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Christine Byquist

Christine Elizabeth Byquist

Thursday, November 5th, 2020
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With great sadness we announce the passing of Christine Byquist on November 5, 2020 at the Grace Hospital at the age of 98. She was predeceased by her husband, Charlie in the 1953 Polio epidemic, her parents Ernest and Catherine Strath, her siblings, Dr. Jim (Lucille) Strath, Dorothy (Weldon) Ray, and Mary (Ivan) Routledge.

Left to cherish her memory are her two daughters, Ruth Byquist and Bette (Bruce) Bowman, grandchildren, Shannon, Shaun (Samantha), and great –grandchildren Noah and Jayden. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Lucille Strath, nine nieces and nephews and their families.

Christine was born on the family farm near Shoal Lake, Manitoba. Although they faced many challenges during the depression they were a very close knit family who valued family and education. Being raised on the farm led to a lifelong love of wild flowers and birds. Christine spent many springs looking for crocuses and lady slippers. Christine attended the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1945. She returned to university in 1958 to obtain her Certificate in Public Health Nursing. Over the years she worked at the Deer Lodge, the Children’s Nursery at the Women’s Pavillion at the Health Science Center, the Ellen Douglas School, the first nurse at the U of W, and over 30 years as a Public Health Nurse. During her time with public health she and three other courageous nurses (all single parents) fought hard to create the first Wpg Civic Registered Nurses Association in 1965. Christine then became the president of this first nurses-only union in Manitoba history. This Association was predecessor to the MONA and MNU nurses unions.

Our mother was very adventurous. She traveled most of Canada and the northern United States in her 1st car, a Volkswagen Beetle, with a tent and two young daughters. To this day we treasure the memory of waking up in a tent to the smell of fresh coffee and crackling bacon and eggs. Although she was a single parent we never felt we missed out on anything.

After her retirement Christine spent over 30 years enjoying the cottage at Falcon Lake. She loved to spend summers reading on the deck, watching sunsets, and swimming. Family and visitors loved her homemade pies, butter tarts, and buns. Many winters she traveled around the world with friends. Christine was very close to her cousins in Scotland and many a trip was spent with family traveling 6 in a van exploring the highlands. Nothing was more important to Christine than her family, birthdays, and holidays. She loved her morning coffee and the newspaper. This past year of isolation nearly broke her heart. She will be remembered for her love of family.

Special thanks to all the care givers and staff at The Rosewood Supportive Housing Facility in Winnipeg for four years of care, concern, and kindness.

At Christine’s request, no funeral service will be held. Cremation has taken place.

“So when tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right here in your heart”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to

Alzheimer Society Manitoba
Dementia Care & Brain Health
10 – 120 Donald Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4G2
Tel: (204) 943-6622
Nurses Alumni Association of the WGH/HSC
(Winnipeg General Hospital/Health Science Centre)
General Fund
NA 138-700 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T2
Tel: (204) 787-1170
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Private Condolence

Lorraine and Rod

Posted at 10:45am
Sending you the biggest hug Ruth over the loss of your Mom.....your inspiring story of her life shows what an incredible woman she was.....and what great love she had for you and your sister. We're holding you close in our hearts hun.......Lorraine and Rod

Irene Giesbrecht

Posted at 01:11pm
I extend my sympathy to the family. I knew your mom and I salute her for her efforts to create the first nurses union in Manitoba. I was active in, and worked for the nurses union from 1974 and on till 2008. I remember the filming of a short historical video...MONA caring for nurses that Christine was included.
Irene Giesbrecht

Arlene Walker

Posted at 10:17am
Hello Ruth, As I was reading the paper, I recognized the name Byquist and was saddened to see that it was your mother. My sincere condolences to you and your family. I have lost both my parents and it does not matter the age, it is not an easy time. I hope that you are keeping well. If you want to be in touch my email is Take care, Arlene Walker

Donna Little

Posted at 05:13pm
Ruth and Bette
I remember your mom fondly. I worked with her in the West District nursing office as the clerk in the 60's.This was my first job fresh out of high school and your mom took me under her wing. My sincere condolences to your families. Peace be with you.
Donna Little

Nancy Stephensen

Posted at 12:15pm
Bette and family,
So sorry to read that your mom/grandmother passed away. I know you are a close knit family and she will be missed immensely. I always remember her visit to the hospital after Shannon and Matthew were born and her reassuring us that we would be just fine caring for our newborns at home (after our baby bathing class) when we were concerned about everything being “sterile”. My sincere condolences.

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