THE COME-BACK KID
LINDY: Lorraine Ruth, passed away at 6 p.m. on December 1, 2010. Lorraine was first diagnosed with breast cancer in Vancouver in 1982 and did not have a recurrence for 25 years until May 2007. The next recurrence, in February 2009, came back much too soon, but she was able to continue living and dealing with metastatic breast cancer for 1-1/2 more years. Her intense desire to live to be 100 and celebrate her birthday by riding her bike that day just wasn’t meant to be and she succumbed to cancer on December 1, 2010.
She was born on September 13, 1948 in Brandon, MB to Jack and Ruth Markle of Carberry, MB. Lorraine received her education in Carberry and as a youngster, she did what everyone in Manitoba did, ice-skating and curling in the winter and cycling the rest of the year. She was a member of the girls’ church group called CGIT and loved to sing in the choir at the Presbyterian Church.
Lorraine moved to Vancouver in July 1967 where she immediately became employed with CIBC. She also worked at Scotia Bank and the Oakridge branch of the Vancouver Public Library before starting with B.C. Transit in 1976 where she spent many happy years working until she and Nelson moved to Rock Creek in 1989. She met Nelson in Vancouver in 1968 and they were married there in 1972. For all of her married life, she was Nelson’s caregiver as she helped him overcome the challenges of living with the loss of both arms due to an electrical accident. She devoted her life to Nelson but was unable to look after him any longer after her third recurrence and he moved to Mairposa Care Home in Osoyoos, B.C. on March 13, 2009.
After the big move to Rock Creek, and with some spare time, Lorraine discovered the satisfaction of volunteer work which she did for many groups. She always said there was such a huge need for volunteers and she sometimes found it hard to understand why some people didn’t share her enthusiasm for it. The first organization she joined was the Recreation Society, then the Medical Society where she was a member for over 17 years, serving for many years as the treasurer and then the secretary. She also was the secretary for the West Boundary Senior Housing Society that built Parkview Manor in Midway. It was a major undertaking but it was so exciting to see the building completed and full all the time. She spent a few years doing the advertising for the Rock creek Fall Fair as well as many years helping the Canadian Cancer Society. The past few years she was also involved with the Committee for a Clean Kettle Valley. She wrote for the Boundary Creek Times and the Kettle River Echo for many years, too. Life was always busy and fun in Rock Creek.
Along with her volunteer work, she was an avid outdoors fan and every morning she and Nelson hiked for at least an hour around Kettle River Park, no matter what the weather, usually accompanied by their dogs, Lucky or Connor. Lorraine took great pleasure in riding her bike, singing with Singing Kettles Choir, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as gardening, writing, reading and being a member of the local book club. Lorraine loved to travel with her cousin, Alice, and they took several delightful holidays together. She always enjoyed going with Alice because there was never a dull moment, only exciting adventures to laugh and write about later. Lorraine kept track of all the details of their trips while Alice took thousands of fabulous photographs.
Lorraine is survived by her loving husband Nelson; step-children Brian (Cristy), Port Coquitlam, B.C., Catherine (Conrad), Langley, B.C., Garry (Kathy) Massey, ON, James and John, Gatineau, PQ; brothers Wayne (Kay), Swan River, MB, Danny, Duncan, B.C.; nieces Jackie (Kevin), Swan River, MB, Sherry, Swan River, MB, Tammy (Mario), Calgary, AB; and nephew Russell of Vancouver, and their families. She is also survived by many relatives and dear friends in B.C. and Manitoba, including her special long-time friend Janice Hamm from Selkirk, MB. She will also be missed by her little cat, Jade, who has been constantly at her side the past few years.
A “celebration of life” will be held at the Rock Creek Fair Grounds on January 8, 2011. Please wear bright colours such as red, one of Lorraine’s favourites, or pink, yellow or purple – the brighter the better. The Graham Funeral Home in Oliver is in charge of the cremation.
The family would like to say a special thank you to all of Lorraine’s close friends from the Singing Kettles, the Book Club and Wednesday’s Women who brought meals and offered their help during her illness. She also couldn’t have done it without all the support from Lisa Young, Liz and Ron Everson, Carrol and Cliff Perrun, Cathy and Earl Spence, Jill and Alain Cunningham, her brothers, nieces and nephew and her cousin Alice who was always there for her. Thanks to everyone in Rock Creek for the phone calls, food, flowers and offers of assistance. It’s all greatly appreciated.
Donations in Lorraine’s memory can be made to the Rock Creek Community Medical Society, the Rock Creek Fall Fair, Committee for a Clean Kettle Valley, Parkview Manor or any branch of the SPCA.