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Born: Jul 21, 1966

Date of Passing: Jul 16, 2019

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(nee O'REILLY)
July 21, 1966 – July 16, 2019

Kari has coloured her last picture, laughed her last laugh and listened to her last song. On July 16, 2019, just days shy of her 53rd birthday, we lost a beautiful soul. It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Kari Leigh.
She was surrounded in love by her immediate family as she gently slipped away with peace and grace to join the angels she so loved and collected. She will now be our beloved angel that will watch over us.
Kari will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her husband David; her parents, Margaret and Terence O'Reilly; her brother Brent O'Reilly; her sister Shauna (Jason) Timlick and her darling nephew True; her sisters-in-law, Ruth (Murray) and Julie (Daren); her brothers-in-law, John (Eve), Rob (Pam), Peter (Cindy); aunts; uncles; and cousins too numerous to list; with a special nod to Pauli; and a lifetime of friends that she will forever be in debt to and is so very grateful for. Kari was predeceased this year by David's parents, Elinor and Jerrold.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Kari was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at the tender age of 16. She lived an extraordinary life having received three kidney transplants throughout her life. Notably, one from her mother Margaret and most recently, one from her sister Shauna which lasted a remarkable 17 years. Without these gifts of life, Kari would not have been able to accomplish all the outstanding things she has in her lifetime.
Kari had such a love for life and tried to live every day she could to its fullest. She had many passions including: music, reading, colouring and sketching. She was an amazing cook and baker and she loved doing her balcony gardening. It was on her balcony, surrounded by her scenic view, her flowers and her fairies and angels, that she felt her most peaceful (even when her body tried to tell her otherwise). She had a deep love of the Christmas season and had three rotating trees including a Dr. Seuss tree she crafted entirely with immense creativity.
She was committed and faithful to her family and friends, whom she also considered her family. She supported, took care of and kept close all those she loved and shared her life with. There wasn't a special occasion that Kari let go by without a handwritten card and note or letter and thoughtfully picked out gift. She always sent such kind, caring words to brighten the lives of all those she knew.
She had an incredible love for cats which were such a special part of her life. Her attachment and love for them and any animal in need was deep and filled her heart. She shared her life most notably with her babies Sydney and dear Marley who left us too soon.
Kari met the love of her life, David in 2000. She would describe him as beautiful, kind, and loving – her dance partner and her soulmate. When they married in July 2010, it was the happiest day of her life. We are all so very grateful she found such a strong, caring, wonderful man to hold her hand and walk all those amazing years and steps with. They shared many things in common, especially their love of music – their common bond that remained a constant throughout their relationship. David introduced her to travel and together they explored and saw many places, including England, Ireland, Wales, Mexico and a very memorable trip to Australia. It was her favourite trip and her favourite travel memories; being cabled to and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef and seeing Ayer's Rock. We know that she is now on her newest journey and hope that she continues to be surrounded by the beauty she adored seeing.
In 1998, Kari found her calling in the investment industry. Her family often laughed at this as they thought her math skills were not that great. But as she often pointed out "that's why there's calculators." She loved the business and her client relationships meant so much to her. After leaving in 2015, she missed her clients so much, many reached out and she was able to continue to keep being informed about their lives. Her academic achievements are numerous. She was continuously striving for more education and pushed herself to be the best she could be. Some of her many accomplishments were obtaining her CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation in 2004 and then later qualifying to be an Associate Investment Advisor. Kari loved her career at Nesbitt Burns and had many colleagues who became dear friends. They are too numerous to list but she said you know who you are, and asks that you do one final "jig" in memory of her.
Although there were numerous health care professionals involved in Kari's 35-year journey with kidney failure, Kari wishes to thank Dr. David Rush for his dedication and tireless crusading for her. There are simply not enough words to describe what an amazing doctor you were to Kari. Through this journey – from day one of her diagnosis – you were always available and there for her.
Kari also wishes to thank the Sherbrook Dialysis Unit, all the staff, doctors and nurses who were there for her three days a week. Please know that Elaine, Jason, Leslyn, Yvonne, Adora, Jeanette, Jennifer, you meant so much to Kari, you define "nursing care" by your excellence in standards, your compassion and you always met Kari with a smile.

"Don't take your organs to Heaven,
God knows we need them here."
To register for organ donation, please go to:

It was Kari's generosity and incredibly compassionate spirit that led her to want to give back to the community through the establishment of the O'Reilly Urquhart Family Foundation Fund and the O'Reilly Urquhart Family "YCDI" (You Can Do It) Scholarship Fund, both through the Winnipeg Foundation. These support programs for the homeless and for scholarships for young inner city students. The family asks that anyone wishing to celebrate Kari's life to please contact The Winnipeg Foundation to donate to these funds or The Kidney Foundation of Canada to make donations to support kidney research, education, and health care.
During the last part of Kari's life, she sought spiritual guidance to help her in her immense struggles and she successfully reconnected with her faith. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019 at St. George's Anglican Church, 168 Wilton St., Winnipeg. Immediately following the funeral, and in accordance with her wishes, Kari's passion and exuberance for life will be celebrated at The Gates on Roblin, 6945 Roblin Blvd. at 3:00 p.m.
Kari wanted us to remind you all to "understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young." And she will "See you on the other side".

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 20, 2019

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. - Posted by: Margaret Milton () on: Aug 08, 2019

  • My deepest condolences to Dave and Kari's family. I met Kari through her work relationship with the Henderson Group. I know how diligent and caring she was in her dealings with clients. She always had a smile on her face. When she had to stop working she left a hole in the team that was hard to fill. I know she is deeply missed by her colleagues. - Posted by: Dianne Szelag (Friend) on: Jul 22, 2019

  • Kari was a truly remarkable person. Her warmth, courage and determination have been, and always will be, an inspiration to us. We feel privileged to have known her and will treasure many wonderful memories of times shared at our cottage, in Australia and with the '99 Gerard gang'. - Posted by: Greg and Gloria Lampert (Friend) on: Jul 21, 2019

  • I cherish Kari and her memory. One of the best times in my life was the dinner party she and Dave hosted for a few friends. Food, drinks, music, and friendship were fantastic. We sat on Kari’s patio, watched the sun rise, and the next day my jaw still hurt from all the laughing. Kari is special and I remember her very fondly. - Posted by: Christopher J. Fries (Friends ) on: Jul 20, 2019

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