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SANDRA BELISLE (BYHRE)
Date of Passing: Sep 17, 2021Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
One of six children, Sandy was predeceased by her beloved husband Andre Belisle, her parents, Clarence and Edith Byhre, and her brother-in-law Jack Henry.
She leaves behind her children, Harry (Rebecca), Jill (Dean), and her grandchildren, Jennifer, Jessica, Caelan, Nicole and Andrew, as well as her siblings, Bob (Jean), Carol, Brenda (Biagio), Bryan (Theresa) and Tanyss, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and many close friends.
Sandy lived a truly extraordinary life, based on service and devotion. Her career choices exemplified and reflected her caring and giving nature. First she graduated nursing school earning the Lieutenant Governor's Award for scholastic achievement, then within the Lutheran ministry where she was a spiritual advisor and organizer of various outreach services and responsible for parish nursing programs.
Sandy fell in love with Aboriginal people and their culture when she first began nursing in various nursing stations in Northern and Central Manitoba. She was made an honorary medicine woman and given the name 'Thundering Woman' and her spiritual totem animal of the bear, which gave her much pride. Winnipeg inner city mission was a place she was able to touch many lives as well, offering nursing, nutritional and spiritual counselling. Sandy also loved to participate in sweat lodge ceremonies, native drumming circles and traditional Aboriginal medicine and spiritual practices.
Sandy fell in love with Andre in 1989 when she met him in Ottawa. He was truly the love of her life and the two enjoyed many happy years together until his death in 2014.
Sandy's children meant the world to her. Jill stayed with her for six months during her cancer treatments this past year, and the two of them found joy and laughter with one another throughout that difficult time. Sandy often mentioned that was one of the - ironically - best times of her life, thanks to the devotion of her daughter.
Harry brought her a lot of laughter, and the two were always close. He and she shared a similar sense of humour and enjoyed very much their lively and loving debates.
Sandy had many friends, but was probably closest to her cousin Judy and sister Brenda who she referred to as 'her best friends in the world'.
Sandy also leaves behind her beloved dog Shasta. Her cousin Judy has adopted Shasta as her own now, and that act of love brought such comfort and peace to Sandy.
There are countless people to thank who have been there to support Sandy throughout her life and during the past challenging year. The doctors, nurses and all the staff at CancerCare Manitoba and Riverview Health Centre, Palliative Care Unit provided phenomenal care to our beloved sister. Thank you also to Pam who drummed for Sandy in her last hours, ushering her with peace into the next world.
We are consoled by the fact that her faith prepared her to move into the next level of consciousness and to be reunited with the many she loved who passed before her. She welcomed that next adventure and was remarkably eager to see 'what happens next'.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lutheran Urban Mission or any charity that calls to you. And most importantly - be kind to one another. Feed someone who is hungry. Give a blanket to someone who is cold. That's what she would want. That's who she was.
A celebration of Sandy's life will be held on Monday, September 27 at 11:30 a.m. at Thomson Funeral Home, 669 Broadway. Current Covid safety measures apply. A private family interment will take place prior to the service.
THOMSON FUNERAL HOME
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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 25, 2021
Condolences & Memories (7 entries)
My family and I were so fortunate to have been next door neighbors to Sandy and Andre for many years. We shared so many laughs and good times. Sandy and I kept in touch by phone calls after she moved. Her sense of humour made me laugh til I cried! She was such a compassionate and caring person, and looked out for many from all walks of life. I will miss our talks but happy she will be joining Andre and all her furry friends. Rest in peace, Sandy. Love you. Janice, Henry and family - Posted by: Janice Schwartz (Neighbour) on: Sep 27, 2021
I will never forget all the times I was fortunate enough to spend with Sandy getting to know her. She truly was an angel that walked amongst us. Her beautiful soul will always leave an impression in my heart. I will miss our talks and your laughter the most. Who's to say where the wind will take you? Who's to say what it is will break you? I don't know which way the wind will blow Who's to know when the time's come around? Don't want to see you cry I know that this is not goodbye Until we meet again my friend....... It was an honor and a pleasure to truly have crossed paths in our journeys. Your spirit has reminded me that life is but a dream and what a beautiful dream it was to have met! - Posted by: Joe St.Cyr (Friend ) on: Sep 27, 2021
Sandy was a dear friend for the past 14 years and I'll really miss our conversations and laughter. She touched the lives of so many people when she was the ministry manager of the Lutheran Urban Ministry. In the past few months she described herself as a "woman warrior". And she was. - Posted by: Rhonda Gorham (Friend) on: Sep 25, 2021
Sandy encouraged me to become involved with the LUM's worship services way back when. One of the things that drew me to her was that my wife was also a nurse who worked with many Indigenous people in her career. One memory I'd like to share was when I brought donations to the LUM 'thrift store' so that clients could purchase inexpensive gifts for their families. She invited me to sit down and just talk, and I recognized a kindred spirit. At her Celebration of Life service the Gospel is from the Sermon on the Mount, and as I said in one of my midweek devotions I email out during this pandemic, Sandy not only knew the Sermon on the Mount, but she lived it. Our prayers go out to her family and friends. A person who has touched so many lives has lived well indeed! - Posted by: Pastor Barry Bence (friend, LUM volunteer) on: Sep 25, 2021
Gone but not forgotten. I will miss my sister Sandy Belisle. We enjoyed our Christmases with Sandy and Andre. Her sense of humor was a part of her beauty. She was compassionate and caring which added to her beauty and dedicated life to the people she loved and cared for. She will be missed by so many. May you RIP. You fought a hard battle and now it's time to be with your beloved Andre and family. - Posted by: Carol Henry (Sister) on: Sep 25, 2021
Sandy will be missed by many! I was blessed to have known Sandy thru my volunteering at the Urban Mission. She was an inspiration to all. Love and miss you Sandy - Posted by: janet thompson (friend) on: Sep 25, 2021
I met Sandy and Andre well I was volunteering at St.Matthews-Maryland ministry and heard about her work and joined them volunteering at The Urban. Her and Andre were more then just my friends they were more like a mother and father too me. I loved them both very much . I was truly blessed to have them both in my life and will never forget them . ❤ - Posted by: Rhonda Gates (Friend) on: Sep 25, 2021
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