Peacefully and in no pain, Marion Campbell passed away Monday, December 12, 2022 at the Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg.
As most of you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting our mother, let us introduce her: Born March 30, 1930, or as she liked to say, 30/03/30.
She is predeceased by her parents Olie and Muriel (Moore) Cooper, her husband of 57 years, Keith (2008) and son-in-law, Scott Giffin (2009). Mom is survived by her children, Linda (Greg Holden - Kit and Shayne), Sandy (Gord Sparkes), Craig (Terry – Lauren and Colin), Glen (Margie – Adam and Elizabeth) and Leslie Giffin (Melanie, Kaley and Lana) plus 10 great-grandchildren.
Her early life was in true pioneer fashion, living on a farm south of Portage la Prairie. No running water, no electricity but plenty of farm grown vegetables to consume and livestock to attend to. Being an only child, Mom’s lifetime passion for competition was fueled at a young age. An early goal was to reduce her two-mile travel time to the one room school house near St. Claude. Whether by bike, horseback, or the few early winters where she could skate across frozen fields, getting there faster was her goal.
To further her education and path to nursing, Mom billeted in Portage la Prairie from Grades 8 – 12 and graduated from PCI in 1948. It was during her high school years she started dating a very talented hockey player named Keith Campbell. After graduation, she was accepted in the Winnipeg General Hospital’s Nursing Program, recognized as one of the top four schools nationally. She cherished the many friendships she made there.
In 1951, Mom married Dad, earned her RN degree and had the first of her five children…quite a productive year. While raising three children in Portage, Mom picked up nursing shifts at the Portage General Hospital while Dad worked for MTS. In 1958, they moved to Winnipeg and purchased their first house on Belvidere Street in Deer Lodge. As many of our friends can attest, this little house hosted many events over 60 years, often with Mom in the centre of the action.
A cottage at Delta Beach was purchased in 1971 and has been the centre of unorganized fun for over fifty years. Mom welcomed family and friends, prepared “interesting” meals with no recipes, and then challenged everyone to rousing games of dominoes.
In 1971, Mom started working on the ASU unit at the newly opened Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg. During summer months she would commute to/from the lake (in record time!). She retired in 1990 and maintained friendships and continued adventures with her fellow nurses.
Although Mom was reluctant to take up golf in retirement, her competitive spirit was reignited. She became an active player at the Portage Club. She loved to dash in from the cottage in the wee hours, do a solo round of 9 and return to Delta before most would awake. Note: players are still finding golf balls marked with MC in red nail polish - surprising Mom every time they got returned. She and Dad enjoyed winter golf excursions with long time friends Gary and Carol Cribbs.
In 2018, Mom was welcomed into The Terrace, part of the St. James Kiwanis Village, where she re-established past friendships and developed new ones. She would participate in any competitive activity: nickels, shuffleboard, cribbage and casino outings. Although Mom had limited vision, she could be found late in the evening perfecting her shuffleboard techniques.
The staff became her extended family and we thank Kim, Tammy, Shawna and Destiny (to name a few) for the care and patience you provided. Mom’s dinner mates Harold, Don & Ron will miss the sarcasm and quick wit she dished out during meals.
The last couple of years, Mom became a great fan (groupie) of Rafael Nadal, the tennis champion. Even with reduced vision, she would find the sports channels and shush everyone while he was playing. She loved his competitiveness, talent and charisma. Over the years, Mom was an active competitor in tennis, curling and golf and together with Dad encouraged their kids to play their best, respect their opponent(s) and have fun doing it.
She had the confidence to laugh at herself and know she was not perfect….and could do better.
Special thanks to the healthcare staff at both the Grace Hospital and U6 Geriatric Rehab floor at Seven Oaks Hospital.
Respecting Mom’s wishes, a private family service will be held at later date.
Mom’s favourite sayings were, “live life now, maintain a positive attitude and you can sleep when your gone”. Sleep well Mom – you packed an awful lot into 92 and a half years.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Winnipeg Humane Society, 45 Hurst Way, Winnipeg, MB R3T 0R3 or a charity of your choice.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com