Peacefully on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020, Murray McAllister passed away at the Portage District General Hospital at the age of 86.
Murray was predeceased by his parents Rita and Burpee; infant brother; wife Gillian in 2001; second wife Ruth in 2013 and daughter Julie Cairns in March, 2020.
He will be lovingly remembered by his sons Stephen (Heather Watterson), Lloyd (Lorraine) and Barry (Dawn Maguire); son-in-law Garnet Cairns; grandchildren Clint (Jammie) Cairns, Jasmine (Ian) Currie, Cathy (Chris) Pleskach, Christy-Lee McAllister, Gary McAllister, Sean McAllister, Cody (Alysha Aitken) McAllister, Jordan (Beata Zygmunt) McAllister, Danielle (Simon) Guley, and Courtney (Sean) Meehan; great-grandchildren Grady Currie, Madelyn Currie, Maeve Meehan, James Meehan and Bayleigh Cairns. He also leaves to mourn his brothers Russell (Lorna), Garland (Audrey), and Burpee; sisters Lulla (George) London and Mary (Frank) Walsh as well as a large extended family and friends.
Murray was born on September 12, 1933 in Salmon Creek, New Brunswick. At the age of 21, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained to become an Airframe Technician. He met his wife Gillian (nee Dearing) while stationed in Europe. They were married in England in 1957 and welcomed their first child Julie while Murray was stationed in Zweibrücken, Germany. In 1959, he was transferred to Saskatoon where two of their sons, Stephen and Lloyd were born. Their last child, Barry was born after moving to Portage la Prairie in 1962.
Murray loved his time in the military. During his career, he had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and even flew with the Golden Centennaires (predecessors of the Snowbirds) as part of their support crew. He retired as Sergeant after 32 years of service. After retirement, Murray became an instructor in Coal Lake, Alberta, dedicating many hours to teaching air crew survival to air cadets for several summers.
Eight years after Gillian’s passing, Murray reunited with his teenage sweetheart, Ruth Demmings, while on a trip to visit his family in New Brunswick. They were married in 2010 and travelled back and forth between their home provinces until her passing.
Murray was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping. He volunteered as a Khartum Temple Shriner and was a long time member of the Assiniboine Masonic Lodge #7 and the Royal Canadian Legion #65.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, a private family service will take place. Interment will be held at Evergreen Memorial Gardens.
As expressions of sympathy, if friends so wish, donations may be made in Murray’s memory to the Canadian Cancer Society, 193 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2B7 or the Lion’s Prairie Manor Foundation Inc., 24-9th St. S.E., Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3V4.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com