After just over a year battling with the results of a stroke, Ivan passed from this earthly home and into his eternal home with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on Monday, April 29th, 2019 at Portage la Prairie, MB. He was born September 14th 1929 on the family farm at Elgin, the third of five children. He was raised on the farm and attended school in Elgin, passing away in his 90th year. Left to treasure his memory is his beloved wife, Moyra, of 49 years, and their 2 children; David and Sheila McBurney of MacGregor, MB. Jennifer McBurney of Winnipeg, MB; Four grandchildren – Kara and (Jordan) Isaac, Erin, Alexis and Mark McBurney, all of MacGregor, MB; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He is predeceased by his parents, Roy and Rhoda McBurney, and 3 siblings – Glenn from BC; Bill from the farm in Elgin, and Rowena from Calgary. His oldest sister, Irene, lives in London ON.
Those who have known Ivan would likely agree that he was a kind, gentle, patient and loving man with an awesome dry sense of humor. His one liners would be dropped into conversation frequently, and always so fittingly. He was always willing to help people with almost anything they needed. He loved babies and toddlers and one would often find him cuddling or playing with them in the church nursery. His mother and Aunt Jean introduced him to Jesus and Ivan responded by trusting Him as his Lord and Saviour, and now is enjoying being in His presence in his eternal home.
Some of Ivan’s accomplishments include becoming a skilled pianist with his grade 8 and acquiring a University Education at a time when that wasn’t easily done. As a result of that education, Ivan spent 34 plus years of his life teaching school, starting in 1946 at 16 years of age with only his grade eleven. He later went to Normal School and then pursued and received his BA and BEd., through summer schools and evening classes. His first school was BayView, MB, followed by several other one and two roomed schools. As centralization of the school system developed, Ivan began to teach in larger schools around the Province of Manitoba, and also acquired his Principal’s certification. It was while teaching in Thompson, MB, that he met Moyra, an immigrant teacher from England and marriage ensued in 1970.
Their two children were eleven years apart, so David was an instant babysitter to his sister, and he seemed to enjoy that. Ivan loved his children and was proud of their accomplishments. He did a masterful job of playing ‘shoe-store’ with Jennifer. All the shoes in the closet would come out, get set up in the living room ready for sale, and Ivan would oblige and buy them. Today, Jenn could likely set-up her own store as she somehow has a taste for buying shoes.
Ivan loved to read, especially the Word of God. He studied much and taught Sunday school for many years. His studying continued until he had the stroke, and the many note books he filled attest to those studies. He also enjoyed playing the piano and in his retirement took up needlepoint and cross stitch, completing many pictures until we ran out of wall space! He and his wife switched roles in the mid 80’s and he became an excellent ‘house spouse’, doing everything to provide for the family and his newly arrived mother-in-law from England. Many guests enjoyed Ivan’s culinary skills.
Following Moyra’s retirement in 2004, they moved back to Manitoba with Moyra’s Mom too, settling in Portage la Prairie, so there could be much more time spent with the four grandchildren ages 1 to 9 yrs. Ivan loved to have them visit and he spent good times having ‘Teeps’ (Tea Parties) with Mark with real water to be poured! Later he would sometimes watch all the children learning to play ball, soccer, hockey etc, and taking piano lessons. Ivan never wanted to miss taking in the festivals and recitals, always encouraging them to continue learning. Mark took quite a liking to the piano and pressed through more years of lessons to become quite accomplished at playing a style of music which Ivan couldn’t play. Grandpa always had a love for each of his grandchildren and was pleased with each one’s accomplishments.
He will be missed by many and the lives he touched and inspired in schools and through church ministry will be forever changed. An inspiration to many.
A funeral service and celebration of Ivan’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. Interment to follow at Elgin Cemetery for the family and any others who would like to join us.
As expressions of sympathy, if friends so wish, donations may be made in Ivan’s memory to the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Missions Department, 2450 Milltower Court, Mississauga, ON L5N 5Z6.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. 204-857-4021 www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com