Mary Sadie Ballentyne
June 18, 1947 - March 11, 2023
It is with great sadness that the family of Mary Sadie Ballentyne (nee McAuley) announce her sudden but peaceful passing on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the age of 75.
Sadie will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 56 years, John, her daughter Natalie, her grandsons Sage and Nicholas, her sister Catherine (Jack), her sweetie/niece Tracey, her brothers Russell and Ray and numerous other family members and friends.
Sadie was predeceased by her parents Angus and Doris, her siblings Loreen, Arnold and Casey and her children Erica and John.
Sadie was born on the Sandy Bay First Nation reserve on June 18, 1947, to parents Angus and Doris. She attended elementary and junior high school in Westbourne Manitoba. She moved to Winnipeg in 1964 where she met her soon to be husband John. She went on to graduate from St. John’s High School in 1965.
Sadie and John married in August 1966. They went on to have three children, Natalie, Erica, and John. If you ever visited their home, all one would see were frames containing photos of her children at various ages and that is because her children were her greatest treasures, and she was proud of who they became later in life.
Sadie was a working mom from a young age as she took training at New Careers and started her profession in social services working in the employment and training sector helping to increase the participation of Indigenous people in the labour market by identifying, creating and supporting opportunities for sustainable education, training and employment.
Sadie then went on to work for the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre of Winnipeg and helped to organize several significant events for the urban Indigenous community like Folklorama, weekly cultural and arts workshops for children and youth and several pow-wows. She then kick-started her career in the field of social work when she went on to work with the Winnipeg Child and Family Services. Sadie loved all the children and youth she worked with and was often buying them gifts, taking them to lunch and spending time driving around the province making home visits to ensure these children felt remembered and helping them to create connections to their families. She was dedicated to her job where she worked long hours, but she often noted that it was becoming challenging. She would always talk about how governments could change the system if the political will was there that would lead to children being reconnected to their Nations and families and not living with strangers.
It was later in life that Sadie had a passion to obtain a university degree and she and her sister Catherine enrolled in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. So, while working full time and studying part time she obtained her Bachelor of Social Work degree in 2002. This was a major milestone to be reached and her family was very proud of her achievements. After thirty-three years of working with the province as a social worker, she decided to retire in 2013.
Sadie had a passion for family gatherings, for garage sales, collecting antiques and almost anything that caught her eye. She thoroughly enjoyed driving and for years could be found making visits almost every weekend to see her extended family in Sandy Bay First Nation and her yearly trek to Calgary, Alberta to see her sister-in-law and nieces. Family connections were important to her and Sadie was always quick to give a hug, a kiss and give support to her family whenever it was needed. She was present for her family and showed that by attending graduations, football games, school concerts, weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties. She was sweet, feisty, and held an opinion on a lot of things from politics to the Winnipeg Jets and how Hellebuyck played net that night.
Sadie also fell victim to the travel bug. She loved to frequent Las Vegas with her sister whom she also travelled to Cuba and Mexico with several times. There were also road trips across Canada and the United States. At one time she even had an RV that she drove to Montreal with, and one can imagine the sight of that large vehicle pulling up to garage sales along the way! It was only her health that kept her from taking on many more such adventures with her partner in crime/sister Catherine. It was a rare occasion to see one without the other as they had a special sibling bond that was enviable.
The other joy in Sadie’s life was spending time with her grandson Sage and niece Tracey. The three of them went on many wonderful adventures together and as such, extraordinarily strong ties were formed that are unparalleled. So many hugs, kisses and bedtime stories were shared since the day these two were born. She will be dearly missed by these two young people.
Our dear wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend – everyone is sad that you are gone but we are happy that you are now in the spirit world with our ancestors free and painless. We know you are waiting for us, just for an interval, somewhere very nearby. One brief moment and all will be like it was before and how we will laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again.
The family asks that you please join them for a celebration of life event that will be held on Sunday, March 26th, 2023 at 1:00 PM at the Northwood Community Centre, 1415 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.