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Shelagh Sally Telford

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Shelagh Sally Telford

April 20, 1936 - July 1, 2024

Sally’s great Canadian adventure sadly came to an end on July 1. Canada Day. She was 88.

Shelagh Sally Buchanan was born in Cheshire on April 20, 1936. She married Malcolm two weeks past her 21st birthday. Her new husband was all of 22. They asked for their wedding presents to be cash, so they could move to Canada. They arrived in Montreal the following month. They knew nobody in the city, but they found their way to a rooming house near McGill University and were immediately hired as the night time check in clerks. Their new life in Canada was under way. They spent ten years in Montreal and loved every minute of it.

Hamish was born in 1964, and Amanda followed in 1967. A month later, they were placed in cardboard boxes and loaded into the back of an Austin Mini and moved to Toronto. After the kids started school, Sally completed her high school equivalency, followed by a BA in history at York University, and then a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Toronto. Despite being a non-believer, Sally enjoyed a long career as the head librarian at the Centre for Christian Studies. Aside from her children, and quite possibly including them, Sally was most proud of her career and academic achievements.

Sally was also an assiduous homemaker. Wherever she lived, she maintained an immaculate home, and she was a terrific cook. Her crusty homemade bread was famous throughout Willowdale, and her desserts were legendary. Even people who normally eschew desserts – we are thinking of you Paul – could not resist her sweet creations. But as a child of the Great Depression and post-war food rationing, she also knew how to be thrifty. A family friend once quipped that Sally was the only person he knew who could whip up a meal for eight with a mouse’s knuckle!

Sally and Malcolm loved to spend time at their farm in Hastings County, near the thriving metropolis of McArthur’s Mills. They were tickled when the county decided to name the road to their property Telford Road. It will live on in posterity. When they retired, they bought a gorgeous century home in Port Hope. It was regularly featured in the Port Hope House Tour. Later they relocated to Cobourg, where they enjoyed toiling in the community garden on the shores of Lake Ontario and watching migrating birds. Sally also spent many wonderful days with the ladies associated with the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Sally was predeceased by her husband Malcolm and her sister Anne. She is survived by her children, three grandchildren (Phil, Kate, and Ewan), and her sister Yvonne.

The family would like to thank the Harmony staff at Palisades Gardens for their loving care over the last four years. We would also like to thank the staff at Ed’s House Northumberland Hospice for their support in Sally’s final days.

Sally loved to dance. We invite you to crank up Bennie and the Jets and remember Sally at her finest.

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Jane McCaig - July 15, 2024

Sally was a true lady, gracious and welcoming…I knew her through CFUW, and was always impressed by her loveliness and charm…my condolences to the family

Kelly Gill - July 9, 2024

This lady.. wow.. such a sweet soul.. so kind and loving and the brightest eyes when she smiled. Rest in paradise sweet lady. I will dance a dance for you in your honour.

Marcie Gibson - July 5, 2024

Thank you for a beautiful tribute. Sending our condolences from the Centre for Christian Studies, now located in Winnipeg, still with a current, thriving, library thanks to her work. May her memory be a blessing and a comfort to all who grieve.

Katelyn T.C - July 4, 2024

Sally was always a very feisty, yet well mannered woman in my time knowing her. I will always remember going to spend time with Sally and Malcolm in my youth for a few days over the many summers. Sally will always be remembered as Oma and an amazing chef! My thoughts go out to dedicated daughter and son.

Abraham and Monique Chiasson - July 3, 2024

Our sincere condolences to Amanda and Amish. We have always enjoyed our get togethers with Malcolm and Sally full of wit and surprises and, will always remember Sally taking part in two of our holiday festivities.

Trudy Rising - July 3, 2024

Ah yes, the memories of Sally and of her husband, Malcolm, whom she now joins in death, and their children, Hamish and Amanda! We arrived in Canada the year after Malcolm and Sally came to Toronto, and were friends through the remainder of our lives. Many years of fun and frivolity together, as our two sons were so impressed with Sally's "kid" version of cheese fondue (just replace the white wine with apply juice, and they feel oh so included and sophisticated), and she allowed them to tramp through her garden to get to the rhubard which our older son loved to munch, raw! Many fond memories of walks together at Halton County Forest Tract and good times when teaching courses took us to St. Andrews by the Sea. Three of our four children got into a bit of mischief, we discovered later. Perhaps that was good -- that the mischief was later discovered. Strong, thoughtful, intelligent and a joy to be with -- that's how I'll remember Sally! I'll miss her as I miss Malcolm and my own husband, Jim. Remembering good times at invertebrate parties, along with all other good times will form many moments in my own days to come. A good life, you definitely had!

Christina L Zinkie-Dinner - July 2, 2024

Awe I’m so sorry to hear of Sally’s passing, I was her home help worker through Community Care. She was an absolute bright light, I really enjoyed the year i had with her. My sincere condolences to you all through this difficult time💐