Catherine Isobel (Rena) was born on the family farm southwest of Kelvington, Sask., to Alexander (Sandy) and Katherine (Kate) Donald on May 15, 1915. She had two brothers, Ken and Stuart (both deceased) as well as three sisters, Jean and Wilma (both deceased) and Muriel, who lives on her family farm south of Kelvington.
Rena, Ken and Muriel travelled by ship with their mom, Kate and baby sister Wilma to visit with family in Scotland. Rena started school in Scotland and upon return to their home near Kelvington attended Duck Creek School.
Rena finished Grade 8 and then remained at home to assist her parents with many chores and activities until November 2, 1939, when she married Herbert Emil (Herb) Bien. She then joined her new husband in Flin Flon, Man., and created a loving home for Herb, did volunteer work, as well as sewing and other handiwork, reading and joining friends for tea. In 1943, they welcomed their daughter Dianne Louise into their home.
They returned to Rena’s parents’ home, where Herb built a house in an adjacent yard in 1947, then in 1951 moved to Hendon, as he started a new job there. Rena continued in Hendon where she was active in the community, while maintaining her home, garden and flower beds. Before long she was hired as the Secretary Treasurer for the Hendon Credit Union, began curling and then started working part-time as a sales clerk at the local store. As Meadow Bank hall was used for social gatherings, she attended church there, then at Wadena United Church and finally at Kelvington United Church. Herb retired from Hendon Co-op and built a retirement home in Kelvington for them.
Rena made friends and maintained contact with many of the people she met on their travels, and enjoyed visiting and exchanging family updates with their friends. She was a prolific letter writer. She so enjoyed cooking and baking, having relatives and friends over for meals, as well as taking a thermos of hot water and cookies to visit with shut-ins in their home or in hospital. She loved children and babysat many children over the years, including the grandchildren. They listened to many stories she read to them and she usually had a book on the go for herself. She continued to contribute to the community and was named Kelvington Citizen of the Year. She enjoyed camping, a cruise, several trips to Scotland, England, and various Canadian and U.S. destinations. Rena had deep concern for her fellow man, which was evident throughout her life.
When Herb passed away, she sold their home and moved into a senior’s apartment in Kelvington. Declining health led her to Kelvindell Lodge, where she received amazing care by the staff.
She will be remembered for her many positive attributes by her daughter, Dianne (Don) Thompson; grandchildren, Tannis (Glen) and Dara (Terry); great-grandchildren, Erin, Brittany, Troy, Chayse, Skylar, and Kaitlyn; and great, great-granddaughter Phoenix.