May 19, 1922 – January 24, 2020
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother. Born May 19, 1922 in Wellington, South Africa and after an amazing life very well lived left us at the age of 97 on January 24, 2020. Mom leaves to mourn daughter Angela Schwartz (Ron) daughter Joy Thompson (Delmar Jonescu) Grandchildren Trishia Marie, Ron Schwartz (Vanessa), Andrew Jonescu and great grand daughter Reegan. Mom was predeceased by husband Robert Thompson. Mom, Dad and Angela emigrated to Canada in 1952 and settled in Pitt Meadows, a few years later Joy was born. Robert was in the RCAF and in 1959 moved the family to an airforce base in France for four years. Upon their return to Canada they settled in Maple Ridge. Mom had been a nurse in South Africa and when she came back to Canada she worked at Essondale for 8 years then Maple Ridge Hospital, she continued to work as a caregiver until her retirement in 1980 when she and Robert moved to Penticton which she loved. After Dad’s death in 1984 she decided that she needed something to do so she contracted with the Lakeside Hotel as a babysitter. A number of children referred to her as Mary Poppins, she had a blast working with the kids. Mom moved to Agassiz in 1992 to be closer to all of us and continued to dabble in babysitting at the Harrison Hotel. Mom volunteered for Emergency Social Services, the BC Summer Games and the Penticton Ironman Trialthalon, she moved back to Maple Ridge in 2008 to be closer to us.
Mom was a perpetual optimist, she always saw the glass as more than half full, she loved her children completely, all of us were made to feel absolutely cherished and valued. She was intelligent, well informed, gentle, and so very kind. She had a great sense of humour, a beautiful ready smile and a generous giving spirit. Mom was every inch a lady, she loved flowers, and animals, particularly cats, travel, especially by cruise ship, she truly enjoyed vacations at our cabin at Green Lake and the trips to Hawaii and California, doing the rides at Disneyland at the age of 75!
Mom was very strong minded and sometimes downright stubborn but it’s what kept her going. As she aged her mind remained as sharp and organized as ever but her body began to betray her, she accepted the terrible pain and infirmities with grace and dignity. Mom would often say that “Getting old is not for the faint of heart”! Mom battled until she couldn’t anymore and with her usual strength of character chose to die on her own terms, passing peacefully a week after she was admitted to hospital. We all respected her wishes. Mom was a constant presence and quiet strength in our lives and we thought that we would always have her near. If we have inherited just some of her zest for life, story telling ability, kindness, generosity, patience and humour we are truly blessed.
We wish to thank the following people for their kindness, gentleness and compassion in looking after Mom. The many home support workers from Fraser Health, without them she wouldn’t have been able to stay home for the last three years, Staff at Chartwell Willow, the Paramedics, ER nurses and doctors at Ridge Meadows Hospital, the staff on 3 North, Dr. Rak, Dr. Louise and Dr. Lee even though Mom was no longer his patient he came to visit her to tell her what a strong lady she was. A special thanks to nurses Abrianne and Brittney, who are rock star angels, and Janet Soderholm for all of the comfort and support.
A celebration of Mom’s life will take place on February 16th at 1:00 at the home of Joy and Delmar at 21664 – Manor Ave. Maple Ridge.
No flowers please, donations to the charity of your choice instead.
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