September 27, 1924 – June 5, 2020
Our beautiful mother (& grama) passed away peacefully on June 5, 2020. Our hearts are broken as we think of our lives without her, but we give thanks for the remarkable woman she was and the myriad ways in which she inspired, cared for and loved us and those around her.
We carry many memories with us from the stories of Mom’s life; Mom riding her horse to a one room school in Alberta; playing saxophone in a local dance band with her future husband, Lou; her honeymoon on an overnight train to Winnipeg; Mom as sorority princess (Beta Sigma Phi), starring in and directing local dramas, sitting in her rocker reading, usually the Bible, and leading home Bible studies.
Mom and her family moved to B.C. in the 1960’s where she worked as a practical nurse. Widowed in 1977, she settled in Abbotsford. Having written poetry all her life, she reached out to the community in 1981 by starting her beloved Poet’s Potpourri, now Fraser Valley Poets Society. This club became one of Mom’s great creative and social outlets as she delighted in the scores of poets who came to share and publish their works over the years. Mom was a gifted poet and storyteller who authored many published works. She was also musical. Classically trained on the violin, she could improvise on almost any instrument, playing piano by ear, as well as guitar, mandolin, accordion and saxophone.
Mom’s home was a place of sanctuary and she always said she could be happy almost anywhere, as long as she could see a tree. She lived for over 30 years in The Alliance Manor, often hosting her grandkids for sleepovers, and in 2010, at the age of 85, moved into The Cottage. Mom maintained these next ten years were some of her best. She modelled for us the wisdom of contentment while continuing to live life to the fullest no matter what your constraints.
We are forever grateful for the kindness and support shown to Mom at The Cottage and the depth of care and concern as she reached her final days. Our deep gratitude is also sent to Dr. Sarah Pawlovich for her reassuring and compassionate care.
But while Mom’s story is rich and full, it is her character that will stay with us forever. She was independent and tenacious, creative and funny, gracious and compassionate. But most importantly, she was a seeker after God’s heart and she loved Jesus. His presence in her heart was evident for all to see. Mom has left us a legacy of profound love and hope for which we are eternally grateful.
A celebration in honour of Donna’s life will take place at a future date.
Rhonda & Mike Nicholls (Owen, Pamela, Lailiah/Madalen & Casey)
Rod Bishop (Catherine)
Randy Bishop (Lacey & Kelsey)
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