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The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Mary Diane Magnus
April 22, 1946 – Nov. 10, 2021

“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain … but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.” — Anonymous
Mary Diane Magnus (Farnell) passed away peacefully at the Red Deer Hospice Society on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the age of 75 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Diane was born in Saskatoon, Sask., on April 22, 1946, to Evelyn and Gordon Farnell. She grew up on the family farm in Sonningdale, Sask., with her three older brothers Bob, Vic and Don.
Diane was one of the lucky people that knew from an early age what was important to her in life. Teaching, loving and enriching the lives of children was her true passion. It was no surprise that Diane attended the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where she became a certified elementary school teacher. Her first teaching job brought her to Rocky Mountain House, Alta., in 1966, employed at Lochearn Elementary School. She soon caught the eye of a local farm boy while cruising main street in her hot pink Plymouth Duster. Harald was the love of Diane’s life; they were soon married (1972) and she joined him on the family farm. Together they raised their family and built Last Hill Creek Farm.
Even though Diane decided to leave her professional teaching position behind, her involvement with children was just beginning. Raising three children of her own and farming full-time was no easy task. Always supportive and encouraging, Diane was very proud of her children, and dearly loved her many nieces and nephews. Family time was extremely important to her. She wanted her children to grow up with cousins, friends and neighbours. Always the host with the most, at the drop of a hat, coffee would be on, the table would be set, and laughter would fill the house. It was rare an evening would pass without a guest.
From early on Diane was an active member of the Memorial Presbyterian Church. There she was able to put her passion to work, teaching Sunday school classes and youth group. Be it baking, organizing functions, decorating, performing, outreach, or teaching — Diane was involved, and loved every minute of it. Her desire to be a positive leader in her church and community, made her a well-known, respected and admired person.
Diane’s love for her children came into full bloom with the arrival of her grandchildren. Never in my life have I witnessed such pure joy and excitement from our kids as when we would utter the words, “Let’s go to Grammy’s house.” They knew that inside those walls the world revolved around them. Even the children that were not her own grandchildren simply called her “Grammy Diane.” They loved her dearly and miss her every day.
In her final years, she could always be found tending to her beautiful flower gardens, watching the songbirds and hummingbirds that would visit her feeders, going out for coffee, decorating the house, attending church, preparing meals for the field or hosting family get-togethers. Diane would often reminisce of the wonderful time she spent teaching, where she made numerous lifelong friends. She would fondly recall the students in her classes by name, many of whom still live within the community. Her character can best be shown from the time she was diagnosed with stage four cancer in August until her passing into heaven. Diane had every right to be mad, or fall into depression after her diagnosis, but instead, she loved and lived every moment she was given — cancer would not rob her of who she was. Even in her final days she would remind us that despite moments of sorrow, we can find comfort in family, friends, and faith. Always graceful, until God called her home.
Diane will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 49 years, Harald Magnus; her children: Erin Blatkewicz, Brian (Celyn) Magnus and Carmen (Matthew) Brightman; her grandchildren: Grace and Mitchel Blatkewicz, Macsen, Livia and Gwen Magnus and Cash and Hazel Brightman; her brothers: Bob Farnell, Vic (Carol) Farnell and Don (Sharon) Farnell; numerous nieces, nephews and Harald’s large extended family.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions the family has decided to have a small private ceremony by invitation only.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mary’s name may be made to the Memorial Presbyterian Church (5108 - 50 Street, Rocky Mountain House AB, T4T 1P7).
Methods for donation can be found online at https://pccweb.ca/memorial/
Condolences may be forwarded to: www.rockyfuneralhome.ca.
Cremation entrusted to the Rocky Mountain Crematorium, Rocky Mountain House, Alta.
Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403-845-2626.