DIDRICHSEN, Finn Michael

Born: Sept. 7, 1926, Sollerod, Denmark

Died: May 21, 2015: Stettler, Alberta

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

(Proverbs 17:22)

Finn Didrichsen passed away at the Stettler Hospital at age 88 from kidney failure resulting from diabetes. Finn was predeceased by his parents Hans Peter and Henny; his brother Ib; his wife Mary Cecilia (Mac) in 2009; his son Peter in 2014. He is survived by his daughters Sara (Neil) of Stettler and Nora of Calgary, and his grandson Andrew (Leah) of Calgary. Finn is also survived by his sisters Lilian, Grete and Inge in Denmark and many nieces and nephews.

Finn had worked at the Stettler Hospital as a medical orderly for 28 years. He also worked as an ambulance attendant/EMT for several years. Finn’s work was much more than a job to him. His greatest joy was to provide care and comfort to patients and, as anyone who ever met him would know, to make people laugh at every opportunity.

Finn was born in Denmark and always remained a proud Dane and a proud Canadian. He always spoke happily of his childhood in Denmark and of all his family. Still, something akin to a spirit of adventure led Finn to first leave Denmark in his twenties. He and a friend moved to England and worked on a farm for a year and taught themselves English. Finn then lived in Scotland for two years working for a resort hotel in Dunoon.

In 1951 Finn made the transatlantic journey to Canada docking in Halifax. Finn worked with crippled children in Collingwood and London, and in operating rooms in Peterborough . Finn then headed west, hitchhiking to Alberta en route to his intended destination of the Yukon. While meeting with an employment counsellor in Edmonton, Finn found work at the Aberhart Sanatorium in Edmonton. Finn was hired on there and treated patients with tuberculosis at the sanatorium in the 1950’s when tuberculosis was rampant.

Finn moved to Stettler in the mid-1950’s to work at the hospital. At the time he was unaware that a nice single nurse from Ireland, named Mary Cecilia McDermott, had arrived at Stettler before him and was already working at the hospital. Finn proposed to Cecilia less than a year after meeting and the two of them were married for 50 years until Cecilia passed away in September 2009. As a team they were known in the community as simply “Mac and Finn.” After their marriage Mac and Finn resided in Stettler and raised three children. Ironically Finn passed away on what would have been their 56th wedding anniversary.

Finn was well known in the community. In 1976 he was named the (male) Citizen of the Year for Stettler. He was president of the Alberta Association of Nursing Orderlies for about six years until his retirement. In his spare time, Finn enjoyed painting and he was an avid gardener. He liked to put out international flags around his home on special occasions. He was an Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos fan even in the worst of times. Finn was an animal lover and most recently had two beloved rabbits, Spike and Smyke Finn had a wonderful singing voice, was a whiz cribbage player, a keen storyteller, and a natural born comedian.

The family wishes to thank the empathetic staff of the Stettler Hospital who provided such outstanding loving care to Finn. The family also wishes to thank the staff and residents of Heart Haven Lodge who were so good to Finn during his too-short residence there.

Finn gave freely to many charities. For those who wish to do so in his memory, Finn would encourage them to donate to any of their favourite charities.

Funeral Services will be held at Christ King Catholic Church, Stettler at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015, followed by Interment at Lake View Cemetery, Stettler. Reception in the Parrish Hall.

Condolences may be sent or viewed at

Arrangements in care of


Stettler. Box 193, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0. 403-742-3315.

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