Verna Blight (nee Robertson) passed away peacefully on Monday, August 20, 2018 at Lions Prairie Manor in Portage la Prairie, MB at the age of 90 years.
Born on the family farm in the Elm River District near Oakville, Manitoba to Everett Peter Robertson and Ethel Robertson (nee Stanley).
Predeceased by her parents (1956 and 1987 respectively), her husband of 44 years, Floyd Earl Blight in 1993, daughter Maureen Gayle Gagne in 1997. Predeceased by her in-laws, Les and Florence Blight, half-sister, Lillian (Black) Maxwell, her husband Ted Maxwell and brother-in-law, Jack Miller. Also predeceased by Floyd’s siblings Shirley McCulloch, Ken Blight, Geordie Blight, Beth Hollingsworth and brother-in-law, Bill Hollingsworth.
Verna is survived by six children, their spouses, nine grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. Children and in-laws include Dianne (Ron) Nikiforuk, Eugene Gagne (Anita Warsaba), Joan, Arnold (Wendy), Douglas (Sharon), Chris (Nancy), Trudy (Remo De Sordi). Grandchildren include Sherida (Dave) Cook, Darcy Nikiforuk, Alana Nikiforuk; Kelsey Gagne; Kirstin Blight (Todd Thurston); Whitney (Jared) Munro, Brendan Blight (Ann-Marie Heard), Alessandro De Sordi and Stefano De Sordi. Great-grandchildren include Ava, Ashlyn, Aidan, Kayla and Kaitlin Cook, Reid and Dawson Munro, Carter and Hallie Thurston. Also surviving Verna are her sister Edna Miller, in-laws Don McCulloch, Don and Doreen Blight, Shirley Blight, Iris Blight and many nieces and nephews.
Verna attended Elm River District School and graduated from Oakville High School. She and Floyd married in 1949. Seven children arrived within the span of 12 years.
Verna was extensively involved in the Oakville community in numerous organizations from 1949 until she moved to Portage la Prairie in 1998. Dubbed by her family as a professional volunteer, it was Mom’s calling. She was involved in the Oakville Community Club which helped get the skating rink built, raised funds annually through the Oakville booth at the Portage Fair and fall suppers at the community hall, as a 4-H leader, Red Cross which provided swimming lessons at Norquay Beach, the Oakville Figure Skating Club, Oakville Minor Hockey Association and Morrison Sports Park. Her children’s involvement in sports meant she spent miles traveling with them and enjoying the camaraderie of other parents and families. When her grandchildren started playing sports, she was an ardent fan.
Verna was honoured with the Oakville Community Service Award in 2005.
A long time United Church member, Verna was loyal and dedicated. She was deeply involved in the United Church Women (UCW), church work and served as a member of the Presbytery for many years, attending the bi-annual, United Church of Canada General Council three times as a voting delegate.
Verna was a voracious reader and a talented seamstress. She enjoyed curling, gardening, and many forms of handwork. Verna was an excellent baker - who could resist her home-made bread and cinnamon buns, pies, butter tarts and shortbread? Playing cards was a favourite past time as was her love of theatre, music and dance. An avid follower of current affairs and politics, one always knew where Verna stood on issues.
Extended family on both sides were very important to Verna. She and Floyd made many trips both east and west of Manitoba to visit and their home was always open as well. She had a passion for genealogy; her collection of newspaper clippings attest to it!
Travel was a gift that was afforded to Verna in her later life. She enjoyed many wonderful experiences throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. There were special trips to England, Scotland and Ireland to visit the places of her ancestors.
Verna lived what she believed – and she made a difference.
Memorial Service will be held at Trinity United Church, 15 Tupper Street South, Portage la Prairie, MB on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 4:00 p.m., with Rev. Julie Baker officiating. Reception to Follow. Private family interment will take place at Oakville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Verna may be made to Trinity U.C.W. - www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/119271302RR0001-trinity-united-church/ or to a charity of your choice.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel.