Maxine Esther Lucille Westerlund was born in the Cereal Hospital on January 19,1940, the 5th daughter of George and Sadie Heatherington of Sedalia, AB.
She grew up on the family farm. Early farm life nurtured her love of animals, especially horses. Attending Wildflower School for grades 1 to 3 necessitated travel by horse and buggy. Horses remained prominent in her life and she participated in trail rides, driving a classy team in parades, cattle round ups or just giving neighbors a special treat with a winter sleigh ride.She was proud of her prairie country heritage.
During her school years, Maxine was a member of the student’s union. She took part in 4-H Beef Clubs and in later years she was assistant leader in the East Sounding Creek Beef Club and leader in the Horse Club.
After completing grades 4 to 12 in New Brigden, AB, Maxine's career choice was Education. She went on to the University of Calgary and then did substitute teaching in Oyen, AB.
Her love of country life and outdoor work may have had some influence on her decision to become a farm wife. However, the handsome young farmer himself likely had a far greater influence. Maxine married Lloyd Westerlund of Esther, AB on December 29, 1958. Together, they farmed in that area, adding their work and contributions to the field of agriculture for nearly half a century.
Maxine was familiar with the problems, challenges, opportunities, advantages and pleasures that this particular prairie lifestyle presents. This may have helped her in making the most of all of them. She was active in every aspect of grain and cattle farming, whether running equipment, pulling or feeding a calf, or preparing and delivering meals. These represent but a few of the jobs that she assumed on the home front.
She enjoyed social life such as dancing and signing everywhere at weddings, funerals, and Christmas parties. She especially wanted to be perfect in the way she was dressed, her hair and make-up, and had her lipstick like Queen Elizabeth.
The arrival of a son, Shane, in 1964 and a daughter, Heather, in 1969 added motherhood to Maxine’s life. Both children are deaf, which presented a major challenge. They graduated grade 12 in Alberta School for the Deaf in Edmonton.
In her home community, Maxine served on the Big Country Hospital Board as trustee and chairperson, and was on the Public Relations Committee for several years. She was also on the Big Country Medical and Dental Board for 15 years and the U.F.A. Advisory Council for 12 years.
Regardless of her busy schedule, Maxine always managed to find time for people. Her personality shone through in her genuine affection and concern for family, community and people near and far. A friendly greeting, a word of sympathy, encouragement, or congratulations, whatever the circumstance called for is what endeared her to so many people. Especially fortunate are those who were neighbors. They benefit by an extra measure of her friendship, help and consideration in both good and difficult times. Maxine had the capacity to make people feel good.
Maxine’s memory will be cherished by her husband Lloyd of 62 years of marriage, her children :Shane (Teena), [Ailisa]; Heather [Oceana, Delfin, River] plus many nieces, nephews, neighbors and special friends. She will also be remembered by her brothers Don Heatherington, Gordon Heatherington and her sister Doreen Rude.
Maxine was predeceased her 2 brothers and 2 sisters in law Vernon (Myrtle) and Dale (Marie) Heatherington.
When someone asked Maxine if she and Lloyd had retired she would reply, ”No, just tired” or “No, we are just getting started. We have enjoyed farming, but with Lloyd’s back problems, it is time to think of slowing down and heading south for the winter. I think I could live with that. We are pleased to have Shane and Heather home now farming full time."
Maxine resided at the Big Country Hospital, Long Term Care in Oyen, AB, with Lloyd in a shared room.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the service is private, however the family ask you to join them in remembering Maxine on the live stream. Live streaming will start at 11 am on Saturday, February 27th. A recording of the service will also be posted later in the day if you missed joining them.
If you wish to send flowers to the family, please contact Oyen Flowers and Giftware directly at 403-664-3827
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maxine Esther Lucille (Heatherington) Westerlund, please visit our floral store.
Oyen and District Health Care Foundation
Box 150, Oyen AB T0J 2J0
Oyen United Church
Box 392, Oyen AB T0J2J0