1913 ~ ETHEL CURRIE ~ 2018

Posted: July 23rd, 2018


Ethel Currie of Medicine Hat, beloved wife of the late Austin Currie, passed away on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at the amazing age of 105 years. Ethel leaves to cherish her memory numerous friends, colleagues and relatives in Canada, United States and France. Ethel was born in Medicine Hat on June 26, 1913, an only child to Mack and Mattie (Franks) Higdon, both from North Carolina. Her father leased and was the resident manager of the Medicine Hat Ranch (MHR) south of Whitla from 1913 to 1919, then he purchased the -N- Ranch south of Manyberries where Ethel was raised. Mack Higdon continued to lease the MHR from 1919 to 1925 and chose George Murray II, to be the resident manager. During this time, Mattie’s sister, Jessie Franks, came for a visit, met, and later married George Murray II. George and Jessie Murray had four children who were Ethel’s cousins: GW (George William) Murray, Lois Franks (Murray) Jacobson, Mack Higdon Murray (all deceased) and Maxine Rich (Murray) Hutchison (surviving). George Murray II purchased the MHR and his descendants continue to farm and ranch. Ethel adored her cousins and held them in high esteem. Ethel attended school in Manyberries and Medicine Hat. After graduating from High School, she completed a business course and became the secretary-treasurer for the family ranching company. Ethel was ahead of her time. At the age of 23, after reading a newspaper ad, she decided to pursue flying lessons in Lethbridge. She obtained her pilot’s licence and her instructor became her future husband. Ethel married Austin Currie in 1940. They moved to Winnipeg, where Ethel gained her commercial pilot’s licence, then moved to Montreal. Together, they flew freight between Winnipeg and Montreal and mail to communities in Northern Quebec. They lived in various locations throughout Eastern Canada before settling in Medicine Hat in the early 1950’s. They operated Western Lockers and retired in the late 1950’s. Ethel was very involved in the Medicine Hat community. She received the “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal” for over sixty years of volunteer work for the Canadian Red Cross. Ethel’s contributions included sewing and knitting for the soldiers during WWII, volunteering at blood donor clinics, establishing the Medicine Hat Red Cross office, being the Treasurer of the Red Cross Advisory Commitee (2013) and still doing the bookkeeping until the age of 100. Ethel was instrumental in starting the United Way in Medicine Hat as a response to the crisis caused by the 1953 floods. As a member of the Kiwanas and Quota Club her efforts helped raise funds for community projects. Well before City council meetings were broadcast, Ethel would film the proceedings and drive across town to deliver it to Cable 10 TV, where she volunteered as a camera operator, well into her 80’s. She enjoyed her time and the lasting friendships formed as a member of the Historical Society, Order of the Eastern Star and the Liberal Party. Ethel practiced her Christian Science faith until her death. Ethel felt service to others was important and if she saw a need, she wanted to fix it. Ethel was an incredibly strong, independent woman. She never once complained as her eyesight, hearing and mobility declined. She kept her wit and sharp intellect until her last day. Ethel generously donated her time, energy and resources to the community of Medicine Hat and will not be forgotten. The funeral service will be held at SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL, 1 Dunmore Road SE, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. David J. Carter officiating. Memorial gifts in Ethel’s memory may be made to the United Way of South Eastern Alberta, 928 Allowance Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 3G7, Canadian Red Cross, 398 Aberdeen Street SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 0R2, Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District, 401 First Street SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 8W2, Community Foundation of South Eastern Alberta, 430 – 6 Avenue SE #104, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 2S8, or First Church of Christ Scientist, 2603 – 19 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2M 3V5. Condolences may be sent through www.saamis.com or to condolences@saamis.com subject heading Ethel Currie. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to

SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL CREMATORIUM & RECEPTION CENTRE, “The Chapel in the Park” #1 Dunmore Road SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1Z5 (403)528-2599 www.saamis.com inquiry@saamis.com Locally owned and directed CGR Holdings Ltd.

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