Lillian Sanata Donaldson

1937-2022  ~  Lived a grand life, and her absence from it will be something many will miss.
She was married for 63 years to the love of her life, Gordon, had two children (Barbara and Kenneth), four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
She was born in the town of Vegreville, Alberta, to Emily and Walter Shandrowsky, two new Canadians who found their way to Alberta from Ukraine. She was the middle child, with older brother Mike pre-deceasing her and “baby brother”Wally and his wife Pam, two of her best friends.
Wherever Lillian went, she was the centre of attention because of her natural jubilance. She was with her girlfriends when she met Gordon at Edmonton’s Rainbow Ballroom in 1958. They married a year later and wherever the two of them lived – Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Abbotsford, and Indio – there was an ever-expanding group of friends close at hand.
Cocktails, dinner parties, bridge, and golf were the events, but it was Lillian’s presence that really brought people together. And kept them together. Lillian and Gordon especially enjoyed their winters in California where they found wonderful friends who also embraced the snowbird lifestyle. Many of Lillian’s countless friends were in her life for decades – as neighbors became best of friends.
She could – and often did – make conversation with anyone and once you were a friend, you were a friend for life.
Lillian was passionate about cooking, baking, and sewing, with an innate ability to bring things to life. Many of those passions she picked up from her mother and in turn imparted on Barb and Ken, both of whom are great cooks.
But Lillian’s true passion was Gordon. If she was with him, you would hear her laughter. They loved each other’s company and were happiest when spending time together.
She faced her diagnosis with strength and courage. During her last months, she was at Holmberg House Hospice where she was able to enjoy family and friends. Special thanks to the staff and volunteers who guided and cared for all of us.
Donations may be made to the charity of your choice or to the Abbotsford Hospice Society. A Service of Remembrance will be held at a later date.
As a tribute to Lillian, we ask that you toast her with your favourite drink at around 4:00 pm – the time she and Gordon would sit for “wine time” and catch up on the day.


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