LAURA GAIL HARRISON
Peacefully, on the morning of Saturday, March 27th, with her family at her side, Mom/Gran/Gail, slipped away from us, at LWDH hospital, in Kenora ON. Gail was predeceased by her Mum, Jean Harrison (nee Soper), her Dad, Jack Harrison, her sister, Donna Ross and nephew, Doug Ross, all of Regina SK and niece, Wendy, of Moose Jaw SK.
Left to cherish her memories are daughter, Laurie (Ralph) Wright, of Alliston ON, daughter, Judy (Greg) Alcock, of Kenora ON, son, Steven Thauberger, of Toronto ON, grandsons Jeremy Wright, of Thailand, Tyler Horkey, of Barrie ON, Brendan Horkey, of Battleford SK, granddaughter Amanda (Chris) Bruneau, of Kenora ON and great-grandsons Even & Alex Wright, Tristan Horkey and Jackson Bruneau, along with her special fur baby companion, Izzy. She will also be missed by her very dear friends Lillian, Eileen, Evelyn & Carol of Regina.
Mom was born to Jean and Jack Harrison, on August 5, 1940 and lived most of her life in Regina. She grew up with her “Big Sis”, Donna, and often told us stories about the many summers they would spend “on the farm”, at their Nan & Grandpa’s house, in Perdue SK. In high school, she excelled at, and won awards for, her beautiful handwriting which, in later years, was impossible for us kids to forge for school notes but led her into a long career in the secretarial field.
She married and raised 3 kids in Regina and, in the fall of 1978, she and her second husband moved the family to Kenora, where she fell in love with and completely embraced all that NW Ontario and LOTW had to offer; from ice fishing and eating wild meat to chopping wood and fixing septic systems. For a city girl, she did exceptionally well and always said that this was where she was meant to live.
In 1999, she moved back to Regina to care for her dad and sister, who were both in failing health. Sadly, they both passed away within 2 years of her move and Mom had to adjust to life without them. Thankfully, she and her niece, Terri, grew close and became friends. Mom was included in many of their family gatherings and celebrations and they enjoyed many a breakfast, lunch or dinner date.
A few years later, she was cleverly tricked by a neighbor into sparing for a bowling team and, eventually, joined that team full time as well as spared for another, bowling twice a week and winning accolades. She made many new friends and looked forward to her bowling days, often ending with a lunch date or a glass of wine with one of those friends.
In the summer of 2014, she was diagnosed with colon cancer, proceeded with both surgery and chemo, facing them with bravery and optimism. She did quite well and, eventually, was able to return to her bowling and lunch dates.
Over the years, we had many conversations about having her move back to Kenora and, in June of 2019, we made it happen. While she missed her friends from Regina, Mom was incredibly happy to be back “home” and enjoyed plenty of family dinners, BBQs and breakfasts out after some Saturday yard sales. One of her greatest joys was reconnecting with her granddaughter and being here for the birth of her newest great-grandson. Her face lit up when she talked about them or they walked into a room – they were truly the lights of her life. She loved her new abode, with its large deck facing the trees and referred to it as her “little corner of paradise”. She loved tending to all of her plants and flowers on her deck and basked in the sunshine as much as she could.
Last February, her cancer returned and we all knew our time was limited. She far exceeded the time they gave her and, as much as we wanted more, we cherished every extra day and minute that we were given. She was a tough little trouper and kept her wit and sense of humor right to the bitter end.
The family would like to extend a plethora of gratitude to Kate McEachern, Char Melillo, Joelle Thomson, Dr. Hristov, Dr. Henderson,Dr. Spencer, Dr. Jaffer, and all the amazing nurses on 3rd East for their care, compassion and true dedication to their jobs, especially during these trying, Covid times. Special hugs and thanx to Pushpa, Gracie, Amanda, Jenn, Sam & Stacey, who went the extra mile and who Mom got to know a little more than others – she was so happy to hear when one of them were working. A few of them still came in to see Mom, even if they weren’t assigned to her for that shift.
As per Mom’s request, cremation has been taken care of by Integrity Death Care, in Winnipeg, and the family will carry forth with her wishes at a future date, when we are able to safely do so. In lieu of flowers, please support the LWDH Palliative Care department or your local animal shelter.
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