Wendy Martindale passes away

  • Aug. 27, 2010 9:48 p.m.

A former director of the Red Deer Museum has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Wendy Martindale passed away July 7 at the Saint John Regional Hospital after a two-year fight with breast cancer. She was 57.

Martindale leaves to mourn her partner of 30 years Harvey J. Smith and his son Matthew, her sisters Joyce Martindale and Diane Lansdell, and numerous friends and colleagues across Canada.

Martindale served as executive director of the Red Deer Museum, Normandeau Cultural and Natural History Society and Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

After her degree from the University of Waterloo, she began working with the Conservation Authorities in Ontario. She moved to Alberta in 1980. After moving to Red Deer in 1987, she first worked as tourism coordinator for the City of Red Deer.

Martindale later took over the post of museum director. She held the position for 10 years.

In 2004, she moved to New Brunswick to take the job of director of community programs for the Museum of New Brunswick.

Martindale did not want a funeral, but a celebration of her life was held at the New Brunswick Museum on July 12.

Locally, Martindale has been remembered as a private person with a keen sense of humour, said Craig Curtis, who currently is City manager but worked with Martindale in Red Deer when she was tourism coordinator and he was director of community services.

“She made significant contributions to the City, and she certainly believed in the City in terms of promotion,” he said. She was also very interested in culture and promotion of the arts in a time when such things weren’t exactly at the forefront, he said.

Martindale was also friends with Elizabeth Plumtree during her years in Red Deer. The women met during plans for Alberta’s 75th anniversary back in 1980.

They both also helped to spearhead the Cultural Charter Partners in Red Deer as well.

Plumtree describes Martindale as having a great sense of humour, a love for the arts and a love for animals as well.

“We were sorry to see them leave Red Deer,” she recalls of Martindale’s move to the east coast in 2004. Of course, Plumtree had been keeping in touch during Martindale’s battle with cancer as well.

“She was very brave.”

Donations in Martindale’s name can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Stephen Lewis Foundation or any community-based arts support group.