Queenie Reville, lodge owner, joker, storyteller, amazing mother and grandmother, cook, hostess, knitter, seamstress, office manager, home maker, baker, and all-over wonderful person died peacefully on Friday, September 24th, 2021.
Queenie was the third of four siblings; the late Ann Miller, Eileen Reville and Wilma Honeyman. She was born Queenie Norman in 1934 to parents Mary and Bill Norman in Point Claire, Quebec.
She was always a rascal from a young age. She and her friend Dorothy would sneak into the basement of her home, get into the pickling jars, empty them into a basin, eat the parts they liked best (cauliflower and onions in this story) and put back the cucumber and parts they didn’t care for as much into the jar. Of course, this would eventually get caught months later. When she was a teenager, she had a large gang of friends that she has stayed in touch with her entire life. Queenie met her husband of 64 years, Alan Reville on a blind date. We always assumed they both lost a bet. A story she loved to tell was introducing Alan to her father. To date her, he had to work in her dad’s yard and was asked 3 questions: 1) What is your religion? 2) Are your intentions honourable? 3) How much money he had in the bank. To this day we wondered how he answered. After they met, they were an inseparable pair. They were wed without the aid of a shotgun on Friday, July 13, 1956, and lived in Valois, Pointe-Claire. When asked why she married on the Friday the 13th she answered with a grin, ‘I just couldn’t wait until Saturday’.
Queenie and Al did not argue much, but she wanted 4 kids, and he wanted to stop at 2. Neither opinion changed. After the 4th child was born (and he was a handful), Al and Queenie went in search of a better method of birth control, which was illegal at the time in Quebec. For those worried there are secrets being told, they need to remember that Queenie is a storyteller, and this was one she liked to share. She talked of the doctors who would give an address to the women to give their husbands and the men would go to the side door of a house, into the basement…. Apparently, there was an underground vasectomy network in Montreal at the time. This was the only time in their lives, that Queenie and Al broke the law. (We mentioned the last child was a handful, right?)
In 1970, they decided to get in the car with their four children and leave Québec with the idea of going to Alberta to get a job – with no plan other than doing some camping on the way there. Before they left, Queenie's sister Ann asked them to run Pinelands Lodge for the summer as the cook had run off with the manager. When Queenie said she had never cooked for over 10 people before, they said, ‘If you can cook for a family of six, you can cook for 60, just throw in a few more potatoes.’ Queenie and Alan fell in love with Muskoka and the lodge, so they decided to stay. Running the lodge while raising a family, managing staff, keeping dogs and cats, and occasionally pigs and porcupines, and squeezing in a social life was not easy, but she did it all with a smile.
Her humour was inescapable. Every Christmas there was always a surprise poem followed by an interesting present or gag gift representing something that had happened that year. She was a force of nature. Infectious joy, courageous and indominable. An excellent knitter who created the most amazing Christmas stockings for her family.
In retirement, Queenie and Al bought a house in Bracebridge with a big porch, where they could walk everywhere, drink tea and eat her famous date squares on their porch and have many people over for socializing. They stayed active walking, swimming, snow shoeing, travelling, and visiting their family. There was no occasion that a family get together was not called for. Their life stories continue to be told with a smile and laugh.
Although none of her children married a ginger like she wanted, her pride and love for them was endless. She is lovingly remembered by her children Bruce (Arlene), Brock (Wendy), Lori (Shawn), and Barry (Debbie), her seven grandchildren Jade, Jordan (Jennifer), Myles (Elise), Jasmin (Mike), Margo, Maia, and Zoë, and great-granddaughter Frances Ann. Queenie’s dedication to her children, grandchildren, great grandchild, and her animated spirit continue to inspire those who knew her.
A private funeral was held at Reynolds Funeral Home. A recording of Queenie’s service will be available at www.reynoldsfuneral.com. Donations in Queenie’s memory may be made to Andy’s House, Port Carling (hospicemuskoka.com) or to the Red Cross (donate.redcross.ca). Andy’s House provided compassionate end of life care that attended to all the needs of both Queenie and her family, and The Red Cross helped us by providing invaluable transportation to hospital appointments in Barrie during lockdown, when other services were not operating. These donations may be arranged through Reynolds Funeral Home. Messages of condolences and memories may be shared.
Private Memorial Service: Sunday, September 26, 2021, at 2pm. You are welcome to join in to watch the funeral via Live Stream. Log in instructions below:
Forget Me Not Ceremonies - Live Stream Instruction
Below the RSVP section, click the green box which says "click here to access the video" - you will be redirected to the Forget Me Not Ceremonies Registration Page
Enter your E-mail and click 'Submit'
You will then receive an e-mail from Forget Me Not Ceremonies with the next steps of registration
Once you are registered you will receive a link to the ceremony 'waiting room' (this is the link that will take you to the service)
The service will begin at 2:00pm on Sunday, September 26, 2021
NOTE: please login 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the service to avoid technical error.