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Date of Passing: May 28, 2021

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On Friday, May 28, 2021, Reta passed away at the St. Boniface Hospital, at age 78, after a sudden illness.
Left to mourn her are her daughters, Lisa and Treasure Waddell; family, Jennifer, Jason, Philip and Marvin; cousins, Roy and Brian, Michael and Pettitt family; Andrews family; Waddell family through her previous marriage and many friends.
Reta was predeceased by her beloved parents, William and Helen Andrews, sister Betty Munro-Smith, Uncle Harry and Aunt Vera Pettitt, cousins, Sandra Schultz and Jack Pettitt, and Aunt Norma and Uncle Art Horton.
Reta grew up in Russell, Manitoba. Following her nursing training at St. Boniface Hospital she settled in Winnipeg where her daughters were born. Reta worked at Grace Hospital, Deer Lodge Hospital and for Manitoba Correctional Service, retiring from the Portage Women's Correctional facility. Making lifelong friends along the way.
Reta was a staunch supporter of nurses and was grateful for the care and compassion she received from the nurses and doctors at Grace Hospital and Concordia Hospital. Thank you to the nurses and doctors at St. Boniface Hospital who cared for Reta during her last week.
Reta expressed her creativity and love by sewing, canning preserves, baking, gardening, crocheting, quilting and cooking. She was generous and enjoyed making things for others, infusing her gifts with love. Gifting meals, baking or marmalade, beets and other preserves to friends and family, homemade nurses' caps and masks to Grace Hospital and Birchwood Animal Hospital, homemade bibs and quilts to friends and family, cat beds to Winnipeg Humane Society. Holidays were always marked by thoughtful gifts from Reta.
Reta loved to read and would keep an ongoing list of books she'd read, each year trying to beat her previous record of number of books read. An avid sports fan, Reta was a season ticket holder to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Goldeyes. She also loved figure skating, curling and Olympic sports. A sporting highlight for Reta was her pilgrimage to Yankee stadium.
Reta loved spending time in nature and travelling both near and far. She loved Manitoba's Prairie landscape and enjoyed numerous road trips exploring our province. Family history and the rural history of Manitoba was always of great interest to her. She recently implemented 'Throwback Thursdays' to her online posting to share old photos of family and friends. Reta's online social media ramblings allowed her to remain in contact with friends and family far and wide, especially during recent times.
Reta was a swimmer, and she was looking forward to getting back to the pool soon. Aquacise followed by coffee with the 'mermaids' was a highlight of her week. She volunteered many years at Prairie Theatre Exchange and was a dedicated supporter of dance, theatre, music and the arts in Winnipeg. It was following one of her PTE Volunteer shifts in 2018 that she rescued a street cat, Prairie. Prairie turned out to be pregnant and it was Reta's great joy to foster and find homes for all eight kittens - keeping Prairie and kitten Blaze as her own to join Digby and BooBoo, her other adopted cats. Reta adored her cats and proudly posted weekly 'Furry Friday' pictures online. She loved all animals and enjoyed feeding her blue jays, squirrels, and growing rabbit warren in the backyard.
Reta welcomed everyone with open arms, a sense of humour, a tender heart and picked up many more 'children' along her way. Anyone in need of a mom found that in Reta. We have not mentioned all of you by name but know that she loved and cherished her family and friends and was fiercely proud of all of you. Her strength, kindness and generosity were and always will be an inspiration.
A celebration of Reta's life will be held at a time when we are able to gather.
Should anyone wish to make a donation in Reta's memory please make to the Winnipeg Humane Society.

"And when great souls die,
after a period, peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed."
- Maya Angelou

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 05, 2021

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • Reta was an exceptional person. She loved animals deeply and was very kind to me and all of the staff. I have the most prolific Christmas cactus that she gave me and I love it, as well as marmalade and other goodies. She sewed medical masks for our clinic early in the pandemic which was very much appreciated. I enjoyed the photos that she sent of the growing kittens and Mom. It was a gift to have known her. - Posted by: Jillian (Veterinarian) on: Jul 21, 2021

  • Reta’s Miami friends are so very sad to hear of her passing. Our deepest condolences to Lisa, Treasure, and Philip. We met Reta through her sister Betty while Betty was teaching in Miami and it was a friendship that just grew and grew. Reta shared great curling adventures with all of us. We looked forward to her annual trip out to the Fall Suppers in the country, bringing her flock along to share in the fun. Her loyalty, support and caring nature will always be appreciated. - Posted by: Jan Moody (Family friend) on: Jun 19, 2021

  • I am so sorry to hear of Reta's passing and send my deepest sympathy to you, Lisa and Treasure, and to all the family. I have so many memories of your Mom. I reread the hilarious speech she delivered at our 50 Year Nursing Reunion and it brought back many fond memories. I was the recipient of some of her delicious marmalade and have one of her hand sewn tote bags. She was a talented lady. Next I opened a box of mementos and the first card was from 'Reta and Terry Waddell' congratulating us on the birth of our first child in 1966. Reta was such a character - there will never be another one like her! She will be missed. - Posted by: Bunny Paci (nee Kammermayer) (Nursing classmate) on: Jun 08, 2021

  • Reta will be sadly missed at our nursing class reunions. Her sense of humour and speaking ability were more than welcome! My sympathy to you Lisa and Treasure and to your families. It’s such a difficult time. Judy - Posted by: Judy McLean (Classmate) on: Jun 06, 2021

  • It is with a heavy heart that I express my sincere condolences to Lisa, Treasure and the whole family. I had the pleasure of meeting Reta through her love of aquacise. I loved her sense of humour, wit and tenacity, but my most cherished experience with Reta was because of her love of her cats. Reta gifted one of Prairie's kittens to me. Freddi is a beautiful little girl with the sweetest of temperaments. She's got a mind of her own, is fiercely independent and loving. Reta and I would exchange photos of Freddi and Blaze on their birthdays and every so often in between. Freddi will continue to make me smile and will only warm my heart that much more as she reminds me of Reta who also had a mind of her own, was fiercely independent and loving. - Posted by: Cathy Gagnon (Aquacise Instructor) on: Jun 06, 2021

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