At 7:17 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, Lorraine’s prayers were answered and her wishes were granted. She died at home on her own terms, with a smile on her face, her favourite music playing, surrounded by her family.
For quite some time Lorraine was being tortured (her term) by vascular dementia which had progressively taken away her mobility, co-ordination, and basic skills. She could no longer dress herself, type, write or print, use the tv remote, enjoy her favourite shows, make calls on the telephone, or even enjoy her special place, our Island # 1, Lowe Quay in Honey Harbour.
She was increasingly confused, and at times was lost in her own home, both frightening to her. Fortunately, she had no physical pain: but she understood what was happening to her and knew that her future would be unbearable. Lorraine often expressed that she had no fear of dying, possibly resulting from her experience as a bereavement counsellor, her volunteering with Hospice Georgian Triangle, and her volunteering as a Victim Support Worker with the O.P.P. In recognition of the help she gave to so many she was awarded the prestigious “June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award”. She also brought pleasure to many through her singing at local Seniors’ homes.
Lorraine was born in 1939 in York Township, attended school at Islington Public and Etobicoke C.I. She had been coerced into the 4 year commercial stream (common for girls at that time) where she excelled. After graduation and while working full time, she signed up for correspondence courses and completed grade 13, then earned a B.A. from York U. and an M.A. from U. of T. and OISE. In 1958 she met Geoffrey and they were married in 1959 (Geoff does not buy lottery tickets because he knows he already won something better than any lottery offered when she said YES to his proposal in December of ‘58).
Lorraine’s chosen career was in education. She taught for 2 years at Alderwood C.I. then quit when her first son Evan was born in 1970. Adam joined the family in 1974. Being at home for her family was important for Lorraine. After her boys were well established in schools she took a job with the Etobicoke Board of Education, but refused a salaried position, insisting on being an independent contractor on a fee for service basis so she could have summers off to be with her family on their pontoon houseboat. At the board office she progressed to become the Supervisor of Planning. Her real calling was teaching, so she requalified, and taught at Burnhamthorpe Adult H.S. retiring in 1997.
The family joined Georgian Peaks Ski Club in 1975 where Lorraine skied until 1991, and served on the Board of Directors and produced the Peaks Periodical for several years. Evan’s sudden death in a skiing accident in 1991 was very difficult for Lorraine and her entire family. Her volunteering years started shortly after his accident because she felt that with her experience of a death of a child she might be able to help others. And she did!
Lorraine’s family includes parents Clare and Stan Wale (both deceased), sister Nola, niece Susan in N.Y. State, nephew Steve (who is right now dealing with very serious medical issues), sister-in-law Inez in Arizona, much loved niece Brenda and nephew Jason in Victoria, very special son Adam and his wife Jennifer, and husband and best friend and lifelong partner, Geoffrey.
Lorraine has too many good friends to single out any, but her “ECI Girls” were special to her as were her Grace United friends and choir mates. Lorraine’s wishes for all are to always look for the “good” in people; smile and laugh a lot; support public broadcasting, live music and theatre; volunteer; help refugees who have been forced to move; read works by our talented Canadian authors; and give generously to charities, including “Dying With Dignity”. With her death imminent, our dear Lorraine made it clear that “this is the right thing at the right time”, no doubt designed to make losing her less painful for us.
What a WOMAN! A loyal, dependable friend, contributing citizen, good neighbour, caring and nurturing mother, fabulous partner, an inspiration to us all. Lorraine, you will be so much missed by so many. Your spirit, positive attitude, and teachings will carry on in your family, friends, and the many students you influenced.
A private service will be conducted at the Ferguson Funeral Home in January 2022. Lorraine’s family hope to celebrate her life in the warmer weather at her special place, ‘Island #1 – Honey Harbour’, when it is safe for family and friends to gather.
As your expression of sympathy, donations to Dying with Dignity or the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON N4L 1B9 to who arrangements have been entrusted. www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca
Private service at Ferguson Funeral Home in January 2022.