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MARILYN JOAN WAKE
Born: Oct 18, 1936
Date of Passing: Sep 20, 2019Offer Condolences or Memory
MARILYN JOAN WAKE
People were drawn to her warmth and intelligence, compassion and humour, and especially her sparkling blue eyes and beautiful ever-present smile.
Mom was born October 18, 1936 to Arthur E. Wright and Pearl Rosina Wright. She grew up in West Kildonan. As a child she enjoyed dance and Girl Guides and playing with neighbourhood friends. As an older teen she excelled at sports including rowing and curling. She was a member of the Eaton's Junior Council and even did some catalogue modelling for the store.
Mom was a top student in every grade. She graduated high school from United College and went into nursing at the Winnipeg General Hospital. Mom loved to share stories about her time in "training" and living in residence and her memorable experiences and hijinks with her fellow students. Around that time she met our dad, Ray Wake.
Mom excelled in nursing school and received a major scholarship to continue her education at the University of Manitoba, but instead chose to marry.
She was a loved and valued member of any nursing team.
When Dad got a job at MTS in Selkirk, Manitoba, Mom worked in the emergency room there. By then they had the three of us, Karen, Susan and Janice born between May 1961 and May 1964. In Selkirk the five of us lived in a small apartment.
Dad would work all day, and when he came home they did the hand off and he would look after three wee ones while Mom worked the evening shift.
Their hard work paid off and they bought a beautiful home in Silver Heights.
When Dad was transferred to Brandon we were uprooted again but ended up loving the fun and freedom of the Wheat City. Mom and Dad loved the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and also enjoyed taking us camping in Riding Mountain and the Peace Gardens.
We returned to Winnipeg in 1974 and settled in Westwood.
She was a stay-at-home mom for years and volunteered happily at the school library, judging science fairs, teaching Sunday school and everything in between.
In the late 1970s she returned to work to help support the family. She took a job at Deer Lodge Centre and quickly rose through the ranks to become a Unit Coordinator. She loved the challenge of the job and her co-workers and those were some of the happiest years of her life.
Mom was keenly aware of the precious nature of life. When she was 11, hers almost ended in the Dugald train crash. Her best friend's family had invited her to come to a their cottage in Northwestern Ontario, taking the Campers Special train. But her mom Pearl said no. She didn't have a good reason, she just didn't want her daughter to go. Mom remembers stomping around and being so angry at her mother's random denial of this fun activity. Sadly, her best friend and her family were killed in the crash.
As well, years of nursing taught her that life could throw you a curve ball at any second and the best practice was to try to enjoy every day as much as you could.
She loved animals of all kinds and she and Dad shared their lives with many special cats. One of them, Tigger, was adopted by them after being partially paralyzed when his leg was run over by a grain truck. Mom carefully knit tiny socks for him so he could gain traction and rehab his leg.
They also enjoyed time at the cottage at Beaver Creek, attending their grandchildren's activities, and watching their favourite TV shows. They were dedicated members of Kirkfield Park United Church and especially enjoyed volunteering with the outreach committee at places such as Siloam Mission.
Mom was a talented gardener and her backyard was always a show place. Being the daughter of a politician, Mom was keenly interested in current affairs and politics. She was thrilled to be able to vote in the provincial election in the final days of her life.
Mom did struggle with health issues. As a young woman she suffered from a rare back condition and had to have surgery twice to preserve her ability to walk. In her older years she developed rheumatoid arthritis. Despite the pain, and surgeries, she never complained.
But Mom's biggest health challenge by far happened in January 2011 when she fell ill with listeria meningitis. She was in a coma for weeks, was on a ventilator, had two separate stays in the medical intensive care unit at Health Sciences Centre.
Despite a very low chance of survival, and more than a few doctors urging us to give up, Mom showed an overwhelming resilience and will to live so we all kept fighting.
After months of rehab, which included learning to walk again, she returned to the community and lived happily in Sturgeon Creek 2 with Dad and the cats.
We feel fortunate that we had those extra eight and one half precious years of love and laughter, smiles and winks, hugs and great advice.
After Dad passed in March of 2016, Mom honoured his memory by continuing to be a source of light and love and inspiration for our family.
Mom lived at Extendicare Oakview Place since April 2015.
We want to express our sincere gratitude to all of the staff involved in Mom's care. They went out of their way to connect with her and she truly loved them. The hands-on care was incredible, including that from health care aides, recreation, dietary and housekeeping. I know we have said it before, but please know we see how hard you work and how much you care and we love you!
We want to also thank the incredible nursing team there, including Mom's primary nurses, Dawn and Kendra who always went the extra mile with grace and skill and humour and love for Mom and for us as well. Also thanks to Dr. Jonathan Gilmore for his skill and compassion. Huge thanks to Mom's two special friends from Comforts of Home Care, Colleen and Sharon. You know how special you were to Mom, and to us.
Mom leaves behind to cherish her memory, three daughters, Karen Johnston (Doug), Susan Boychuk (Nelson) and Janice Grant (Don); seven grandchildren, Mike, Adam, Matthew, Kelsey, Megan, David and Hannah; and one great-grandson Zander. Also Mom's sister Shirley Bell (Frank), brother Donald Wright, sister-in-law Heather Anderson (Terry), three nieces and two nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Avenue. We encourage you to dress comfortably, wear bright colours if you choose and stay for lunch! Our mom was a very practical, down-to-earth person who loved to have fun.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Manitoba Brain Injury Association, 204-825 Sherbrook St., Winnipeg, MB R3A 1M5 or the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, 3062 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 0Y1, or a charity of your choice.
For those who wish to sign the online
Guest Book please visit www.chapellawn.ca
Chapel Lawn Funeral Home
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 28, 2019
Condolences & Memories (4 entries)
On behalf of the WGH/HSC Nursing Alumni we extend our sincerest condolences to Marilyn's family and friends. May you find comfort in your loving memories. - Posted by: MARIAN Ulyatt (WGH/HSC Nursing Alumni Friendship Convenor) on: Oct 09, 2019
Susan, Katie & I extend our heartfelt condolences to your family, sisters & extended families on the loss of your wonderful mother. You were great comfort to her during her life. - Posted by: Daniel Boychuk (Susan’s brother-in-law) on: Sep 30, 2019
Sending my love and condolences to Susan and family. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you. - Posted by: Paige Boychuk (Niece of Susan Boychuk) on: Sep 30, 2019
Marilyn was a beautiful person inside and out, I loved her dearly and have many fond memories of our time together, I am truly grateful to have been her friend. - Posted by: Colleen Molter (Dear friend ) on: Sep 28, 2019
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