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Date of Passing: Oct 30, 2012

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MICHELLE BELFRY Peacefully, with her family by her side, Michelle passed on into the loving arms of angels on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Michelle was born on January 26, 1954, in Pine Falls. Michelle is survived by her husband John; children Carley and Brett; mother June Halpin; brother Gord (Jodie) Halpin; sister Jackie (Harry) Ray; nieces and nephews Chris Halpin, Dan Halpin, Jaycee Halpin, Andrea Ray, Michelle Ray and Rocky Hamilton. Michelle was predeceased by her father, Ross Halpin. In early years the family spent many great times at Bird Lake. Her father, Ross Halpin, passed on the love of music and the love for the outdoors. One of her mom's favourite memories was little Michelle carrying her little pail to the cabin saying, This is too heavy, Mom. She learned to carry a great load. Her sister Jackie shared great memories of their love for music. Her brother Gord has great memories of Michelle as his babysitter and shared her love of the outdoors. The family moved to East Kildonan after six years in Pine Falls. Michelle attended school in East Kildonan and graduated from Miles Macdonell Collegiate where she played on the girls' varsity volleyball team. Michelle joined the YMCA and became a camp tripper and counselor at Camp Stephens from 1971 until 1976. She was also John's canoe instructor in 1976. Michelle graduated in 1976 from the University of Winnipeg with a teaching degree in Drama and Physical Education. She also played on the University of Winnipeg's women's volleyball team. Michelle met John at the University of Winnipeg, and they worked at Fresh Air Experience together. Michelle started teaching physical education in Flin Flon at Hapnot Collegiate in 1977. John came up on a kayak trip on the Churchill River and afterwards stopped in to visit Michelle, and she let him stay. In the summer of 1978 Michelle and John bought their home at Big Island. John proposed to Michelle on the deck at their home, overlooking the lake. They were married on July 6, 1979. After teaching five years, John and Michelle travelled to New Zealand and Australia for six months, leading to many great adventures. Special memories include a romantic dinner in Fiji, hiking the Milford Trek in New Zealand, climbing Ayres Rock, and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. After their trip to New Zealand and Australia, Michelle moved to the elementary school (McIsaac) to teach grades 4 and 5. She loved these kids and had a special interest in the language arts and reading programs. She made a virtue book about the students, emphasizing their special gifts. The students published their first books, which Michelle bound and edited. She continued to help with sports teams and canoe trips. She then moved to resource teaching and became a Reading Recovery teacher. She really loved seeing the progress of these students learning to read, it was like a light went on. Michelle then started teaching Grade 1 and fell in love with this age group. Just this past summer at the airport, while Michelle was heading down for treatments, a young boy walked by, jumped up, and gave Michelle a big hug. It was one of her past students. The lady beside her then said, You sure made an impression. In 1990 John and Michelle started building their log home at Big Island and were thrilled to welcome Brett to their family, and then Carley in 1993. They were Michelle and John's gifts from God . She loved and cherished all of Carley's musical performances; singing with the Coppertones, singing alongside each other in choirs, helping coach Carley's volleyball team with John, and she was extremely proud of Carley's accomplishments in recent years to include graduating from the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Michelle loved attending and cheering for Brett in all of his sports games. She loved the family outdoor adventures and influenced Brett for his love of the outdoors. She was extremely proud of her carpenter. Michelle's first struggle with cancer was in 1999. After a year of treatment, she and John agreed to turn it into something positive and took the kids to Disney World at Christmas, downhill skiing in Banff at Easter, and out to visit family and friends in Victoria in the summer. They cherished these trips together. The family shared special times at the Twin Beaches cabin in the summers. Amma, Papa, and Auntie Kim treated the kids wonderfully. Amma became Michelle's hero, as she had breast cancer for 40 years and survived to the age of 89. Then there were trips to Victoria on the West Coast to spend time with the Ray family. We also enjoyed our Alaska cruise this past summer, with all the Halpin family, and we will cherish these memories forever. Michelle was a wonderful cook and held many dinners at Big Island, with the Halpins, the Groves, the Fontaines, the Abbotts, and many other close friends. Music was very special to Michelle. She loved being a member of the Flin Flon Community Choir and some highlight memories include singing in Carnegie Hall, playing Mrs. Potts in Beauty and The Beast, and acting together with Carley in Evita. Her friends called her the Queen of the Altos . She also enjoyed singing with the Aurora Borealis Choir Group. Michelle loved concerts, including going with Carley to Justin Bieber. Michelle loved to celebrate all the holiday events. Her smiling eyes sparkled at Christmas time, but she enjoyed giving treats to all kids so that they knew they were special. Michelle started making what we called the Belfry Comfort Blankets , which were made for many family, close friends, and maybe just someone that needed some comfort. The family dogs were very close to Michelle's heart, including Woodstock, Banjo, Freya, and Bella (the newest family member) who she picked out from the S.P.C.A. with John this past June. Michelle touched many lives in many positive ways! The kindness and acceptance that Michelle showed in her life exemplified this saying by Mother Theresa: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." Our Hero...Michelle struggled with cancer for 14 years and overcame five separate adversities during this time. She also made it back to teaching half time for many years. She walked in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Winnipeg (2006) and raised $22,000 on her own initiative. She was the motivating guest speaker for this event at the MTS Centre. Michelle never complained and drew strength from her family. We know why: because she had such strength to carry on and see her kids grow up. (John wrote) Michelle...My love, my companion, my soul mate. I couldn't have asked for a more gracious, loving wife or nurturing, wonderful mother. You taught Brett and Carley about kindness, thoughtfulness, courage, strength, and love. We know she is now Safe in the Arms of God in Heaven. (Carley's song to Mom) Love forever, Brett, Carley, John and Bella A Celebration of Michelle's Life was held at St. Ann's Catholic Church. We would like to give thanks to all of our family, friends, doctors, nurses, the community of Flin Flon, and Dadson Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children's Hospital or the Sunshine Fund. The Eulogy may be viewed at Dadson Funeral Home Crematorium of Flin Flon, Manitoba was entrusted with the arrangements. 204-687-5821
Publish Date: Nov 24, 2012

MICHELLE BELFRY Michelle Belfry of Flin Flon, MB, passed away with her family by her side Tuesday, October 30, 2012. A celebration of life for Michelle Belfry will be held Saturday, November 10, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. from St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, 163 Centre Street, Flin Flon. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made tot he Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, CE501-840 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3A 1S1 or to the Sunshine Fund (Sending Kids to Camp), 302-960 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0R4. Online condolences or to light a Life Candle may be made at Northern Manitoba's only crematorium, Dadson Funeral Home Crematorium is entrusted with the arrangements. 204-687-5821.
Publish Date: Nov 8, 2012

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 24, 2012

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Our sincere condolences to you as family. Sorry to read of your dear one's passing, and wish you the peace and comfort of God in the days to come. May you be enfolded by the same love she so generously shared. - Posted by: Peter and Dora Janzen (Meeting caually at Lindenwood Terrace) on: Nov 24, 2012

  • Our friendship allowed me to have many 'forever' memories of adventures shared with Michelle.Probably the best was in the rain on Grassy River with a group of kids cooking pineapple upside down cake using a reflector oven and an open fire.She then pulled out her guitar and got a sing song goin amidst 'shovelling down' cakes that she and the campers had made. Somehow noone noticed the rain with "Mitch" around! - Posted by: Ted Bigelow () on: Nov 24, 2012

  • The Manitoba Reading Association and the International Reading Association greatly appreciated the wonderful leadership role that Michelle had taken over the years in the Northern Lights Reading Council. Her literacy leadership in your northern community will be remembered. She made an important impact as an educator. MRA members who remember Michelle very fondly send their deepest condolences to the family. She was an inspiration to many. - Posted by: Carol Hryniuk-Adamov (IRA Provincial Coordinator) on: Nov 14, 2012

  • Deepest sympathy to the family. My oldest daughter is named after her. I have many great memories of Michelle and I will always remember her laughter and her loyal friendship. - Posted by: Valerie Rupert (friend) on: Nov 13, 2012

  • God obviously needed some help in heaven and sent for you. My memories of growing up with you and going to Bird Lake will always be cherished. May you rest in peace. - Posted by: Gaylene (Witt) Hamaberg (2nd Cousin) on: Nov 08, 2012

  • Many fond memories I will cherish forever. Michelle was a great person and fought hard against her illness. May Michelle rest in peace now. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Ruth barrault (Friend) on: Nov 08, 2012

  • I was very sorry to learn about Michelle's passing. Please accept my sincere condolences. "God gave us memory that we might have roses in December" - Posted by: Darlene (McIntyre) Hyworren (2nd Cousin) on: Nov 08, 2012

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