It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Shirley Mercella (Merceil) (Stafford) Ahearn peacefully, one month after her 93rd birthday, June 2, 2022, in Invermere, BC.
Merceil struggled with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in her final five years, and it seemed that her will to live diminished after her sister Betty passed recently at 90, on May 4th, 2022.
Merceil was born in Young, SK, May 2, 1929, she is survived by her long-time friend; Lud Cvik; Lud’s son Chris (Catherine); brother-in-law, Jim Temple; nephews; Frank (Terry), Dan (Debra); niece, Jamie (Mark). Predeceased by parents, Frank and Anna (Rowan) Stafford; brother, Keith; sister, Betty (Jim); Lud’s daughter, Cynthia.
Always very organized and an astute manager, it was during her years at Canadian Hunter Explorations in the 1970’s that Merceil and her ex-husband Gerry founded Jays Messenger Service in Calgary. The successful business was sold when the couple divorced in 1980. Merceil’s last job was Development Officer with Municipal District of Big Horn No. 8 in Canmore, Alberta.
Merceil enjoyed a 29-year retirement snow birding from the mountains of Fairmont, BC to the beaches or Melaque, Mexico. She possessed a great sense of humour and was always fun to be with. Her milestone birthdays were always well celebrated with surprise visits from Betty and niece Jamie’s family from the east and her many friends and relatives in the west.
Merceil loved family gatherings and reunions but missed the last one in 2016 to be with Betty and assist in her care after Betty’s heart surgery. Merceil was always fearcely loyal to and protective of her family. She loved playing cards, golfing and was a self described “horse person” keeping a pair when she owned the acreage in Bragg Creek. A perennial winner of the “aunt of the year” award, Merceil’s considerable wit and wisdom will be greatly missed. Interment will be beside her parents in Young. A graveside tribute is planned for later this summer. Memorial donations to the Canadian Lung Association gratefully accepted.