Cleala was born in Montreal on November 19th, 1926 to Leva Charlotte Baker and Edwin John Carter. Her family, including her younger brother Reginald Carter, moved to the “beaches” in Toronto in 1930, where Cleala attended what is now Balmy Beach Community School and Malvern Collegiate.
Cleala pursued a career in high fashion dress designing, working in the fashion district on Spadina Avenue until marrying James Arnold McAlister in 1958.
Cleala and Arnold built their own house in the Markham and Shepherd area of Agincourt. Soon born were Anita Elaine and Ronald Edwin.
Cleala was always a dog lover and had a cocker spaniel named Tuppy, 2 german shepherds named Colonel 1 and Colonel 2, a standard poodle named Blackie and a miniature poodle named King. She also always had a big garden and grew most of the family’s vegetables. An avid speed skater herself, Cleala particularly enjoyed watching any skating event on television.
In 1978, the big move was made to the “country” outside of Milton. On 10 acres of land just outside of Brookville, Cleala and Arnold had a house built that Cleala designed. Cleala again had a big vegetable garden and became very involved in the community through the Women’s Institute and the Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church. Cleala discovered a passion for quilting and made many wonderful friends. She continued to live there by herself after Arnold passed away in 1987.
In 2007, Cleala moved to Oakville, living for a time in Woodside Mews and Vistamere Retirement Residence, and then in West Oak Village where she passed away peacefully on January 24th , 2019. Many thanks to Dr. Wong and all of the kind PSWs and Nurses, who cared for her and made her life as pleasant as possible.
Cleala leaves behind 4 grandchildren - Daniel, Bradley, Katherine and Jessie – of whom she was very proud and loved very much.
Cleala has always been an energetic, generous and positive person. She will be greatly missed by her family who will be forever grateful for her unending love and support.
Donations can be made in her honour to the Women’s Committee of the Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church through the McKersie-Kocher Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held on Monday January 28, 2019 at McKersie-Kocher Funeral Home, 114 Main Street East, Milton (905) 878-4452 from 3-5pm and 7-9pm.