Shanley MacKenzie

March 24, 1959 ~ December 20, 2021 (age 62)


Shanley MacKenzie kicked and screamed her way into this world on March 24, 1959, but then left it quietly and peacefully on Dec 20, 2021.  This seemed so fitting in several ways, for as the years went on, she detested causing any kinds of commotion, but also just really hated the "f***ing cold" and lack of daylight.

Her wish was to pass at home, which she did, with loved ones around her and with a flower in her hair.  Despite the fact that she swore there were going to be "no more house cats!!", the three kittens she and Guy rescued in the spring were tearing around during her last days bringing her both joy and feigned annoyance.  She possessed an absolute love for animals, especially cats and birds; many of which will have met their "mama" on the other side with anxious anticipation.


Also welcoming her home was her mother Elaine Kleinschroth, father Hugh MacKenzie, step-father Fred Kleinschroth, former spouse Lynn Trussler, treasured aunts, uncles, cousins, and a young niece and nephew who were also taken much too soon.  She spoke of being with them all again with hope and love.


Shanley resided in Athabasca for the vast majority of her life other than a few short periods here and there.  She likely would have chosen to live in Hawaii had circumstances allowed, but at least got to visit there a few times while she was on this earth.  Since 1984, she worked for what is now Alberta Health Services at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre as a ward clerk, staffing clerk, and even did a stint as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) because she was a true healer and always wanted to help people in whatever way she could.  To this end, she even volunteered as a "guinea pig" for medical and nursing students during her multiple hospital stays so that they could learn necessary skills and gain experience in their practise.


She leaves behind a huge hole in the world, especially for her immediate family -- spouse Guy Handfield, daughters Kristen (Lance) and Courtney (Kim), brothers Dave & Allan (Scott), and sisters Linda (Albert), Sharon, & Darlene (Dennis), and her "other sister" Giselle.  All of their children also feel this loss, as she was an amazing grandmother and aunt.

The family would like to extend an enormous thank you to those who moved heaven and earth to make Shanley's journey through her cancer as comfortable as possible, including Dr. Ade Ogunnupe, Athabasca Community Services Home Care Team (esp. Barb Walker), Dr. David Richmond of the St. Albert Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Julie Price-Hiller of the Cross Cancer Clinic, the TPN team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, the staff at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre, Neil Cameron & the team at Value Drug Mart, and finally, the wonderful folks who spent time, effort, and even sleepless nights watching over her (Deanne Geleta, Dawne Webb, Misty Bower, Sandy Haley, and Judy Gosselin).  There have been numerous kind gestures of food, flowers, and time from so many; and all of it is so greatly appreciated.  


There will be no funeral, as per Shanley's wishes.  She had no desire to have people collectively mourn her passing in that fashion.  Rather, on May long weekend in 2022, there will be a gathering held at her property north of the river to celebrate her life.


If anyone would like to make donations in Shanley's name, please direct them to the Athabasca Healthcare Auxiliary Association.  The hospital was huge part of her life, and she always wished to continuously support and improve the services and level of care. 



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