With deep sorrow, the family announces Brenda’s passing on Thursday, November 2, 2017, after 35 days of loving care and comfort at ARCH Hospice.
Brenda fought a battle against metastatic breast cancer with courage and faith, for most of 2017.
Brenda is survived by her loving family including, her mother Florence Clarke (late Norman); her husband of 50 years, Robert (Bob) of Sault Ste Marie; her daughter Christine Roussel (Jean-Luc) of Ottawa; her son Rob Lailey (Shannon) and her cherished grandchildren Megan and Evan of Thornton; her sister Jackie Tonner (Doug) of Guelph; her sister-in-law Pat Jessup (Grant) of Ottawa; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Brenda devoted her life to the service of others. While the children were young, she found time to get involved in organizations such as the Consumers Association of Canada, the Bon Soo Carnival, the Pied Piper Cooperative Nursery School, Christmas Cheer, as well as the work of the United Church. She often assumed an executive role where her organizational skills, her enthusiasm and friendly manner proved valuable. As the children grew, Brenda returned to the workforce beginning part-time as a legal secretary. Her skills were immediately recognized. Full time employment quickly followed when she was asked to set up the administrative functions of a new legal practice.
Brenda’s passion for helping the afflicted or disadvantaged and her belief in the value of volunteerism, led her to accept staff positions as Volunteer Coordinator at the Algoma Health Unit and later the CNIB. Brenda’s final position, before retirement, was as the Executive Director of the local branch of the Alzheimer Society. Through the passing years, Brenda continued to volunteer, serving on a number of boards including the Algoma Breast Cancer Coalition and the forerunner of what became the CCAC, now the LHIN.
Ten years ago, Brenda faced her first battle with Breast Cancer. Overcoming major surgery and chemotherapy, she quickly became involved in the local Breast Cancer Support Group. This group had been created by the Breast Cancer Coalition, during Brenda’s time on that board. The board had recognized the need for women such as Brenda, to have a place to share their fears, get answers to important questions, and support and comfort each other in a setting of complete discretion and privacy. Brenda soon assumed a co-leadership role, as earlier leaders stepped down. Always eager to encourage others to develop their leadership skills, Brenda sought to help others to see their potential. With her assistance, a number of women stepped up to receive training. These ladies were ready when metastatic cancer returned to several members of the group, including Brenda.
Following cremation, a private interment will be held at the Tenby Bay Cemetery on St Joseph Island with Reverend Eun-Joo Park officiating, assisted by Reverend Phil Miller.
Friends are invited to join the family as we celebrate a life well-lived, on Friday, November 10, 2017 from 6-8pm. St. Andrew’s United Church (downstairs) 712 Wellington Street East. Refreshments will be served.
Arrangements entrusted to the Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington Street E., 705-759-2522). Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.arthurfuneralhome.com