Local woman celebrates 100th birthday

Matt Gardner
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Celebrating her 100th birthday with friends and family, Mary Krack offered a vivid example of the old adage that “age ain’t nothing but a number.”

“I don’t feel any older,” the centenarian Prince Albert resident said on Saturday during her birthday dinner at Movado’s Bistro and Grill.

An earlier gathering last week at Calvary United Church attracted 189 well-wishers, with some guests travelling from as far away as Wisconsin.

Among those present at Movado’s on Saturday was Margaret Dowling, who had provided remarks for the toast at the Calvary celebration.

“She always calls me her adopted daughter, because she never had one of her own, but she’s been a special friend of the family,” said Dowling, who also helped nurse Krack through two bouts of cancer.

“She’s been a wonderful mother,” Dowling added. “No one could ask for a better mother, and we all love her very much.”

Born July 12, 1914 on a farm in Manitoba, Krack -- née Baily – moved to Saskatchewan with her family in 1927 when her father sought out a homestead.

Settling in the Moose Lake district north of Paddockwood, Mary Baily attended school at Forrest Gate and was known as a hard-working, energetic young woman who regularly assisted with farm chores and later worked various jobs in the community.

In 1937, she married railroad man Bill MacLeod, with whom she had one son, Wayne. When Bill died in 1960, Mary was left to raise her son alone.

You’ve got to keep active. That’s the main thing in life. Mary Krack

Taking in boarders to subsidize her income, her impressive cooking skills meant she had no trouble finding customers. Aside from doing the cooking, laundry and ironing for all her boarders, she also took care of the housework, cleaning and gardening.

In 1964, she married United Church minister Jim McKinley and the couple subsequently moved to Qu’Appelle and Birch Hills, taking numerous trips abroad before McKinley died in 2004.

After moving to Prince Albert, she met her current husband, Marcel Krack. Living on their own, the couple did their own cooking, cleaning, gardening and canning before moving into assisted living this January.

Throughout the years, Mary Krack was an active member of the Orange Lodge, holding all offices in the organization right up to “Grand Mistress.”

In recent years, she and Marcel have taken trips to far-flung locales such as Texas and Hawaii.

“You’ve got to keep active,” Krack noted. “That’s the main thing in life.”

In addition to her son Wayne, Krack now has six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Asked why she believed she had lived such a long life, she answered, “Because God didn’t have a room for me yet.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Calvary United Church

Geographic location: Wisconsin, Manitoba, Saskatchewan Moose Lake Paddockwood Forrest Gate Qu’Appelle Birch Hills Texas Hawaii

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