It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our Mom, Nancy Furey, on August 18, 2020, at Riverview Health Centre.
Nancy was predeceased by her husband James in 1989, son Brian and son-in-law Glen both in 2009, and daughter Sheila in 2010. She was the last of her Smith family, being predeceased by siblings Reg, Allan, Harry, Kathleen, Jean and Elsie. Nancy leaves to mourn daughters Linda Morrison and Joyce Joyal (Mark), son David, grandson Dan McDougall, great-grandson Austin, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Nancy was born on December 23, 1926 in Fisher Branch, Manitoba. She grew up on the farm with her parents and six siblings in a small farmhouse with no indoor plumbing or electricity. Though the family was poor, Nancy regarded these as some of the happiest years of her life. After moving to Winnipeg in her late teens, Nancy met and married James Furey in 1947 and they raised a family of five children.
Married life would often be difficult with Dad, who had been a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and who suffered the rest of his life with what would today be called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In many ways, Mom raised the family on her own.
Mom thought the world of us, her children, and worked hard to maintain a sense of family in our lives. Our birthdays and Christmases were always, single-handedly, made special by Mom. Some of our fondest memories of Mom were when we were all at the summer cottage at Eleanor Lake in the Whiteshell, where she felt the most relaxed. She enjoyed activities such as picking blueberries (her pancakes and pies were fantastic) and watching over us when we went swimming. She had a cheerful demeanor and a great sense of humour. As we grew up, Mom loved meeting our friends, and they got a great kick out of her and liked her a lot. Mom also had a soft heart, empathized with people, and felt for those less fortunate or who were enduring sadness and suffering in their lives.
Losing her eldest son Brian and eldest daughter Sheila took a hard toll on Mom. As she said to Brian just before his passing, "Brian, I would trade places with you if I could." She was heartbroken and never the same again when she lost them both in rapid succession; they passed away only a year apart.
Within a few years Mom developed dementia, and the slow decline began. All her life, Mom quietly accepted and dealt with whatever life threw at her. She didn’t complain while spending the last few years of her life in a personal care home. She made the best of it (and loved her bingo!). Many staff at the home commented on how gentle and kind she was and how much they liked her. Nancy was a special Mom and we will miss her very much.
The family extends a sincere thanks to the staff at Mom’s unit at Riverview who made her life comfortable during her stay there. A special thank-you goes to Mom’s companion, Ruth Geauvreau, who spent so much time with her at Riverview and enriched Mom’s life with her kindness and patience.
Due to Covid protocols, no service will be held and the family will celebrate Nancy’s life privately.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Siloam Mission, 300 Princess Street, Winnipeg, MB. R3B 1M3 or to a charity of your choice.