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Born: Jul 08, 1942

Date of Passing: Nov 15, 2022

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July 8, 1942 - November 15, 2022

With deep sadness we announce the passing of our loving wife, mom and Nanny. She faced an aggressive cancer with courage, grace and humour, and left this world surrounded by her family.
Mom loved and was loved by her devoted husband of 60 years, Len; children Don (Alison), Janet (Blair Wankling) and Carol (Jeff Steski); cherished grandchildren Mackenzie, Brigit, Jake and Anya. She will be lovingly remembered by her sister Pat Richmond (Claude) of Kamloops; brother Bruce Simpson (Brenda) of Calgary; brother-in-law Don Harvey (Marie) of Surrey; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Dorothy and Earle Simpson.
A proud, lifelong Winnipegger, Mom grew up in the west end with her big sister, Pat, and baby brother, Bruce ("Brucey Badmouth"). Though they were far apart in years, and then later in distance, the Simpson siblings maintained a tightknit bond rooted in love and laughter. Always laughter. Mom was a talented athlete and track phenom, winning numerous school and provincial track meets and basketball tournaments. A shared love of sports led Mom to her future husband and on August 3, 1962, she married the love of her life, Len.
Teaching was Mom's calling, and she graduated from the Manitoba Teachers' College in 1963. She taught in St. Vital and St. James-Assiniboia, moving to part-time roles while raising her family. She was fascinated by the young, bright minds of her students. She especially enjoyed teaching physical education and later took those skills to Sargent Park Recreation Centre to organize and teach fitness programs. She had fond memories of her time there, and made wonderful friends.
Sports was an enduring passion for Mom and Dad. They spent many hours together watching curling, baseball, hockey, basketball and football, and cheering on their favourite teams: the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Blue Jays and Mom's beloved Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In fact, a superfan right from a young age, her childhood dream was to coach the Bombers; alas, she had to settle for an "armchair" position. We know she'll be cheering on the Bombers to a Grey Cup three-peat, calling plays from the best seat in the house.
Family was everything, and being a grandmother was her greatest joy. Nanny adored her grandchildren and showered them with unlimited love, attention and protection (she was affectionately known as the Safety Officer). She was the ultimate cheerleader and it's impossible to count the number of dance recitals, baseball tournaments, school plays and concerts, skating lessons and tennis games she showed up to support. Raising a family of competitive curlers, Mom was also a fixture behind the glass at curling clubs and arenas all over Manitoba and Canada. She was so proud of her family's accomplishments, big and small. Mom also loved vacationing with family, counting Hawaii, Palm Desert, Toronto and B.C. among her favourite destinations. She had a special place in her heart for West Hawk Lake.
Also mourning her loss are many dear friends who shared fun times together: weekends at the lake, curling events, fondue parties and their regular dinner group that has been running for an impressive 40-plus years.
Mom had a strong faith, and Sturgeon Creek United Church was an important part of her life. She was an active parishioner, serving in a myriad of ways. One of her most meaningful roles was starting a grief support group that helped many newly bereaved find their way through the darkness of loss.
Generous and selfless, Mom always put the needs of others before her own and was a compassionate listener. She had a sharp, active mind, right until the end. Her incredible memory astounded us. And her laser wit kept us laughing. Ever the teacher, through these past months, and in fact throughout her life, she showed us by example that humour is truly the best medicine for dealing with adversity. It's a lesson we will carry forward in her honour.
Our gratitude to the doctors, nurses and caregivers at CancerCare Manitoba, WRHA Palliative Care Program, Grace Hospice, Victoria Hospital and the Grace Hospital, who performed difficult jobs with compassion and kindness while operating under today's challenging constraints. The family appreciates the kind wishes and support from family and friends during this time. A special, heartfelt thank you to Pat McMullin, an angel-on-earth and Mom's best friend, who sprang out of nursing retirement to help the family care for Mom in her final days. Words cannot adequately express how much this act of love meant to our family. Besties to the end.
In accordance with Mom's wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be no funeral; instead, a private family gathering will be held.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Norma Harvey to the Canadian Cancer Society.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 19, 2022

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • This is a touching tribute to your wife, mom, and Nanny, and I found it interesting to read about her life. I was very sorry to learn of her passing. I’m sure it will take a lot of time and healing to adjust to this loss. Your family is in my thoughts. - Posted by: Cheryl Moore (Friend) on: Nov 27, 2022

  • Len, Don, Janet, Carol and families- We're so very sorry to hear of Norma's passing. We remember all the good times we had watching our girls curl. She will be missed by her many friends. Our condolences to everyone. - Posted by: Marvin & Arlene Fetch (Friends) on: Nov 25, 2022

  • To: Len and Family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy for your loss. Sincerely, Colleen McIntyre. - Posted by: Colleen McIntyre (Friend) on: Nov 21, 2022

  • Dear Len, Don, Janet and Carol, My sincere condolences in the loss of your wife and mother. Norma, and I go back to our high school days, and in later life sitting behind a sheet of glass watching our children curl. I know from experience how broken your heart feels, but also know how wonderful the memories are. May God wrap his arms around all of you and hold you tight. Hugs, Carol (Kraft) Ursel - Posted by: Carol Ursel (high school friend) on: Nov 20, 2022

  • We extend our sincere condolences to Len, Don, Janet, Carol and families on Norma's passing. She was a wonderful person whom we knew through her work at Sturgeon Creek United Church and curling circles. We know she will be sorely missed by all that knew her. - Posted by: Ron and Marilyn Sigurdson (Friends) on: Nov 20, 2022

  • Len, Don, Janet, Carol and families - please accept our sincere condolences in the loss of Norma. We sat alongside Norma and Len for several years watching many curling games while cheering for our children. We still cherish all of the great times we had at all of the events. Rest In Peace Norma. - Posted by: Al and Jan Bush (Friends) on: Nov 19, 2022

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