Val Ann GarlickFebruary 12, 1971 ~ August 28, 2017 (age 46)
Valerie Ann Garlick
From her birth on February 12, 1971 in Morden, Manitoba until her death August 28, 2017 in Portage la Prairie, Val wove people together in networks of relationship wherever she went. Whether it was two people having a heart-to-heart conversation or a whole crowd of people at a large event, Val always worked to create a sense of community where everyone felt welcome. As a result, she leaves a wide circle of family and friends and community connections who mourn her death. She is predeceased by her father Dennis Garlick, and lovingly remembered by her mother Wilma Garlick, her sister Nancy (Rob) McLachlan, her niece and nephew Cedar and Fergus McLachlan and her dear friends Jennifer Baker, Rob, Kayleigh and Amelia Rintoul, Leanne Sprung, Jonathan and Merrick Sloane, Robin Young, Jocelyn Baker, Alison Mihalchuk, Julie Baker and Ang Braun as well as many extended family, circles of friends, co-workers and community connections.
Regardless of what her formal job description said, Val’s work focused on helping people to be part of something bigger than themselves. At Genesis House, a women’s shelter in Winkler, she was a support worker and helped facilitate support groups. At the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre she helped people find work and develop the skills to keep work. As a Training Specialist at Simplot, she helped people to find their place as part of their work team. As the Staff Development Instructor at the Manitoba Development Centre, she saw every workshop as an opportunity for new connections and supportive relationship building amongst the staff. Her recent “dream job” with the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation was a delightful new adventure with “Community” right there in the title.
In a similar way, Val was a dedicated community volunteer. She was always willing to step up and contribute her gifts to making her community and her world a better place. Whether it was as a big sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Portage la Prairie, through numerous volunteer involvements at Trinity United Church, as a board member for the Fair Board, Arts Centre, Glesby Centre or Camp Legacy, working at La Cuisine at the Winnipeg Folk Fest or more informally in her book club or the $20 club, Val brought her creativity, her energy and her passion for people to everything she did. Her legacy of new projects initiated, new concepts tried out, new relationships forged and fresh vision cultivated will continue to live on in this community that she loved so much.
Val loved to make things beautiful. From decorating her house to preparing a meal to working on a craft project, Val enjoyed when things came together to produce something tangible and lovely. She took many courses at the Arts Centre to learn new things.
Val also loved when voices came together in song. She sang in various choirs over the years. One of her favourite things about church was that it gives people of all ages a chance to sing about stuff that matters with others, something that is rare in the modern world. However, if there was no community to sing with, she could often be found happily singing around her house or listening to music as a way of de-stressing.
Val was very grateful for all the people she has met along her life’s journey. She wished to thank everyone for their love, their support and their encouragement throughout her life. In particular, she wished to thank Dr. Lovatt, Patti Brown, Iris Yuill, and Diana Aune for their support over the past months.
Val would be delighted if even her death might be an occasion for people to come together and build community. To that end, you are invited to join us for a celebration of Val’s life at Trinity United Church on Monday, September 4, 2017 at Trinity United Church at 1:30 pm. There will be a worship service followed by a reception featuring homemade cookies. Even if church is not your thing, please join us to remember Val. Our celebration will be richer if you bring your memories and your stories.
If you would like to make a memorial donation, choose a community building organization, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage la Prairie, Inc., 15 Tupper St. S Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 1W7, ROK Central Box, 1321 Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3L5, Eagles Fire Youth Centre, 350 Saskatchewan Avenue, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0M3 or the Central Manitoba Choral Association Box 557 Manitou, MB R0G 1G0.
A tree will be planted and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com 204-857-4021
Big Brothers Big Sisiters
15 Tupper St. S., Portage la Prairie MB R1N 1W7
Recreation Opportunities for Kids Central
Box 1321, Portage la Prairie MB R1N 3L5
Eagles Fire Youth Center
350 Sask Ave. W, Portage la Prairie MB R1N 0M3
Central Manitoba Choral Association
Box 557, Manitou MB R0G 1G0