REIFFENSTEIN, Mary Melvina July 13, 1924 - January 12, 2017 Mother loved to dance. Even at the age of 92, she would accept a dance invitation from anyone and on a recent trip to Mazatlan in Mexico, she was dancing up a storm in a little cantina. Four nights later, on January 12, 2017, Mary Melvina Reiffenstein (nee Ringheim) accepted the angels' invitation to dance in heaven. She left behind many, many dance partners who miss her dearly. Mother was born on July 13, 1924 in Granum, Alberta. The Ringheim family was large and mother's mom and dad travelled around the province with their brood in the days of the Great Depression, following the work, finally settling in Didsbury. Mother was an exceptional student, graduating with honours, while at the same time holding down a full-time job at Alberta Government Telephones. By 1949, Mary was married and living in Calgary, starting a family of her own in 1950. She is survived by her sisters Norma, Mae and Gladys, as well as eight children, 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Reflecting on the passing of his grandmother, Kyle Goode said "Well, we can feel sad about it, or celebrate the time we all had with her. I choose to do the second." And so do Mary's children. Nola: Mom's passion for Mazatlan began in 1995 when she and her friend Eleanor came to visit us. They booked an all inclusive at the Hotel El Cid where they were promptly hustled into a time share agreement which they spent the rest of their vacation successfully wiggling out of. After that first trip, she preferred to spend her winter months where the 'action' was; the Plazas for music and dancing, the restaurants and a plethora of good friends from all over. She could draw smiles from dour policemen and giggles from the kids with her brightness. This was and will always be her happy place. Michael: Fiercely independent. Feisty. Competitive. Argumentative. Acerbic wit. Funny. Made me laugh. Very pretty. Beautiful hands. Hands of an artist. A dancer. Creative. Frugal. Business smart. A gambler. Curling. Cribbage. A taste for Baileys. Just another small taste, please. Sacrificed a life and career in the creative arts for her kids. We were her treasures, regardless of how badly we acted. And we did, but she loved us all. Sheldon: Mom and I had a roller coaster ride of a relationship. Through it all she taught me that I needed to stay grounded in everything I did. We had a few years where we were a bit at loggerheads. That passed as we came to see the power in understanding. Today I remember the woman who showed me the beauty of understanding who you are, and how you should keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds. I remember when I try something new in my personal life or in my business world, I think about how my mother taught me, through actions and words, that starting any of these from knowing who you are is the greatest way to succeed. Love you, Mom…you were the class of the family and will be remembered for that. Randy: It's hard. How do you say goodbye to the only family you know? How do you say farewell to the person who gave you birth? How is not hard.... why is harder. It's hard to accept how, harder to understand why. Dance like no one's watching, Mom, but know I will be. Heather: We lost one of the most special people in our lives. Mom was a wonderful lady, special to so many. She was so much to me and my family. Loving, frustrating, funny, grouchy, special, sweet and a great Mom. We will miss you so much. Love you Mom. Marylynne: I wish I had documented every second of mom's last month with us in Mazatlan. We had many good times together but one moment stands out for me. We were at a restaurant on karaoke night. She asked me to dance with her. With her mobility issues, dancing (her favourite thing) was no small task. But we did it. Our last dance together. As the song ended she looked up at me with a twinkle in her eyes and that little pixie smile of hers. That look said "Thank you." You're welcome mom. I'll miss you every day for the rest of my life. Jamie: The most profound lessons I learned from my mom and what I try to live by every day: "It's not what you say but how you say it" and "Everyone has a back story that needs to be understood before judgements are made." Mom also inspired me to live life to the fullest as she did. Mom, everything I am, you helped me to be. XOXOXO. Tim: Mom was my rock, always there if I needed to talk or vent. She always offered positive support and encouragement for any endeavour I attempted. With only a couple of words she could make me feel proud of myself and anything I might have done. Mother requested cremation, with no service, but to have two celebrations of her life, one in Mazatlan on Feb. 20 and the other in High River on July 15. In her final instructions, she included this: "Say a prayer, have a great party and dance." And so we shall.
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