April 30, 1948 – March 15, 2023
On March 15, 2023, Yvonne Collinson departed the life that she had so generously shared with us. Her loss leaves us saddened, but much joy remains in the memory of her warmth, her genuine love for others, her optimism, and her compassion. She was a remarkable woman. Grateful for the simple joys of life, she always saw the possibilities in everyone she met. She was a friend to all who knew her and, even in the darkest of times, she somehow always found a gentle way to bring joy into the lives of others.
Among the many hundreds of friends created during her lifetime, she leaves the most cherished memories to her husband Don Fleming and sons, McKenzie, Alexander, Tommy, his wife Sara and Yvonne’s grandson William. She will be deeply missed by her best friend Liz Macklon and her husband Bob. Predeceased by her father and mother George and Vera Collinson, and her sister Dianne, she leaves to mourn her nieces, Katherine Dann and Michelle Dann of Victoria, her nephew Stephen Dann of San Diego, her cousins in England, Ellen Hughes, Linda Ancell, Jeanette Bond and their families, her sister- in- law Karen Fleming of Creston, B.C. and her family, as well as brothers-in-law, Doug Fleming of Parksville, B.C. and the families of Neil Fleming of Edmonton, Bruce Fleming of Gray Creek, B.C and Keith Fleming of Edmonton.
Yvonne was born in Blackpool, England and at age nine, emigrated to Canada where her family settled in Toronto. Her education included degrees in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, and a Master’s degree in Health Administration. At the time of her death, she had completed all requirements but her final dissertation in qualification for a PhD as a Doctor of Management.
Yvonne began her career in rehabilitation medicine through student placements in Halifax and Claresholm, and later worked as an Occupational Therapist at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. Her career took her to Edmonton where she worked as an OT at the University of Alberta Psychiatric Day Hospital, and later as a Home Care manager with the Edmonton Board of Health. She completed her career in a series of more responsible positions as a consultant and manager in the field of Mental Health Services with the Alberta Government.
Yvonne and Don enjoyed seeing new places and meeting new people. While home base was always Edmonton, they travelled extensively throughout Canada, attended universities in Ottawa and Calgary, and lived for a winter in Newfoundland after completing a cross country journey to attend the 1976 Olympics.
In 1979, a total solar eclipse passing over Fleming, Saskatchewan kindled a passion for eclipse viewing in Yvonne and Don that took them individually and together to many far-flung places on the planet including Mexico, Bolivia, Mongolia, Aruba, England, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Ghana, China, Indonesia, Chile, and Wyoming. At every eclipse and in every country visited, in spite of language barriers or cultural differences, Yvonne always established enduring friendships.
In 2020, through an organization called Five Freedoms Ranch Rescue and Rehabilitation Society, Yvonne agreed to take on responsibility for the ongoing support of a big white rescue horse. She named the horse Grey Goose. During the last few years of her life, whenever she was able, Yvonne spent many hours providing for G.G. and travelling to be in his company to ensure that his last days were spent in comfort and peace.
The family extends a special thanks to the physicians and staff at Unit 5D2 of the University Hospital, and to the physicians and staff at the Roozen Family Pilgrims Hospice for the skilled and compassionate care they provided Yvonne.
Funeral service will be held at St. John’s Anglican Church, 11111 – 57 Avenue on April 8, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. The service will also be live streamed on the SJE Anglican YouTube channel.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Yvonne’s memory may be made to Roozen Family Pilgrims Hospice Society of Edmonton or the Five Freedoms Ranch Rescue and Rehabilitation Society.
May you rest in peace Yvonne. You have given so much to many of us for many years that has been so greatly appreciated. You will always be remembered.
You were a well regarded manager with us in Alberta Health. Your professional demeanor and friendly approach were much appreciated.
My condolences to your family and close friends.
Good-bye to my dear, dear friend of many years – you will be sorely missed. Forever in my heart, thank you for sharing your generous, wise, adventurous, kind and loving spirit with me. May you rest in peace, may we meet again.
Yvonne will always be a part of the heart of Windhorse Retreat, where she spent many hours in the company of her GG, our horses and our humans. We love you, Yvonne, you are herd.
I was blessed to meet Yvonne when she had decided to bring into her life the life of a beautiful rescue horse who she called GG.. though I met her later in her life I was immediately taken by her generous warm heart. When she visited 5 freedoms to meet GG and got to sit up on him while we led her around the smile on her face was huge and filled with awe over this big gentle horse..
I am will never forget this beautiful lady.. gone to soon 💜💜
My Dear Yvonne, one of the smartest and kindest persons I knew. Will miss you forever.
I was lucky enough to know my gorgeous cousin all my life. Yvonne was the kind gentle one who always put a twist on things to find the good in everyone and everything. That kind generous spirit will be so sadly missed. I take comfort that you will now be with your beautiful sister Dianne. Big hugs big love💜💜💜💜💜
Yvonne was a colleague, mentor and friend. My condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
My heart aches for you Don, and for your boys. It is wonderful to see the joy of grandparenting in Yvonne’s eyes in this photo. That wee Flemimg comes from a huge-hearted lineage. May you all take comfort that Yvonne’s love lives on in each of you.
i met Yvonne in 1975 shortly after I came to Canada. She was very welcoming, inviting me to her French conversation group where I was a silent member speaking only High school French.
We met sporadically over the years , watching soccer, in Safeway and at Belgravia Hub. She was always very cheerful and upbeat full of stories about her family.
I am sure all who were close to her will miss her deeply.
My dear dear Yvonne,
I will miss your gypsy soul and your heart of gold for the rest of my life. You’ve left your footprints everywhere and I’ll be following until we meet again.
Condolences to Don, your wonderful sons, Sara, and sweet little William.
I love you very much.
Don, McKenzie, Alex and Tommy; May your future days be wrapped in warm memories of Yvonne. It was wonderful to share a 35+ year history with her as part of the Belgravia group. We raised wonderful kids, attended many soccer games and athletic endeavours, enjoyed the Muddy Buddies book and Investing clubs, and always had smiles and warm hugs for each other. We will all miss her dearly, you above all.
Being Yvonne’s friend enriched my life in more ways than can be expressed. Her joie de vivre was equal to her keen discernment about what truly matters in the world. Your huge hugs are already missed. Don, McKenzie, Alex & Tommy, may you be comforted in your memories of this exceptional woman. Sending love, Netta & Frank
We were sadden to hear of your loss. May the many happy memories of Yvonne ease your sorrow.
Don, we were so sorry to read of Yvonne’s death. Our heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
Annabel and Don Sheppard
Yvonne entered my life in my early twenties and, in spite of many miles between us for most of our lives, never left it. She had a gift to making friends and keeping them,and enriching their lives in so many ways. What a wonderful woman! She will be so missed by so many.
Auntie Yvonne was always beaming with joy and zest for life.
I remember when I was about 6, she asked me to come and sit on her knee. She exclaimed “This is what it’s like to have girls?!” She was apparently very pleased with my ability to simply sit still. Even as the niece who only visited annually from BC, I felt very loved. In my twenties I remember having a visit with Auntie Yvonne in Victoria. We went for a walk along the ocean near Butchart Gardens. We discussed whether urban life or rural life is best. I voted rural. She said with conviction, “I want to be where the people are!”
Although you will be deeply missed, in our hearts you will always be wherever we are, Auntie Yvonne. <3
It was always such a delight to see Yvonne at the cabin. My favourite memory is of seeing her in the Ma-Me-O Days parade, wearing overalls and a straw hat, leading a pony down the road.
My daughter’s and I occasionally treat ourselves to a homespun Afternoon Tea, most recently to celebrate Erin’s March birthday. A few days later, I decided that Yvonne would have to join us for homemade scones and clotted cream this summer, complete with fascinators! It’s sad to know that it will never happen, but sweet to know that she had popped into my thoughts.
Yvonne was lovely and will be missed.
On behalf of my family and my staff I offer my sincerest condolences to Don and family. It was always a pleasure to see and talk talk to Yvonne over the years. She was a gem.
Yvonne was a nurturing force in our neighborhood. Not only did she deeply care for her own children, but any of us who found ourselves in her aura. She embodied kindness, wisdom, and wit – virtues she inspired in others effortlessly. My life as a child and adult have been deeply enriched by the times I shared with her, and I will treasure those moments forever. Yvonne is truly missed.
My heartfelt love to Don, McKenzie, Alex, and Tommy,
Because of who she was, Yvonne was blessed not only with a best friend, but with many best of friends and loving family members. There is no better, well-lived life.