Elvena Parlee

December 16, 1944 - November 13, 2023


Obituary For Elvena Parlee

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness we, as a family, announce the passing of our mother, Elvena Lynne Parlee on Monday, November 13, 2023, at the age of 78 years, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Lynne was born on December 16, 1944, in Calgary, AB, to Margaret and Joseph LaCrosse.

Lynne was a daughter, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, and a business owner. She was also an avid volunteer in her community, and served at the Wanham Senior’s Center, various churches, and served lunches at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen to those less fortunate.

Marlene, a friend of Lynne’s, said she was moving to Grande Prairie to take a job with AGT (Alberta Government Telephone), and asked Lynne, “Why don’t you come with me?” At fifteen years old, and yearning for adventure, they were on the move! Not soon after she was working as an operator (1 ringy dingy; 2 ringy dingy) for AGT.

When Lynne was not working, she was going to the movies and getting to know Grande Prairie. One night she went on a double date with a man named Morgan, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not long after, their first baby was on the way. Together like peas and carrots, they started their family. Adventure soon started calling to Mom again, and she enrolled in beauty school which was located in the basement of a three-storey building across from the York Hotel. She graduated in 1974. Lynne kept upgrading her education, by learning the art of barber shop cuts, attending Vidal Sassoon school, and competing in hair competitions. She was making the men about town look sharp and the ladies beautiful. Back in the 70’s, there was a wide interest to making women feel beautiful - teaching posture, hair, make-up, and fashion. She loved to learn new things and pass them along to her clients, updating ladies’ hairstyles, styling them for a special occasion, anniversaries, a child’s graduation or just Friday night bowling league.

As time went on and Lynne’s hair career blossomed, she added two more sons into the fold. Now the magic family number was five. While Morgan worked away, she would be doing hair during the day and looking after three boys at night. Between cooking meals, helping with homework, school projects, attending PTA meetings, packing lunches, and doing laundry, she could get a lot done in a day.

When their last son graduated in 1984, it was time for another adventure, and in 1991, Lynne officially started Hair Associates. She believed in helping women expand their own hair businesses, so instead of hiring them as employees she would have them rent chairs by the month, thus expanding their own knowledge and businesses. She would also employ apprentices, helping to mentor them as they started their careers. After twelve years in business, it was time to slow down a little and teach the art of beauty.

After a rewarding career in the hair business, and unexpectedly becoming a widow in 1996, Lynn said, “I’ve stood on my feet for 25 years, it’s time to sit for a spell.” As she always had an affinity for numbers, she thought, “I think I can do books”. So she started with an H&R Block tax course, and over the years took many accounting courses, completing her accounting diploma in 2013. With the help of her mentor Gary Mudryk, she began doing taxes, accounting books, and year-end for various companies. From then on it was sifting through boxes of receipts, government forms, identifying eligible expenses, and sorting through government red tape, to ease the burden for hundreds of clients. Lynne’s work always received the “green stamp” of approval from the CPA and CGA’s offices she worked with, as well the Canada Revenue Agency.

Lynne stood on her feet for 25 years, now she was able to sit, have a rest and make her own hours (which were usually 8-hour, plus days), and could rest when she wanted. From 1996 until 2023, she was working with numbers, helping local businesses along the way, and spending joyous times with family and friends. Whether that was celebrating the holidays with family, pulling her trailer to Smokey Flats with friends or by herself, playing cards with her card group, going to music festivals, or helping with the Wanham Senior’s breakfasts. As a self-taught carpenter, she got quite proficient at home renovations, painting, laying flooring, and building garden boxes. She loved to spend time fixing up her home to just the way she liked it.

After feeling ill and making a trip to her doctor in Spirit River, Lynne was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2023. In September after a surgical procedure, it was determined the cancer was too far along to work towards a cure. After a few bouts of radiation, intended to put the cancer on hold for a few months and provide her some comfort, the family made the decision to move her into Points West Living, to give her the best comfort care available. The boys and their families took turns spending time with her. Many friends and extended family came to visit as well. She had a reprieve from her fight when she gave out several of her favourite recipes. As the morning and afternoon visits progressed, she started requesting some indulgences, like corn flakes with brown sugar, Burnt Almond chocolate bars, coffee with a little Baileys, Campbells Tomato soup, Coke floats, and her other favourites. All were given of course, with the intent to make her happy and comfortable, and her requests were never denied. She was always so stoic about not taking any pain medication, saying “it dulls the senses” or “it depletes your body of vitamins.” Finally, we were able to convince her that a little medication can go a long way to easing her discomfort.

On Monday, November 13, 2023, Lynne took her last bout of pain medication, and feeling pain free, she said, “I’m doing ok.” Her family made sure she was sleeping comfortably, kissed her good night and said, “We’ll see you in the morning, Mom.” Lynne passed away peaceful in her sleep at 7:28 pm that night. Although her vessel was weak, her spirit and belief in God was strong. We know where Lynne’s soul is now. Whosoever believes in his Saviour Jesus Christ – will see her again. The memory of Lynne will always be cherished in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known her. She leaves behind a legacy defined by love, kindness, and steadfast devotion to both family, friends, and community. The lasting impact she had on numerous lives will endure, and her memory will stand as a source of inspiration for everyone.

Lynne was predeceased by her husband Morgan Lewis Parlee; parents Joseph and Margret LaCrosse; father-in-law David Parlee; mother-in-law Eva Parlee, and granddaughter Sherel Casie Parlee.

Lynne will be sadly missed by her surviving children: William Franklin (Marcy) Parlee; Kelvin “Kelly” Douglas (Cindy Cuthbert) Parlee; and Christopher “Chris” (Corrie) Parlee; grandchildren: Brandon Ash Parlee, Jaclyn Paige Parlee, Mitchell David Ryan Fontaine, and Travis Aaron-Lee Fontaine; as well as sisters, many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would like to thank the kind and caring staff at Points West Living for their exceptional care of Lynne during her time there.

A Memorial Service for Lynne will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 1:00 p.m., at Coco Hall, (4802 - 50 Street), Wanham, AB. Luncheon and fellowship to follow.

A private family burial in Westvale Cemetery will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Grande Prairie Palliative Care Society (204, 10134 97 Ave. Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 7X6).

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  • December 30, 2023

    So saddened to hear this news. Our deepest condolences to the family. Ned & Sheri McLean

  • December 29, 2023

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and I remember you all in my daily prayers. What a comfort and blessed assurance to know Lynne is home with the Lord. No more suffering and pain! I know there was a huge family reunion on her arrival. She was always so calm and smiling. That is how I will think of her. Sending you huge hugs and loads of love. 💙🙏

  • November 29, 2023

    Sending condolences to you and your family Kelly

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