Peacefully, with her family by her side, Florence passed away on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at Minnedosa Hospital after a long courageous battle with cancer at the age of 68 years.
Florence leaves to mourn her loving husband Wayne Foster of Onanole, children Jason (Evangeline) Towle of Portage la Prairie, Nicki (Bruno) Rossi of Portage la Prairie, Amber Foster of Saskatoon, Jenna Foster of Calgary, Natasha Hall, Jody Smoke (Darnell McKay), Alyssa Smoke, Jocelyn Smoke, Joseph Sanderson, Corey Sanderson, Cassie Smoke, Kyla Sanderson and Issac, and Devon Smoke, grandchildren Azilyn Asham (Kenny J. McIvor), Oceane Asham, Montana Towle, Emersyn Towle, Jero Rossi, Rio Rossi, Chandelle Towle, Keaton-Jae Towle, Jaytey Towle, Reese Sumners and Aydan Sumners and nine great-grandchildren. Florence will also be lovingly remembered by her siblings Marilyn (Harry) Trumbla, Tom (Joanne) Neighbour, Albert (Donna) Neighbour and Dorothy Hooey and special friends Marion Brook, Rose and Gord Stiglitz, Barbara Sokolowski, Kay Zatylyn, Wayne Horn and Colleen McKillop, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Florence was predeceased by her parents Tom and Eleanor Neighbour and siblings Bob Neighbour, Murdoch Neighbour, Dean Neighbour, Margaret Shand and Billy Hooey.
Florence was born on June 11th 1951, very special daughter of Eleanor and Thomas Neighbour. From the day Florence was born, the world became a better place. It was clear that Florence had a very special purpose in this world, and she lived her life to the fullest leaving a huge impact on all those who were blessed to know her.
Florence spent most of her childhood in Elm Creek before moving to Portage la Prairie with her family. As a teenager, Florence involved herself in sports and was known for her long distance running and achieving many records. She attended Portage Collegiate Institute and in 1971 she married Roy Towle. They were blessed with 2 beautiful children, Jason in 1973 and Nicole in 1976 who grew up surrounded by constant love and support.
Florence grew up involved in the family restaurant in Elm Creek watching and learning from her Grandmother and continued her passion for cooking and baking working at the family restaurant, “The Dew Drop Inn” for many years in Portage la Prairie. Florence then went onto pursue a lengthily career at The Lions Prairie Manor. Florence had a passion for caring for people and there were many times that Florence would bring home residents from the Manor for supper which showed her kind loving heart that was like no other. Florence was always doing for others before herself and it always made her so proud to put a smile on someone’s face.
In 1996, Florence moved to Prince Albert Saskatchewan and began a new life with Wayne Foster. Being the people person that she was, Florence continued to work in the restaurant business working at Country Kitchen where she met many new people who became lifelong friends to her. In 1997, Florence and Wayne returned home to Portage la Prairie where they became foster parents. They raised a family of 9 siblings who became their children. In 2004, Florence and Wayne were married in Erickson, Manitoba. They made their home in Onanole, Manitoba and became prominent residents of the community. Florence’s heart led her to continue to care for people and worked in Home Care. The clients she cared for were blessed to have her as she went above and beyond for them.
Florence loved to travel the world and left her mark everywhere she went. She was able to fulfill her lifelong wishes and travelled twice to Graceland and at one point, was bound and determined to return there and work at Graceland. She also travelled to Montreal for the birth of her Granddaughter Azilyn as well as to Fredericton, New York, France, Florida, and many trips to Mexico. Florence loved to garden and especially loved her flowers. She loved to sew and knit and expressed her love to her family through her quilting abilities making them special keepsake gifts.
Florence had a deep profound love for her children and grandchildren, and she formed a special unique bond with each of them. She was extremely proud of her family and was heavily involved in their daily lives. Every day she would reach out to her family always ensuring everyone was okay and telling them she loved them. Florence was truly a one of a kind lady with friends all over the world. Florence talked to every person who crossed her path and instantly became her friend. Florence’s circle of friends is too large to even begin to mention but each and every friend was extremely special to her. She maintained a strong 47 year friendship with Marion Brook where many lifelong memories were made and continued to be made during her illness. Florence was loving, patient, kind and was known to everyone as “NANA” and her door was always open to anyone. Her home became home to many.
Florence was a very determined and strong willed special lady who fought her illness with strength and courage and was never one to complain. Her dignity and beautiful soul touched the lives of everyone she encountered and left a huge impact on everyone she knew. Throughout Florence’s illness, she became an inspiration to many and amazed everyone with her wonderful sense of humor even during her most difficult days.
The void left in this world with Florence’s passing is unbearable but her gentle loving spirit has been etched in all she knew and met. Florence taught so many about life in the way that she lived her life, in that love and kindness prevails all. Florence told her daughter that she would be okay in her next life but little did her beautiful soul know that all she left behind would never be okay without her. The family has found peace and solace knowing that she is in Heaven and that she is the most beautiful Angel that God called home.
The family would like to say a special thank you to all the Staff at Minnedosa Hospital for their extra special love, care and compassion that was given to Florence during her extended stay there. The family is eternally grateful. There were MANY people that aided in Florence’s journey with Cancer and were there for anything that she needed. A very special thank you to Florence’s soul sister Rose Stiglitz from Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Rose unselfishly took time off work and was at Florence’s side at the hospital for 6 weeks and was a constant support and angel for Florence. The family is thankful to each and every person that took the time to visit Florence, spending time with her and bringing a smile to Florence’s beautiful face.
“A wife, a mother, a grandma too, this is the legacy we have from you. You taught us love and how to fight, you gave us strength, you gave us might. A stronger person would be hard to find, and in our heart, you were always kind. You fought for us all in one way or another, not just as wife not just as a mother. For all of us you gave your best, So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep. Your love in our hearts, we’ll eternally keep.”
We love you dearly Mama and Nana and will miss you every second of our lives.
Viewing and visitation will be held Sunday, February 9, 2020 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at McKenzies Funeral Chapel, 56 Royal Rd. S, Portage la Prairie, MB. A Celebration of Florence’s life will be held on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.at the William Glesby Centre, 11 - 2 St NE, Portage la Prairie, MB. Interment to follow in Hillside Cemetery.
Because of her compassion and caring heart, donations may be made in Florence’s memory to Siloam Mission, 300 Princess St. Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1M3 or to the Bear Clan (Portage la Prairie), 56 Royal Rd N, Portage la Prairie, MB
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
To send flowers to Florence's family, please visit our floral section.
300 Princess Street Winnipeg, MB R3B 1M3,
Bear Clan (Portage la Prairie)
56 Royal Rd. N., Portage la Prairie MB R1N 1V1