditional Restaurant and Bar, full of memorabilia from worldwide Killoran reunions held there, then travelled through Ireland, Scotland and London, where private tours, surprise reunions and lunch at the Ritz Hotel awaited her.

    Back home, trips in her 90s included cousin meetups all over Ontario and Quebec, frequently accompanied by tours, photo albums and hard-to-get records. Two introduced her to slot machines at Casino Rama when she was nearly 99. She loved classic hotels: the Palliser in Calgary, the Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise, the King Edward (their promotional birthday fee of $20, based on her birth year, was the best deal ever), the Parker House in Boston and the Waldorf Astoria Towers in New York. Reluctant to use a walker in her 90s, Mom discovered the benefits of a wheelchair, receiving preferred access to historical sites, her TSO concerts, theatres, film festivals, restaurants, hockey and football, but most of all, to lay our family wreath as part of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton.  She remains a member of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #215 Edmonton Ex-Service Women.

    Monica was born in 1920 in Melfort, SK to Leo F. Killoran and Julia M. Baker. Her family moved with her father’s career as a Prairie commercial traveller, developing a lasting devotion to the elaborately boxed chocolates and confectionery her father stored on weekends at their homes. In 1943, she and other carefully selected young women from across Canada formed the second graduating class of A.O.S. wireless operators, and returned to Edmonton to work for the legendary Wop May as part of the British Commonwealth Training Plan. She heard the voice of pilot Peter Christensen before they met, and eventually married in 1944. A series of RCAF transfers took them through Canada, before Peter retired and moved to Brooks, Alberta with their two daughters.  After Peter’s death in 2010, Monica joined her daughter Lisa in Toronto.

    In late 2020, a chance article in Beach Metro News described Lisa’s front yard sign advertising Monica’s 100th birthday and her wish for 100 cards. The article unleased TV and radio interviews broadcast nationally, her cause embraced by Facebook and Twitter. Over 2500 well wishes and gifts from around the world poured in, dwarfing all the plans postponed by the COVID-19 lockdown.

    Monica was predeceased by sisters Evelyn Torgness, Margaret Killoran,, Sheila McCracken and Sylvia Faryna. She was also predeceased by brothers-in-law Walt, Gordon, and Calvin Christensen, Jim and Bob Brodie, and sister-in-law June Edwards. She will be remembered by daughter Linda (Gary) Redelback of Brooks and their sons Scott (Florence) and Jason (Tammie) of Calgary, and daughter Lisa Christensen (Bruce Logan) and their son Brendan Logan of Toronto, and great-grandchildren Kaylee, Jadyn, Dylan and Adam.

    She will be missed by Brendan’s football buddies at Super Bowl parties, attired in her Notre Dame jersey, and watching Leafs games, sporting her new CHRISTENSEN #101 jersey gifted by MLSE. And there will be an empty seat at Allen’s On the Danforth this St. Patrick’s Day, where a table was always reserved for her.

    In accordance with her wishes, no funeral will take place.  Condolences may be left at www.aftercare.org.

    From all of us, –.-…