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VIOLET GREENBURGH (née HARVEY) (BUNTY)
Date of Passing: Aug 20, 2019Offer Condolences or Memory
She will be missed by her four children, Linda Breakey (Steve), Edwin Greenburgh (Heather), Heather van Ginkel, Cindy Matyszewski (David), and good friend Valerie Mace. She was predeceased by her spouse of over 50 years, Louis Greenburgh, her grandson JJ van Ginkel, and her foster son Wallace Spooner.
Her grandchildren include James and Laura Greenburgh (Cody), Scott Breakey (Payton), Ashley (Guilherme) and Corey Matyszewski.
Violet, who was affectionately known as Bunty, grew up amid the wartime shortages of rural England. The shortage of meat did not trouble her, however, since she was a committed vegetarian for her entire life.
Shortly after the Second World War, Bunty worked as a secretary at the Royal Air Force airstrip near her home village of Watchfield, located near Swindon in the Vale of the White Horse. She met a handsome pilot, Flight-Lieutenant Louis Greenburgh, D.F.C. & Bar, while waiting for the bus on route to her work at the airfield.
The next day, a bright yellow aircraft with twin engines taxied over to where she stood on the tarmac. The pilot leaned out the window and invited her up for a ride. It was Lou. Bunty accepted his invitation and up they went.
Bunty's boss would always grumble about Lou, as Lou would often "Buzz" the office, probably showing off for Bunty.
The School of Air Traffic Control, of which Lou was a senior instructor, moved to a new location. As Bunty watched through tear-streaked eyes, Lou led a flight of about 18 aircraft on their final take off from the Watchfield airstrip. From an altitude of 2000 feet, Lou swooped down to ground level and lead all 18 aircraft past the spot where Bunty stood. The other pilots thought it was out of respect to their airfield but Bunty knew it was Lou saying good-bye to her.
In 1952, Bunty boarded the gleaming white ocean liner 'Empress of Scotland' and rejoined Lou. He had returned to his home city of Winnipeg, where they were married. One of Bunty's first sights upon arriving in Canada was a bunch of bananas, which could not be had in post-Second World War England. Bunty realized that Canada was a place where one could have anything one wanted, as long as one was willing to work for it. It was a sentiment she frequently expressed throughout her life.
Bunty loved Canada and spent many summers camping with her children in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Bunty was probably the only 91-year-old who would plant and harvest her own potatoes.
She loved her garden and would always ask her children how their gardens were doing.
She also enjoyed the VLTs in particular, "Trouble in the Hen House". She would exclaim when she would get "The Bonus" and have to pick the roosters, and/or chickens.
Violet and Louis were both instrumental in having the greenspace in front of their home on Scotia Street rezoned as "Louis Greenburgh Plaza". A private contractor had wanted to build on the site. Louis and Violet organized a petition with the support of the community, changing the contractor's decision to build. He did not want the whole community to hate him. Now the greenspace will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come.
Bunty was enjoying a glass of wine and some cheese with members of her family. She said "Isn't it wonderful that we can have whatever we want!" She then said she wasn't feeling well and lapsed into unconsciousness.
We can't give you another fly-by, Mom, but we will take comfort from picturing you together again with Dad, up in the clouds.
Family and friends may sign a Book of Condolence at www.glenedenmemorial.ca
Glen Eden Funeral Home
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 24, 2019
Condolences & Memories (1 entries)
Thinking of you Cindy and your family. An amazing and beautiful story. You can tell she was loved and will be missed. - Posted by: Val (Friend of daughter(Cindy)) on: Aug 30, 2019
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