We lovingly announce the passing of Godelieve (Judy) McPherson at the age of 95 years in Canmore, AB. She died peacefully at home in the presence of her family.
She was raised by a loving family, on their farm in Cypress River, MB. Her parents went to great lengths and sacrifice to provide her with the best education possible for someone with Retinitis Pigmentosa. She attended the Brantford Ontario School for the Blind in the 1930s and 40s, regularly commuting there by train and boarding there between the ages of 6 through 17. Judy just loved school and made many life-long friends there. Not only did she learn to study in Braille, but she also played the violin and became an accomplished musician, having mastered grade 10 piano.
Just out of school, at the age of 18, she moved to Winnipeg, MB. Well-ahead of the times, she was a stylish, single businesswoman who enjoyed sharing an apartment with her girlfriends in downtown Winnipeg. She loved to dance and go curling in her spare time.
Her very first job was packaging coffee for the Hudson’s Bay Company. When they closed this department, she obtained employment with Manitoba Medical Services (MMS) as their switchboard operator and worked with them until she had her first child, Elaine, at the age of 39. At the age of 47 she re-entered the workforce and joined CNIB as their receptionist until she retired at the age of 65.
On December 29, 1962, Judy married the love of her life: Archie. Together they lived a simple life in the North End of Winnipeg, raising their daughter Elaine, enjoying their extended family and regularly attending St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church.
Following Archie’s passing in January 1991, Judy made the brave decision to move to Calgary, AB to be closer to her family. She embraced her new life and lived independently at the Rhubarb Patch in Inglewood until the age of 88 years. Then, she lived with Elaine and her husband Willy until her passing on June 4, 2020.
Volunteerism was an essential part of her life, and she received kindness and support from numerous individuals. Each person made a positive impact in their own unique way: drivers, mail readers, grocery shoppers, guide dog trainers, braille transposers, musicians, poetry writers, book readers, A Capella choirs….in fact, that is how she met her husband Archie: as a member of the Knights of Columbus, he escorted her to her brother’s convocation – and the rest is history!
Judy also gave back to her community in many ways. She often visited people who lost their sight and showed them tips and tricks for success in daily living. Through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, she served with Distinction for the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) - for both the Winnipeg & District Club Division, as well as the CCB Manitoba Division – first as an Executive member and then as President of each division. She also volunteered with Telecare Calgary Suicide Prevention and loved to read the Sunday Liturgies at both St. Peter’s Church in Winnipeg, and St. Francis of Assisi Church in Calgary.
Throughout her life, Judy had a deep faith in God and devotion to Mary. Her cheerful and optimistic demeanour was an inspiration for all who knew her. She lived a life full of grace.
Judy will be forever remembered by her daughter Elaine, son-in-law Willy, her grandsons Adrian and Shane (Natalia), her bonus grandsons Jon (Melanie) and their sons Ethan & Maddox, Michael (Vanessa) and their daughter Berkeley; brother Arthur Schamp (Margaret), brother-in-law Peter Sawatzky, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
She was predeceased by her husband John (Archie) McPherson; her parents Alberic and Anna (nee Malfait) Schamp; her siblings Marie (Herman), Antoinette, Aimie, Rumold, Cecile (Noel) and her sister-in-law Gail; her husband’s siblings: Christie (Balzer), Donald Alex (Ann), Angus John, Donald John (Violet), Mary Ann (Henry), John Archy, Mary Alic (Oliver), Marion (Alex), Catherine, and Angus Joseph; and her beloved Guide Dogs: Chestnut and Ellie.
Funeral Mass will be held in Canmore on June 17th, 4:00 pm at The Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Rockies, with Fr. Nathan Siray.
In Winnipeg, on what would have been her 96th Birthday, there will be a Celebration of her Life on July 25th, 10:00 am with Fr. Gerry Ward followed by her Interment at Glen Eden Funeral Home & Cemetery (West St. Paul).
Honorary Pallbearers will be Steve Sawatzky, Mark Van Schepdael, Kevin Schamp, Bruce Schamp, Francis DeCorte, and Javier Guerreiro.
Honorary Choir is the Threshold Choir, who added so much beauty to her life on their weekly visits to her bedside.
The family extends their gratitude to Dr. Peter Sullivan, Sherry Protz, Driving Miss Daisy colleagues, Alberta Health Services, and the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley, for their loving support throughout the years.
In Lieu of Flowers or Donations, the family requests that her memory be honored by continuing to perform small acts of kindness for others.