Florence passed away peacefully on December 9, 2019 at the Glenn Hospital in Montreal with her loving daughter Yasmin holding her hand.
Her early years were spent in Alsask, Saskatchewan until the death of her father forced her family to move east. She was raised in the home of her grandfather Rev. John MacNeil in Baddeck, Cape Breton from age nine. She was very proud of her Highland Scottish heritage and learned enough Gaelic to be able to sing in the language. It was her love of music that eventually lead to her move to Montreal to study voice with Bernard Diamant.
She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1979 and never stopped wanting to learn, at one point attending MILR. She immersed herself in the cultural side of Montreal, especially enjoying the opera. She was a member of many societies in which she participated enthusiastically.
Although she had one daughter, Florence had many feathered and furred ‘children’. Her passion was the rehabilitation of wild songbirds, especially starlings and sparrows. From Tuesday, the first baby starling brought home by Yasmin in 1985, to Plymley who passed away in 2016, Florence had rescued and fostered hundreds of birds, many who lived into their teenage years. She had a way with each one of them and they responded with love and personality as if they were simply friends with wings. Lover of all animals, her home was that unique place where a starling could be found riding around on the back of the family cat and not in its mouth.
Florence was predeceased by her parents Rev. Frank and Anna (MacNeil) Yates, her brother Frank Yates (Betty), and sisters Dorothy Yates and Betty Watts (Herb). She is survived by her daughter Yasmin (Derek Krunys), nieces Lynn Humphreys, Frances Watts, Jennifer Watts, and nephew Brian Yates.
Sincere gratitude is expressed for the wonderful care received from the Glen hospital in Montreal, who made the last days so peaceful, to Andrew De Four and his excellent caregivers, to all those from St. Andrew and St. Paul who went above and beyond, and to all friends and family for their kindness, support, and compassion over the last few months. A very special thank you to her elder Madonna Bailey for coming to the rescue in the early days of this journey when it never rained, it poured.
Her funeral will take place at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, 3415 Redpath St., Montreal, Qc H3G 2G2 on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Bird Protection Quebec or Logifem would be appreciated by family.